You Shook Me

'You Shook Me' is a 1962 blues song by American singer-songwriters Willie Dixon and J. B. Lenoir. The song was originally performed by guitarist Earl Hooker as an instrumental under the title 'Blue Guitar', before vocals were added by Muddy Waters, renamed and recorded at Chess Studios on 27 June 1962. It was released as a single in July 1962, on Chess Records, in a number of countries but did not chart. Dixon would later perform the song on his solo album I am the Blues in 1969. 'You Shook Me' has been notably covered by many artists including the Jeff Beck Group, Led Zeppelin, Mick Taylor, B. B. King, the Blues Band, and Jimmy Page and the Black Crowes.


Dixon had worked in partnership with Lenoir on the Chess and Checker Record releases during the period 1955-1958. 'Blue Guitar' was a major instrumental hit for Hooker. Lenoir had written the lyrics but it was left unrecorded until offered by producer Leonard Chess to Waters, in a bid to rejuvenate his then struggling chart career. 'Close to You' was his last charting single in 1958. The success of 'You Shook Me' resulted in guitarist Hooker being employed on Waters recording sessions by Chess, and Dixon being asked to contribute more of his material. Dixon also played upright bass on the original recording of 'Blue Guitar' (Age 29106), on 3 May 1961, produced by Mel London at Universal Recording Studio. Other personnel who sessioned included Johnny 'Big Moose' Walker on organ, Lafayette Leake on piano, A. C. Reed on tenor saxophone, and Bobby Little on drums. Hooker later recorded his instrumental with another band and added a wah-wah peddle effects and called it 'Wah Wah Blues'.


The tune was covered by a number of rock musicians, including Jeff Beck on his 1968 album Truth, and by English rock band Led Zeppelin on their eponymous 1969 debut album Led Zeppelin. Multi-instrumentalist John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin had sessioned on the Beck recording. On the Led Zeppelin recording, Jones double tracked a Fender Rhodes piano and Hammond M-100 organ. The M-100 is featured on the 'You Shook Me' solo beginning at 2 minutes 7 seconds. The most interesting aspect of this track is the lack of a Leslie speaker; considered standard practice for Hammond recording, the Leslie speaker adds a spinning effect to the organ tone. Instead of using a Leslie, Jones used the M-100's built-in vibrato setting and, throughout the solo, he changes the vibrato/chorus rate and depth, which effectively creates a similar sound to the Leslie.

Guitarist and producer Jimmy Page employed his 'backward echo' technique on the 'call-and-respond' segment between singer Robert Plant's vocals and Page's 1958 Fender Telecaster guitar. This recording process involved hearing the echo before the main sound instead of after it, achieved by turning the tape over and employing the echo on an unused track, then turning the tape back over again to get the echo preceding the signal. Page had initially conceived the technique when recording the 1967 single 'Ten Little Indians' with the Yardbirds. Page utilized a metal slide on this recording and the song opens with a standard blues lick flourish.

Possibly because the song so aptly showcased the abilities of all four band members, it was performed regularly throughout Led Zeppelin's early concerts. From 1973, the song however was discontinued from the band's live set list as they began to infuse more repertoire from subsequent releases into their on-stage performances. In its totality the song was included until October 1969, and henceforth from 1973 it was seconded as a section of the 'Whole Lotta Love' medley. Page later performed this song on his tour with the Black Crowes in 1999. A version of 'You Shook Me' recorded by Page and the Black Crowes can be located on the album Live at the Greek. The AC/DC song title 'You Shook Me All Night Long' came from the lyrics to the song 'You Shook Me'.

Formats and track listings

1962 7" single (US: Chess 1827)

  • A. 'You Shook Me' (Dixon, Lenoir) 2.42
  • B. 'Muddy Waters Twist' (John T. Brown) 1.55

1963 7" EP (UK: Pye NEP 44010)

  • A1. 'You Shook Me' (Dixon, Lenoir) 2.42
  • A2. 'Little Brown Bird' (Waters) 3.10
  • B1. 'You Need Love' (Dixon) 2.35
  • B2. 'Muddy Waters Twist' (John T. Brown) 1.55



  • Muddy Waters – vocals
  • Earl Hooker - guitar
  • Lafayette Leake - piano
  • A. C. Reed - tenor saxophone
  • Johnny 'Big Moose' Walker - organ, piano
  • Willie Dixon – bass
  • Bobby Little - drums, percussion


  • Leonard Chess - producer, engineer, mixing


  • Jeff Beck, Truth (1968) 2.28
  • Led Zeppelin, Led Zeppelin (1969) 6.28
  • Lucky Peterson, I'm Ready (1992) 5.29
  • B. B. King, Blues Summit (1993) 4.58
  • Mick Taylor, Live at 14 Below: Coastin' Home (1995) 13.02
  • The Blues Band, Homage (1996) 5.17
  • Killer Whales, Shredzilla (1997) 4.34
  • Jimmy Page and the Black Crowes, Live at the Greek (2000) 8.26
  • Lisa Ferguson, Livin' Lovin' Played: A Led Zeppelin Tribute (2002) 4.34
  • George Lynch, Furious George (2004) 6.10
  • Etta James, Blues to the Bone (2004) 3.51
  • Hell N' Diesel, Passion for Power (2007) 3.23
  • Artimus Pyle, Led Box: The Ultimate Led Zeppelin Tribute (2008) 5.55


  • Danchin, Sebastian (2001) Earl Hooker: Blues Master. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi. ISBN 978-1-57806-307-9 (OCLC 470360256).
  • Lewis, Dave (2012) Led Zeppelin: From a Whisper to a Scream. London: Omnibus Press. ISBN 978-1-78038-547-1 (OCLC 782996334).
  • Welch, Chris (2009) Led Zeppelin: The Stories Behind Every Led Zeppelin Song. London: Carlton Books. ISBN 978-1-84732-286-9 (OCLC 317254118).

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