Certain Songs #448: Flamin’ Groovies – “Shake Some Action”

flaming groovies shake some action Album: Shake Some Action
Year: 1976

With its mysterious echoed guitar, muddy sound and rough harmonies, “Shake Some Action” has long been considered one of the great lost power pop songs of the 1970s.

And for good reason: every second of “Shake Some Action” somehow manages the trick of being mysterious while wearing its heart right out on its sleeve.

The guitars ring out, but they they also shimmer like moonlight on the open water, never quite coming into focus. The vocals are pretty much in tandem throughout, but they’re low in the mix, never quite surfacing, except when Cyril Jordan kicks off one of the guitar solos with a “whoo!”

And what exactly does “Shake Some Action” even mean?

Shake, some action’s what I need
To let me bust out at full speed.
I’m sure that’s all you need
To make it all right.

Does that mean he just wants the object of the song to shake? Or is maybe “Shake” his or her nickname? If it’s the former, does it mean some kind of dance? Or just to, you know, shake?

So even though Jordan’s laying it all out, it’s still somewhat mysterious.

And yet, “Shake Some Action” resonates in your head: from the simple riff that grounds it, to the double-time drums that drive the chorus, there isn’t a moment in it’s long-for-this-kind-of-song 4:34 that doesn’t yield immense pleasure.

“Shake Some Action”

2 Responses to “Certain Songs #448: Flamin’ Groovies – “Shake Some Action””

  1. In #461 (which the RSS feed saw, even though you haven’t published it yet), how could you have forgotten “Cheap Trick at Budokan”?

  2. Jim Connelly says:

    Yeah, I accidentally published it early while I was still writing it, I guess, but Cheap Trick at Budokan was definitely part of my list of albums when I pushed it out officially!!