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Shake It Up

4.2 out of 5 stars 58 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 25, 1990
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Certified Multi-Platinum (2 times) by the RIAA. (4/02)
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 25, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Elektra / Wea
  • ASIN: B000002GXD
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,956 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
A little more light-hearted this time around, a year after the darker textures of Panorama. Shake It Up is a wonderful album that's sometimes forgotten, stuck between their "commercial disappointment album" and their "commercial smash album". It all starts out with one of the band's most memorable tunes, 'Since You're Gone', with Ric Ocasek's charming rhymes and Elliot Easton's faux E-Bow solo. A true classic. The title track is also a true classic, featuring a neo-doo-wop groove that remains the Cars' most danceable tune. 'I'm Not The One' is a simply incredible ballad, one of their best. It wasn't released as a single until 1986, as a remixed version from the Greatest Hits album. The original is better, with yet another wonderful synth solo by the band's secret weapon, Greg Hawkes. It sounds downright gothic. 'Victim Of Love' is a more light-hearted ditty. I love Hawkes' giddy synth touches on this one. 'Cruiser' is an awesome rocker, a perfect cruising song, naturally. I haven't owned this album for very long, and 'Cruiser' has already become one of my favorite Cars songs, along with the next song, 'A Dream Away'. This song is astounding; a great mood created by a driving synth line and synthesized drums, coupled with Ric's moody voice and lyrics. Probably my favorite song on the album. 'This Could Be Love' is another moody ballad, and a great one at that. Could've made a good single, too. 'Think It Over' has a bit different sound for the Cars. Despite the synths, it feels a little more rockabilly than usual. Ben Orr's vocal, as usual, make this song jump from good to great. "Everytime you run around, it makes me wanna pop". Also would've made a great single. 'Maybe Baby' is a driving Ric Ocasek rocker with some pretty slick percussion.Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD
Once you get past the first two songs, i.e. "the hits", this becomes one very musically intriguing CD. The real reason, however, to buy this album is the song "A Dream Away". This one song is unlike anything else in the Cars' catalog either before or after it and arguably the best "non-hit" they ever recorded (a worthy runner-up might be "You Wear Those Eyes" from "Panorama"). I might be the only one who thinks so but I have my reasons. Beat poetry meets techno, "A Dream Away" should have spawned an equally trippy video though to my knowledge it never did. It also should have been included on the Cars' Anthology album but you can get it here. "Think It Over"'s pretty cool too.
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Format: Audio CD
This review was previously titled "Doesn't this album need RE-MASTERING?" and the rating was one star. That applies to what was available at the time. Below is the complete text of my August, 2004 review. But by now (Spring of 2013) the album may (or may not) have been re-mastered properly. . . .

I appreciate the content-based reviews, but some of us are long-time Cars fans who made their minds up about these songs many years ago. The question is, is this compact-disc everything it could be in terms of SOUND REPRODUCTION?

Regrettably not. The Cars albums were initially "dumped" to CD back in the early 90s, and it took a long time for the first three albums to be decently re-mastered. (Sadly, ART and LYRIC reproduction still has not been handled properly! Each new CD version looks exactly like the older, worse version!) As far as I can tell, Shake It Up and Heartbeat City have never been properly transferred. In other words -- they sound terrible.

Seems the problem is, Elektra's out of business. Certaintly, it's not a question of The Cars being able to sell records, since they ALWAYS DID, FROM DAY ONE. It's just not fair.

Somebody, please, obtain the rights and do The Cars right! Don't these pioneers of 80s sound quality deserve modern reproduction?
15 Comments 43 of 56 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD
"Shake it Up" is the perfect follow-up to "Panorama" and a nice prelude to "Heartbeat City". In a way the album is a mixture of the 2 album styles ("Since You're Gone"/"Shake It Up"/"Victim of Love"/"Think it Over" sounding like they fell off the "Heartbeat City" album and the rest sounding like they could be leftovers from "Panorama").
A very diverse album all the way with Ocasek's lyrics and Hawkes' keyboards ruling the scene. Ocasek's lyrics have never been better than they are in this album ("chicken encounters fill your bowels" and "is this the kill? is this the thrill? this could be love" among many other poetic pieces).
My favorites on the album are "Cruiser" and "Think it Over". Both songs are negative (ala "Panorama") in their approach, but say so much about Ocasek.
This album is the advanced, techno, new-wave Cars that is so much their trademark - and the essential (but not their best) Cars' album in my book
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Format: Audio CD
The first four Cars albums, all produced by Roy Thomas Baker and released in the space of four years, are a really solid body of work. Each one is not quite as good as the one that came before it, but this was a great band, so even this fourth one, "Shake It Up," is still a four-star album in my book. It's probably not the one to start with, but if you own a couple others and you're still curious about the Cars, give it a try.

"Shake It Up" is more commercial than the previous album, "Panorama," but at the same time, it has a warmer, more intimate sound, more along the lines of "Candy-O." The biggest difference is that "Shake It Up" is not as guitar-oriented as any previous Cars album (nor any of the later ones, for that matter). After delivering great solos on the first two songs, Elliot Easton only gets one more solo, on "Victim of Love," though he does play some really nice, raunchy fills at the end of "Cruiser." There is not a single solo on the entire second half of the album, as the keyboards carry the melodies and the guitar is relegated to a complementary role.

Still, this album sticks in my mind just as much as the first three. Ric Ocasek was still wrting good tunes, and even the weaker material toward the end is so cleverly arranged that it jumps right out of the speakers and into your head. "Think It Over" and "Maybe Baby" would've been dumb songs in the hands of lesser musicians, but the Cars make them come alive. "Maybe Baby" is the only song where David Robinson has a chance to cut loose on drums, and he attacks them with all the ferocity of a guy who has spent the entire album up till then playing with a drum machine.

There are two first-rate keyboard-driven slow songs on this album, "I'm Not the One" and "A Dream Away.
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