5 Things You Didn’t Know About Bob Seger’s ‘Shakedown’ Song From ‘Beverly Hills Cop II’

Bob Seger, Shakedown
MCA Records

The release of Netflix’s Beverly Hill Cop: Axel F has us nostalgic for Eddie’s Murphy’s old Beverly Hills Cop film franchise, filled with hilarious one-liners, crazy action and some memorable tunes.

No, we’re not burning doing the Neutron Dance. We’re thinking of Bob Seger’s forgotten 1987 hit “Shakedown” from the opening sequence of Beverly Hills Cop II:

Here are five things you didn’t know (or didn’t remember) about Seger’s “Shakedown”:

1Glenn Frey Didn’t Like The Lyrics

Glenn Frey, who performed “The Heat Is On” for Beverly Hills Cop, was originally offered “Shakedown” for Beverly Hills Cop II, but said he didn’t like the lyrics. (“Sexy Girl” was more of his thing.) Conveniently, Frey came down with an illness right before he was supposed to record “Shakedown.” The song was then offered to Seger, who modified the lyrics and recorded it with Harold Faltermeyer (of “Axel F” fame), Keith Forsey and Dann Huff.

2It Was Seger’s Only Solo Single To Hit No. 1 On The Billboard Chart

“Shakedown” was No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for one week from Aug. 1-7. It was bumped by U2’s “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.” Seger would not sniff the top 10 again in his career.

3It Was Nominated For An Oscar And A Golden Globe

In 1988, “Shakedown” was nominated for Best Original Song at both the Oscars and the Golden Globes. Unfortunately, a little movie called Dirty Dancing also came out that year, and “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes was not going to be put in a corner by anyone.

4Little Richard Performed “Shakedown” At The Oscars In 1988.

Seger didn’t perform “Shakedown” at the Oscars ceremony. Perhaps he was unavailable. Or perhaps he came down with whatever Glenn Frey got. Anyway, Little Richard stepped in and did the song-and-dance number in Seger’s stead. Good golly!


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Bob Seger (@bobseger)

5Seger Fans Don’t Really Like It

Seger’s sound and fanbase were well established in the 1970s thanks to workin’-man car commercial anthems like “Like a Rock,” and retrospective classic rock staples like “Night Moves,” “Against the Wind” and “Old Time Rock and Roll.” But in 1987, the techno-pop “Shakedown” was too far out of his musical wheelhouse. The track doesn’t appear on many of Seger’s greatest hits albums, and it’s not exactly what fans came to hear at his live shows.

80s Crime Shows
Want More?

80s Crime Shows

April 2022

Buy This Issue