Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Boom Boom

First recorded by John Lee Hooker (US #60/R&B #16 1962 |UK #16 1992).
Other hit versions by The Animals (US #43/CAN #14 1964), Big Head Todd & The Monsters (US #29 1998).
Also recorded by Mae West (1966), John Lee Hooker (1968).

From the wiki: “‘Boom Boom’ was written by American Blues singer/guitarist John Lee Hooker and first recorded in 1961. Although a blues song, it has been described as ‘the greatest pop song he ever wrote.’ ‘Boom Boom’, as recorded by Hooker, was both an American R&B and Pop chart success in 1962 as well as placing in the UK Singles Chart in 1992.

“It quickly became one of Hooker’s most identifiable and enduring songs, and ‘among the tunes that every band on the [early 1960s UK] R&B circuit simply had to play’ (wrote Cub Koda in the liner notes for The Yardbirds compilation, Ultimate!). Hooker later re-recorded and re-released the song in 1968 on the Stateside record label as the B-side of ‘Cry Before I Go’ under the longer title ‘Boom Boom Boom’. According to Hooker, he wrote the song during an extended engagement at the Apex Bar in Detroit:

‘I would never be on time [for the gig]; I always would be late comin’ in. And she [the bartender Willa] kept saying, ‘Boom boom — you late again’. Every night: ‘Boom, boom — you late again’. I said ‘Hmm, that’s a song!’… I got it together, the lyrics, rehearsed it, and I played it at the place, and the people went wild.’

“The Animals recorded ‘Boom Boom’ for their 1964 UK debut album The Animals. Their rendition generally follows John Lee Hooker’s original, although they add ‘shake it baby’ as a response to the ‘come on and shake…’ refrain. It was released as a single only in North America and peaked at #43 on the Billboard Hot 100. A variety of other artists have also recorded the song, including: Mae West, Shadows of Knight, Collective Consciousness Society, Dr. Feelgood, Tony Joe White, Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band, The Oak Ridge Boys, and Barbara Ireland.

“Big Head Todd and the Monsters charted in 1998 with their recording of ‘Boom Boom’. The song’s original performer, John Lee Hooker, happened to be recording an album of his own at the same studio and was invited by the band to play on their version of the song. Band bassist Rob Squires remembers: ‘Hooker has just this incredible presence. He walked into the room and literally everyone was intimidated including our producer and the people who work in the studio.'”

The Animals, “Boom Boom” (1964):

Mae West, “Boom Boom” (1966):

John Lee Hooker, “Boom Boom” live performance on German TV (1968):

Big Head Todd & The Monsters, “Boom Boom” (1998):

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