AskDefine | Define shaky

Dictionary Definition

shaky adj
1 inclined to shake as from weakness or defect; "a rickety table"; "a wobbly chair with shaky legs"; "the ladder felt a little wobbly"; "the bridge still stands though one of the arches is wonky" [syn: rickety, wobbly, wonky]
2 vibrating slightly and irregularly; as e.g. with fear or cold or like the leaves of an aspen in a breeze; "a quaking bog"; "the quaking child asked for more"; "quivering leaves of a poplar tree"; "with shaking knees"; "seemed shaky on her feet"; "sparkling light from the shivering crystals of the chandelier"; "trembling hands" [syn: quaking, quivering, shaking, shivering, trembling]
3 not secure; beset with difficulties; "a shaky marriage" [syn: precarious] [also: shakiest, shakier]

User Contributed Dictionary



  • /ˈʃeɪki/, /"SeIki/
  • Rhymes with: -eɪki


  1. Shaking or trembling.
    a shaky spot in a marsh
    a shaky hand
    He’s a nice guy but when he talks to me, he acts shaky.
  2. Full of shakes or cracks; cracked.
    shaky timber
  3. Easily shaken; tottering; unsound.
    a shaky constitution
    shaky business credit


  • Dutch: bibberig, trillerig
full of cracks
  • Dutch: onzeker, zwak

Extensive Definition

Shakin' Stevens also known as Shaky (born Michael Barratt, 4 March 1948, in Ely, Cardiff, Wales) is a Platinum selling Welsh rock and roll singer and songwriter, who has the distinction of being the top selling male UK singles artist of the 1980s. His recording and performing career spans 40 years, although it was not until 1980 that he saw commercial success in his native land. In the UK alone Stevens has charted no fewer than 34 top 40 hit singles in the sales charts, making him one of the most charted (and biggest selling) acts of all-time.


Early Days

Michael Barratt, who would become Shakin' Stevens, was the youngest of 11 children born in Ely, South Glamorgan to Jack and May Barratt. His father was a Great War veteran who by 1948 was working in the building trade. The oldest of his siblings were born in the later part of the 1920s, and by the time of his birth some of them were already married and had children of their own. Jack Barratt died in 1972 at the age of 75, while May survived until 1984 and the age of 79.
Shaky married his wife Carole on 7 October 1967 and they have three children. At the time of their marriage, his official occupation was a milkman, and they lived in a flat which formed part of an office block in inner-city Cardiff. The office block was demolished several years later.

The Sunsets

He began his professional performing career during 1968, fronting Shakin' Stevens and the Sunsets, created and managed by South Wales rock and roll promoter and impresario Paul 'Legs' Barrett (no relation). The Sunsets were a 1950s-influenced rock'n'roll outfit from Penarth, South Glamorgan that had evolved from a band, previously called The Backbeats since 1958 , who invited Stevens to join them after he had been an avid fan of the band for several years and occasionally hopped on stage to do a guest vocal.
An early break for the Shaky and the band presented itself when they were given a support slot for The Rolling Stones in December 1969. Despite landing a recording contract with Parlophone Records the following year and releasing a Dave Edmunds produced album, the optomistically and prematurely titled A Legend, the band found success hard to come by, at least in their native Great Britain, though they had several hit singles in other countries. The band toured Germany and Holland in between regular UK dates as the band's reputation for staging a vibrant and exciting show grew.

"Elvis!" and a hit record

In 1977, after seven years of constant touring and recording, Shaky had been spotted during a London Sunset's gig by Jack Good who personally invited him to attend a London audition for his planned new West End "Elvis!" musical. Three actors were to portray Elvis's life during the course of the show and Shaky landed one of the lead roles, playing Elvis in his prime charting, army and movie star years, with young actor Tim Whitnall covering the earlier formative years and veteran 1960s singer P J Proby taking over the part for Elvis's 'Las Vegas' years.
The rest of the Sunsets waited in South Wales, doing occasional performances with drummer Robert 'Rockin Louis' Llewellyn taking the frontman duties, but fully expecting Shaky to return to the band and recommence touring after the show's planned short six month run. However, the expectations were overtaken by subsequent events. The media wise Good made sure that both the audition process and the early months of the show were widely and regularly covered by the British daily press and TV shows. The photogenic Shakin' Stevens came to such prominence that almost overnight all agegroups of the UK population knew who he was. During the "Elvis!" show's highly successful and then twice extended two year run Shaky made regular TV appearances, firstly on Good's revamped British ITV show Oh Boy and later on his follow up 30 week long series Let's Rock that was syndicated in thirty two countries including the United States. This led almost inevitably to his first major chart success with a cleverly reworked version of a Buck Owens song "Hot Dog", which Owens would go on to re-record using Stevens arrangement which had been created by pedal steel guitar player B.J. Cole.

The 80s and 90s

In late 1979, Shaky signed what was to be his most successful management deal with music industry doyenne Freya Miller, who immediately advised Stevens to sever his association with The Sunsets and continue developing a more lucrative solo career. Under Miller's deft hand, in 1981, Shaky scored his first UK chart topping number 1 with "This Ole House" and would follow up with ten more songs reaching the top five, including three number 1 hits with "Green Door", "Oh Julie" and "Merry Christmas Everyone", while "You Drive Me Crazy" and "A Love Worth Waiting For" reached number 2 in 1981 and 1984 respectively. His 1984 hit "Teardrops", which reached #5 in the UK, featured Hank B. Marvin on guitar and Stevens has often featured famous musicians such as Albert Lee, Roger Taylor, Bonnie Tyler and more recently Tony Joe White on his recordings. In the mid 80s, Stevens reunited with former producer Dave Edmunds to record an album Lipstick, Powder and Paint and the Christmas smash Merry Christmas Everyone, which was a number 1 hit over Christmas 1985. Its original planned release was put back by a year to avoid clashing with the runaway success of Band Aid's charity single "Do They Know It's Christmas?", to which he did not contribute, having been out of the country touring at the time of recording. Somewhat oddly, considering Stevens's chart domination over the previous few years, he was not invited to perform at Live Aid on 13 July 1985.
The hits continued throughout the 1980s and into the early 1990s. Chart successes also included his album Shaky reaching number 1.
It was in the 1990s, however, that Stevens took a lengthy break from recording and was stung by a court ruling, relating to unpaid royalties from the Legend album which had been re-released to some commercial success, requiring a substantial payout to former band members of the Sunsets although the final settlement was significantly less than Stevens had offered the band before litigation began sixteen years earlier. In 1999, Shaky returned to performing live and undertook tours all that year and the following year.

In the new millennium

Stevens hit a low point in January 2002 when he was very publicly convicted of a drink driving charge and banned from driving for two years , but in 2004 things started to look up again when he had a further platinum CD / DVD album in Denmark and a gold album in South Africa.
In the sitcom I'm Alan Partridge, Stevens' fictional endorsement of Partridge's book Bouncing Back - in which he described it as "lovely stuff" - was supposedly critical to its success.
In 2005, he returned once again to the charts in the United Kingdom, with his greatest hits album The Collection, which reached the UK top 5. That year, he also appeared in the video to Tony Christie's and Peter Kay's #1 hit single "Is This the Way to Amarillo", alongside many other UK stars, including Ronnie Corbett, Jim Bowen, Michael Parkinson and Geoffrey Hayes. He was the winner on the reality television show, Hit Me Baby One More Time. This was quickly followed by a re-release of his cover and his own biggest hit sung in the show, ("Trouble" covering Pink's version) / "This Ole House"), which reached #20 on the UK Singles Chart in June 2005, his 33rd Top 40 hit in the United Kingdom.

Shaky Today

In May 2007, Stevens released a brand new album entitled Now Listen with the album being released first in Denmark. In December 2007, Stevens re-entered the UK charts with a re-issue of Merry Christmas Everyone twenty two years after its original launch, reaching a UK chart position of 22 in the process and stretching his top 40 run to thirty four.
Chris Evans featured a special Shaky Week on his Radio 2 show during early March 2008 to celebrate Stevens's 60th birthday and later this year, despite his venerable age, Shaky will again embark on a string of major concerts in the UK and Europe starting at Lulworth Castle on 4 July.
Stevens's original band The Sunsets have continued to perform regularly over the years without him and still tour annually in the UK, Europe and Australia with a show of authentic vintage rock and roll. The band is now fronted by Shaky's younger nephew, Levi Barrett .

Shaky plays Glastonbury 2008

In April 2008 it was announced that Shakin' Stevens would be the performing at 2008's Glastonbury Festival as the opening act on the Pyramid stage on Saturday 28th June.


UK Releases only


  • "Spirit Of Woodstock" (1970) Parlophone
  • "Sweet Little Rock & Roller" (1972) Polydor
  • "Honey Honey" (1973) Emerald
  • "Jungle Rock" (1976) Mooncrest
  • "Never" (1977) Track
  • "Somebody Touched Me" (1977) Track
  • "Justine" (1978) Track
  • "Treat Her Right" (1978) Epic
  • "Endless Sleep" (1979) Epic
  • "Spooky" (1979) Epic
  • "Hot Dog" (1980) Epic (UK #24)
  • "Hey Mae" (1980) Epic
  • "Marie Marie" (1980) Epic (UK #19, Germany #19, Ireland #28)
  • "Shooting Gallery" (1980) Epic
  • "This Ole House" (1981) Epic (UK #1, Austria #8, Germany #5, Ireland #1, Switzerland #4)
  • "You Drive Me Crazy" (1981) Epic (UK #2, Austria #6, Germany #6, Ireland #1, Switzerland #4, Sweden #9)
  • "Green Door" (1981) Epic (UK #1, Austria #8, Germany #6, Ireland #1, Switzerland #5)
  • "It's Raining" (1981) Epic (UK #10, Austria #11, Germany #13, Ireland #2)
  • "Oh Julie" (1982) Epic (UK #1, Austria #1, Germany #2, Ireland #1, Switzerland #1, Sweden #1)
  • "Shirley" (1982) Epic (UK #6, Austria #4, Germany #7, Ireland #4, Switzerland #4, Sweden #3)
  • "Give Me Your Heart Tonight" (1982) Epic (UK #11, Austria #10, Germany #6, Ireland #5, Switzerland #6, Sweden #19)
  • "I'll Be Satisfied" (1982) Epic (UK #10, Germany #27, Ireland #5)
  • "The Shakin' Stevens EP" (1982) Epic (UK #2, Germany #40, Ireland #2)
  • "It's Late" (1983) Epic (UK #11, Germany #18, Ireland #3)
  • "Cry Just A Little Bit" (1983) Epic (UK #3, Germany #27, Ireland #2 Switzerland #19, US #67)
  • "A Rockin' Good Way" (credited to "Shakey and Bonnie", i.e. Shakin' Stevens and Bonnie Tyler)(1984) Epic (UK #5, Austria #9, Germany #22, Ireland #1, Netherlands #8, Norway #4, Sweden #11, Switzerland #10)
  • "A Love Worth Waiting For" (1984) Epic (UK #2, Austria #13, Germany #26, Ireland #2)
  • "A Letter To You" (1984) Epic (UK #10, Germany #44, Switzerland #21)
  • "Teardrops" (1984) Epic (UK #5, Austria #14, Germany #25, Ireland #5)
  • "Breaking Up My Heart" (1985) Epic (UK #14, Austria #23, Germany #31, Ireland #7)
  • "Lipstick Powder And Paint" (1985) Epic (UK #11, Austria #24, Germany #52, Ireland #11, Switzerland #22)
  • "Merry Christmas Everyone" (1985) Epic (UK #1, Germany #75, Ireland #3)
  • "Turning Away" (1986) Epic (UK #15, Ireland #11)
  • "Because I Love You" (1986) Epic (UK #14, Ireland #13)
  • "A Little Boogie Woogie (In the Back of My Mind)" (1987) Epic (UK #12, Ireland #9)
  • "Come See About Me" (1987) Epic (UK #24, Ireland #15)
  • "What Do You Want to Make Those Eyes at Me For" (1987) Epic (UK #5, Ireland #8)
  • "Feel The Need In Me" (1988) Epic (UK #26, Ireland #17)
  • "How Many Tears Can You Hide" (1988) Epic (UK #47)
  • "True Love" (1988) Epic (UK #23)
  • "Jezebel" (1989) Epic (UK #58)
  • "Love Attack" (1989) Epic (UK #28, Ireland #27)
  • "I Might" (1990) Epic (UK #18, Austria #26, Ireland #14)
  • "Yes I Do" (1990) Epic (UK #60)
  • "Pink Champagne" (1990) Epic (UK #59)
  • "My Cutie Cutie" (1990) Epic (UK #75)
  • "The Best Christmas Of Them All" (1990) Epic (UK #19, Ireland #22)
  • "I'll Be Home This Christmas" (1991) Epic (UK #34)
  • "Radio" (1992) (credited to Shakin' Stevens and Roger Taylor) Epic (UK #37)
  • "Trouble"/"This Ole House" (2005) Sony/BMG (UK #20)
  • "Now Listen" (2007) Sony/BMG
  • "Merry Christmas Everyone" (re-entry) (2007) (UK #22)


  • A Legend (1970) Parlophone - Released On LP & Cassette Only
  • I'm No J.D. (1971) CBS - Released On LP, Cassette & CD
  • Rockin' And Shakin (1972) Contour - Released On LP, Cassette & CD
  • Shakin' Stevens & The Sunsets (1973) Emerald - Released On LP Only
  • Play Loud (1978) Track - Released On LP & Cassette
  • The Track Years (1979) Media - Released On LP, Cassette & CD
  • Take One (1980) Epic - Released On LP, Cassette & CD
  • Marie Marie (1980) Epic - Released On LP & Cassette
  • This Ole House (1981) Epic - Released On LP, Cassette & CD
  • Shaky (1981) Epic - Released On LP, Cassette & CD
  • Hot Dog (1982) Epic - Released On LP & Cassette
  • Give Me Your Heart Tonight (1982) Epic - Released On LP, Cassette & CD
  • The Bop Won't Stop (1983) Epic - Released On LP, Cassette & CD
  • Greatest Hits (1984) Epic - Released On LP, Cassette & CD
  • Lipstick Powder And Paint (1985) Epic - Released On LP, Cassette & CD
  • Let's Boogie (1987) Epic - Released On LP, Cassette & CD
  • A Whole Lotta Shaky (1988) Epic - Released On LP, Cassette & CD
  • There's Two Kinds Of Music...Rock And Roll (1990) Telstar - Released On LP,Cassette, CD,VHS
  • Merry Christmas Everyone (1991) Epic - Released On LP, Cassette & CD
  • The Epic Years (1992) Epic - Released On Cassette, CD, VHS
  • The Singles Collection - The A & B Sides (4 CD Set) Sony/BMG - Released 4 CD Set
  • The Collection (2005) Sony/BMG - Released On CD & DVD
  • Now Listen (2007) Sony/BMG - Released On CD Only

Chart sources

shaky in Welsh: Shakin' Stevens
shaky in German: Shakin’ Stevens
shaky in Dutch: Shakin' Stevens
shaky in Polish: Shakin' Stevens
shaky in Portuguese: Shakin' Stevens

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

adrift, afloat, agitated, aguey, aguish, algid, all shook up, all-overish, anile, aquiver, aspen, bagging, baggy, bashful, blue with cold, blurred, breathy, chattering, chilly, choked, choking, clear, cold, cool, cowardly, crabbed, croaking, dangerous, dangling, debilitated, decrepit, desultory, dickey, diffident, dilapidated, dithery, doddered, doddering, doddery, doubtful, drawling, drawly, drooping, dubious, dysphonic, easy, fearful, fearing, fearsome, feeble, fidgeting, fidgety, flapping, flimsy, floating, fluctuant, fluttery, fossilized, free, frozen, frozen to death, gerontal, gerontic, goosy, groggy, guttural, half-frozen, hanging, harsh, hawking, hazardous, hoarse, iffy, in a quiver, in fear, inarticulate, indecisive, indistinct, infirm, insecure, insubstantial, jittery, jumpy, lax, lisping, loose, mispronounced, mossbacked, moth-eaten, mousy, mummylike, muzzy, nasal, nervous, palsied, papery-skinned, perilous, precarious, problematic, provisional, quaking, quavering, quavery, questionable, quivering, quivery, rabbity, rachitic, rackety, ramshackle, rattletrap, ravaged with age, relaxed, ricketish, rickety, risky, rocky, rootless, run to seed, rusty, scary, senile, shaking, shifting, shifty, shivering, shivery, shook up, shrinking, shriveled, shuddering, shy, skittery, skittish, slack, slippery, sloppy, snuffling, spidery, spindly, startlish, stifled, strangled, streaming, stricken in years, succussatory, succussive, suspect, teetering, teetery, temporary, tentative, tenuous, thick, throaty, ticklish, timeworn, timid, timorous, tottering, tottery, treacherous, trembling, trembly, tremulant, tremulous, trepidant, trigger-happy, tumbledown, twangy, twitchy, twittery, unanchored, unbound, uncertain, unclear, undependable, undone, unfaithworthy, unfastened, unfixed, unhealthy, unpredictable, unreliable, unsafe, unsettled, unsolid, unsound, unstable, unsteadfast, unsteady, unstuck, unsubstantial, unsubstantiated, unsupported, unsure, untied, untrustworthy, vacillating, velar, vibrating, wavering, weak, with chattering teeth, withered, wizened, wobbling, wobbly
Privacy Policy, About Us, Terms and Conditions, Contact Us
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
Material from Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Dict
Valid HTML 4.01 Strict, Valid CSS Level 2.1