Friday, March 18, 2016

"Can't Shake Loose" by Agnetha Fältskog

Song#:  1584
Date:  08/27/1983
Debut:  78
Peak:  29
Weeks:  15
Genre:  Pop, Rock

Pop Bits:  Swedish singer/songwriter Fältskog began pursuing a career in music in her teens. After singing with a local dance band for a couple of years, she was courted by CBS Records who had heard her perform a song she wrote with the band. They signed her to a solo deal and her song "Jag var så kär" ("I Was So in Love") became a major hit  in 1968. She released a string of radio hits that continued through to the formation of the group that would bring her and her husband and their two friends massive worldwide success - ABBA. Yet even during ABBA's heyday, Fältskog continued to release Swedish language records that would hit the charts. After ABBA's unofficial breakup, the band members set out to do their own projects. After Anni-Frid Lyngstad (Frida) had success with her first post-ABBA album, thanks to the #13 single "I Know There's Something Going On," Fältskog released her first English language solo album Wrap Your Arms Around Me. It's first single, the tropical-ish "The Heat Is On," became a smash in Europe hitting several Top 10's and topping the Swedish chart. However, a different song would be selected as her debut single in the US. "Can't Shake Loose" would get issued and it did well enough to get her into the US Top 30. Unfortunately like Frida, Fältskog would only be able to score one significant hit in the US.

ReduxReview:  I've always thought this was an underrated single. It has a slinky, sexy groove that explodes into a rockin' chorus. This could have easily been a great post-"Physical" single for Olivia Newton-John and I best if she had done it, the song would have easily hit the Top 10. That's not to take anything away from Fältskog, as she is terrific here, but Newton-John's popularity would have driven this further. Frida's "I Know" (rightfully) turned into an 80s classic of sorts, but many folks seem to have forgotten this song, which is too bad. Although not as epic as "I Know," it is an excellent song in its own right.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  In addition to both doing well on the US Pop chart, the singles from Frida and Fältskog had another thing in common. Both were written by Russ Ballard. Although Frida's album only contained the one song by Ballard, Fältskog's album featured a second one titled "I Wish Tonight Could Last Forever." And while Frida's LP was produced by Phil Collins, Fältskog's was done by songwriter/producer Mike Chapman, who recently had success with Toni Basil's "Mickey."



  1. It reminds me of Sheena Easton's sound on the A Private Heaven album.

    1. Yes, she could have easily slayed this track as well.