Hooked on a Feeling - Blue Swede.jpg

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.




  1. Hmmm…I’m going to push back on this one. Yes, I prefer the BJ Thomas version but it’s not as edgy–no ooga chaka, ooga chaka, like you say. Blue Suede has audacity. Ooga chaka is like theatre of the absurd. Plus the Blue Suede version is on The Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack which is totally boss.
    Then there’s this…Chaka, as in Chaka Kahn–is my English Shepherds name. I love Chaka and Chaka Kahn.

    • Good- I was trying to pick one that might not be obvious- I felt my first two- terrible songs- were obvious choices I wanted something that I thought was terrible but some may actually like.

  2. One definition of hell would be to have a one-hit wonder, ok for them 2 hits, have to travel the globe for eternity, singing “ooga chaka”. You’ve picked another winner, or is that loser?

  3. Not sure I had heard this before – I recognized the BJ Thomas version. But agree that the ooka Chaka part is very discordant with rest of song. Would love to know why someone thought it would enhance it. No way should this song have hit #1 imho

  4. Just listened to the Never My Love versions. I have to say I kind of like the Association version. Blue Swede – not so much! Sounds like a bad lounge singer who is trying to fit the song into his set before they pull the plug. 😀

  5. I’m on your page with this one. I liked B.J. Thomas’ version, but hated Blue Swede’s version from first listen for the same reason you did. The fact it went all the way to #1 made it all the worse! You’ll have to admit that some of the worst songs of all-time were released in the early to mid 70s (remember my most hated songs list?).

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