Shake Your Groove Thing

Album: 2 Hot (1978)
Charted: 26 5


  • This song was a Freddie Perren production. Perren worked at Motown Records, where he co-wrote the Jackson 5 hits "I Want You Back," "The Love You Save" and "ABC" before forming his own production company with another former Motown writer, Dino Fekaris.

    Perren knew Herb Feemster from the Washington, DC area, where they both worked at record stores in the '60s. With the original Peaches, Francine Barker, Herb had a #8 hit in 1967 with "Close Your Eyes" and a #13 with "Love Is Strange." They made the Hot 100 nine more times before Herb quit the business in 1970 to become a police officer.

    In 1976, Herb got the act back together with a new Peaches, Linda Greene. Their 1977 self-titled album was produced by Charles Kipps and Van McCoy, but went nowhere. The duo then began work with Perren and Fekaris, who wrote and produced the eight songs on their next album, 2 Hot, including this disco mainstay. "Shake Your Groove Thing" was released as the first single, but the follow-up proved even more successful, as the ballad "Reunited" went to #1 in America.
  • This was recorded at Freddie Perren's Los Angeles studio, which was called Mom & Pop's Company Store. Perren used some of the same studio musicians he used on "I Will Survive" - Bob Bowles on guitar, Scott Edwards on bass and James Gadson on drums. Edwards told Songfacts about the session: "They had a basic chord chart. We were playing the changes that they had written for the song, and it wasn't working. So we took a break and while we were in the break, we were still sitting at our instruments. So I started doing a funny little thing on the bass, Bob joined in and the drummer, James, drummed in. Freddie in the recording booth heard what we were doing and cut on the tape recorder and recorded part of it.

    Then when we came back from the break, Freddie said, 'What you cats were doing a few minutes ago, do that same thing to the changes of the song.' And that's what we did, and that became 'Shake Your Groove Thing.'

    We actually were writers and composers, but because we had the name 'musician,' we were just players. But we actually were having to write, because the things that we came up with, the arrangers and the producers were nowhere in that direction for our particular instruments. As far as 'Shake Your Groove Thing,' we basically were jamming and we took that jam and applied it to the changes of 'Shake.' Which really is just two chords, that's how basic it was. But it was a big hit, that's the way it works."
  • Nothing conveys lighthearted fun like "Shake Your Groove Thing," which has made the song a favorite for commercials, promo campaigns, movies and TV shows. Television shows to feature the song include It Takes Two and That '70s Show. Among the movie uses are The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994), 200 Cigarettes (1999), The Sweetest Thing (2002), Monster (2003), Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel (2009), and Shrek Forever After (2010).

Comments: 1

  • Cyberpope from Richmond, CanadaOn "That 70s Show," in a fantasy sequence dreamed by Fez, the gang all dances & sings to this
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Ron and Russell Mael of Sparks

Ron and Russell Mael of SparksSongwriter Interviews

The men of Sparks on their album Hippopotamus, and how Morrissey handled it when they suggested he lighten up.

Grateful Dead Characters

Grateful Dead CharactersMusic Quiz

Many unusual folks appear in Grateful Dead songs. Can you identify them?

Andy McClusky of OMD

Andy McClusky of OMDSongwriter Interviews

Known in America for the hit "If You Leave," OMD is a huge influence on modern electronic music.

Yacht Rock Quiz

Yacht Rock QuizFact or Fiction

Christopher Cross with Deep Purple? Kenny Loggins in Caddyshack? A Fact or Fiction all about yacht rock and those who made it.

Edwin McCain

Edwin McCainSongwriter Interviews

"I'll Be" was what Edwin called his "Hail Mary" song. He says it proves "intention of the songwriter is 180 degrees from potential interpretation by an audience."

Rosanne Cash

Rosanne CashSongwriter Interviews

Rosanne talks about the journey that inspired her songs on her album The River & the Thread, including a stop at the Tallahatchie Bridge.