Shot by Both Sides

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"Shot by Both Sides"
Magazine - Shot By Both Sides single picture cover.jpg
Single by Magazine
from the album Real Life
B-side "My Mind Ain't So Open"
Released 20 January 1978
Genre Post-punk[1]
Length 4:04
Label Virgin
  • Mick Glossop
  • Magazine
Magazine singles chronology
"Shot by Both Sides"
"Touch and Go"
Real Life track listing
"My Tulpa"
"Shot by Both Sides"

"Shot by Both Sides" is a song written by Howard Devoto and Pete Shelley, and performed by the English post-punk band Magazine. It was released in January 1978 as the band's first single (reaching No. 41 on the UK charts) and appeared a few months later on their debut album, Real Life.


The name of the song came from a political argument between Devoto and his girlfriend, in which his girlfriend said to him, "Oh, you'll end up shot by both sides."[2]

The original single version of "Shot by Both Sides" differed from the album version; for example, the chorus of the single version begins with the word "shot" repeated, while the album version has it sung only once (with an echo effect).".[citation needed]

By this time, Magazine consisted of only four members, as original keyboardist Bob Dickinson had left the band the previous year.

Shot by Both Sides is also the title of the English translation of Meisei Goto's paranoid Japanese novel, Hasamiuchi (original 1973, translation 2008). Translator Tom Gill chose the title because he was a Magazine fan, and also because the more obvious title, Crossfire, had already been used as the title of another Japanese novel translated into English—a detective novel by Miyuki Miyabe.[citation needed]

An identical guitar riff was used in the song "Lipstick" by Devoto's former band Buzzcocks, released as a B-side in November 1978, for which Devoto received a co-writing credit.[3]


The song was ranked at No. 9 among the top "Tracks of the Year" for 1978 by NME.[4]

Cover versions[edit]

"Shot by Both Sides" has been played live by several artists, including Radiohead (whose song "Just" contains a similar guitar riff), Mansun, Fin and Jarvis Cocker. Swedish punk band No Fun At All did a cover on their album EP's Going Steady. "Shot by Both Sides" was also covered by English punk band Beyond Dread, UK82 punk rockers English Dogs, French punk rockers les Cadavres and Finnish punk band Kollaa Kestää (in Finnish as "Syksy").



  1. ^ "20 More Great Post-Punk Tracks". Mojo. 10 April 2014. Retrieved 23 August 2016. 
  2. ^ Reynolds, S: Rip It Up and Start Again: Post Punk 1978-1984, p. 21. Faber & Faber Ltd, 2005
  3. ^ The Rough Guide to Rock, edited by Peter Buckley
  4. ^ "Albums and Tracks of the Year". NME. 2016. Retrieved November 26, 2016. 

External links[edit]