Tuesday, 5 June 2007

Shakin Stevens: Get them young and they're yours for life.

The new album by Shakin Stevens finally gets a release.

Shakin' Stevens was my first ever concert, in June 1981. I went along with my two aunts and my older brother, who was into the Boomtown Rats, Sex Pistols, Clash etc., so he wasn't very impressed. Anway, I was hooked right from the beginning and couldn't wait to buy his album, 'Shaky', which I still regard as a classic pop record and listen to regularly.

I bought all his singles, despite the ridicule of my classmates until about 1985 when I was well over my obsession and lost interest as Shaky moved into his wooly jumper period. A few years later when I started earning I bought up his remaining records in order to complete my collection, and I still keep an eye on an unofficial, but very informative, fan web site called Forevershakin. They organise a couple of Shaky Partys every year and put the (hilarious) photos up on the website. They all look like a bunch of late 30 year olds (more like going on 40) that are stuck firmly back in the eighties, dancing their bendy leg dances at a school disco. But I can't help thinking that I would have a great laugh if I went along.

Shaky in 2007 resting his bendy knees.

His official website is really crap, poorly designed and very seldom updated. In recent years, in the interviews I've read, I can't help getting the feeling that the man, Shakin Stevens, feels slightly embarrassed about some aspects of his past, particularly targeting the Saturday morning kids TV market. Nowadays he promotes his music as country rockin' blues and says that he has moved on. Fair enough but most of his fans still want the denims, black shirt and white shoes Shaky that they love.

So here it is at last, the album ‘Now Listen’ just released in Denmark and already number 8 in the album charts there. I wonder what the title means? Is he trying to tell us something? Shaky was never known for the depth of his lyrics (Wo Wo Julie, If you love me truly, do you want me Julie, to be, to be, to be, your very own) or album titles (Shaky, The Bop Won’t Stop, Lipstick Powder and Paint).

I bought the album today from HMV online. Old habits die hard. I've only heard the one song, the title track, and its not much to write home about but the thing is that there is no way I couldn't buy this record. I was hooked as an 11 year old and at 37 I'm still going to by whatever new material he releases. In marketing terms we'd probably be talking about 'customer loyalty'. I wonder how many of the albums sold in Denmark are thanks to ol' farts like me, and how many are from music lovers who heard this new album and loved the music.

Anyway, I’ll post a review of the album as soon as it arrives and I’ve had time to hear it. Can’t wait!!


Anonymous said...

Well,i am 38er,also a fan up and down since the eighties,and i think his new album is wonderful!
His voice is nicely polished,and sounds great.
Not to mention the rest.
Ofcourse he was hot in his denimwear,but i respect his choice of 'moving on'.
It is nice to see though,many people in the audiences of his concerts,are in their(early) twenties,so prooves the man still has what it takes.
He still rocks my heart too.


Anonymous said...

Hey, head over the Forevershaky messageboard now and log in.
We're talking about you...

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