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Elvis SongPedia: All Shook Up

All Shook Up

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Basic Stats

(Just the facts, ma'am!)

Written by: Otis Blackwell

Recorded: January 12, 1957, Radio Recorders, Hollywood
Released master is take 10

Single: w/ "That's When Your Heartaches Begin", 47-6870 (20-6870 for 78rpm), March 1957
Also re-released as Gold Standard Series, 447-0618, March 1959

RIAA Certified: 2X Multi-Platinum (as of 03/27/1992)

Highest U.S. Charts Positions:
#1 on Billboard Hot 100 for 8 weeks
#1 on Rhythm & Blues chart for 4 weeks
#1 on Country Juke Box chart.
#3 on Country Best-Seller chart.
This was also Elvis' first #1 in Britain, topping the charts for 7 weeks.

1st LP release: Elvis Golden Records Vol 1 - April 1958
Click to download or buy
"All Shook Up"
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For other versions, see
Lyrics and Downloads section below.

My Spin

(Just my opinion. Give us yours!)
Songwriter Otis Blackwell was in the Shalimar Music office in 1956 when one of the owners, Al Stanton, walked by, shaking his bottle of Pepsi. Stanton joked to Blackwell, "Why don't you write a song called 'All Shook Up'?". So, Otis Blackwell did just that!

Elvis wasn't the first artist to record "All Shook Up". That honor went to another Shalimar songwriter named David Hess, who went by the name David Hill for the single release (Aladdin 3359) in late 1956 (Hear a snippet of David's version here). David would also go on to write, along with Aaron Schroeder, the Elvis classic "I Got Stung", and sang demo versions of other songs written for Elvis, such as "It's Now or Never".

On January 12, 1957, Elvis recorded the song. Elvis had loved "Don't Be Cruel", and certainly would've been on the lookout for another song from Otis Blackwell. A common practice was for songwriters to record demos of the song for the artist to listen to, especially for those who didn't read music, like Elvis. Although they never met face to face, Elvis got to know Blackwell through those demos, and apparently was influenced by his performances of the songs. "I didn't mind that he copied the demos so closely," Blackwell said. "I figured making good demos was a surer way of getting him to record my stuff." Unfortunately for songwriters, it was also common practice for the artist to share songwriting credit as an incentive to get the artists to record the songs. It's not too hard to imagine that the Colonel took full advantage of that practice! Accordingly, Elvis gets co-writer credit for "All Shook Up", as he had earlier for "Don't Be Cruel", but in both cases, Otis Blackwell had written them on his own.

"All Shook Up" immediately shot up to the top spot on all the major U.S. music charts, and the phrase made its way into everyday language. Apparently, some other phrases from the song had an influence, too. John Lennon said, "I remember thinking when Elvis did 'All Shook Up' that it was the first time in my life that I heard 'uh huh' and 'oh yeah' and 'yeah yeah' all sung in the same song." Elvis' popularity in Britain was already on the rise in early 1957, but "All Shook Up" sealed the deal! When John Lennon first met Paul McCartney in the summer of '57, this would've been the current Elvis hit on the radio at the time. Six years later, the phrase "yeah yeah yeah" would be all theirs!

On either side of the big pond, it's easy to see why the song was so popular. The basic boogie-woogie shuffling rhythm, the rather strange and sometimes cryptic lyrics (what's so wild about a bug, and what exactly is a fuzzy tree?), the sudden stop with Elvis sort of ejecting the words, "I'm in love... I'm all shook up!" Elvis also decided to provide a beat by slapping the backside of his guitar, which adds to the deceptively informal atmosphere. It's like Elvis is trying to make us believe that he and the musicians and the Jordanaires are just foolin' around in the studio. Don't be fooled, though, it takes a lot of work to sound that relaxed! This was a well-crafted recording and proof that rock 'n' roll could be presented as pure mainstream pop, complete with lyrical and melodic hooks, and not lose any of its power or fun!

"All Shook Up" was ranked #352 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Other Spins

(What did the critics and fans say?)

'All Shook Up' shows the early Presley at the height of his powers. This is a classic cut, brilliantly sung, a lesson to all aspiring rock 'n' roll singers, who should study every beat of Presley's performance. Note, too, Presley's use of the back of the guitar, almost as an additional drum. The medium-fast tempo of this rocker - Presley's first undisputed No. 1 hit in Britain - is not punched out regardless. The sustained chords of the Jordanaires, the delicate touches from Moore, Black, Fontana and Brooks prove that basic rock 'n' roll is not all sound and fury.

Robert Matthew-Walker, Elvis Presley: A Study in Music, 1979

Alluding vaguely to his trademark hiccuping vocal style and spitting out syllables like he can't keep them down any longer, Presley manages to sound volcanic even while he's slightly restrained. The result is one of Elvis' quintessentially mainstream early hits, a lightweight pop song given a deceptively bravura performance. Read more on AllMusic Guide's page on "All Shook Up"

Check out other Elvis fans' opinions on the Elvis News page for All Shook Up

Nice review here at this Freaky Trigger posting.

"All Shook Up" Links

"All Shook Up" Lyrics and Downloads

A-well-a bless my soul, What's wrong with me?
I'm itching like a man on a fuzzy tree
My friends say I'm actin' wild as a bug
I'm in love
I'm all shook up
Mm mm oh, oh, yeah, yeah!

My hands are shaky and my knees are weak
I can't seem to stand on my own two feet
Who do you thank when you have such luck?
I'm in love
I'm all shook up
Mm mm oh, oh, yeah, yeah!

Please don't ask me what's on my mind
I'm a little mixed up, but I'm feelin' fine
When I'm near that girl that I love best
My heart beats so it scares me to death!

She touched my hand what a chill I got
Her lips are like a volcano when it's hot
I'm proud to say she's my buttercup
I'm in love
I'm all shook up
Mm mm oh, oh, yeah, yeah!

My tongue gets tied when I try to speak
My insides shakin' like a leaf on a tree
There's only one cure for this body of mine
That's to have the girl that I love so fine

Download the Karaoke Version!

All Shook Up karaoke - Elvis PresleyAll Shook Up
Elvis Presley

Download or just listen to different versions by Elvis from Amazon!

... or different versions by other artists!

Your Spin! What's Your Take on "All Shook Up"? Yea or Nay?

Yea! Yea! I'm All Shook Up!

Nay! Shaken, Not Stirred!

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Study Up Some More!

Elvis song reference books on Amazon!

Ernst Jorgensen's complete chronicle of Elvis' recording sessions, with loads of detailed information about each session and each song.
This is the definitive encyclopedia on Elvis' life details, as well as all the background and trivia you need for all the songs, movies, and TV appearances. Authors are Fred L. Worth and Steve D. Tamerius.
The subtitle of Ace Collins' book says it all: "The stories behind Elvis' #1 hits"!
"Elvis The #1 Hits: The Secret History of the Classics". Another self-explanatory book title. :)