It's a Shame About Ray

It's a Shame About Ray is the fifth album by American alternative rock band the Lemonheads, released on June 2, 1992. The album was produced by the Robb Brothers. At the time of principal recording, the band consisted of Evan Dando (lead vocals, guitar), Juliana Hatfield (bass, backing vocals) and David Ryan (drums). Though not originally on the album, the band's cover of Simon & Garfunkel's "Mrs. Robinson" was added to the album in later pressings after it had become a major worldwide radio hit, and it features a later lineup of the band with Nic Dalton on bass.

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
Length29:46 (original release)
33:28 (re-release)
57:20 (deluxe edition)
LabelAtlantic Records
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]


The title track was partially inspired by a quote that band leader Evan Dando had seen in a Sydney newspaper in reference to Ray Martin losing his job as the presenter of The Midday Show.

The album became an international hit for the band, reaching #31 in the UK Top 100 as well as #5 on the Modern Rock Tracks chart in the U.S. The song was later included at #138 on Pitchfork Media's "Top 200 Tracks of the 90s" list.[11] The music video features Johnny Depp.[12]

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


After its initial release, the album was reissued with a cover of the song "Mrs. Robinson", originally written and recorded by Simon & Garfunkel. The Lemonheads' version was recorded to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the release of the film The Graduate. The band recorded the song in Berlin while tour, with Nic Dalton on bass guitar. It was released as a single.

The album was reissued by Rhino in 2008 as a collector's edition that includes several demo versions of album tracks, the B-side song "Shaky Ground" and a DVD containing the previously released (on VHS) Two Weeks in Australia.

Notable performancesEdit

The Lemonheads toured Australia in late 2010, playing the album in its entirety along with songs from their other albums.[14]

The band performed the entire album at London's Shepherd's Bush Empire on September 14–15, 2005 as part of the All Tomorrow's Parties-curated Don't Look Back concert series, with "Mrs. Robinson" missing from the setlist.

Track listingEdit

All songs by Evan Dando unless otherwise stated.

  1. "Rockin Stroll" - 1:48
  2. "Confetti" - 2:47
  3. "It's a Shame About Ray" (Words by Dando, Tom Morgan; music by Dando) - 3:08
  4. "Rudderless" - 3:21
  5. "My Drug Buddy"- 2:52
  6. "The Turnpike Down" - 2:34
  7. "Bit Part" (studio version) (Words by Dando, Morgan; music by Dando) - 1:52
  8. "Alison's Starting to Happen" - 2:00
  9. "Hannah & Gabi" - 2:41
  10. "Kitchen" (Nic Dalton) - 2:55
  11. "Ceiling Fan in My Spoon" - 2:00
  12. "Frank Mills" (James Rado, Gerome Ragni, Galt MacDermot) - 1:45
Re-release bonus track
  1. "Mrs. Robinson" (Paul Simon) - 3:45
Bonus material
  1. "Shaky Ground" (B-side) - 1:49
  2. "It's a Shame About Ray" (demo version) - 2:57
  3. "Rockin Stroll" (demo version) - 1:49
  4. "My Drug Buddy" (demo version) - 2:47
  5. "Hannah & Gabi" (demo version) - 2:27
  6. "Kitchen" (demo version) - 3:13
  7. "Bit Part" (demo version) - 1:55
  8. "Rudderless" (demo version) - 3:21
  9. "Ceiling Fan in My Spoon" (demo version) - 2:18
  10. "Confetti" (demo version) - 1:16


The Lemonheads


Chart (1992) Peak
Australian Albums (ARIA)[15] 23
United States (Billboard 200) 36


Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[16] Gold 35,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[17] Gold 100,000^
United States (RIAA)[18] Gold 500,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.


  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. ^ "Pitchfork Top 200 Tracks of the 90s",
  12. ^ Anderson, Kyle (June 2, 2010). "The Lemonheads Feel Some Shame: Wake-Up Video Bonus". MTV. Retrieved 29 May 2016.
  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. ^ " – Lemonheads – It's a Shame About Ray". Hung Medien. Retrieved November 28, 2021.
  16. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 1996 Albums" (PDF). Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved November 28, 2021.
  17. ^ "British album certifications – Lemonheads – It's a Shame About Ray". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved November 28, 2021.Select albums in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Type It's a Shame About Ray in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  18. ^ "American album certifications – Lemonheads – It's a Shame About Ray". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved November 28, 2021.