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"Homosapien" is a song by Buzzcocks' lead singer Pete Shelley. It was the first single from his album of the same title, released in 1981.

Single by Pete Shelley
from the album Homosapien
  • "Keat's Song"
  • "Love in Vain" (1982)
ReleasedSeptember 1981 (UK)
FormatVinyl record (7")
LabelGenetic (Island Records) WIP6720
Songwriter(s)Pete Shelley
Producer(s)Martin Rushent, Pete Shelley
Pete Shelley singles chronology
"I Don't Know What It Is"

Shelley wrote the song in 1974, before forming the Buzzcocks in 1976.[1] Originally intended as a demo track for a Buzzcocks' song, "Homosapien" was recorded in one day with producer Martin Rushent, who would later go on to produce The Human League.[1] The track adopted a more synth pop sound in contrast to the Buzzcocks' harsh guitar riffs.[2]

The single was a big hit in Australia and Canada, reaching the Top 10 in both territories, as well as being a modest hit in New Zealand. Although it failed to crossover to singles charts, it was a popular dance track in clubs across Europe and the United States and reached number 14 on the Billboard Club Play Singles chart.

The song was banned by the BBC for its "explicit reference to gay sex" with the lyrics "homo superior / in my interior".[3]

Chart positionsEdit

Charts (1981-1982) Peak
Australia (Kent Music Report)[4] 4
Canada Top Singles (RPM)[5] 6
New Zealand Top 40 (Official New Zealand Music Chart)[6] 11


  1. ^ a b "The Quietus | Features | A Quietus Interview | I Hate Finishing Things When I Don't Have To: Pete Shelley Interviewed". The Quietus. Retrieved 2018-12-11.
  2. ^ "'You Know Me': Buzzcocks' Pete Shelley Gave Punk A Heart". Retrieved 2018-12-11.
  3. ^ Lynskey, Dorian (2007-06-29). "Readers recommend: songs about homosexuality". The Guardian. Retrieved 2016-06-06.
  4. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  5. ^ "Homosapien - Pete Shelley - Awards". Retrieved 21 April 2013.
  6. ^ "The Official New Zealand Music Chart Top 40 Singles - 28 March 1982". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved 2018-12-08.