All Shook Up

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"All Shook Up"
Elvis Presley All Shoo Up Single Cover.jpeg
Single by Elvis Presley
B-side"That's When Your Heartaches Begin"
ReleasedMarch 22, 1957 (1957-03-22)
RecordedJanuary 12, 1957
StudioRadio Recorders, Hollywood, California
LabelRCA Victor
Songwriter(s)Otis Blackwell, Elvis Presley
Elvis Presley singles chronology
"Too Much" / "Playing for Keeps"
"All Shook Up"
"(Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear" / "Loving You"
Music video
"All Shook Up" (audio) on YouTube

"All Shook Up" is a song recorded by Elvis Presley, published by Elvis Presley Music, and composed by Otis Blackwell. The single topped the U.S. Billboard Top 100 on April 13, 1957, staying there for eight weeks.[1] It also topped the Billboard R&B chart for four weeks, becoming Presley's second single to do so, and peaked at No. 1 on the country chart as well.[1] It is certified 2× platinum by the RIAA.

It was ranked #352 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.


Blackwell wrote the song at the offices of Shalimar Music in 1956 after Al Stanton, one of Shalimar's owners, shaking a bottle of Pepsi at the time, suggested he write a song based on the phrase "all shook up."[1]

According to Peter Guralnick, the song has a different origin. In his book Last Train to Memphis he wrote that Elvis thought "All Shook Up" was a good phrase for a refrain. For this he received a co-writing credit.[2]

Elvis himself, during an interview on October 28, 1957, said: "I've never even had an idea for a song. Just once, maybe. I went to bed one night, had quite a dream, and woke up all shook up. I phoned a pal and told him about it. By morning, he had a new song, 'All Shook Up'."[3]

Future Last House on the Left actor David Hess, using the stage name David Hill, was the first to record the song on Aladdin Records, titled "I'm All Shook Up". In a 2009 interview, Hess revealed the origins of the song, and claimed to come up with the title of the song: "As far as ‘All Shook Up’, the title came from a real set of circumstances and when I decided not to write it, Otis Blackwell did and I had the first recording for Aladdin Records. It was my title, but Otis wrote the song and Presley took a writing credit in order to get him to record it. That's the way things happened in those days."[4][5][6]

Vicki Young recorded a different song with the same title, "(I'm) All Shook Up", on Capitol Records with Big Dave and His Orchestra, written by Bill Bellman and Hal Blaine in 1956.[7]

On January 12, 1957, Presley recorded the song at Radio Recorders in Hollywood.[1] The duet vocal on the record is by the Jordanaires first tenor Gordon Stoker. Take 10 was selected for release, and in March the song entered Billboard's Top 100 chart at #25.[1] Within three weeks it had knocked Perry Como's "Round and Round" off the top spot, and stayed there for eight consecutive weeks.[1] The song also became Presley's first No. 1 hit on the UK Singles Chart, remaining there for seven weeks.[8] Sales of the single exceeded two million,[1] and the song was named Billboard's Year End number one song for 1957.


The Blue Moon Boys
The Jordanaires
  • Gordon Stoker – harmony and backing vocals
  • Hoyt Hawkins – backing vocals, piano
  • Neal Matthews, Hugh Jarrett – backing vocals[9]

Charts and certifications[edit]

Chart (1957) Peak
US Billboard Top 100 1
UK Singles Charts 1
US Billboard Most Played by Jockeys 1
US Billboard Most Played in Jukeboxes 1
US Billboard Hot Country Songs 1

The verse "itching like a man on a fuzzy tree" refers to a tree that is infested by the fall webworm.[citation needed] This caterpillar covers trees with webs that make the tree look "fuzzy". They also cause an itchy rash.

Composition and analysis[edit]

"All Shook Up" has proven a steadily popular cover for the rock canon, earning versions by Paul McCartney, Carl Perkins, Jeff Beck, Ry Cooder, Suzi Quatro, Cliff Richard, Albert King, Jim Dale and Humble Pie, among others.

The song starts with Fontana hitting a half-time on the snare drums, before Scotty Moore's guitar leads to Elvis' percussion. Elvis describes how his lover has him on edge and craving for her, all the while playing percussion, and accompanying Scotty's lead guitar riff along with Black's bass and Fontana's occasional snare-drum hitting. The song is in the key of B♭ major, and has a tempo of 74 bpm.

Intro (00:00 - 00:06)[edit]

The song begins with Fontana merely hitting a half-time on the snare drum. After one second, Scotty Moore's guitar enters in the key of B♭ major, accompanied with Elvis' percussion and Hawkins' piano, in which Scotty's guitar sounds like a wind instrument instead. Later, it was revealed that the "aerophonic" sound was achieved by turning the tone knobs all the way down to zero. The end of the intro is marked by the entrance of Elvis' vocals.

First verse (00:06 - 00:17)[edit]

Elvis' vocals begins in the key of B♭ major, marking the onset to this section. The band accompanies him, with Scotty continuing on with his intro riff, Fontana continuing hitting the snare drums, Black playing his bass, and Elvis' percussion continuing with the same rhythm. Elvis mentions how he "itches like a man on a fuzzy tree", and that his friends think he's acting "wild as a bug". There is a momentary silence after the verse ends, which marks the onset to the chorus.

Chorus (00:17 - 00:25)[edit]

The chorus starts with the Jordanaires accompanying Elvis throughout. This chorus is notable for its stunning harmony, delivered by Gordon Stoker. It is in this chorus section that Elvis makes the first of his many invocations of him being "all shook up" by his lover in a new key, continuing the original theme. Scotty Moore also plays his guitar in a new key, but as the verse ends, reverts to the riff he played in the intro. Elvis, too, after singing descending octaves of the B♭ major scale, goes back to B♭ major.

Second verse (00:25 - 00:37)[edit]

Elvis continues the theme of the first verse, only with differential lyrics, mentioning how his "hands are shaking" and his "knees are weak" thanks to his lover. He also says that he can't stand on his own feet. Then he asks, "Who do you thank when you have such luck?" before mentioning that he's in love. All the while, he continues playing his percussion, while the band accompanies him. At the end of this verse, Elvis hits his instrument once, and the band lapses into total silence.

Second chorus (00:37 - 00:45)[edit]

Similar to the first chorus, Stoker delivers stunning harmony and the backing vocalists deliver their backing vocals, while Elvis sings his lines in the same key as that of the first chorus.

Third verse (00:45 - 00:58)[edit]

Scotty reverts to his riff in the key of B♭ major while Elvis asks us to not ask him what is on his mind, because he is "a little bit stuck" but he "feels fine". Then he proceeds to tell us that when he is with his lover, his heartbeat soars and it scares him to death. This is where Hawkins' piano increases comparatively in volume, and we can hear him initially play in the key of B♭ major, before quickly (and abruptly) switching keys several times during the third verse, before the band lapses into total silence and Elvis sings the last line a cappella.

Pre-chorus (00:58 - 1:09)[edit]

After the band lapses into total silence and Elvis winds up his a cappella, Scotty reverts to the riff he played in the intro, and Elvis continues his percussion in the same pattern as done throughout so far. Fontana, as done throughout the song so far, keeps hitting half-times on his snare drum. Now, Hawkins' piano continues in the key of B♭ major, and so does Elvis' vocals. The Jordanaires accompany Elvis through the last three/four syllables of every line, with Stoker's harmony intact.

Third chorus (1:09 - 1:17)[edit]

Elvis makes his third invocation of him being all shook up, while continuing the theme of the other choruses.

Fourth verse (1:17 - 1:30)[edit]

Elvis sings the same first two lines of the third verse, but he changes the last two lines by telling us that "there's only one cure" for his body, "and that's to have that girl" he loves so fine. The last line he sings a cappella, with the rest of the band silent. Just like Hawkins did in the third verse, he changes the key and goes into a higher register of the piano.

Fourth chorus (1:30 - 1:38)[edit]

Elvis makes the fourth invocation of him being all shook up, in the same key as all other choruses, with the Jordanaires accompanying him with their backing vocals (Stoker singing harmony).

Outro (1:39 - 1:57)[edit]

Elvis sings the same melody as his chorus, only he sings "mm-hmm-hmm" instead of the actual lyrics. (This is, after all, the song that added the classic "mm-hmm-hmm" to the Elvis Presley repertoire.) After Elvis and the Jordanaires arrive to the end of that line, the band momentarily continues playing in the self-same key of B♭ major, before they lapse into silence while Elvis and the Jordanaires sing the last line a cappella. While singing the last line, Elvis hits his instrument thrice, to mark the final second of him playing percussion. After singing the last line of the song, there is silence for the last second or so, which marks the end of the song.

Beatles version[edit]

According to biographer Mark Lewisohn in The Complete Beatles Chronicle (p. 361), the Beatles (first as the Quarrymen) regularly performed the song, from 1957 through 1960 (possibly later) with Paul McCartney on lead vocal. There is no known recorded version from that time. However Quarryman Len Garry (in his book John, Paul & Me p. 154) states that it was one of the songs the group played on July 6, 1957, the day John Lennon met Paul McCartney and that the song was recorded then (but was erased later). Author Doug Sulpy (in Drugs, Divorce and a Slipping Image sec. 3.13) adds that on Jan. 13, 1969 during the massive "Get Back" sessions, they did record a "spirited" version of it with McCartney and George Harrison sharing vocals. Lennon did not join in the recording as he was sitting watching while having tea. That version of the song remains officially unreleased (due to it being in mono and McCartney and Harrison not remembering all the lyrics by that late date). In 1999, McCartney cut a hard-rocking version on the album Run Devil Run, while his surviving Quarrymen bandmates recorded it in 2004 on Songs We Remember.

Billy Joel version[edit]

"All Shook Up"
All Shook Up Billy Joel.jpg
Single by Billy Joel
from the album Honeymoon in Vegas
  • "Wear My Ring Around Your Neck"
  • "Surrender"
Songwriter(s)Otis Blackwell, Elvis Presley
Billy Joel singles chronology
"All Shook Up"
"The River of Dreams"

In 1991, Billy Joel recorded the song for the movie Honeymoon in Vegas, which also featured other Elvis Presley songs by various artists. It was released as a single and peaked at No. 92 in the US and No. 27 in the UK.

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (1992) Peak
Australian Singles Chart[10] 54
Canada Top Singles (RPM)[11] 28
French Singles Chart[12] 60
German Media Control Charts 52
Irish Singles Chart 23
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[13] 26
UK Singles (OCC)[14] 27
US Billboard Hot 100[15] 92
US Adult Contemporary (Billboard)[16] 15

Other recordings and notable performances[edit]

  • Suzi Quatro recorded the song for her debut solo album Suzi Quatro in 1973.[17] (The title of this album in Australia is Can the Can). Her recording of the song was released as a single in 1974 and peaked at number 85 on the Billboard Hot 100.[18] Presley invited Quatro to Graceland, commenting that her version was the best since the original. Quatro declined the offer.

Derivatives and parodies[edit]

Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey included a strongly derivative piece, "All Choked Up", as part of the original version of the musical Grease. The song was included in the Broadway version; in 1978, when the musical was adapted as a feature film of the same name, "All Choked Up" was not included, and a new song, "You're the One That I Want" (which bore no musical resemblance to "All Shook Up"), was used instead and went on to become a major hit.

Filipino comedians Joey de Leon and Vic Sotto parodied Elvis Presley’s “All Shook Up”. A full version of the theme song was released as single by Tito, Vic & Joey in 1979 and featured in the trio’s Sgt. Pepe (Tito, Vic & Joey, Vol. IV) album.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Worth, Fred (1992). Elvis: His Life from A to Z. Outlet. pp. 345–346. ISBN 978-0-517-06634-8.
  2. ^ Guralnick, Peter (1994), Last Train to Memphis: The Rise of Elvis Presley, pp. 386–387, ISBN 978-0-316-33220-0
  3. ^ "Interview with Elvis Presley". Official Elvis Presley Fan Club. October 28, 1957. Retrieved 2014-04-03.
  4. ^ "David Hess: Elvis Presley sang my songs, I got paid off, and the rest is history". 20 November 2009.
  5. ^ "Elv1s 30 #1 Hits, 6 All Shook Up". New York, USA: Elvis Presley Estate. Archived from the original on October 8, 2002. Retrieved February 12, 2012.
  6. ^ Spielberg, Theo. "David Hess, Songwriter of Elvis Hits and Horror Actor, Dead at 69". Spinner. Archived from the original on 21 August 2020. Retrieved 8 April 2013.
  7. ^ "Vicki Young". Retrieved 2014-04-03.
  8. ^ Rice, Jo (1982). The Guinness Book of 500 Number One Hits (1st ed.). Enfield, Middlesex: Guinness Superlatives Ltd. p. 32. ISBN 0-85112-250-7.
  9. ^ "Elvis Presley Recording Sessions". Retrieved 27 April 2021.
  10. ^ Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988–2010. Mt. Martha, VIC, Australia: Moonlight Publishing.
  11. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 1933." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved June 15, 2017.
  12. ^ InfoDisc, Daniel Lesueur, Dominic Durand, Lesueur. "InfoDisc : Bilan des Ventes par Artiste". Archived from the original on 2012-06-14. Retrieved 2016-08-28.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  13. ^ " – Billy Joel – All Shook Up". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved June 15, 2017.
  14. ^ "Billy Joel: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved June 15, 2017.
  15. ^ "Billy Joel Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved June 15, 2017.
  16. ^ "Billy Joel Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard. Retrieved June 15, 2017.
  17. ^ Strong, Martin C. (2000). The Great Rock Discography (5th ed.). Edinburgh: Mojo Books. pp. 785–6. ISBN 1-84195-017-3.
  18. ^ Unterberger, Richie. "Suzi Quatro - Awards : AllMusic". Ann Arbor, USA: Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2 September 2012.

External links[edit]