Hooked on a Feeling

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"Hooked on a Feeling"
Hooked on a Feeling - B. J. Thomas.jpg
Single by B.J. Thomas
from the album On My Way
B-side"I've Been Down This Road Before"
ReleasedOctober 29, 1968
StudioAmerican Sound Studio, Memphis, Tennessee
Songwriter(s)Mark James
Producer(s)Chips Moman
B.J. Thomas singles chronology
"The Eyes of a New York Woman"
"Hooked on a Feeling"
"It's Only Love"

"Hooked on a Feeling" is a 1968 pop song about unrequited love, written by Mark James and originally performed by B.J. Thomas. Thomas's version featured the sound of the electric sitar (played by Reggie Young) and reached No. 5 in 1969 on the Billboard Hot 100.[1] It has been recorded by many other artists, including Blue Swede, whose version reached No. 1 in the United States in 1974.[2] The Blue Swede version made singer Björn Skifs' "Ooga-Chaka-Ooga-Ooga" intro well known (and famous in Sweden at the time), although it had been used originally by British musician Jonathan King in his 1971 version of the song.

Background, recording, and release[edit]

The song was written by Mark James, who was introduced to producer Chips Moman around 1967 by Moman's mutual friend Steve Tyrell, a singer and James' manager.[3]: 81–82  James was hired by early 1968[4] to write for Moman's publishing company, which led to him writing songs for many artists, including his childhood friend B.J. Thomas.[3]: 81–82  One of these songs was "Hooked on a Feeling", which James wrote about the thrills of being in love, inspired by his feelings for his childhood sweetheart.[3]: 169 [5] It was recorded at the American Sound Studio in Memphis, Tennessee in 1968,[6] and first released on October 29 of that year. Country artist Louise Mandrell and RC Bannon also recorded and released this song in 1979.

Chart performance[edit]

Jonathan King version[edit]

In 1971, British musician Jonathan King recorded a cover version of the song, adding ooga chaka jungle chants. King described it as "a reggae rhythm by male voices". His version reached number 23 on the UK Singles Chart in November 1971.[12]

Blue Swede cover[edit]

"Hooked on a Feeling"
Hooked on a Feeling - Blue Swede.jpg
Single by Blue Swede
from the album Hooked on a Feeling
B-side"Gotta Have Your Love"
ReleasedFebruary 1974
GenrePop rock
LabelEMI Svenska
Songwriter(s)Mark James
Producer(s)Bengt Palmers
Blue Swede singles chronology
"Hooked on a Feeling"
"Silly Milly"

In 1974, the Swedish pop group Blue Swede did a cover version, which included the "ooga chaka" introduction from Jonathan King's 1971 cover. Their arrangement was inspired by a version recorded in 1971 by the Jamaican Reggae band the Twinkle Brothers. The Blue Swede version of the song also tweaked the lyrics to avoid a drug reference.[13] This version reached No. 1 in the United States.[2] Billboard ranked it as the No. 20 song for 1974. On 24 July 2012, the 1974 live performance by Blåblus video was officially uploaded to YouTube; it has generated over 5 million views as of December 2020.

In 1992, Blue Swede's recording was featured on the soundtrack of Quentin Tarantino's debut feature Reservoir Dogs.

In 1998, during an episode of the legal comedy-drama series Ally McBeal, "Cro-Magnon", the main character's neurosis about being able to conceive a child before her biological clock runs out is illustrated by her imagining a computer generated baby dancing into her bedroom to Blue Swede's recording of "Hooked on a Feeling". A website featuring the dancing baby and the Blue Swede recording became an internet meme, further cementing this scene as one of the most memorable moments in pop culture history.[14]

The 2014 feature film Guardians of the Galaxy,[15] which featured the brass fanfare and title lyrics of the Blue Swede cover version prominently in its trailers and theatrical release, resulted in a significant spike in sales for the recording;[16] the film's soundtrack reached the top of the Billboard 200 chart in August 2014.[17] The song was also featured heavily in the teaser trailer for the 2017 sequel, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.[18] although the song was not used in the actual film.[19]

Original lyrics Blue Swede lyrics
"I got it bad for you, girl,
but I don't need a cure.
I'll just stay addicted
and hope I can endure
"Got a bug from you, girl,
but I don't need no cure.
I just stay a victim,
if I can for sure"



Region Certification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[30]
Blue Swede version
Platinum 600,000double-dagger
United States (RIAA)[31]
B.J. Thomas version
Gold 1,000,000^
United States (RIAA)[32]
Blue Swede version
Gold 1,000,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.
double-dagger Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.


  1. ^ "BJ Thomas". Credits. AllMusic. Retrieved 6 August 2013.
  2. ^ a b "Blue Swede". Hooked on a Feeling. AllMusic. 1974. Retrieved 6 August 2013.
  3. ^ a b c Jones, Roben. (2010). Memphis Boys : the story of American Studios. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi. ISBN 978-1-60473-402-7. OCLC 642685845.
  4. ^ Marc Myers (1 November 2016). Anatomy of a Song: The Oral History of 45 Iconic Hits That Changed Rock, R&B and Pop. Open Road + Grove/Atlantic. pp. 146–. ISBN 978-0-8021-8965-3.
  5. ^ McGovern, Kyle (2014-08-06). "'Ooga-Chaka': A Primer on the Unofficial 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Theme". Spin. Retrieved 2020-08-14.
  6. ^ McMillan, Graeme (2014-02-20). "Why 'Hooked on a Feeling' Will Be the Song of the Summer, Again". Wired. ISSN 1059-1028. Retrieved 2020-08-14.
  7. ^ "Go-Set National Top 40, 14 June 1969". Poparchives.com.au. Retrieved 30 May 2021.
  8. ^ "flavour of new zealand - search listener". www.flavourofnz.co.nz.
  9. ^ Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955-2002
  10. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Retrieved 2016-10-02.
  11. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1969/Top 100 Songs of 1969". Musicoutfitters.com. Retrieved 2016-10-02.
  12. ^ Bronson, Fred (May 30, 1998). "'Chaka' Can and 'Honestly' Does". Billboard. New York. Retrieved September 14, 2014.
  13. ^ Sakamoto, John (22 August 2014). "A brief history of 'ouga chaka'". Toronto Star. Retrieved 22 August 2014.
  14. ^ "Hollywood Flashback: 'Ally McBeal' Made Meme History With a Dancing Baby". The Hollywood Reporter. August 10, 2017.
  15. ^ Ashurst, Sam (February 19, 2014). "Guardians Of The Galaxy: James Gunn's Trailer Breakdown: Star Lord's Walkman". Total Film. Archived from the original on February 19, 2014. Retrieved February 19, 2014.
  16. ^ Caulfield, Keith (20 February 2014). "Blue Swede's 'Hooked On a Feeling' Sales Soar Thanks To 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Trailer". Billboard.com. Retrieved 3 August 2014.
  17. ^ Wood, Mikael (August 13, 2014). "'Guardians of the Galaxy' soundtrack shoots to No. 1 on Billboard 200". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 19, 2014.
  18. ^ Anderton, Ethan (October 19, 2016). "'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2' Teaser Trailer Is Hooked On A Feeling Again". /Film. Archived from the original on October 23, 2016. Retrieved October 22, 2016.
  19. ^ Dornbush, Jonathon (19 April 2017). "Guardians of the Galaxy Awesome Mix Vol. 2 Tracklist Revealed, Release Date Announced".
  20. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970-1992. St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  21. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. 1974-04-20. Retrieved 2017-04-04.
  22. ^ [ Flavour of New Zealand, 1 June 1974]
  23. ^ "Blue Swede Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved July 3, 2021.
  24. ^ "Blue Swede Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard. Retrieved July 3, 2021.
  25. ^ "Cash Box Top 100 Singles, April 6, 1974". Archived from the original on September 17, 2017. Retrieved September 17, 2017.
  26. ^ "Forum - 1970 (ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts)". Australian-charts.com. Archived from the original on 2016-06-02. Retrieved 2017-05-07.
  27. ^ "Image : RPM Weekly". Bac-lac.gc.ca. July 13, 2017.
  28. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1974/Top 100 Songs of 1974". Musicoutfitters.com. Retrieved 30 May 2021.
  29. ^ "Cash Box Year-End Charts: Top 100 Pop Singles, December 28, 1974". Archived from the original on July 22, 2019. Retrieved September 17, 2017.
  30. ^ "British single certifications – Blue Swede – Hooked on a Feeling". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved June 4, 2021.
  31. ^ "American single certifications – B.J. Thomas – Hooked on a Feeling". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved July 26, 2019.
  32. ^ "American single certifications – Blue Swede – Hooked on a Feeling". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved July 26, 2019.

External links[edit]