Paul McCartney Had a Strong Reaction to Elvis Presley’s ‘All Shook Up’

TL;DR:

  • Paul McCartney and members of his first band studied Elvis Presley’s “All Shook Up.”
  • “All Shook Up” became a massive hit in the United States.
  • The song was a hit twice in the United Kingdom, once in the 1950s and once in the 1970s.
"All Shook Up" singer Elvis Presley holding a guitar
Elvis Presley | Bettmann / Contributor

Paul McCartney had a strong reaction to Elvis Presley‘s “All Shook Up.” In addition, so did members of his first band: The Quarrymen. Notably, “All Shook Up” became a hit in Paul’s native United Kingdom twice.

Paul McCartney would play songs by the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll on the toilet

The 1968 book The Beatles: The Authorised Biography discussed what happened when Paul received his guitar. It includes quotes from Paul’s brother, Mike McGear. “The minute he got the guitar, that was the end,” Gear said.

“[Paul] was lost,” McGear continued. “He didn’t have time to eat or think about anything else. He played it on the lavatory, in the bath, everywhere.”

The book says Paul would regularly play songs by Little Richard and Elvis. “That was the biggest kick,” Paul said. “Every time I felt low, I just put on an Elvis record and I’d feel great, beautiful. I’d no idea how records were made and it was just magic.”

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Paul McCartney and his early bandmates studied Elvis Presley’s ‘All Shook Up’

Paul was a particular fan of “All Shook Up.” “‘All Shook Up!'” he exclaimed. “Oh, it was beautiful.”

Before he was a member of The Beatles, Paul was a member of another band called The Quarrymen. According to the 1997 book Paul McCartney: Many Years From Now, The Quarrymen were fascinated by early rock ‘n’ roll. They would study early rock records like “All Shook Up,” analyzing their lyrics and chord changes.

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How Elvis Presley’s ‘All Shook Up’ performed on the charts in the United States and the United Kingdom

According to The Billboard Book of Number 1 Hits, “All Shook Up” topped the Billboard Top 100 for eight weeks. The Billboard Top 100 was the predecessor to the Billboard Hot 100. The song appeared on the compilation album Elvis: 30 #1 Hits. The compilation reached No. 1 on the Billboard 200 for three weeks and stayed on the chart for 131 weeks in total.

The Official Charts Company reports “All Shook Up” was a hit in the United Kingdom as well. The song topped the U.K. chart for seven weeks in the 1950s, staying on the chart for 21 weeks altogether. In the 1970s, “All Shook Up” charted again. It reached No. 41 and lasted on the chart for two weeks. Subsequently, Elvis: 30 #1 Hits topped the U.K. chart for two weeks and remained on the chart for 149 weeks.

“All Shook Up” became a major hit and it meant something to Paul.

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