Shake Your Money Maker (also stylized as The Black Crowes Present: $hake Your Money Maker) is the debut studio album by American rock band the Black Crowes, released on February 13, 1990 on Def American Recordings. It is the only album by the band to feature guitarist Jeff Cease. The album is named after a classic blues song written by Elmore James. The Black Crowes have played the song live many times over the years, but it is not included on this album.
On January 8, 2021, the Black Crowes announced that a 30th anniversary edition of the album would be released on February 26, 2021. The new version contains the original tracks remastered in addition to three previously unreleased songs, outtakes, two demos from the Mr. Crowe's Garden era, and a live performance set recorded in 1990 at Center Stage in Atlanta. Previously unreleased track "Charming Mess" was released on the same day as the announcement.
Brothers Chris and Rich Robinson had formed Mr. Crowe's Garden in 1984. In 1988 George Drakoulias saw the band at a show they did in New York City and had them signed to Def American the same year; they changed their name to the Black Crowes shortly after.
The recording sessions began in the summer of 1989 in Atlanta and Los Angeles, with Drakoulias producing the album. Some tracks include retained songs from the Mr. Crowe's Garden era such as "Could I've Been So Blind" and "She Talks to Angels", whose riff had been written years ago by then-17 year old Rich Robinson with lyrics written by Chris, which were inspired by a heroin-addicted girl he "kinda knew" in Atlanta. The band also chose to record a cover version of Otis Redding's "Hard to Handle", which would prove to be their breakthrough single.
Four music videos for "Twice As Hard", "Jealous Again", "Hard to Handle" and "She Talks to Angels" were filmed to promote the band and the album, and subsequently aired on MTV.
When the album came out in February 1990, critical reception was mostly favorable. Rolling Stone gave the album three out of five stars, and its readers and critics voted the Black Crowes "Best New American Band" in 1990; the band appeared on the cover of the magazine's 605th issue (May 1991) following their firing from the ZZ Top tour in March that year. The issue's interview of Chris and Rich Robinson compared the band to 1970s acts, with journalist David Fricke explicitly citing Faces and The Rolling Stones and Rich Robinson mentioning Aerosmith.AllMusic gave the album four out of five stars, praising Rich Robinson's guitar playing and Chris Robinson's "appropriate vocal swagger".Entertainment Weekly gave it a B+ and stated, "The Black Crowes are to the early Rolling Stones what Christian Slater is to the young Jack Nicholson: a self-conscious imitation, but fine enough in its own right. Authentic bluesmen these Crowes will never be, but their sheer energy earns 'em the right to trash it up."
"Hard to Handle", "Jealous Again" and "Twice As Hard" broke into the Mainstream Rock Tracks charts, respectively reaching the first, fifth and eleventh position. By the end of the year, Shake Your Money Maker had sold one million copies and eventually sold two million more, thus receiving triple platinum certification. In 1991, "She Talks to Angels" and "Seeing Things" respectively reached the first and second position of the Mainstream Rock Tracks charts.
^Archived at Ghostarchive and the Wayback Machine: Chris Robinson (interviewee) (August 7, 2007). Moving From SYMM TO SHAMC (1992). YouTube. Event occurs at 1:54. Retrieved January 12, 2010. 'She Talks to Angels', you know, is about a girl I kind of knew in Atlanta, who was a goth girl, who was into heroin.