Grey Day

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"Grey Day"
Grey Day cover.jpg
Single by Madness
from the album 7
Released17 April 1981
Songwriter(s)Mike Barson
Madness singles chronology
"Return of the Los Palmas 7"
"Grey Day"
"Shut Up"

"Grey Day" is a 2-Tone song written by Mike Barson and recorded by British pop/ska band Madness.[1] The song was the first single released from the band's third studio album 7.[2] It was a big departure from their early ska sound with a much darker, miserable feel. The song title does not appear in the lyrics as a single phrase, though a couplet rhyming "grey" with "day" features in the chorus.

The song was written prior to the band becoming a success in the UK music scene, and the first performance of the song came back in 1978 at the Acklam Hall while the band were known as "The North London Invaders".[2] The song was finally recorded in 1981 and was released as a single on 17 April 1981. The song spent 10 weeks in the UK Singles Chart, reaching a high of number 4.[2] It was able to crack the charts in Australia as well, but only as high as number 82.

Music video[]

The music video for the single was filmed in March 1981. The majority of the video was shot on an open top bus as it drove around London, and in Bowmans shop window on Camden High Street, where the band performed the song. The street they are featured walking down is Royal College Street just off Camden High Street; they're seen entering houses between 109 and 121.[2] A recurring theme in the music video is common dreams such as dreaming; that one is flying or falling.


"Grey Day" is one of Madness' most anthologised singles. In addition to its single release and appearance on the album 7, "Grey Day" also appears on the Madness collections Divine Madness (a.k.a. The Heavy Heavy Hits), Complete Madness, It's... Madness, The Business and Our House. It also features on all four US Madness retrospectives, Madness, Total Madness, Ultimate Collection and The Millennium Collection.

Formats and track listings[]

These are the formats and track listings of major single releases of "Grey Day".

  • 7" single / Cassette single
  1. "Grey Day" (Barson) - 3:37
  2. "Memories" (Foreman) - 2:24
  • 12" single
  1. "Un Paso Adelante!" (Campbell) - 2:18
  2. "Baggy Trousers" (McPherson/Foreman) - 2:46
  3. "Grey Day" (Barson) - 3:37
  4. "Take It or Leave It" (Thompson/Barson) - 3:27

Chart performance[]

Chart (1981) Peak
Australia (Kent Music Report)[3] 82
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[4] 28
Ireland (IRMA)[5] 4
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[6] 25
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[7] 18
UK Singles (OCC)[8] 4


  1. ^ " 7 overview". Retrieved 21 July 2007.
  2. ^ Jump up to: a b c d "The Madness Timeline: 1981". Archived from the original on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 21 July 2007.
  3. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 187. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  4. ^ " – Madness – Grey Day" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  5. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Grey day". Irish Singles Chart.
  6. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Frankie Goes to Hollywood" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40.
  7. ^ " – Frankie Goes to Hollywood – Two Tribes" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  8. ^ "Madness: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company.

External links[]

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