Written in 1968 by Mark James, the same songwriter who wrote one of my favorite Elvis Presley songs, “Suspicious Minds,” this tune was given new life in the 2014 film “Guardians of the Galaxy,” being one of the songs on the cassette Starlord’s mother left him.
First performed by B.J. Thomas, “Hooked on a Feeling” was a big hit for him when it was released, reaching #5 on the charts, but it was soon overshadowed by his next hit, “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head,” which dominated the charts at #1 for four weeks. The next year, Thomas had another massive hit with, “(Hey, Won’t You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song.”
The “ooga chocka” chant wasn’t in the original. It was added later, first in 1971 by the English singer Jonathan King (who later produced Genesis’ first album, and even later became an infamous pedophile). His version of the chant was more of a background element.
The more aggressive and famous version of the “ooga chocka” — the one featured in “Guardians of the Galaxy,” which is probably playing in your head right now — comes from a 1974 version by the band Blue Swede. A Swedish band, Blue Swede had a #1 hit in Sweden with their hard-chant version. A few recordings made it to the US, where local airplay led to national airplay. Blue Swede ultimately had a #1 hit in the US with the song, as well.
“Hooked on a Feeling” was the first #1 song in the US by a Swedish act, reaching #1 the same week that ABBA won the Eurovision contest with “Waterloo.” Surprisingly, only one ABBA song — “Dancing Queen” — became a #1 hit in the US.
The video I’ve selected for this song is a cover by a group calling itself, “Colt Clark & the Quarantine Kids.” The father — Colt Clark — is a professional musician, and his wife is a professional photographer. To help teach their kids and pass the time, they decided to assign the family a song to learn every day, and then record and post the results. The collection is a delight, and this one is certainly enough to put a smile on your face.
In addition to “Guardians of the Galaxy,” the song was also featured in “Reservoir Dogs.”