The Swinging Blue Jeans

Hippy Hippy Shake

Song Review by

Although "Hippy Hippy Shake" was a classic rockabilly-styled late-1950s American rock'n'roll song, it took a British Invasion band to make it an international hit about five years later. "Hippy Hippy Shake" began life in 1959 as a minor hit single for Chan Romero. Although it's the only song Romero's remembered for -- if anyone remembers the original version at this point -- it's a quite dynamic song in its first incarnation, one of many songs that gives the lie to the myth that ferocious rock'n'roll died by early 1959. In its boogying bottom and basic three-chord structure, it owed a lot to pounding early rock'n'roll by Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis, and the guitar-oriented sound of Chuck Berry. But there was also a Hollywood professionalism in the grooving Danelectro guitar sound and the shimmering reverbed guitar solo in the instrumental break, and echoes of Ritchie Valens's youthful, giddy exuberance in Romero's vocal delivery. Though Romero screamed raunchily, at other points he offered almost girlish whoops, and the song also caught your attention by periodically coming to a complete halt before grinding into gear again. "Hippy Hippy Shake" would have most likely been forgotten had it not been discovered and covered by Liverpool groups a few years later. One of them, the Swinging Blue Jeans, put it out as a single, revving up the tempos a little, and adding Merseybeat exuberance to the vocal delivery, harmonies, and guitars, which really rang and roved in the instrumental break. They were rewarded in 1964 with a #2 single in the UK and a #24 charter in the US, where it would be their only substantial hit. This is the version that's most remembered, and it's sometimes thought of as one of the raunchiest, hard-driving singles by a British Invasion band from Liverpool other than those by the Beatles. It came as no surprise to learn that the Beatles played the song live, although they never put it on their studio releases. They did play it on the BBC, though, and while the BBC version finally released in the 1990s on the Beatles' Live at the BBC might not be as well known as the Swinging Blue Jeans' hit, it's fair to say that it's the best of all. Paul McCartney gave the song one of his all-time greatest screaming rock'n'roll vocals, while the Beatles slowed down the arrangement a little for drama, making it a little bluesier and more menacing. The Beatles actually did the song on the BBC five times, and some other BBC versions of the song than the July 1963 one on Live at the BBC circulate on bootleg; they also did a high-energy but poorly recorded one at the end of 1962 that came out on Live! At the Star-Club in Hamburg, Germany.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
The British Invasion: History of British Rock, Vol. 1 1988
Various Artists
Rhino
British Invasion: The History of British Rock 1988
Various Artists
Rhino
No Image 1991
Various Artists
Rhino
Spring Break [Priority] 1992
Various Artists
Priority Records
The Best of British Rock [EMI-Capitol Special Markets] 1992
Various Artists
EMI-Capitol Special Markets
The Hippy Hippy Shake: The Definitive Collection 1993 EMI Music Distribution 2:50
60s British Invasion [Fat Boy] 1993
Various Artists
Fat Boy 2:09
Classic Rock: 1964 1993
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 1:47
Rock Is Dead But It Won't Lie Down: 24 Greatest Hits of All Time, Vol. 2 1993
Various Artists
Gold Rush 1:45
Rock 'n' Roll Fever of the 60's & 70's 1994
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 1:49
No Image 1995
Various Artists
Sterling Gold
British Rock [Original Sound] 1995
Various Artists
Original Sound Entertainment 1:45
Cappucino Classics, Vol. 2: Sweets for My Sweet 1995
Various Artists
Temple 1:47
The Original Hits 1995 Basic / Disky 1:43
Sixties Generation: 1964 1997
Various Artists
St. Clair / Sixties Generation 2:08
1963: 20 Original Chart Hits 1997 A Time To Remember 1:50
Rock n' Roll Reunion: Class of 64 1997
Various Artists
Madacy 1:45
Greatest Sports Rock and Jams, Vol. 2 1997
Various Artists
Cold Front Records / K-Tel Distribution 1:45
Party Dance Mix [Riviere] 1997
Various Artists
Riviere International Records 0:58
No Image 1997
Various Artists
Crimson Productions
Rockin' Jukebox, 1964 1997
Various Artists
Excelsior Recordings 1:45
The Ultimate History of Rock 'N' Roll Collection 1997
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 1:45
The Ultimate Jukebox Hits of the '60s, Vol. 2 1997
Various Artists
EMI-Capitol Special Markets / CEMA Special Markets 1:46
The Ultimate History of Rock & Roll Collection, Vol. 7: The Great Bands 1998
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 1:47
60's Beat [Crimson] 1998
Various Artists
Crimson Productions
At Abbey Road 1963-1967 1998 EMI Music Distribution 1:45
25 Greatest Hits 1998 EMI 1:45
60's Mix [Crimson] 1998
Various Artists
Crimson Productions 1:38
Greatest Sports Rock and Jams [Box] 1998
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 1:45
The Best Party Megamix in the World Ever 1999
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 1:40
Mods Vs. Rockers 1999
Various Artists
Dressed To Kill 2:07
Rock -N- Roll's Greatest Hits of All Time Early 60s, Vol. 2 1999
Various Artists
Platinum Disc 2:50
Rock -N- Roll's Greatest Hits of All Time, Vol. 7 1999
Various Artists
Platinum Disc 2:50
No Image 1999
Various Artists
Disky
Greatest Hits of the 60's [Platinum] 2000
Various Artists
Platinum Disc 0:00
Sixties Generation: 1964-1965 2000
Various Artists
Boxsets 2:08
70 Ounces of Gold: Party Gold 2000
Various Artists
Compose Records 1:46
British Rock: Changing of the Guard 2000
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 1:45
Power Trip 2000
Various Artists
Direct Source 2:07
Best of the 60's 2000 Disky
British Invasion [Madacy] 2000
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 1:45
2001 K-Tel CD Calender 2000
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution
British Invasion, Vol. 1 [Madacy] 2000
Various Artists
Madacy 1:45
British Rock, Vol. 3 [Madacy] 2000
Various Artists
Madacy 1:45
No Image 2000
Various Artists
Disky 1:45
Rock N' Roll Reunion: 1960 to 1969 2000
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution 1:45
Totally Groovy 60's: 1963-1966 2001
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 1:45
Mega 60's 2001
Various Artists
Wagram Records 2:04
Party Time, Vol. 5 2001
Various Artists
SPG 1:42
Complete Collection 2001
Various Artists
Disky 1:45
Jukebox Hits of the '60s [Collectalbes] 2002
Various Artists
Collectables 1:46
40 Years of Jukebox Hits: The 50's, 60's, 70's & 80's 2002
Various Artists
Collectables 1:46
Jukebox Hits 1964 [Madacy] 2002
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 1:46
Ultimate Jukebox Collection [Ross] 2002
Various Artists
Ross Records 2:07
Party! Party! 2002
Various Artists
Repertoire 1:44
Pop Legends 2002
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 2:07
Sixties: A Decade to Remember [3 CD] 2002
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 2:07
Up the Junction [CD3] 2002
Various Artists
Disky 1:46
Ultimate British Invasion Collection 2003
Various Artists
Magada International / WEA International 1:45
Mersey Beat 2003
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution
Box of Rock 2003
Various Artists
Import 2:08
1960s School Party Night 2003
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 2:08
Almost There! CD2: A Collection Of The Greatest Original No. 2 Hits 2003
Various Artists
Disky 1:45
Stars on 45 [K-Tel] 2003
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 2:08
British Invasion: 1963-1967 2004
Various Artists
Hip-O 1:46
Lost & Found in the Sixties 2004
Various Artists
Liberty 1:46
British Invasion: The Essential Album 2004
Various Artists
Fuel 2000 1:45
Almost There! A Collection of the Greatest Original Number 2 Hits [Box Set] 2004
Various Artists
Disky 1:46
Swinging Sixties [K-Tel UK] 2004
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 2:08
The Pop Years 2005
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 2:08
Hits of the 60s: Those Were the Days [3 Disc] 2006
Various Artists
BMG / Delta 1:46
One Hit Wonders [Horizon 2] 2006
Various Artists
Horizon / Horizon 2 2:06
The British Beat: Best of the '60s 2007
Various Artists
Shout! Factory / TJL 1:43
101 60's Hits [EMI] 2007
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 1:43
Cavern: The Most Famous Club in the World 2007
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 1:45
Where Were You: 1963 2008
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 1:47
This Is 1963 2008
Various Artists
EMD Int'l 1:44
The Very Best of Swinging Blue Jeans 2009 EMI 1:44
101 Greatest Housework Songs 2009
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution / Virgin 1:43
The Best Sixties Album in the World...Ever! [2009] 2009
Various Artists
EMI 1:43
Original Hits: Rock 'N' Roll 2009
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 1:45
Massive Hits: Rock 'n' Roll 2011
Various Artists
4 Gold / EMI / EMI Gold 1:45
Saturday Night Party: '60s Party, Vol. 1 2012
Various Artists
Bellevue Publishing 1:46
The Best Ever Sixties 2015
Various Artists
Rhino
300 Hits: Saturday Night Party
Various Artists
Bellevue Publishing / Wienerworld 1:46
Box of Rock [Disc 9]
Various Artists
Rajon Entertainment Pty Ltd. 2:08
No Image
Various Artists
EMI 1:47
No Image
Various Artists
Sire 1:43
It's Only Rock & Soul, Vol. 3
Various Artists
Artemis Records / Zebralution
No Image
Various Artists
EMI 1:46
Lost and Found: 1962-1969
Various Artists
EMI
No Image
Various Artists
EMI 1:46
Original Hits: Christmas
Various Artists
EMI Gold 1:43
Rock 'N' Roll Fever of the Sixties, Vol. 1
Various Artists
Madacy 1:49
The Best of the Swinging Blue Jeans 1963-66 EMI Digital / EMI Music Distribution / Parlophone / Warner Music 1:46
The Broons Family Album
Various Artists
EMI 1:45
The Greatest Ever... Party Album
Various Artists
Bellevue / Wienerworld 1:48
The Party Dance Mix, Vol. 1
Various Artists
Euro Trend 0:58