Singer/songwriter/producer Gregory Abbott came up with a phrase that he thought expressed the way a man feels when he sees an attractive woman. He tried the phrase out on a female friend and she understood what he was talking about. So "Shake You Down" became the hook for the song that he was writing. After making a demo that included a basic drum machine track, a lead vocal sketch, and some chord progressions, Abbott invited his musician friends to his Grabbitt recording studio. After a listen to Abbott's demo, bassist T. M. Stevens, keyboardist Alan Panaker, guitarist Marlon Graves, and drummer Dave Beal re-recorded the song. Abbott's uncle Mike Abbott told employees of Charles Koppelman's production group, the Entertainment Company, about the melodic, easygoing "Shake You Down." Through Koppelman's firm, Abbott got a solo deal with Columbia Records. The two million-selling "Shake You Down" held the R&B spot for two weeks and went to number one pop in fall 1986. The Shake You Down album went gold, peaking at number five R&B and number 22 pop.