Shake It Up (The Cars song)
|"Shake It Up"|
|Single by The Cars|
|from the album Shake It Up|
|Released||November 9, 1981|
|Recorded||Syncro Sound, Boston 1981|
|Genre||New wave, dance-rock, synthpop|
|Producer(s)||Roy Thomas Baker|
|The Cars singles chronology|
"Shake It Up" is a song by the Cars from their 1981 album of the same name. Although appearing for the first time in 1981, it was actually written years earlier by the band's songwriter and lead singer Ric Ocasek. The song would go on to become one of the Cars' most popular songs (peaking at number two on the Billboard Top Tracks chart and number four on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in early 1982). With the track "Cruiser" as its b-side, it hit number 14 on the Billboard Disco Top 80 chart.
The song is primarily reliant on dance-pop as its main genre, with pop rock elements audible. Add to these keyboardist Greg Hawkes synthesizer lines, the associated instrument of bands labeled "new wave" at the time, and it is a prime example of The Cars genre blending. Kids Incorporated in the episode "Superbike" covered this song in 1984. The Chipmunks and The Chipettes covered this song for the 1985 TV special A Chipmunk Reunion.
Drummer David Robinson has said at first he didn't even want to record the song, as it was "kicking around for years. It never sounded good. We recorded it a couple of times in the studio and dumped it, and we were going to try it one more time, and I was fighting everybody . . . So we thought, let's start all over again, like we've never even heard it—completely change every part—and we did. Then, when it was through and all put back together, it was like a brand-new song."
Guitarist Elliot Eaton said he wanted his solo to sound like "two guys trading off". He plays first a Fender Telecaster in a style skewing "country", then midway through the solo switches to a Gibson Crank to sound more rock.
The song references dance moves, hair styles and having fun. However, bassist Benjamin Orr has stated the song tells the story of how important it is to make a mark in life, to "let them know what you really mean" Thus, the hit song has an existential element as well as a simple message.