Music from Guardians of the Galaxy #1 – Blue Swede and Hooked on a Feeling

Hope everyone had a lovely Easter Monday. My day was particularly good in that it was spent almost entirely away from a computer screen. Considering that in my last post I wrote of my suspected “addiction to blogging”, this is a good thing. Instead my day was spent licking the back garden into shape, getting the outdoor furniture back in its usual spot in order to read the last few chapters of the book I’ve been stuck on for ages and having a lovely meal cooked for us by darling daughter.

The icing on the cake however was that one of our favourite films was on telly in the evening so for the first time in ages “we three” watched something together and not in different rooms of the house as is wont to happen nowadays. What was the film? – Why it was Guardians of the Galaxy which is an unusual choice for me but it is a very different animal from other films of its ilk because one of its stars is a “mix-tape”. I wrote about this mix-tape last year as the most important song on it was Hooked On A Feeling by Blue Swede and it was only after watching last year’s Eurovision Song Contest (yes I watch it) that I discovered it was actually by a band from Sweden. In the interests of continuing my detox from the computer screen for a little longer, I hope you don’t mind if I do another little cut and paste from last year:

Guardians of the Galaxy
Those intrepid Guardians of the Galaxy!

“Last time I wrote about the Eurovision Song Contest and the show itself, hosted by Sweden this year, was possibly the best ever and had a brilliant set of very entertaining “interval fillers”. The most surprising of these was a film montage of Sweden’s contribution to pop music – Surprising, because I hadn’t realised that many of these artists were in fact Swedish. For a small Nordic country it seems to have punched above its weight in that department. Even if they had only produced Abba and then stopped that would have been enough, but no, we have also had Roxette, Europe, Ace of Base and many more that have passed me by, but the younger generation will know well.

The first of these artists to be celebrated was Björn Skifs of the band Blue Swede who hit the No. 1 spot in the US Charts in 1974 with Hooked on a Feeling. At exactly the same time, Björn Ulvaeus and the rest of Abba launched themselves on an unsuspecting world at the Eurovision Song Contest, winning decisively with Waterloo. Just to top things off, that was also the year that Björn Borg really started making a name for himself in the tennis world – So, all in all, a good year for Swedes called Björn.

Blue Swede

Looking at him now, our first Björn looks like the archetypal Disney Prince with his “Viking-esque” clothing and blond hair. The song Hooked on a Feeling was written by Mark James and was first recorded in 1968 by B.J. Thomas (he of Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head fame). The Blue Swede version that did so well in the US has the strange “ooga chaka” chant at the beginning which was originally added by Jonathan King in 1971. Until last Saturday night watching Eurovision, I hadn’t realised that this song, which has come into my life twice in the last 20 years, was by a band from Sweden.

Hooked on a Feeling by Blue Swede:

A couple of years ago darling daughter persuaded us to go and see a new Marvel Studios film called Guardians of the Galaxy. My heart sank when she mentioned the name as I am not a fan of superhero-type space films at all, but it turned out to be excellent. The writing was predictably sharp and witty, local girl Karen Gillan starred in it and best of all, the soundtrack was full of ’70s songs that totally resonated with us. Yes, it was set in space, but it took me right back to my school days and all the memories they conjure up. The ’70s songs were on a mix-tape (remember those?) played over and over by the lead character on an old Walkman, as a link to his dead mother and home in Missouri.

The main song was Hooked on a Feeling but there were also ones by 10cc, The Jackson 5, Marvin Gaye, Elvin Bishop and Rupert Holmes. An excellent soundtrack album was released but ironically had to be downloaded with a digital picture of a cassette tape attached as no-one has the means to play actual tapes any more. The success of this mix lay in the fact that the songs chosen were, according to the director, “semi-familiar” – Ones you recognise but might not be able to name off the top of your head.

I mentioned that the song had come into my life twice before, the other time being when it popped up on the television show Ally McBeal, a comedy drama set in a Boston legal firm. The use was made of fantasy sequences and the “dancing baby” made regular appearances, always accompanied by the Blue Swede song Hooked on a Feeling. I loved that show as it came along in the late ’90s just at the time I had given up work to be a full-time mum. I think it reminded me of what life was like on the outside but thankfully I don’t remember ever feeling wistful about wanting to return to it which made for a happy time for us.

Hooked On A Feeling by Vonda Shepard:

Ally and her colleagues always frequented the same bar after work where the resident performer was singer Vonda Shepard. It was inevitable therefore that there would be an album of songs from the show and of course I bought it. Hooked on a Feeling was on it of course but again there was a great mix of lesser-known tracks, my favourite being the Skeeter Davis song The End of the World which had accompanied a particularly poignant scene in the show.

So, a song I had come across often but hadn’t realised was by a Swedish band until last weekend. Looking now at pictures of all the aforementioned Björns in later life, they could be the affluent CEOs of large multinational corporations. The Swedes are successful in music and sport but the “rock ‘n’ roll” lifestyle is obviously not for them – In view of what has been happening to so many of our idols of late, I think I am grateful.”

Hooked on a Feeling Lyrics
(Song by Mark James)

Ooga-Chaka Ooga-Ooga
Ooga-Chaka Ooga-Ooga
Ooga-Chaka Ooga-Ooga
Ooga-Chaka Ooga-Ooga

I can’t stop this feeling
Deep inside on 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
It’s taste is on my mind
Girl, you got me thirsty
For another cup o’ 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

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

Postscript:

For those who have seen the movie, here is a wee fellow you may recognise – Made by Mr WIAA for darling daughter as she was such a fan.

fullsizeoutput_438
Baby Groot!

Author: Alyson

Whenever I hear an old song on the radio, I am immediately transported back to those days - I know I'm not alone here and want to record those memories for myself and for the people in them. 50 years ago the song "Alfie" was recorded for the film of the same name and I'm hoping that by writing this blog, I might finally work out the answer to his question, "What's it all about?"

16 thoughts on “Music from Guardians of the Galaxy #1 – Blue Swede and Hooked on a Feeling”

  1. I watched “Guardians Of The Galaxy” a few months ago, but can’t remember much about it. However, I do recognise the contribution made to popular music by Swedish artists. My most recent fave band is a Swedish duo called First Aid Kit, who are worth checking out. It may be my age, but I don’t recall ever hearing “Hooked on a Feeling”, or if I did it didn’t register. I have heard of Vonda Shepherd and will give her version a listen ASAP.
    Talking of soundtracks, they’re an item I rarely buy, but a couple of weeks back I watched a great film called “Hell or High Water” and loved the music (soundtrack by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis + songs by various artists) so much, I bought as many of the songs from it as I could find – although a handful of them I already had. In the process, I found a new (to me) singer/songwriter called Colter Wall and bought one of his albums on the strength of the song “Sleeping on the Blacktop”.

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    1. Think CC has featured First Aid Kit as definitely remember the name.

      As you may have guessed I’m into film as much as I’m into music, so for me, especially nowadays as I can’t keep up with new stuff as much, that’s where the inspiration for these blog posts often comes from. I did see Hell or High Water last year and really enjoyed it – The soundtrack is as important to the finished movie as the storyline, the acting and the cinematography. Definitely helps set the scene.

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    1. You are right – Not usually my kind of film at all but the soundtrack definitely made it just that little bit more special. Looking forward to the sequel now!

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  2. I just discovered that the Guardians Of The Galaxy soundtrack** includes “O-o-h Child” by Five Stairsteps – a family soul band which began in 1965. In 1976 – under the name Stairsteps – they released an album ” 2nd Resurrection” on George Harrison’s Dark Horse label which is one of my favourite soul albums. Terrific vocals and harmonies. All the tracks are on Youtube if anyone wants to check them out. (** It also has “Fooled Around & Fell In Love” by Elvin Bishop, which is fab and I’m now thinking I must have slept through this movie)…

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  3. Hooked On A Feeling was also included on Quentin Tarantino’s first movie, Reservoir Dogs. The soundtrack to that movie was very similar to GOTG: full of 70s oldies that some might consider cheesy, but which were made cool again. The fact that films can do this to even the least muso-friendly pop songs just goes to show what a nonsense the whole notion of cool is in the first place.

    There’s a new GOTG film out in a couple of weeks. Being an old Marvel fan, I’m looking forward to it… but I’m equally excited to see what’s on the second mixtape.

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    1. Yep wrote about Tarantino soundtrack albums last year as well – he could make the most naff oldie appear cool so it’s all about perception at the end of the day. Really looking forward to the upcoming movie now – Can’t seem to insert a picture here but Mr WIAA made a little Baby Groot for DD a couple of Christmases ago – One of her most treasured possessions. (Will add it as a postscript to the above in a minute)

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  4. Guardians of the Galaxy completely passed me by and now from your post and the comments I’m wondering what I’ve been missing…! Love the ‘Baby Groot’.
    Sounds like you had a good Easter and a chance to relax a bit (away from the computer…!) Gorgeous weather here but unfortunately an imminent deadline kept me out of the sunshine. I think I’ll take my Easter break next week if I can…..

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    1. It’s that mix-tape C – As you watch, it really gets under your skin and songs that would normally be thought of as a bit cheesy suddenly become cool (although it does beg the question “what is cool?” if the same song can be pigeonholed as both).

      Sorry you’ve been at the coalface over the holiday weekend and not been able to enjoy the weather – I have now spent today getting the front garden tidied up so feeling really good about it all. Hope you get some time off soon.

      Baby Groot is very cute – the offspring of an extraterrestrial tree-like being with limited language abilities (all he can say is “I am Groot” but you fall in love with him). Wish we could see some of your work although perhaps not possible for copyright reasons etc? Whenever you share drawings on your blog, we are all mighty impressed.

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  5. Guardians of the Galaxy completely passed me by too. I only get to see the very occasional film on DVD and haven’t been to the cinema for over seven years as there isn’t one nearby. I do know ‘Hooked on a Feeling’ though from Reservoir Dogs, back in the days when I was always down at the local fleapit. ‘The End of the World’ by Skeeter Davis is a great song, but to be honest I’m not too keen on the more recent version you linked to in the post. I vaguely recognise Vonda Shepard’s name though, so I guess I must’ve sold a few copies of it in the shop.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for dropping by as I am aware you don’t really “do” telly any more or go to the cinema. It is interesting however how a song that was pretty mainstream pop back in the day can be seen as “cool” down the line, if picked by a director for a film. In the post following my original Hooked On a Feeling one, I wrote about Tarantino and how he used lesser-known, semi-familiar tracks for his films (Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction) and in doing so made them really popular again.

      Ironically I noticed that I had linked the Skeeter version of End of the World to this post although I was writing about Vonda’s version so changed it! The original is definitely the best although a real tear-jerker.

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