Peak UK Chart Position: #21 in February 1988.
Don Was and David Was were better known as Was (Not Was), and also known as Don Fagenson and David Weiss (who turns 64 today). They were childhood friends who grew up in suburban Detroit and formed the group in 1979.
Over the years, their tracks have consistently featured different vocalists, with the likes of Iggy Pop, Leonard Cohen, Ozzy Osbourne, and Kim Basinger among some of the best known. It was their 1988 album “What Up, Dog?” that provided them with mainstream success (despite only peaking at number 47), with the hit singles “Walk The Dinosaur” (#10 in October 1987) and “Spy In The House Of Love”.
Their biggest UK hit was “Shake Your Head” (#4 in August 1992), featuring the aforementioned Basinger and Osbourne on vocal duties – although the track dates back to 1983, when Osbourne and a pre-fame Madonna featured on an unreleased version. The 1992 version was remixed by Steve ‘Silk’ Hurley and – due to Madonna not wanting her vocals used – Basinger was approached instead. The Madonna version can, however, mistakenly be heard in extended form on the vinyl and cassette versions of Now Dance 92.
This track features the vocal talents of Sweet Pea Atkinson and Sir Harry Bowens, originally only peaking at number 51 in August 1987 but thankfully becoming a hit on re-release. Here’s an excellent, full live performance taken from – if the comments are correct – the Arsenio Hall Show in America.