A little ways back when I reviewed Def Leppard’s 1992 release Adrenalize album it was one of those albums that was good to revisit but I had kinda moved on from it.
Here’s what I wrote..
“Up til recently I have not listened to this album in a real long time. It’s like when you bump into someone you haven’t seen in a long time and you get caught up and then move on. That’s what Adrenalize is to me!”
Another one of those albums I thought would resonate this way with me as well would be Kim Mitchell’s 1986 release Shakin’ Like A Human Being.
Now if we roll back in time. 1986 I was 18 going on 19 and in the summer of that year Akimbo dropped the Shakin album and I bought it right away on cassette tape and it became my Summer of 86 go to tape in the Sony Walkman for my bike rides to and from my job that summer in the local hospital. I very seldom bought tapes. It was always vinyl so…….
The fact that Kim was riding high with the current single Patio Lanterns in the charts as well as the album selling like hotcakes! (Shakin is certified triple platinum in Canada). Plus Kim was bringing his 1986 Tour to Tbay at our local Gardens that summer as well was another score! (I reviewed that show a ways back)
So yeah to make a long story even longer this cassette got played to death. Once the end of summer came and Kim’s Arena rock show passed I was onto other albums. One being Iron Maiden’s Somewhere In Time release which came out in September of 86 and derailed my school studies for that month as I was staring at that cover when spinning it continuously like a lunatic when I would get home from another hard day of academic studies!
86 had some stellar releases as in Maiden/Van Halen/Judas Priest/Dave Roth/Bon Jovi/AC/DC with Who Made Who/Boston/ZZ Top/RATT and I’m sure many more so eventually Shakin slipped through the cracks and got replaced by my listening buds with all the above bands and others as well!
Perhaps one reason was that over time my go to Kim albums are the superb excellent 5 song Ep from 1981 and 1984’s Akimbo Alogo record that has Kim blazing huge ball’s of sonic mastery on his 6 string. In other words the Master of his own Domain! Ha…
Shakin though is a different record. Opener Get Lucky Boys & Girls is as good as an opener Kim track as any. Great driving bass line/drums synced with Kim’s guitar and his cool laid back rock voice make this an absolute winner! Second track In my Shoes features drummer Paul Delong smacking those tom’s like no one’s business! Almost a ZZ Top like Afterburner synth sound pushes this albums tracks as well
Kim’s rock tracks on this albums are excellent. Thats The Hold/Hitting The Ground and the very quirky City Girl (with the line of “City Girl likes to keep her Meatloaf warm”) Keeps the Kim Rock Machine rolling at full tilt.
Basically its the other 5 tracks that take this album into a whole other level which I can say I was a noob towards for what…31 years!
Yeah there was the goofy Easy To Tame video. Alana Loves Me which the song does pick up speed in the chorus along with Peter Fredette’s backing vocals. Speaking of which Peter is a great vocal foil for Kim’s laid back rock voice at times. Patio Lanterns the mid tempo track that MuchMusic played the heck out of the video back in 86 as well picks up some steam in its chorus as well. Cameo Spirit a great track featuring some real good backing vocals makes this album take another sonic turn one in which you don’t expect! In Your Arms that leads off Side 2 features Kim picking a clean sound guitar and this song borders on a mid tempo like summer breeze. A whole different vibe here folks. Actually the whole second side is one big chill pill except for City Girl and Hitting The Ground.
Pye Dubois writes all the lyrics while Mitchell handles the music end of things and this partnership lasted for a real long time from Kim’s old band Max Webster through to RockLandWonderland I believe. (Actually for all Max Webster/Kim solo questions ask Mikey Ladano as he’s a great source of this stuff)
Revisiting this album 31 years later and checking the lyrics out a little more closely this album is dripping with a ton of lost love in its words. Holy Hell whose disaster of a relationship ended up as the main source of inspiration on this album? Kim or Pye? Yikes….! As shitty as life can be at least Alana Loves Me! Ha!
So after all those years away and once I seen this album in Montreal it was a no brainer to pick up!
An album that for all intent and purposes I filed away as a couple of great tracks ends up being full of Great Tracks! Basically one of those good to see you’s followed by an actually great to see ya!
Thats Shakin Like A Human Being!