Shake! is the eleventh track on Prince’s twelfth album Graffiti Bridge (the third track on the album to be credited to The Time), and, four and a half months after the album’s release, Shake! was released as as the album’s fifth and final single (the only single from the album credited to The Time). The track is also featured in the movie Graffiti Bridge.
While specific recording dates are not known, basic tracking took place between June and early September 1989 at Paisley Park Studios in Chanhassen, Minnesota for The Time’s Corporate World album (during the same sessions that produced Murph Drag, Nine Lives, Donald Trump (Black Version), Love Machine, Corporate World, The Latest Fashion and Release It).
The song was included as the sixth track on the album in early September 1989, as planned for release in November 1989. The album was abandoned when Warner Bros. wanted to involve the other original members of The Time, but many of the tracks were saved for Pandemonium and Graffiti Bridge.
Interestingly, the Boom Mix version of Shake! included on the maxi-single contains vocals by Levi Seacer, Jr. and samples from songs of the Graffiti Bridge album (Release It, Graffiti Bridge, The Latest Fashion, Shake! and We Can Funk). This technique of introducing the album on a track was also used for 2 Whom It May Concern in 1992 (and to some degree on the Dance Remix of Let’s Work in 1982). Both tracks (and 7) use samples of a man laughing that comes from Simon Harris’ "Beats, Breaks & Scratches" series (namely Evil Laugh from the fourth volume). This laugh sample on 2 Whom It May Concern and 7 is therefore not considered as a sample of the Boom Mix of Shake!. The backing-music used for the Boom Mix also comes from this collection (100 BPM - Ruff Loop) and is actually a looped sample of Average White Band and Ben E. King’s 1977 song A Star In The Ghetto.