WITH a career that has spanned four decades, it would seem singer Shakin’ Stevens knows a thing or two about longevity in the music business.

Now 72, the Welsh star is back in the spotlight after combining his body of work for a new greatest hits collection described by him as a ‘retrospective of his solo career’.

And while many of his contemporaries have faded into music history, he appears to be back bigger than ever with the release of the 19-disc complete collection anthology Fire in the Blood and the definitive singles collection Singled Out.

Glasgow Times:

“Hard work, really hard work is the secret to success,” beamed Shaky in his soft Welsh accent.

“I always wanted to sing. I came from a family where there was always music in the house.

“We could all kind of sing, it must have been in the water in Wales, I am not sure,” he laughed.

He added: “I was just determined. When I left school in those days you would get a job and give some money to your mum.

“But as time went on we decided to start a group, we had different names like The Denims, The Olympics and the Velvets – and it went on from there really.”

Glasgow Times:

Although the singer – whose real name is Michael Barratt - started in bands in the late 60s including Shakin’ Stevens and the Sunsets, it was in fact his solo career that caught the imagination of the British public.

Eighties Shaky became an instant hit with his double-denim look, Elvis-esque hairstyle, and pop classics This Ole House, You Drive Me Crazy and Marie Marie.

While that little known song Merry Christmas Everyone – released in 1985 – put him at the forefront of everyone’s festive playlists.

“You can’t please everyone but I think it is up there with the best of Christmas songs,” he said.

He added: “It charts every year not just in the UK but throughout Europe.

“I am very pleased with the song and you must know it was written by a Scottish guy Bob Heatlie.”

Glasgow Times:

From the Scot who wrote his biggest hit to touring here, it seems Shaky appreciates everything Scotland has to offer especially the fans.

“They are great, they are fantastic,” he said with a smile.

“I have been going to Scotland now for such a long time.

“In the early days, when we were Shakin’ Stevens and the Sunsets, I played up there with Bill Haley in the 70s. I was there last year as well.

“Scotland is a fabulous place, we kind of share enthusiasm,” he added.

With the coronavirus pandemic grinding the music industry to a halt, sadly touring is not on Shaky’s agenda at the moment, a move that perhaps would have pleased his fans desperate to see the hits live again.

“We started this project in December and there was talk of setting up some gigs but unfortunately when the virus came along, all that disappeared.

“We are all suffering. It is a complete shock to everyone.

“We just have to abide by the rules and do what we can really,” he said.

Having achieved the success he has, the natural question to ask Shaky is whether retirement is on the cards.

“Not yet,” he warned.

He added: “I can’t imagine a world without music.

“I sang from being a kid in school. It is in my blood really.

“I get a lot of pleasure on stage with an audience.

“I look after myself. I try very hard to eat the right food, plenty of water and exercise – I think that’s the trick.

“I don’t drink and I don’t smoke.

“All you can do is keep your health in order and hope you get a long life.”

Fire in the Blood and Singled Out is out on November 27.

Pre-order here