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
Length 3:52
Label Geffen Records
Songwriter(s) David Was, Don Was
Producer(s) Jack Tann, David Was, Don Was
"Shake Your Head"
Single by Was (Not Was)
from the album Hello Dad... I'm in Jail
Released 1992
Format 7", 12", CD
Length 3:42
Label Fontana (UK), Phonogram
Songwriter(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)

"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 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 she refused to grant permission, hence Basinger was approached instead. However, Madonna's restored vocals were accidentally released on two occasions. A full Madonna vocal appears on the two-LP 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-inch 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 number 4 in the UK charts.

There are several versions of the 1992 remake: The 3:48 single version starts with 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 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
Australian Singles Chart 47
Irish Singles Chart[1] 8
UK 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.