Friday, September 4, 2009

Song of the Week: "Shakin' All Over", Johnny Kidd & the Pirates

The final installment of "under the covers" has us Shakin' All Over. Most people under the age of 60 know this song as one of the more powerful numbers from The Who's legendary Live at Leeds album recorded in 1970. Pete Townshend and his cohorts did a pretty serious rework of the number and it is their version that prevails as the norm today. Under The Who's spell the song becomes a slower, brooding and dangerous song driven by Pete Townshend's Gibson SG with P-90 pickups and a host of funky and obscure chords thrown in.

However, that's not how the song started. The song was hugely popular before The Who turned it into a staple of their live set. In fact, the song was number one in the UK singles charts in 1960 when Johnny Kidd and The Pirates first wrote and recorded it. Johnny Kidd and The Pirates get major props from Flip-Side for wearing piratey outfits on stage and Kidd even sported a pirate eye patch. Argh. No sightings of a parrot, sadly. The Pirates were one of England's first pop rock bands and a major influence on bands like The Beatles and, obviously, The Who. The Guitar work by Joe Morretti, who played guitar on yesterday's selection of Brand New Cadillac, is inventive, clean and catchy as hell. It's what makes this song work. In the rock movement of the early and mid 60's this song became a staple of every band who had a halfway decent guitarist.

Now I must say, neither the original or The Who's version is my favorite. Nope, that honor belongs to a version done in 1965 by West Berlin, Germany band, The Lords. Check that killer version out here from YouTube. "Shakin' down da zee vone!"


  1. Johnny Kidd and the Pirates had a few gems. They also did the original version of "Please Don't Touch", a song that Motorhead and Girlschool collaborated on and had a big hit with in the UK in the early 80's.

    The Lords! How incredibly bizzare was that band? Check out the 1965 performanc of "Poor Boy" on You Tube and marvel at the choreographed foot work, not to mention the expert hand to hand mic tossing. There is also an embarrassing performanc of "Glory Land" (well,they are German,right?)from 1992 (!!!) where they seem to have taken their fashion cues from the Swedish hair metal band Europe and their musical ones from German oom-pah bands. Rock on my deutschland brothers,rock on.

  2. The Lords were VERY bizarre. I give the a 1/13 ratio. One good song out of every 13 they recorded.