It's a Shame About Ray

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It's a Shame About Ray
Lemonheads It's a Shame About Ray.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedJune 2, 1992
StudioCherokee Studios in Los Angeles, California
GenreAlternative rock
ProducerThe Robb Brothers
Lemonheads chronology
It's a Shame About Ray
Come on Feel the Lemonheads
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[1]
Chicago Tribune3/4 stars[2]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music4/5 stars[3]
Mojo5/5 stars[4]
Q4/5 stars[7]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide4/5 stars[8]
Uncut4/5 stars[10]

It's a Shame About Ray is the fifth album by American alternative rock band The Lemonheads. It was released on June 2, 1992. Tom Morgan of Australian band Smudge helped author the album, The Robb Brothers produced, and Juliana Hatfield played bass and sang backing vocals on some songs.


The title track was inspired partially by band leader Evan Dando seeing the line, "It's a shame about Ray" in a Sydney newspaper article about something that happened to a child named Ray. "It's a Shame about Ray" was a big international hit for the band, as well as a #5 hit on the Modern Rock Tracks chart in America. The music video features Johnny Depp.[11] The song was later included at #138 on Pitchfork Media's Top 200 Tracks of the 90s.[12]

"Alison's Starting to Happen" refers to Alison Galloway, the drummer for Smudge. The album also includes a cover of the song "Frank Mills" from the musical Hair.

Pressure from the record label caused the title of the song "Drug Buddy" to be reduced to the less-provocative title "Buddy" when the album was reissued, only to be changed to "My Drug Buddy" on later releases.

"Confetti" and the title track were also released as singles in the UK.

Actress Polly Noonan and her car appear on the cover of the album.[13]


After its initial release, the album was re-issued with a cover of the song "Mrs. Robinson", originally by Simon & Garfunkel. This version was released as a single, recorded to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the release of the movie The Graduate, for which the song and video appeared in the DVD release. The song had been recorded in Berlin, whilst on tour, with Nic Dalton on bass guitar.

The album was re-issued as a collector's edition by Rhino in 2008. This edition includes several demo versions of album tracks, the B-side song "Shaky Ground", plus a DVD containing the previous VHS release Two Weeks in Australia.


The band performed the album in its entirety at London's Shepherds Bush Empire on September 14 and 15, 2005, as part of the All Tomorrow's Parties-curated Don't Look Back concert series. The cover of "Mrs. Robinson", a song that Dando grew tired of after its popularity, was missing from the setlist. However "Mrs. Robinson" was not on the original, first pressings of the album.

The Lemonheads announced an Australian tour for November and December 2010, where they would play the album, It's A Shame About Ray in its entirety, along with other select songs from their other albums.[14]

Track listing[edit]

All songs by Evan Dando unless otherwise stated.

  1. "Rockin Stroll"
  2. "Confetti"
  3. "It's a Shame About Ray" (Words by Dando, Tom Morgan; music by Dando)
  4. "Rudderless"
  5. "My Drug Buddy"
  6. "The Turnpike Down"
  7. "Bit Part" (Words by Dando, Morgan; music by Dando)
  8. "Alison's Starting to Happen"
  9. "Hannah & Gabi"
  10. "Kitchen" (Nic Dalton)
  11. "Ceiling Fan in My Spoon"
  12. "Frank Mills" (James Rado, Gerome Ragni, Galt MacDermot)
Re-release bonus track
  1. "Mrs. Robinson" (Paul Simon)


The Lemonheads


Album – Billboard (North America)

Year Chart Position
1992 Heatseekers 3
1993 The Billboard 200 68

Singles – Billboard (North America)

Year Single Chart Position
1992 "It's a Shame About Ray" Modern Rock Tracks 5
1992 "Mrs. Robinson" Modern Rock Tracks 8


  1. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "It's a Shame About Ray – The Lemonheads". AllMusic. Retrieved May 4, 2016.
  2. ^ Caro, Mark (July 16, 1992). "Lemonheads: It's a Shame About Ray (Atlantic)". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved May 4, 2016.
  3. ^ Larkin, Colin (2011). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th concise ed.). Omnibus Press. ISBN 0-85712-595-8.
  4. ^ "The Lemonheads: It's a Shame About Ray". Mojo (173): 120. April 2008.
  5. ^ Cameron, Keith (July 11, 1992). "The Lemonheads – It's a Shame About Ray". NME. Archived from the original on August 17, 2000. Retrieved May 4, 2016.
  6. ^ Deusner, Stephen M. (March 28, 2008). "The Lemonheads: It's a Shame About Ray [Collector's Edition]". Pitchfork. Retrieved January 11, 2012.
  7. ^ "The Lemonheads: It's a Shame About Ray". Q (262): 148. May 2008.
  8. ^ Considine, J. D. (2004). "The Lemonheads". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (eds.). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. p. 481. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  9. ^ Perry, Andrew (August 1992). "Lemonheads: It's a Shame About Ray". Select (26): 91.
  10. ^ Mulvey, John (April 2008). "Lemonheads – It's A Shame About Ray". Uncut (131): 106. Retrieved October 22, 2016.
  11. ^ Anderson, Kyle (June 2, 2010). "The Lemonheads Feel Some Shame: Wake-Up Video Bonus". MTV. Retrieved 29 May 2016.
  12. ^ "Pitchfork Top 200 Tracks of the 90s",
  13. ^ "Cover girl relives Ray before Lemonheads",
  14. ^ "The Lemonheads 'It's A Shame About Ray' tour" Archived 2012-10-06 at the Wayback Machine, FasterLouder, 29 September 2010.
  15. ^ Awards in Allmusic :