I immediately hated this song the first time I heard it- they totally lost me at “ooga chaka, ooga chaka.” Hooked On A Feeling by Blue Swede. Hooked On A Feeling has an interesting history- it was written by Mark James. When I saw that name I knew I knew that from somewhere- he is the same Mark James that wrote Suspicious Minds for Elvis.
B.J. Thomas originally did the song and it wasn’t bad- especially the electric sitar in the song- and no “ooga chaka’s” in the BJ Thomas song- I actually like BJ Thomas’s version so we can’t really blame Mark James or BJ Thomas for this fiasco. The BJ Thomas version went to #5 in 1969 on the Billboard Hot 100. Who do we blame? A major part of the blame has to go to Jonathan King who recorded a version in 1971 and included the ‘ooga chaka’s”- Blue Swede comes along and goes with the ‘ooga chaka’s’ that King added.
Blue Swede was a Swedish rock band whose front man was Bjorn Skifs. On the positive front – after Hooked On A Feeling hit #1 in 1974 they only had one other hit- a cover of The Association’s “Never My Love” which went to #7 also in 1974- then they broke up after two albums when Bjorn Skifs left the group to become a solo act. Their version of Never My Love- I will just say brings new appreciation to The Associations version of the song. Thankfully these guys went away.