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Shakin' Street - 1980 Shakin' Street

ARTIST: Shakin Street
ALBUM: Shakin' Street
LABEL: CBS (UK, Europe), Columbia (USA)
SERIAL: CBS 84115, NJC 36499
YEAR: 1980
CD REISSUE: 2004, Bad Reputation (France), 640443 (with additional bonus tracks from 'Live & Raw)


LINEUP: Fabienne Shine - vocals * Eric Lewy - guitars * Ross The Boss Funicello - guitars * Mike Winter - bass * Jean Lou Klinowski - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 No Compromise * 02 Solid As A Rock * 03 No Time To Loose * 04 Soul Dealer * 05 Susie Wong * 06 Every Man Every Woman Is A Star * 07 Generation X * 08 So Fine * 09 I Want To Box You

The French outfit Shakin' Street return for Round Two with 1980's 'Shakin' Street'. Fronted by the exotic Tunisian born Fabienne Shine, this band had the focal point at the front of the stage, giving them a headstart as a guaranteed live attraction. There's a certain amount of charm and naivety about their sound. Sure it's from the late great 70's and the influence of that pop/punk era is apparent for sure. However, when they get it right, they line-up alongside a band like Storm (the Jeanette Chase fronted version) with ease, though without the Queen influences. Melodic nonetheless. It's ironic that era bands such as The Damned, The Clash, and from an American perspective The Dictators all seem to have rubbed off onto Shakin' Street, though with Blue Oyster Cult mentor Sandy Pearlman at the helm, guidance of a melodic kind was always going to rule the roost. When the band decided to move to New York to take advantage of the good work done on 'Vampire Rock', ex Dictators guitarist (and future Manowar stringbender) Ross 'The Boss' Funicello joined them, replacing Armik Tigrane who stayed behind. Musically the band have stayed close to their good-time hard rock vibe, which contains lots of energy, a unique French flavour, and in some cases a boogie quotient accentuated by the likes of AC/DC, Krokus and Status Quo, who were all thereabouts on the scene at the time. Many longtime fans will recall Shakin' Street's appearance on the 1980 CBS Compilation 'Killer Watts', where they were joined by that other French institution, the 'revolutionary kings' Trust. But to be honest, their offering on that album, the title track 'Solid As A Rock' is not the best tune to be heard on this album.. surprisingly enough..

The Songs
Take a listen to the reworked 'Nothing To Loose' (first heard on 'Vampire Rock') for pure rollicking energy! Even the opener 'No Compromise' and the cool Euro-metal of 'Soul Dealer' have more appeal. The latter could pass for early Accept (their Brain Records material). Fabienne really lets go on 'Every Man Every Woman Is A Star' as we move into the middle of the song, while a faint Lee Aaron holler or two could be detected on 'Generation X'.

In Summary
Despite encouraging sales with this album, the band found it dificult to maintain momentum, especially away from home. They certainly had the talent and a sound which stood them apart from many others in the same field. Shakin' Street never made it to album number three, though many of the band members are still recording music, including Shine, Lewy, and of course Funicello. The album itself, saw a re-release on Bad Reputation Records. Fans of period hard rock would be wise to throw caution to the wind and shell out a couple of bucks on Ebay, now that it is available.

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#1 | sabace on March 30 2006 14:34:07
oh fabienne, fabienne you're ' SO FINE' great lp. Has been reissued with the live in the raw lp, magic!
#2 | Jez on January 27 2007 12:04:38
A Blast from the past this one - finally re-issued on the Bad Reputation label with the 'Live & Raw' album as bonus tracks. Forgot how good this one was, from the crunching riff of 'I Want To Box You' to mega commercial tracks like 'Susie Wong' and 'So Fine'. Regarded by many as one of the best French hard rock cd's of all time - maybe, but i think Trust - 'Repression' would give this a good run for it's money!
#3 | reyno-roxx on July 16 2008 15:23:56
A superb album. As for French hard rock bands, I loved early Trust (always sounding better with French lyrics than the English versions) - 'Repression' is one of my favourite albums of alltime - but the greatest French hard rock band just has to be Warning. I wish the third album, 'Metamorphose', would get a long overdue release on CD. Amazing guitar work.
Blaspheme, Sortilege and H-Bomb were all great bands too.
Curiously, the Spanish bands, such as Baron Rojo, Obus, Panzer and Santa, always sounded better singing in their native tongue too.
#4 | sabace on July 22 2008 15:08:09
talking of great french bands OCEAN were pretty hot!
#5 | reyno-roxx on July 22 2008 16:39:39
Absolutely! How could I forget Ocean? The self-titled album of 1981 vintage is absolutely fantastic. Managed to get the CD version a few years ago with the bonus A+B Live material on it as well.

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