Shake Your Head

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"Shake Your Head (Let's Go to Bed)"
Song by Was (Not Was) from the album Born to Laugh at Tornadoes
Released 1983
Genre Rock, dance-rock
Length 3:52
Label Geffen Records
Writer David Was, Don Was
Composer David Was, Don Was
Producer Jack Tann, David Was, Don Was
Born to Laugh at Tornadoes track listing
"Betrayal"
(3)
"Shake Your Head (Let's Go to Bed)"
(4)
"Man vs. the Empire Brain Building"
(5)
"Shake Your Head"
Single by Was (Not Was)
from the album Hello Dad... I'm in Jail
Released 1992
Format 7", 12", CD
Genre House
Length 3:42
Label Fontana (UK), Phonogram
Writer(s) David Was, Don Was
Producer(s) David Was, Don Was, Steve 'Silk' Hurley
Was (Not Was) singles chronology
"Listen Like Thieves"
(1992)
"Shake Your Head"
(1992)
"Somewhere in America (There's a Street Named after My Dad)"
(1992)

"Shake Your Head" is a song by the band Was (Not Was). It was originally released in 1983 on the album Born to Laugh at Tornadoes. In 1992, it was re-recorded and remixed by house music producer Steve "Silk" Hurley, and features actress Kim Basinger alongside a re-recorded Ozzy Osbourne on vocals. It appeared on the group's compilation album, Hello Dad... I'm in Jail.

Background[edit]

The original version features legendary Black Sabbath singer Ozzy Osbourne on lead vocals. A pre-fame Madonna had auditioned for the vocal but was not used on the final release. In 1992, it was re-recorded and remixed by house music producer Steve "Silk" Hurley, and features actress Kim Basinger alongside a re-recorded Ozzy Osbourne on vocals. It appeared on the group's compilation album, Hello Dad... I'm in Jail. The original plan was to restore Madonna's vocals to the track for the re-release, but the artist refused to grant permission, hence actress Kim Basinger was approached instead. However, Madonna's restored vocals were accidentally released on two occasions. A full Madonna vocal appears on the 2LP and double cassette formats of compilation release Now Dance 92, entitled 12" Mix. The CD format of this compilation includes the regular 7" Mix, however. Secondly, on the 12" and CD single formats of Was (Not Was)'s follow up single, "Somewhere in America (There's a Street Named after My Dad)", there is a Dub Mix of "Shake Your Head" which uses several of Madonna's vocals. Although the song did not chart in the US, it was the band's biggest commercial success across the Atlantic, reaching #4 in the UK charts.

There are several versions of the 1992 remake: The 3:48 single version starts with Ozzy Osbourne singing "You can't feed the hungry, you can't talk Shakespeare to a monkey..." The 4:00 album version starts with female vocals (presumably Kim Basinger) singing "You can't argue with death. You can't break a burly sailor's neck. You can't drink lava from plastic glasses...". There is also a Steve "Silk" Hurley 12" Mix and a 12" Dub.

The song's lyrics deal with things that cannot be done (some are outlandish, some can be done, but have a high amount of difficulty). After Basinger and Osbourne detail these things, the chorus comes in with the title hook.

Cover version[edit]

In 2003, C. C. Catch covered "Shake Your Head" and released as single, which peaked at #8 in Norway.

Official versions[edit]

  • "Shake Your Head" (featuring Kim Basinger and Ozzy Osbourne) (Remix) – 3:42
  • "Shake Your Head" (featuring Kim Basinger and Ozzy Osbourne) (12" Mix) – 6:49
  • "Shake Your Head" (featuring Madonna and Ozzy Osbourne) (12" Mix) – 6:49 (Now Dance 92 vinyl and cassette editions)
Notes
  • The Now Dance 92 version was a mistake and contained Madonna's vocals instead of Kim Basinger. This version did not appear on the CD edition which included the remix single version.

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (1992) Peak
Position
Australia ARIA Singles Chart 47
Irish Singles Chart [1] 8
U.K. Singles Chart [2] 4

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Irish Charts". IRMA. Retrieved 2008-10-02. 
  2. ^ "Chart Stats - Was (Not Was)". chartstats.com. Archived from the original on 2012-07-29. Retrieved 2008-11-09.