Support our Nation today - please donate here
Culture

Watch: Shakin’ Stevens gets political on protest song people are raving about

05 Apr 2023 4 minute read
A clip from the video for All You Need Is Greed by Shakin’ Stevens

He was the biggest-selling UK singles artist of the ’80s.

The rock ‘n’ roll pin up from Cardiff who made Top of the Pops his second home.

Now, 42 years after his first number one, three more UK chart toppers and 33 top 40 hits, Shaky has undergone something of an unexpected reinvention – as protest singer.

The release of his new single, a rootsy, spiky observation on rampant global capitalism called ‘All You Need Is Greed’ has met with an incredible reaction with people acclaiming it as the best thing he’s ever done, while lauding Shaky’s reappearance as a protest singer.

Delivered with an impassioned vocal performance, the stark lyrics mince no words on the subject of undiluted avarice in a world where the rich are getting richer, and the poor are getting poorer. ‘Ain’t no misdemeanours, so take ’em to the cleaners’, he hollers.

“Most of the problems we now face in our world have been brought about by the intense and selfish desire for excessive material gain, control and power over others. It may start as need, but quickly intensifies and translates into greed with no thought about the effect on others” says Shaky.

The extraordinary reaction to the track has found favour in the most unlikely of places.

Gritty post-punkers Sleaford Mods were one of those to praise the Welsh rocker’s single.

Meanwhile, the song has received some fantastic reactions online, with many likening the now 75-year-old Welshman’s latest recording to the late-career reinvention of Johnny Cash with the Rick Rubin-produced American Recordings.

Here are a selection of the best of those reactions from Twitter.

The track is a precursor to the singer’s equally opinionated and blues-tinged album Re-Set.

Released on April 28, and with a front cover image shot around the world heritage slate mines of Llanberis, it deals with such pressing and prescient subjects as global inequality, climate change and addiction.

‘Re-Set’ is an album that takes the infectious roots-rock of his acclaimed and highly successful 2016 release ‘Echoes Of Our Times’ into even more adventurous territory. Its 10 songs combine deeply heartfelt, meaningful lyrics with the most visceral vocal delivery Shaky has ever summoned from himself, well over 50 years since his first recordings.

It might be a far cry from This Ole House and Green Door, but in the spirit of reinvention this particular renaissance of a rock ‘n’ roll legend is something that we can all get behind.

Find out more HERE

Shakin’ Stevens – Re-Set album

All You Need Is Greed – Lyrics

Welcome to the firm, welcome to the house of lies
Greed is all you need, to take the suckers for a ride
We move the money round, we really shake ’em down
Down, down, down

Welcome to the bank, this is where we bleed ’em dry

Just gimme all you get, I’m a money sucker; feed me debt
We’re too big to fail, so gentlemen, place your bets

Wheel is spinning round and round
You’ll make a fortune, don’t look down now
Greed is all you need, it’s all you need

Consider it a calling
Vig ’em til they’re crawling
It’s easy if you don’t look down

I don’t give a damn, how you make the money son
I’m hungry like a black hole, stick it to ’em, get it done

Rules were made for breaking
And those fools, they’re made for taking, trust me
Greed is all you need, it’s all you need…

Consider it a calling
Vig ’em til they’re crawling
It’s easy if you don’t look down

Wheel is spinning round and round
You’ll make a fortune, don’t look down now
Greed is all you need, it’s all you need

Ain’t no misdemeanours
So take’ em to the cleaners
Money makes the world go round


Support our Nation today

For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
4 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
10 months ago

Given the state of the UK one would think that protest singers would be queuing up to be heard…Good on you Mr Stevens…

Richard huw morgan
Richard huw morgan
10 months ago

Great song, and an interesting change of direction from Ely’s finest! Not so sure that just copying and pasting tweets on the subject is really much of a contribution to cultural debate from nation.cymru. It’s certainly not what i was hoping for, or expecting, as a founding funder. Maybe constructing some sort of database for original comments on stories might be worth persuing? Pob bendith. X

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
10 months ago

Our musical careers began around the same time but his went to the top and we split up and went our separate ways. But we did open the show for him in Llandrindod Wells in the summer of 1970. He was and still is a class act…

David Lloyd
David Lloyd
10 months ago

An early hero of mine. I looked after him at a gig when he came to my university. Very good to see this latest departure from him.

Our Supporters

All information provided to Nation.Cymru will be handled sensitively and within the boundaries of the Data Protection Act 2018.