“Such a Shame” is a song written by Mark Hollis for the English band Talk Talk‘s 2nd album It’s My Life (1984). It was released as the album’s 2nd single and went on to becoming a top 10 hit across Europe.
“Such a Shame” was inspired by Luke Rhinehart‘s The Dice Man, one of composer Mark Hollis’ favorite books. When asked what drove him to respond to Rhinehart’s book, Hollis replied, “A good book, not a lifestyle I’d recommend.”
“Such a Shame” became a big hit in continental Europe in 1984 and 1985, reaching the top 10 in several countries, including #1 in Switzerland. It was their 3rd #1 single after the remixed version of the song “Talk Talk” which topped the South African charts in 1983 and the single “It’s My Life” which was #1 in the US Billboard Hot Dance Club Play in 1984. In the US, “Such a Shame” entered the Billboard Hot 100, and was a top 20 hit in the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play. The single entered the top 10 in the pan-European singles airplay chart. It only reached #49 in the UK.
The song was featured in a European TV commercial for the French car Peugeot 205 in the 1980s. In 1990, the single was re-issued to promote the compilation Natural History: The Very Best of Talk Talk.
Following Hollis’ death in early 2019, “Such a Shame” charted at #5 on Digital Song Sales in France and #44 on Back Catalogue Singles in the Flemish region of Belgium.