1001 Songs Challenge,  1990s,  Music

1001 Songs Challenge #766: Shake Your Head (1992)

On 11 February 2019 I set myself the challenging of reading 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die by Robert Dimery (ed.) and following the book’s advice to the letter. I’ve previously read 1001 Films… and started 1001 Albums… but felt 1001 Songs… would be a sensible place to start for what I have in mind here.

My challenge is to read about one song per day and listen to it (YouTube and Spotify, I need you tonight!) before sharing my own thoughts. Some songs I will love, others I’ll hate, and I’m sure there will be those that leave me perplexed but listen to them I shall.

I’ll also try, and most likely fail, to pinpoint the best song from the 1001 on offer but I’m nothing if not foolhardy. Instead of one song, I’m predicting I’ll have about 100 favourites by the end and may have to resort to a Top 10 so far to maintain any semblance of sanity.

So long as I post everyday (including Christmas) then this challenge should come to an end on Wednesday 8 November 2021. Staying with the Barney Stinson theme I am hoping that the whole experience will prove to be…


Was (Not Was) – Shake Your Head (1992)

Shake Your Head

” Shake Your Head” is a song by the band Was (Not Was). It was originally released in 1983 on the album Born to Laugh at Tornadoes . In 1992, it was re-recorded and remixed by house music producer Steve “Silk” Hurley, and features actress Kim Basinger alongside a re-recorded Ozzy Osbourne on vocals.


Lyrics (via Genius)


We’re remaining in the US today, dear reader, but making our way over to Detroit in Michigan. Was (Not Was) were formed in 1979 and favoured dance combinations with both pop and rock as their genres of choice. We join the group in 1992 with the release of a compilation album, Hello Dad…I’m in Jail and from there 1001 Songs have gone with a song by the name of Shake Your Head

Shake Your Head actually dates back to 1983 and featured on the group’s album, Born to Laugh at Tornadoes. The original had vocals from Ozzy Osbourne and an upcoming singer named Madonna. In 1992 the song was re-recorded with Osbourne providing vocals once more but Madonna did not want her voice using so the honour fell to Kim Basinger instead. The song itself has verses which describe a series of things that one is not able to do such as “tune a radio to heaven” and “rewrite the Bible.” The chorus refrain suggests that one should just shake their head and then go to bed, either admit defeat at what you can’t do or just move on and forget about it.   

Was (Not Was) are well known for their 1987 track, Walk the DinosaurI, but Shake Your Head also proved to be popular as well, reaching the Top 5 in the UK. 1992 not only marked the release of a greatest hits compilation but also an indefinite hiatus from the band as well. They returned in 2004 and have continued sporadically with new music ever since.


Favourite songs so far:

The Animals – House of the Rising Sun (1964)

Simon & Garfunkel – The Sounds of Silence (1965)

The Beatles – A Day in the Life (1967)

The Doors – The End (1967)

Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here (1975)

Meat Loaf – Bat Out of Hell (1977)

Ultravox – Vienna (1980)

The Smiths – How Soon Is Now? (1984)

Tracy Chapman – Fast Car (1988)

U2 – One (1991)

My name is Dave and I live in Yorkshire in the north of England and have been here all my life. I hope you enjoy your visit to All is Ephemeral.

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