Jump to content

Shakin' All Over

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"Shakin' All Over"
Single by Johnny Kidd & the Pirates
B-side"Yes Sir, That's My Baby" (Donaldson/Kahn)
ReleasedJune 1960 (UK)
Recorded13 May 1960 (9 June 1959 "Yes, Sir")
StudioAbbey Road (London)
GenreRhythm and blues, rock and roll
LabelHMV POP 753 (UK)[1]
Songwriter(s)Johnny Kidd, Guy Robinson[1]
Producer(s)Walter Ridley[1]
Johnny Kidd & the Pirates singles chronology
"You Got What It Takes"
"Shakin' All Over"

"Shakin' All Over" is a song originally performed by Johnny Kidd & the Pirates.[1] It was written by leader Johnny Kidd, and his original recording reached No. 1 on the UK Singles Chart in August 1960.[2] The song is sometimes credited to Frederick Albert Heath, which is Kidd's real name. Kidd's recording was not a hit outside Europe. In other parts of the world the song is better known by recordings from other artists.

A version by Chad Allan and the Expressions, later known as The Guess Who, was recorded in December 1964. It reached #1 in Canada in the spring of 1965,[3] #22 in the US and #27 in Australia. Another famous recording by The Who was featured on their 1970 album Live at Leeds.

Normie Rowe's 1965 version reached No. 1 in Australia as a double A-side with "Que Sera Sera".


Johnny Kidd version[edit]

The musicians who performed on the original recording were Johnny Kidd (vocals), Alan Caddy (rhythm guitar), Brian Gregg (bass), Clem Cattini (drums) and Joe Moretti (lead guitar). Kidd was quoted as saying:

When I was going round with a bunch of lads and we happened to see a girl who was a real sizzler, we used to say that she gave us 'quivers down the membranes'. It was a standard saying with us referring to any attractive girl. I can honestly say that it was this more than anything that inspired me to write "Shakin' All Over".[4]

The Twiliters version[edit]

In 1964, a band from Plattsburgh, New York called the Twiliters recorded a version of "Shakin' All Over" and released it on the B-side of a single. Bill Kennedy, the leader of the group, had heard the song while stationed in Germany with the US Air Force. The A-side was called "(Everybody's Goin' To) Rollerland" and the songs were recorded before a crowd at the local Rollerland skating rink featuring Bruce Danville on lead guitar.[5] It was released by Empire Records and gained some regional success but did not chart.

The Guess Who version[edit]

The song gained more fame after it was recorded in Winnipeg in December 1964 by a group called Chad Allan and the Expressions. In the spring of 1965 the record became a #1 hit in Canada.[6] The group's label Quality Records credited the artist as "Guess Who?" in an attempt to disguise their origin and hint that the group might be a British Invasion act. The actual name was revealed a few months later, but radio DJs continued to announce the artist as "Guess Who?". This prompted the group to change their name to The Guess Who. This version was also a #22 hit in the United States.[7] In 1975 The Guess Who recorded a new song called "When The Band Was Singin' 'Shakin' All Over'". Though it makes lyrical reference to the original, this is a distinctly different song.[8]

Mae West Version[edit]

Actress and singer Mae West released a version of "Shakin' All Over" on the LP Way Out West, released in the US by Tower Records in 1966. In the UK it appeared on the Stateside label.

Normie Rowe version[edit]

The Guess Who's version also became a #27 hit in Australia, but another version became a national #1 hit in late 1965 for Normie Rowe. Rowe's version (backed by "Que Sera Sera") was one of the biggest-selling singles of the decade in that country. Rowe had recorded his take on the song before The Guess Who, and based his release on a 1962 version by Johnny Chester.

The Who version[edit]

"Shakin' All Over"
Song by the Who
from the album Live at Leeds
Released16 May 1970
Recorded14 February 1970
GenreHard rock
Songwriter(s)Johnny Kidd

The song has been performed many times by The Who, starting in the 1960s, (sometimes in a medley with "Spoonful"). The best known performances were at Woodstock in 1969 and on Live at Leeds in 1970. In Randy Bachman's autobiography, he says that when he met Who bass player John Entwistle, he was told that people constantly got The Who and The Guess Who mixed up. Tired of being yelled at for not playing the song, the Who started playing it just to keep the crowd happy. Bachman responded that the Guess Who had the same reasons for playing "My Generation". Entwistle, a fan of 1950s and 1960s rock and roll and rockabilly music, also performed the song with his solo band and incorporated a bass solo into the middle of the song, accompanied only by his drummer Steve Luongo.

Suzi Quatro version[edit]

Suzi Quatro included her version on her debut album, Suzi Quatro (1973).

Tin Machine version[edit]

Tin Machine included a live version in their single You Belong in Rock n' Roll (1991).

The Head Cat version[edit]

The Head Cat also recorded this song in their second studio album, Walk the Walk...Talk the Talk (2001).

Cows version[edit]

Minneapolis noise rock band Cows featured a version titled "Shaking" on their second studio album Daddy Has a Tail! (1989)

Van Morrison version[edit]

Van Morrison frequently covered this song in live shows since the late 1980s. A medley version with "Gloria" is featured on his 1994 live album A Night in San Francisco. The first single from his 45th studio album, Accentuate the Positive (2023), is a version of "Shakin' All Over".[citation needed]

The Raveonettes version[edit]

Indie rock band The Raveonettes covered the song for their 2024 album The Raveonettes Sing….

References in popular culture[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Rice, Jo (1982). The Guinness Book of 500 Number One Hits (1st ed.). Enfield, Middlesex: Guinness Superlatives Ltd. pp. 52–3. ISBN 0-85112-250-7.
  2. ^ Johnny Kidd & the Pirates, "Shakin' All Over", Chart Position, Retrieved March 5, 2015
  3. ^ The Guess Who, "Shakin' All Over" Canadian Chart Position, Retrieved March 5, 2015
  4. ^ Einarson, John (January 22, 2017). "Record company's gimmick launched Guess Who's career". Winnipeg Free Press. Retrieved August 9, 2017.
  5. ^ "Home". Twiliters.com. Retrieved 2015-09-06.
  6. ^ "RPM Top 40&5 - March 22, 1965" (PDF).
  7. ^ The Guess Who, "Shakin' All Over", U.S. Chart Position, Retrieved March 5, 2015
  8. ^ Joel Whitburn's Bubbling Under the Billboard Hot 100 1959-2004

External links[edit]