January 27, 2021

Shakin’ All Over

From the "Live at Leeds" liner notes by Chris Charlesworth with additions by Brian Cady.

From the Live at Leeds liner notes by Chris Charlesworth with additions by Brian Cady:

"Shakin’ All Over" is the best pre-Beatles British rock ‘n’ roll song bar none. With its startling guitar riff, heavy bass line, minor key and lyrics that really do rock, ‘Shakin” could have been written by one of the great American Fifties rock songwriters like Leiber & Stoller, Doc Pomus or Otis Blackwell. Instead it was written in 1960 by Johnny Kidd (Fred Heath), the leader of The Pirates, one of the first truly ballsy rock ‘n’ roll bands in Britain, and their version reached number one in the U.K. charts in August 1960. Contemporaries of The Detours (as The Who were originally known), it was The Pirates, with their singer, guitar, bass and drums line-up, who convinced Roger Daltrey to abandon his own guitar, fire the Detours’ singer and occupy centre stage himself. That left Pete as their sole guitarist, and he took particular notice of Pirates’ guitarist Mick Green whenever the two bands shared a bill, which was often.

The Who’s ‘Shakin’ All Over’ is a typical full frontal assault, guaranteed to rouse everyone within earshot. Everyone gets a chance to shine: Roger howls the lyrics, John tampers with the celebrated bass riff, Pete lets fly on the solos and Keith thunders in at all the right moments.

Rather confusingly for The Who, the song was best known in the U.S. from the 1965 cover version by The Guess Who.

This track on both the LP and 1995 and 2001 CD’s has the middle section, which incorporated a cover of Willie Dixon’s "Spoonful," removed because The Who didn’t care for their performance on this section. All other live versions of this song have another song appearing in the middle, usually "Spoonful."

On the original it was track 4. on the 1995 CD and disc one – #11 on the 2001 CD all running 4’15. The uncut original runs 5’06.

Another live version can be found on Live at The Isle Of Wight 1970.