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"Shaddap You Face"
Single by Joe Dolce Music Theatre
B-side "Ain't in No Hurry"
Released 1980
Format 7"
Recorded 1980
Genre Novelty
Label Ariola Records (Europe)
Writer(s) Joe Dolce
Joe Dolce Music Theatre singles chronology
- "Shaddap You Face"

"Shaddap You Face" is a song written and performed by Joe Dolce (also known as the Joe Dolce Music Theatre) in 1980. It has set a number of sales and longevity records.

The song was full of broad Italian humour and included the chorus:

"Whassamatta you? (hey!)
Gotta no respect?
Whaddaya think you do?
Why you looka so sad?
It's-a not so bad
It's-a nice-a place
Ah, shaddap you face!"


Sales and chart positions

It went to Number 1 on the Australian pop charts in 1980. It reached Number 1 in the UK Singles Chart on February 21, 1981 and stayed there for three weeks until March 14, 1981, keeping the Ultravox song, Vienna, off the UK No. 1 slot.

"Shaddap You Face" was Number 1 in 11 countries. There have been over 50 different foreign language cover versions, and hundreds more published informally on YouTube with new versions being recorded and uploaded every year. The original release sold over 6 million copies and has remained the most successful Australian-produced single in Australian music history for 29 years straight, with sales of over 350,000 copies. It was Australia's first triple platinum recording by the old count of 100,000 units equaling platinum status, which has since changed to 75,000 units. In 2002, "Shaddap You Face" also overtook country legend Slim Dusty's 22-year longevity record for 'A Pub with No Beer,' which went to Number 1 in 1957, and was Australia's first gold record and only gold 78rpm record.

In the U.S., the song peaked at No. 53 on the Billboard Hot 100.

The National Folk Festival in Canberra featured 'The Inspired Shaddap You Face Contest' in April 2006. Festival artists were invited to perform their interpretations of the classic song. The Cygnet Folk Festival in Tasmania featured the second 'Inspired Shaddap You Face Contest' in the following year. Joe Dolce was invited to be the MC at both events.

Some of the many international cover versions



  • NRR - No Room For Racism: by Joe Dolce w/ Vietnamese comic, Hung Le. One-Nation Protest Version (new lyrics)
  • Aboriginal: Gnarnyarrhe Inmurray Waitarie & Joe Dolce. (Indjubunji language dialect version).
  • Christian cover version: Mrs Liz Luva, for the Clontarf Beach Baptist Church vacation Bible School: (lyrics to original tune.)
  • South Australian Version: Bazz & Pilko, 'Bite Your Bum' (banned from airplay by SA radio stations).
  • Queensland version: Max Bygraves.

New Zealand


The Netherlands

  • Dingetje, 'Houtochdiekop'. (album has several dialectal variations)


  • De Strangers, 'Agget Mor Fret'.
  • Stephane Steeman, 'Faut Garder Le Moral'.


  • Gottlieb Wendehals, 'Mensch ärger dich nicht'.
  • Party Service Band, 'Wenn die Bühne brennt'.
  • Volkmann, ‘Shaddapp You Face’
  • Remixed 'Italo House Mix' mini-disc from original recording
  • Klaus Wunderlich (instrumental Wersi organ version as part of a medley)


  • Østjydsk Musikforsyning, 'Holdopperdetfis'


  • Sheila, 'Et ne la ramène pas'. guitar rock version, by one of France's most beloved female pop singers.


  • 5 Fingers, 'Callate La Boca'.
  • Grupo Latino, 'Mi Mama Me Decia Callate'.

United Kingdom

  • Manuel, (Andrew Sachs) The Spanish waiter from Fawlty Towers broken-Spanish version, titled, 'Shaddap You Face.'
  • Lee Brennan, 'Scouse' version, 'Shut Yer Gob'
  • EMF, grunge pop version. Album: Ruby Trax
  • The Abs, 'Shaddap You Face', on their album, 'A Wop Bop A Loo Bop.'
  • Midge Ure, lead vocalist with Ultravox, often sings this song during live performances as a coda to Vienna

South Africa

  • Leon Schuster, 'Hou Jou Bek'.


  • Laddi, 'Skammastu Thin Svo'.


  • Franchi & Ingrassia, 'Ali Ali Ale'. (Franchi & Ingrassia are two of Italy's most well known entertainers having made over 100 films together)



  • Helena Vondrackkova, 'Ja Aa Brachu - Blues'.

Papua New Guinea

  • Breeze Band, 'Pasim Pes Bilong Yu'. (local pidgin version)

External links

Preceded by
"Woman in Love" by Barbra Streisand
Australian Kent Music Report number-one single
November 24, 1980 - January 12, 1981
Succeeded by
"(Just Like) Starting Over" by John Lennon
Preceded by
"Woman" by John Lennon
UK number one single
21 February 1981 - 7 March 1981
Succeeded by
"Jealous Guy" by Roxy Music


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