Johnny Got a Boom Boom
|"Johnny Got a Boom Boom"|
|Single by Imelda May|
|from the album Love Tattoo|
|B-side||"Why Don't You Do Right?"|
|Released||26 January 2009|
|Format||CD single, digital download|
|Recorded||2008 at Embassy Studios in Basingstoke, United Kingdom|
|Label||Ambassador (Universal Music Ireland)|
|Imelda May singles chronology|
"Johnny Got a Boom Boom" is a song by Irish rockabilly musician Imelda May. Written solely by May, the song was released as her debut single, and lead single from her second studio album, Love Tattoo, on 26 January 2009 on Ambassador Records, a sub-label of Universal Music Ireland. The song gained significant popularity in Ireland and the United Kingdom upon its release and launched May into mainstream success after her performance of the song on Later... with Jools Holland on 23 September 2008. The song is also featured on the 2010 comedy-action movie Wild Target.
Origin and recording
The song is known to have been written by May early in her professional career after the release of her debut studio album No Turning Back. During an interview with Gay Byrne on the RTÉ music programme For One Night Only' in 2011, May described the origin of the song, citing "boredom" as the reason for its writing.
"I was in another band and I was writing all my own stuff and I was itching to my own stuff. There was a soundcheck that was just going on and on and on... and my heart just wasn't in what I was doing anymore. My creativity was going overtime and during soundcheck, the double bass was doing it and I just started [writing it]. And there's a little nod to John Lee Hooker and "Boom Boom Boom" in there as well."
The song was recorded during the Love Tattoo sessions at Embassy Studios, a sixteen-track analogue recording studio in a converted cow shed, near Basingstoke, United Kingdom. A remixed version of the song, mixed by Andy Bradfield, appears as a bonus track on May's second studio album Mayhem, released in September 2010.
Release and promotion
Though released as a single in January 2009, "Johnny Got a Boom Boom" saw its initial release through the promotional music video which was released in November 2008.
The song was performed during most of May's television appearances in promotion for Love Tattoo, including the 2009 Meteor Awards, Later... with Jools Holland, Loose Women, and The Late Late Show.
Though popular amongst May's fans and critics, the single failed to chart in either Ireland or the United Kingdom.
Filmed on location in Dublin, the promotional music video for "Johnny Got a Boom Boom" is compiled of a dubbed live performance of the song in a small venue and clips of May and her band alongside the docks in the city. The video opens and closes with May doing her make-up in a mirror and her case resting on a copy of Ernest Hemingway's A Farewell to Arms. The music video uses an alternate mix of the song, which is also roughly twenty-one seconds shorter, to accompany the live performance clips.
Musicians and personnel
- The Imelda May Band
- Imelda May - vocals, bodhrán
- Darrel Higham - guitars
- Al Gare - bass, double bass
- Dean Beresford - drums, percussion
- Danny McCormack - piano, hammond
- Dave Priseman - trumpet, flugel, percussion
- Technical personnel
- Imelda May - producer, engineer, mixing
- Guy Davie - mastering
All songs written by Imelda May.
- Standard CD single and digital download
- "Johnny Got a Boom Boom" (radio edit) - 2:38
- "Why Don't You Do Right" - 3:15
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- "BBC - BBC Two Programmes - Later Live... with Jools Holland, Series 33, Episode 2". BBC. Retrieved 25 December 2010.
- Extracts from a transcription of an interview with Imelda May by Gay Byrne on For One Night Only. "I was in another band and I was writing all my own stuff and I was itching to my own stuff. There was a soundcheck that was just going on and on and on... and my heart just wasn't in what I was doing anymore. My creativity was going overtime and during soundcheck, the double bass was doing it and I just started [writing it]. And there's a little nod to John Lee Hooker and "Boom Boom Boom" in there as well." Broadcast on RTÉ One on 15 July 2011.
- "Bonus Track: "Johnny Got a Boom Boom" (Remix by Andy Bradfield)". Mayhem (CD). Imelda May. Decca. 2010.
- Craig, Johnnie (18 March 2009). "Meteor Awards - RDS, Dublin - Live Review". State Magazine. State.ie. Retrieved 25 December 2010. External link in
- "Imelda May on TV by Imelda May on MySpace". MySpace.com. 8 April 2009. Retrieved 25 December 2010.
- "RTÉ Television - The Late Late Show - 29 May 2009". RTÉ.ie. 29 May 2009. Retrieved 25 December 2010.
- "Johnny Got a Boom Boom - Single by Imelda May - Download Johnny Got a Boom Boom - Single on iTunes". iTunes. Retrieved 25 December 2010.