Wednesday, February 2, 2022

"Shake for the Sheik" by The Escape Club

Song#:  3744
Date:  12/10/1988
Debut:  81
Peak:  28
Weeks:  14
Genre:  Pop, Rock

Pop Bits:  This UK band made a big splash with their single "Wild, Wild West." It was the first single from their second LP of the same name and it would reach #1 at Pop and go gold. For a follow-up, this next track was selected. It wouldn't do nearly as well, but at least it did crack the Pop Top 30. The album had already reached its peak of #42 and just a few days prior to this song debuting on the Pop chart, the album would be certified gold.

ReduxReview:  It was going to be difficult to follow-up "Wild, Wild West" since it was so quirky and memorable. However, this track was a good attempt. I think the title may have confused some in the US (see below), but it still had a catchy chorus and was a fun listen. I thought it might go a little higher on the chart, yet a Top 30 showing wasn't too bad.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  For a US audience, looking at the title of this song, one would most likely pronounce "sheik" like "sheek" (rhymes with "sleek"). However, in the song lead singer Trevor Steel pronounces it the same as the title's first word "shake." So what's the deal here? Seems it is one of those British English vs. American English pronunciation things. In England, "sheik" is pronounced as "shake." That most likely stems from the original Arabic word "shaihk" (or any of its variations), which is pronounced (minus any vocal inflections) as "shake." So it seems the British have it correct. The American "sheek"pronunciation may have come about do to the spelling. Visually looking at "sheik," it seems Americans just assumed that with the "e" leading the vowels, it would be pronounced with the long "e" and therefore be "sheek." Steel has mentioned that the humor found in the title with the way the British say the word was lost on American audiences. Regardless of the pronunciation, enough folks showed up to make it a Top 30 hit in the US.


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