"The Thrill Is Gone" is a slow minor-key blues song written by West Coast blues musician Roy Hawkins and Rick Darnell in 1951. Hawkins' recording of the song reached number six in the Billboard R&B chart in 1951. In 1970, "The Thrill Is Gone" became a major hit for B.B. King. Subsequently, many blues and other artists have recorded their interpretations of the song.
B.B. King recorded his version of "The Thrill Is Gone" in June 1969 for his album Completely Well, released the same year. King's version is a slow twelve-bar blues notated in the key of B minor in 4/4 time. The song's polished production and use of strings marked a departure from both the original song and King's previous material. When released as a single in December 1969, the song became one of the biggest hits of King's career, appearing in the R&B chart at number three and the Billboard Hot 100 pop chart at number fifteen and became one of his signature songs.
^Whitburn 1988, p. 236. Note: Technically speaking, "The Thrill Is Gone," was not the biggest hit of King's career, even if it has come to be known as the song with which he is most identified. "Three O'Clock Blues," released 1951, has the distinction of being his first, and biggest hit. It stayed on the Billboard charts for 17 weeks, and held the number one position for a total of 5 weeks.