Shake Some Action

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Shake Some Action
ShakeSomeActionalbumcover.png
Studio album by Flamin' Groovies
Released June 1976
Studio Rockfield Studios Monmouth, South Wales
Genre Power pop
Length 35:56
Label Sire
Producer Dave Edmunds
Flamin' Groovies chronology
Teenage Head
(1971)Teenage Head1971
Shake Some Action
(1976)
Flamin' Groovies Now
(1978)Flamin' Groovies Now1978

Shake Some Action is the fourth studio album by American rock band the Flamin' Groovies. The album was released in June 1976 by Sire Records. The title Shake Some Action originates from a line in the 1965 film None but the Brave.[1]

Background and recording[edit]

Shake Some Action was the first album by the newly reconstituted version of the Flamin' Groovies, who had returned from a five-year hiatus during which lead singer Roy Loney departed the band, leaving guitarist Cyril Jordan as its de facto leader.[2] The band drastically reshaped their musical style, stripping down the blues and rockabilly influences of their previous work in favor of a more retro, guitar-oriented power pop style emulating that of the 1960s British Invasion scene.[2][3] The new band took to wearing velvet-collared three-piece suits and Cuban heels in an attempt to recreate the fashion sense of the era.[3] In an interview with ZigZag magazine, Jordan stated that the band "just wanted to get back to the flash of that era, which were the best years, as far as I'm concerned."[3]

Release and reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 5/5 stars[2]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music 4/5 stars[4]
Pitchfork 8.5/10[5]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[6]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 3.5/5 stars[7]
The Village Voice B[8]

In a contemporary review of Shake Some Action, Robert Christgau of The Village Voice felt that the Flamin' Groovies, deprived of Roy Loney and having remodelled themselves as "an English pop-revival band", now "get their kicks playing dumb", and that while the album contained good songs, "only cultists will ever hear them."[8] In the United States, Shake Some Action reached number 142 on the Billboard albums chart. The album was released to a much greater reception in the United Kingdom, then in the early stages of the punk era.[9] Newly based in England, the reformed Flamin' Groovies found itself aligned with the burgeoning punk scene, along with the likes of bands such as the Ramones and the Sex Pistols.[1]

Retrospectively, Ian S. Port of San Francisco Weekly states that Shake Some Action "influenced the rise of power pop and punk in America, and remains a vital document of that era."[10] In a retrospective review of the album, Mark Deming of AllMusic opined that "if Shake Some Action was the first salvo from the new and improved Flamin' Groovies, it also demonstrated that this edition of the band had as much promise as the Loney-fronted group," calling the title track "a brilliant evocation of the adventurous side of British rock circa 1966 ... [which] by its lonesome served as a superb justification for The Groovies' new creative direction."[2] Joe Tangari of Pitchfork wrote that Shake Some Action "is in every sense both a comeback and a re-invention, and it's been rightly championed by collectors and critics extolling its effortless pop perfection."[5]

In 2014, the song was one of the ten selected by Greil Marcus for his book The History of Rock 'n' Roll in Ten Songs: "In "Shake Some Action" everything is new, as if the secret [of rock 'n roll] had been discovered and the mystery solved on the spot...It's what the singer is afraid of losing defined now purely in the positive, as flight, as freedom, in Norman Mailer's words loose in the water for the first time in your life, because no matter how many times in how many pieces of music you are swept away as the instrumental passages in "Shake Some Action" can sweep you away, it's always the first time."[11]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Cyril Jordan and Chris Wilson except where noted.

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Shake Some Action"   4:34
2. "Sometimes" Gene Thomasson 2:21
3. "Yes, It's True"   2:29
4. "St. Louis Blues" W. C. Handy 2:39
5. "You Tore Me Down"   2:50
6. "Please Please Girl"   2:04
7. "Let the Boy Rock 'n' Roll" Joe Butler, John Sebastian 2:18
8. "Don't You Lie to Me" Chuck Berry 2:27
9. "She Said Yeah" Roddy Jackson, Sonny Christy 1:38
10. "I'll Cry Alone"   2:15
11. "Misery" John Lennon, Paul McCartney 1:39
12. "I Saw Her" Hunter, Jordan 2:41
13. "Teenage Confidential"   2:45
14. "I Can't Hide"   3:12

Personnel[edit]

  • Cyril Jordan - guitar, vocals
  • Chris Wilson - guitar, vocals
  • James Farrell - guitar
  • George Alexander - bass
  • David Wright - drums

Cover Versions[edit]

The title song, "Shake Some Action," was covered by Cracker for the soundtrack to the 1995 film, Clueless.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Dansby, Andrew (April 30, 2014). "Flamin' Groovies frontman remembers not-so-psychedelic '60s". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved November 20, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c d Deming, Mark. "Shake Some Action – Flamin' Groovies". AllMusic. Retrieved August 13, 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c Reynolds, Simon. Retromania: Pop Culture's Addiction to Its Own Past. Faber and Faber. pp. 260–61. ISBN 978-0-86547-994-4. 
  4. ^ Larkin, Colin (2011). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th concise ed.). Omnibus Press. ISBN 0-85712-595-8. 
  5. ^ a b Tangari, Joe (September 5, 2005). "Flamin' Groovies: Shake Some Action". Pitchfork. Retrieved August 13, 2015. 
  6. ^ Fields, Gaylord (August 25, 2005). "Shake Some Action: Flamin' Groovies". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on March 10, 2007. Retrieved August 13, 2015. 
  7. ^ Sisario, Ben (2004). "Flamin' Groovies". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian. The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. Simon & Schuster. pp. 301–02. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8. 
  8. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (November 22, 1976). "Christgau's Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. Retrieved August 13, 2015. 
  9. ^ Dougan, John. "Flamin' Groovies – Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved August 13, 2015. 
  10. ^ Port, Ian S. (July 12, 2013). "Fire Still Burns: The Flamin' Groovies Return to Shake Some Action Again". San Francisco Weekly. Retrieved November 20, 2015. 
  11. ^ Marcus, Greil (2014). The History of Rock 'n' Roll in Ten Songs. Yale University Press. ISBN 9780300187373.