Short Sharp Shocked

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Short Sharp Shocked
Short Sharp Shocked (Michelle Shocked album - cover art).jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedAugust 15, 1988 (1988-08-15)
GenreFolk punk
ProducerPete Anderson
Michelle Shocked chronology
The Texas Campfire Tapes
Short Sharp Shocked
Captain Swing
Singles from Short Sharp Shocked
  1. "Anchorage"
    Released: 1988
  2. "If Love Was a Train"
    Released: December 19, 1988
  3. "When I Grow Up"
    Released: 1989
2003 reissue cover

Short Sharp Shocked is the second album by Michelle Shocked. Originally released in 1988, it was remastered and reissued in 2003 as a two-CD set by Shocked's own label, Mighty Sound. The title is a play on the phrase short, sharp shock. The record title and cover image is similar to that of the 1984 Chaos U.K. album Short Sharp Shock.

The photograph of Shocked that appears on the cover was taken by Chris Hardy of the San Francisco Examiner at a protest in San Francisco during the 1984 Democratic National Convention. The front cover of the 2003 re-issue de-contextualized the original photograph by closely cropping it to Shocked's face, but the back cover features it in full, with the restraining officer's eyes not obscured by airbrushed-on sunglasses like the front cover of the original Mercury release.


Professional ratings
Review scores
Chicago Sun-Times[2]
Los Angeles Times[3]
The Philadelphia Inquirer[5]
Record Mirror4/5[7]
Rolling Stone[8]
Spin Alternative Record Guide8/10[9]
The Village VoiceA−[10]

Q magazine's Robert Sandall wrote, "Where this album hits hardest is in the playful unpredictability of [Pete] Anderson and Shocked's arrangements," and observed, "'When I Grow Up' ... introduces a jazzy, acoustic bass shuffle, then starts bouncing miscellaneous sound inserts around beneath the vocal. From here, it's pretty much all stops to the thrash metal finale at the end of side two."[6] Including the album in its best-of-the-year round-up, Q wrote, "Her excellent band revels in every opportunity she gives to cut loose and take chances, which heightens the spontaneous feel of her raggedy vocals. Second albums can often be a disappointment, but this is a firecracker."[11]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Michelle Shocked except as noted. The final track is a remake of "Fogtown", originally from The Texas Campfire Tapes, with punk band MDC. It was not listed on the sleeve or disc of the original release, as Shocked "wanted it to surprise people".[12]

Original album
1."When I Grow Up" 3:34
2."Hello Hopeville" 2:55
3."Memories of East Texas" 3:35
4."(Making the Run to) Gladewater" 3:05
5."Graffiti Limbo" 3:39
6."If Love Was a Train" 4:07
7."Anchorage" 3:24
8."The L & N Don't Stop Here Anymore"Jean Ritchie4:10
9."V.F.D." 2:49
10."Black Widow" 2:44
11."Fogtown" (with MDC) 2:25
2003 reissue bonus CD
1."When I Grow Up" (demo, with Sophia Ramos) 3:16
2."Memories of East Texas" (live at the Metroplex, Atlanta) 5:46
3."Yamboree Queen" (live at the Metroplex, Atlanta) 4:25
4."Strawberry Jam" (live at either the Metroplex, Atlanta, or somewhere in London) 4:07
5."Graffiti Limbo" (demo, with Sophia Ramos) 4:27
6."If Love was a Train" (live in-store, London) 3:31
7."Anchorage" (live, Twee Meter radio session, Hilversum, Holland) 4:14
8."The L&N Don't Stop Here Anymore" (Kerrville demo)Jean Ritchie4:09
9."V.F.D." (live at the Metroplex, Atlanta) 2:56
10."Black Widow" (alternative version, unknown source) 4:11
11."Leaving Louisiana in the Broad Daylight" (Andy Kershaw Session, BBC)Donivan Cowart/Rodney Crowell3:23
12."Disoriented" (UK 7" single) 4:14
13."Lovely Rita" (from the UK compilation Sgt. Pepper Knew My Father)John Lennon/Paul McCartney2:19
14."The Ballad of Penny Evans" (live at the Glastonbury CND Festival, 1987)Steve Goodman3:39
15."Remodeling (sic) the Pentagon" (live at the Glastonbury CND Festival, 1987) 2:27
16."Fred's Winter Song" (Andy Kershaw Session, BBC) 3:21
17."Prince of Darkness" (with The Mekons, John Peel Session, BBC)The Mekons2:59
18."One Piece at a Time" (from the UK compilation ‘Til Things Are Brighter)Wayne Kemp3:36
19."5 A.M. in Amsterdam" (live at the Paradiso, Amsterdam) 4:17
20."Campus Crusade" (live at the Paradiso, Amsterdam) 5:13
21."Goodnight Irene" (live at the Paradiso, Amsterdam)Huddie Ledbetter3:13


Technical personnel

  • Pete Anderson – arrangements
  • Peter Doell – engineer (Capitol Studio B)
  • Leslie Anne Jones – additional Engineering
  • David Leonard – mixing engineer (Larribee Sound)
  • Andy Batwinds – second engineer
  • Bobby Lacivita – second engineer (Sound Castle)
  • Eddy Schreyer – mastering engineer (Capitol Studios)
  • Michael Dumds – production assistant



Chart performance for Short Sharp Shocked
Chart (1988) Peak
Australian Albums (Australian Music Report)[13] 46
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)[14] 79
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[15] 57
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[16] 20
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[17] 37
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[18] 24
UK Albums (OCC)[19] 33
US The Billboard 200[20] 73


Chart performance for singles from Short Sharp Shocked
Year Song Chart Peak
1988 "Anchorage" Billboard Modern Rock Tracks 16[21]
1988 "Anchorage" Billboard Hot 100 66[21]
1988 "If Love Was a Train" Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks 33[21]
1988 "If Love Was a Train" Billboard Modern Rock Tracks 20[21]
1989 "Anchorage" Australian Music Report 51[13]
1989 "When I Grow Up" UK Singles Chart 67[22]


  1. ^ Woodstra, Chris. "Short Sharp Shocked – Michelle Shocked". AllMusic. Retrieved August 30, 2016.
  2. ^ McLeese, Don (August 29, 1988). "Michelle Shocked, 'Short Sharp Shocked' (Mercury)". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved August 30, 2016.
  3. ^ Willman, Chris (August 14, 1988). "Making a Place for Shocked". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 30, 2016.
  4. ^ Staunton, Terry (August 20, 1988). "Talkin' 'Bout a Revelation". NME. p. 29.
  5. ^ Moon, Tom (August 14, 1988). "Flippant style, serious sound of Michelle Shocked". The Philadelphia Inquirer.
  6. ^ a b Sandall, Robert (September 1988). "Rowdy". Q. No. 24.
  7. ^ Nicholson, Tim (October 1, 1988). "Michelle Shocked: Short, Sharp, Shocked". Record Mirror. p. 40.
  8. ^ Zupp, Adrian (September 23, 2003). "Michelle Shocked: Short Sharp Shocked". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on June 5, 2008. Retrieved August 30, 2016.
  9. ^ Fleissner, Jen (1995). "Michelle Shocked". In Weisbard, Eric; Marks, Craig (eds.). Spin Alternative Record Guide. Vintage Books. pp. 353–354. ISBN 0-679-75574-8.
  10. ^ Christgau, Robert (December 27, 1988). "Christgau's Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. Retrieved August 30, 2016.
  11. ^ Q, January 1989
  12. ^ Q, May 1989
  13. ^ a b Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 273. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  14. ^ " – Michelle Shocked – Short Sharp Shocked" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved October 8, 2022.
  15. ^ " – Michelle Shocked – Short Sharp Shocked" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved October 8, 2022.
  16. ^ " – Michelle Shocked – Short Sharp Shocked". Hung Medien. Retrieved October 8, 2022.
  17. ^ " – Michelle Shocked – Short Sharp Shocked". Hung Medien. Retrieved October 8, 2022.
  18. ^ " – Michelle Shocked – Short Sharp Shocked". Hung Medien. Retrieved October 8, 2022.
  19. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved October 8, 2022.
  20. ^ "allmusic (((Short Sharp Shocked > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums)))". Retrieved 2008-08-05.
  21. ^ a b c d "allmusic (((Short Sharp Shocked > Charts & Awards > Billboard Singles)))". Retrieved 2008-08-05.
  22. ^ "When I Grow Up", Chart Stats, retrieved 2011-12-30