About the song

Absolutely, let’s delve into the electrifying world of All Shook Up by the king himself, Elvis Presley. Released in 1957, this song wasn’t just a musical phenomenon; it was a cultural touchstone, a sonic boom that reverberated throughout the nascent rock and roll scene and far beyond.

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Presley, a young singer with a voice both powerful and tender, had already begun to stir the pot with his earlier hits like “Heartbreak Hotel” and “Hound Dog”. But All Shook Up marked a turning point. It was a song brimming with an infectious energy, a raw and unbridled expression of love’s intoxicating power.

Composed by the talented Otis Blackwell, the song’s origins are steeped in the rich tradition of rhythm and blues. Blackwell, a prolific songwriter, penned the tune with another artist in mind, but upon hearing a demo by Presley, he knew it had found its perfect home. The lyrics, delivered with Presley’s signature swagger, paint a vivid picture of a lovestruck young man completely discombobulated by Cupid’s arrow.

“Well, a-bless my soul, What’s wrong with me?” he croons, his voice a blend of wonder and bemusement. The physical symptoms of love are hilariously captured: “My friends say I’m actin’ wild as a bug” and “My hand is shakin’ and my knees are weak.” This wasn’t the sentimental balladry of the past; it was a candid portrayal of love’s heady and sometimes clumsy effects, a sentiment that resonated deeply with a generation yearning for a new kind of musical expression.

Musically, All Shook Up is a marvel of simplicity and effectiveness. The driving beat, courtesy of legendary drummer D.J. Fontana, lays the foundation, while Scotty Moore’s searing guitar licks add a layer of urgency. The piano, played by Floyd Cramer, provides a touch of bluesy swagger, and the backing vocals, sung by the Jordanaires, round out the sound with a smooth, gospel-infused harmony.

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The song’s impact was undeniable. It spent an impressive nine weeks at number one on the Billboard Top 100 chart, becoming Presley’s first chart-topping hit in the United States. It also crossed the Atlantic, conquering the UK Singles Chart for seven weeks. Sales soared past the two-million mark, solidifying Presley’s status as a global superstar and All Shook Up as an anthem for a generation on the cusp of social and cultural change.

All Shook Up wasn’t just a hit song; it was a cultural force. It helped define the sound of rock and roll, influencing countless musicians who followed. Its raw energy, playful lyrics, and infectious melody continue to captivate audiences today. It’s a testament to the enduring power of Presley’s charisma and the timeless appeal of a song that perfectly captures the exhilarating chaos of young love. So, put on your blue suede shoes, crank up the volume, and prepare to be All Shook Up all over again.

Video

Lyrics

“All Shook Up”

A well I 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, yeah!

Well, 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, yeah!

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Well, 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 that’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 shake 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!

She touched my hand what a chill I got
Her lips are like a volcano that’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!
Mm mm oh, oh, yeah, yeah!
I’m all shook up