"Shake Me, Wake Me (When it's Over)" is about lost love. In the song, lead vocalist Levi Stubbs sings about hearing his neighbors' voices coming through his thin apartment walls. The neighbors are talking about how his woman doesn't love him anymore; he is knocked out by the news and asks to be woken up when the nightmare is over.
A group of female vocalists named The Andantes did background vocals for the track. It's one of 16 Four Tops songs they contributed to.
This was the first single released from On Top, the third Four Tops album. The B-side was "Just as Long as You Need Me."
This wasn't the only song doing some shaking and waking in 1966: Al Kooper's band The Blues Project released "Wake Me, Shake Me" that year.
In 1975, Barbara Streisand did a disco version of the song for her album Lazy Afternoon. She released it as a single. It earned her a #14 position on Billboard's US Dance Club Songs chart and a #10 on Billboard's US Disco Singles chart.
Boston leader Tom Scholz went back to his job at Polaroid after releasing the group's debut album. When his co-workers kept coming by to tell him "More Than A Feeling" was playing on the radio, he knew it was time to quit his day job.