Shake You Down – Gregory Abbott | Top 40 Chart Performance, Story and Song Meaning

Chart Performance: Pop (#1) & R&B (#1 for 2 weeks); 1986/1987

Story Behind The Song By Ed Osborne

Gregory Abbott graduated with an undergraduate degree in psychology from Boston University, then got his master’s from California State University. Next he did graduate work in literature at Stanford, and taught at U of C at Berkeley.

Along the way, he earned money by playing in different bands. Abbott had completed almost all of his doctoral work, when he decided to pursue a career in music.

His mentor was Marvin Gaye, who showed Abbott the studio ropes. Abbott returned to Manhattan and a Wall Street research gig to pay his bills, where some investment bankers took an interest in his music and set him up with a home studio.

After three years of working on his own songs, Gregory landed a deal with a three track demo, one of which was Shake You Down. Abbott created the title phrase to describe how men react to a woman they like, and adlibbed the middle section during his final vocal take.

This content and all Song Meaning articles were created and written by Top 40 Contributing Editor Ed Osborne. © 2024 Ed Osborne. All Rights Reserved. In addition to these song meaning articles, Ed has written our “Year in Music 1960s-1990s” articles.

Produced by:

  • Gregory Abbott

Lyrics Written by:

Gregory Abbott