About the song

Ah, Hooked on a Feeling by Blue Swede. A song so infectious, its melody has burrowed into the collective consciousness, soundtracking everything from car commercials to blockbuster films. But beneath the catchy chorus and foot-tapping beat lies a curious history, a tale of two versions and an unexpected rise to international fame.

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Originally penned by songwriter Mark James in 1968, the song first found life under the title “Hooked on a Dream.” James, a Brit with a knack for crafting pop anthems, envisioned a more melancholic tone for the track. However, his version failed to capture the attention of the record labels.

Enter Jonathan King, a flamboyant British performer with a penchant for reinvention. King reworked the song in 1971, injecting it with a frenetic energy and the now-iconic “ooga chaka ooga ooga” intro. This rendition, though commercially unsuccessful, laid the groundwork for what was to come.

Across the Atlantic, in the heart of Sweden, a group of aspiring musicians called Blue Swede were honing their sound. Heavily influenced by the burgeoning glam rock scene, the band craved a song that could showcase their dynamic performances and flamboyant stage presence. In 1973, their paths collided with Hooked on a Feeling.

Blue Swede’s version, again drawing heavily on King’s interpretation, took the song to new heights. The band accentuated the driving beat, Björn Skifs’ vocals soared with a touch of rock rasp, and the “ooga chaka” intro became an irresistible call to action. Released in Europe in 1973, the song garnered moderate success.

However, fate had a bigger stage in mind for Hooked on a Feeling. In 1974, the song landed in the hands of American record executives. Recognizing its potential, they secured the rights and launched an aggressive marketing campaign in the US. The catchy melody, coupled with Blue Swede’s energetic performance style, resonated with American audiences.

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Hooked on a Feeling skyrocketed to the top of the Billboard charts in 1974, becoming Blue Swede’s only major hit. While the band itself faded from the limelight shortly after, the song’s legacy endured.

Hooked on a Feeling transcended its pop origins. Its infectious energy made it a natural fit for countless films and television shows. Notably, its inclusion in the 2014 superhero film Guardians of the Galaxy introduced the song to a whole new generation, solidifying its place in pop culture history.

So, the next time you hear that irresistible “ooga chaka” intro, remember the fascinating journey of Hooked on a Feeling. It’s a testament to the power of reinvention, the magic of collaboration, and the enduring appeal of a melody that can hook you right in.

Video

Lyrics

“Hooked On A Feeling”
(originally by B.J. Thomas)

Ooga-chaka, ooga-ooga
Ooga-chaka, ooga-ooga
Ooga-chaka, ooga-ooga
Ooga-chaka, ooga-ooga

I can’t stop this feeling
Deep inside of me
Girl, you just don’t realize
What you do to me

When you hold me
In your arms so tight
You let me know
Everything’s all right

I’m hooked on a feeling
I’m high on believing
That you’re in love with me

Lips as sweet as candy
Its taste is on my mind
Girl, you got me thirsty
For another cup of wine

Got a bug from you girl
But I don’t need no cure
I’ll just stay a victim
If I can for sure

All the good love
When we’re all alone
Keep it up girl
Yeah, you turn me on

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I’m hooked on a feeling
I’m high on believing
That you’re in love with me

All the good love
When we’re all alone
Keep it up girl
Yeah, you turn me on

I’m hooked on a feeling
I’m high on believing
That you’re in love with me

I’m hooked on a feeling
And I’m high on believing
That you’re in love with me

I said I’m hooked on a feeling
And I’m high on believing
That you’re in love with me
I’m hooked on a feeling