Rolling Stones songs: Shake Your Hips
*Click for MORE ROLLING STONES SONGS 1962-PRESENT
What you don’t know/ Don’t be afraid/ Just listen to me/ And do what I say…
Also known as: Hip Shake
Written by: James Moore a.k.a. Slim Harpo
Recorded: Olympic Sound Studios, London, England, Oct. 17-31 1970; Rolling Stones Mobile, Nellcote, France, July-Oct-Nov. 1971; Sunset Sound Studios, Los Angeles, USA, Dec. 1971-March 1972; RCA Studios, Los Angeles, USA, March 1972
Guest musicians: Ian Stewart (piano), Bobby Keys (tenor saxophone)
*Data taken from Martin Elliott’s book THE ROLLING STONES COMPLETE RECORDING SESSIONS 1962-2012
This was originally recorded by Bluesman Slim Harpo. It was Mick Jagger’s idea to record it for the album – he is a big fan of Harpo. The Stones recorded Harpo’s “I’m A King Bee” on their first album.
Slim Harpo was born and lived in Louisiana and in the 1950s and the 1960s helped create a style known as Electric Louisiana Blues. A guitarist, vocalist and harmonica player who played songs in the deceptively simple way of Jimmy Reed, Harpo played a style, along with his Louisiana contemporaries Lazy Lester, Lonesome Sundown and Lightnin’ Slim, that has also been called swamp blues. The music was definitely laid back in the style of Jimmy Reed, often featuring reverberating guitars and a slower rhythm and mood that gave it the name swamp blues, which also mixed in elements of other Louisiana music (calypso, gospel, R&B and soul).
Harpo was an early influence on The Rolling Stones. Jagger and Richards were the first to discover him and were already into his music during the pre-Stones era. When they met Brian Jones, they turned him on to Harpo in the same way that they turned him on to Chuck Berry. The Stones covered Harpo’s “I’m a King Bee” on their first album. Their title for the live album Got Live If You Want It! is a reworking of a Harpo song called “Got Love If You Want It.”
The Stones recorded this in London, but reworked it at Keith Richards’ villa in the South of France, where the band was staying on their “exile.” It was recorded to sound like a ’50s record.
From the The Rolling Stones – All the Songs book:
Six years after “I’m a King Bee,” the Stones covered another number by
James Moore, alias Slim Harpo, a bluesman whose name is forever
associated with electric Louisiana blues (also known as swamp blues).
Harpo recorded “Shake Your Hips” at the J. D. Miller studios in Crowley,
Louisiana. The Stones remain faithful to the original spirit of the song and
its hypnotic beat, to such an extent, in fact, that it is hard to believe Mick
Jagger was not born and raised by the shore of some bayou. In any case, in
his best Southern accent, he lures the listener into his sensual dance:
I wanna tell you about a dance that’s goin’ around… Don’t move your head,
don’t move your hands/Don’t move your lips, just shake your hips. Further
on, he pays tribute to the bluesman: Well, I met a girl in a country town. She
said “what do you know, there’s Slim Harpo!”
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Categories: Can You Hear the Music?
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