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"Shakin' All Over" is a song originally performed by Johnny Kidd & the Pirates.[1] The song was written by frontman Johnny Kidd, and his recording of it reached number one on the UK Singles Chart in August 1960.[2] Kidd's original recording was not a hit outside of Europe, and in other parts of the world "Shakin' All Over" is much better known in versions by other artists. In 1964, a local band from Plattsburgh, New York called the Twiliters recorded a live version of it. It did well in New England but did not chart nationally. The first North American cover of the song by The Guess Who was released in the spring of 1965 and reached #1 in Canada,[3] #22 in the US and #27 in Australia. In Australia, Normie Rowe's 1965 version reached #1 as a double A-side with "Que Sera Sera" and became one of the biggest-selling Australian singles of the decade.

"Shakin' All Over"
Single by Johnny Kidd & the Pirates
B-side "Yes Sir, That's My Baby" (Donaldson/Kahn)
Released 1960 (UK)
Format 7"
Recorded Abbey Road, 13 May 1960 (9 June 1959 "Yes, Sir")
Genre Rhythm and blues, rock and roll
Length 2:15
Label HMV 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"

"You Got What It Takes"
"Shakin' All Over"



Original Johnny Kidd version (1960)Edit

The musicians who performed on the recording were Johnny Kidd (vocals), Alan Caddy (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 (1964)Edit

The Twiliters, a band from Plattsburgh, N.Y. recorded "Shakin" in early 1964 live before a crowd at a local skating rink called "Rollerland".[5] Bill Kennedy the leader of the group had been stationed in Germany in the Air Force and had heard several songs from the UK that he wanted to record. It was released on Empire Records E-4. On the flip side was a song called "Rollerland" that was actually covered by at least two acts later on.

The Guess Who's version (1965)Edit

The original recording was not a hit outside of Europe. Instead, "Shakin' All Over" gained fame in North America after the Canadian band The Guess Who covered it in 1965, and the following year it became a number one hit in Canada, and a number twenty-two hit in the US.[6] The Guess Who had previously been known as Chad Allan and the Expressions prior to the release of "Shakin' All Over", but the group's Canadian label (Quality Records) issued the record as by "Guess Who?", in an attempt to imply that the record might be by a British Invasion act. Although the recording artist was revealed to be Chad Allan and the Expressions a couple of months later, radio DJs continued to announce the artist as "Guess Who". The group subsequently permanently changed its name to The Guess Who, and went on to a long Top 40 career.

Normie Rowe version (1965)Edit

The Guess Who's version also became a number twenty-seven hit in Australia, but another "Shakin' All Over" cover became a national number one hit in late 1965 for Normie Rowe. Rowe's version of the track (backed by "Que Sera Sera") was one of the biggest-selling Australian singles of the decade.

Rowe had recorded his version before The Guess Who's, and based his release on Johnny Chester's 1961 version.

Other versionsEdit

  • In 1961, Johnny Chester with The Thunderbirds, Australian band from Melbourne, W&G Records EP WG-E-1360
  • In 1963, The Swinging Blue Jeans covered it at an Abbey Road session. Released on the album, Hippy Hippy Shake (1964).
  • In 1965, The Lords released this song as a single.
  • Also in 1965, Donna Loren performed the song on the television series Shindig.[7] She later recorded the song for her 2010 album Love It Away.
  • In 1967, the song was covered by Josephine Siao and Lui Kie on The Lady Killer.
  • In 1969, the song was performed by Humble Pie on Live at the Whiskey A-Go-Go.
  • In 1971, Flamin' Groovies covered the song on the reissue of Teenage Head.
  • In 1973, Suzi Quatro covered the song on the album Suzi Quatro.
  • In 1976, Rabbit included the song on their album Too Much Rock 'n' Roll.
  • In 1978, The Pirates (Johnny Kidd's backing band) included the live version on their album Out Of Their Skulls, and in 1978 released studio version of the song as an A-side of single.
  • In 1979, the punk group Generation X released a version of the song as a B-side to "Valley of the Dolls".
  • In 1979, the Lemon Kittens covered it as the first track on their debut release, a 7" 33rpm EP called Spoonfed and Writhing.
  • In 1980, the Irish group Horslips recorded a live cover for their concert album "The Belfast Gigs".
  • In 1981, Cliff Richard recorded a live version which was released on the B-side of UK No. 2 hit "Daddy's Home" (also recorded at the same event).[8]
  • In 1981, Marie France released a French version of the song, titled "Le Diable En Personne", on her album "39 De Fièvre".
  • In 1983, Agent Orange recorded a punk rock cover of the song on their EP When You Least Expect It...
  • In 1984 Pegasus the popular California band with Tedd Armstrong and Steve Caton recorded a version which really gave a more vibrant and faster paced feel to the classic rocker.
  • In 1986, The Beach Boys sampled the vibrato guitar break in their hit "Rock 'n' Roll to the Rescue".
  • In 1986, Chris Spedding included this song on his album Enemy Within.
  • In 1989, Cows recorded a noise rock version of the song on their Daddy Has a Tail album with improvised lyrics since the lead singer did not know the actual lyrics to the song.
  • In 1989, Steve Marriott and Steve Parsons covered it for the Canadian Horror Film, Gnaw: Food of the Gods Part 2.
  • In 1989, David Bowie's band Tin Machine performed the song live during their "Tin Machine Tour", a recording of which was released as a b-side to the band's 1991 single, "You Belong in Rock n' Roll".
  • In 1993, Van Morrison recorded a live medley version of the song with "Gloria" on his double live album A Night in San Francisco, released in 1994.
  • In 1995, The Smithereens covered the song on their Attack of the Smithereens album of rarities and covers.
  • In 1999, The Blue Hawaiians covered the song on their Savage Night album.
  • In 1999, Iggy Pop covered the song during a concert promoting his new album Avenue B
  • In 1999, Fugazi covered the song on their album Instrument Soundtrack.
  • In 2005, Rose Hill Drive covered the song for the video game Stubbs the Zombie in Rebel Without a Pulse
  • In 2011, Wanda Jackson covered the song on her The Party Ain't Over album.
  • In 2011, The Head Cat covered the song on their Walk the Walk...Talk the Talk album.
  • Recorded by The British Invasion All-Stars with original Pirates guitarist Mick Green on lead guitar. Appears on The Yardbirds Family Tree album. Mooreland St Records, 2006.[9]

Adam Ant often performs the song in his live shows.

The Who versionEdit

"Shakin' All Over"
Song by the Who
from the album Live at Leeds
Released 16 May 1970
Recorded 14 February 1970
Genre Hard rock
Length 4:20
Songwriter(s) Johnny Kidd

The song has been performed many times by The Who, (sometimes in a medley with "Spoonful"), perhaps most famously at Woodstock in 1969 and on Live at Leeds in 1970. In Randy Bachman's autobiography, 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 the song just to keep the crowd happy. Bachman responded that The Guess Who had the same reasons for having to play "My Generation". Entwistle, a known fan of 1950s and 60s rock and roll and rockabilly music, would also perform the song with his solo band and would incorporate a bass solo into the middle of the song, accompanied only by drummer Steve Luongo.

References in popular cultureEdit


  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". Retrieved 2015-09-06. 
  6. ^ The Guess Who, "Shakin' All Over" U.S. Chart Position Retrieved March 5, 2015
  7. ^ "Donna Loren sings "Shakin' All Over" on Shindig (1965)". YouTube. Retrieved 2014-04-04. 
  8. ^ Read, Mike; Lewry, Peter; Goodall, Nigel (1993). Cliff Richard - The Complete Chronicle. London: Hamlyn. pp. 220, 225. ISBN 0600578976. Retrieved 1 July 2013. 
  9. ^ "American Home Of The Most Blueswailing Yardbirds". Yardbirds.US. Retrieved 2014-04-04. 

External linksEdit