The Cars: Shake It Up



Format: LP

Label: Elektra

Country: US

Year: 1981

Amount spent: $3.99

Purchased at: The Sound Garden, Syracuse NY


Go all night get real hot

Shake it up with all you’ve got

Dance all night whirl your hair

Make the night cats stop and stare


My perspective might be askew, but I seem to remember most radio stations of the day treated a great deal of New Wave music with little respect. It was seen as novelty music, quickly dropped out of rotation once the ‘fad had passed. I suppose that’s only proper… as very few songs/bands go on to be considered ‘classics.’

A select few US bands were immune to this marginalization, and can still be heard on what I’d consider rather conservative ‘classic rock’ stations to this day. Huey Lewis, Pat Benatar, and The Police are considered worthy to sit at the feet of Pink Floyd and Rush in the Great Pantheon of Rock. The Cars fit into this group.

‘Shake It Up’ is the band’s fourth studio album it reached #9 on US Billboard’s Pop Albums chart and went double-platinum. It spawned five top 50 singles:

  • ‘Shake it Up’- #2 Billboard Mainstream Rock
  • ‘Cruiser’ – #37 Billboard Mainstream Rock
  • ‘Since You’re Gone’- #24 Billboard Mainstream Rock
  • ‘Think it Over’- #41 Billboard Mainstream Rock
  • ‘Victim of Love’- #39 Billboard Mainstream Rock

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while you’ll know it’s no secret that I have a fondness for female vocal groups from the UK. The next tier of devotion would be the heavily electronic/conceptual groups such as OMD and Devo.

That being said, most of the attraction I’d have The Cars would be classified as nostalgic and academic in nature. I can appreciate their contributions to the New Wave, and find many of their tunes catchy, but I’d hardly call myself a fan. Not sure why I felt the need to draw that line in the sand here…

That being said, I’d be lying if I said my decision to purchase this LP wasn’t due in large part to the cover. The fetching young lass Ann Walsh targeted in a field of black must certainly be one of the most iconic covers of the period…


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