Grey Day

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"Grey Day"
Grey Day.jpg
Single by Madness
from the album 7
Released 17 April 1981
Format 7"
Recorded 1981
Genre Ska, 2-tone
Length 3:40
Label Stiff
Writer(s) Mike Barson
Producer(s) Clive Langer
Alan Winstanley
Madness singles chronology
"Return of the Los Palmas 7"
"Grey Day"
"Shut Up"
7 track listing
Side One
  1. "Cardiac Arrest"
  2. "Shut Up"
  3. "Sign of the Times"
  4. "Missing You"
  5. "Mrs. Hutchinson"
  6. "Tomorrow's Dream"
Side Two
  1. "Grey Day"
  2. "Pac-A-Mac"
  3. "Promises Promises"
  4. "Benny Bullfrog"
  5. "When Dawn Arrives"
  6. "The Opium Eaters"
  7. "Day on the Town"
Divine Madness track listing
"The Return of the Los Palmas 7"
"Grey Day"
"Shut Up"

"Grey Day" is a 2-Tone song written by Mike Barson and recorded by British pop/ska band Madness.[1] The song was the first single released from the band's third studio album 7.[2] It was a big departure from their early ska sound with a much darker, miserable feel. The song title does not appear in the lyrics as a single phrase, though a couplet rhyming "grey" with "day" features in the chorus.

The song was written prior to the band becoming a success in the UK music scene, and the first performance of the song came back in 1978 at the Acklam Hall while the band were known as "The North London Invaders".[2] The song was finally recorded in 1981 and was released as a single on 17 April 1981. The song spent 10 weeks in the UK Singles Chart, reaching a high of number 4.[2] It was able to crack the charts in Australia as well, but only as high as number 82.

Music video[edit]

The music video for the single was filmed in March 1981. The majority of the video was shot on an open top bus as it drove around London, and in Bowmans shop window on Camden High Street, where the band performed the song. The street they are featured walking down is Royal College Street just off of Camden High Street, they are seen entering houses between 109 and 121.[2] A recurring theme in the music video is common dreams, such as dreaming that one is flying or falling.


"Grey Day" is one of Madness' most anthologised singles. In addition to its single release and appearance on the album 7, "Grey Day" also appears on the Madness collections Divine Madness (a.k.a. The Heavy Heavy Hits), Complete Madness, It's... Madness, The Business and Our House. It also features on all four US Madness retrospectives, Madness, Total Madness, Ultimate Collection and The Millennium Collection.

Formats and track listings[edit]

These are the formats and track listings of major single releases of "Grey Day".

  • 7" Single / Cassette Single
  1. "Grey Day" (Barson) - 3:37
  2. "Memories" (Foreman) - 2:24
  • 12" Single
  1. "Un Paso Adelante!" (Campbell) - 2:18
  2. "Baggy Trousers" (McPherson/Foreman) - 2:46
  3. "Grey Day" (Barson) - 3:37
  4. "Take It Or Leave It" (Thompson/Barson) - 3:27

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1981) Peak
UK Singles Chart[3] 4 10


  1. ^ " 7 overview".  Retrieved on 21 July 2007.
  2. ^ a b c d "The Madness Timeline: 1981".  Retrieved on 21 July 2007.
  3. ^ Madness at Official Charts Company Retrieved 21 June 2013

External links[edit]