John Lee Hooker

Boom Boom

Composed by John Lee Hooker

Song Review by

John Lee Hooker was a versatile bluesman who could chill your spine one moment with songs like "Tupelo" and "T.B. Is Killing Me," and get you shaking your hips the next with infectious rave-ups like "Boom Boom."

Employing a stop-time hook that opens up for one of the genre's most memorable guitar riffs, "Boom Boom," originally recorded in Chicago in 1961, features some of Motown's legendary session musicians, known to Hooker from Detroit, where he had relocated from the Mississippi Delta in 1943. The track swings in a sophisticated, jazzy way that was steps removed from Hooker's early material, much of which featured just one chord and a riff. It was a progressive direction for the singer, one that can be heard directly influencing 1960s British blues-pop acts like the Yardbirds and the Animals, who covered the song. And yet Hooker was encouraged to continue to perform solo acoustic in America, capitalizing on the folk revival of the era. Nevertheless, "Boom Boom" was a hit for Hooker, even managing to crack the pop charts.

If a song about shooting a woman, bringing her home, and stuffing and mounting her on the wall can be considered cute, well, that's what this is. Hey, it's all metaphorical, like when one says to a baby, "You're so adorable, I could eat you up!" Surely this does not mean the person is a baby-eater: "Boom boom boom boom/I'm gonna shoot you right down/Right offa your feet/Take you home with me/Put you in my house/Boom boom boom boom." Like the would-be infant-eater, Hooker is at a similar struggle to express the depths of his desire, reverting to guttural grunts and laughs (picked up later by ZZ Top): "A-haw haw haw haw/Hmmm hmmm hmmm hmmm." But it takes little time for Hooker to enunciate specifically what he loves, ebulliently declaring, "I love to see you strut/When you talking to me/That baby talk/I like it like that/Whoa, yeah!/Talk that talk/Walk that walk."

Ivory Joe Hunter -- a star in his own right for the hit song "Since I Met You Baby" -- absolutely slays on the piano track, answering the guitar riff. Motown session stars the Funk Brothers, James Jamerson and Benny Benjamin, swing as the rhythm section on bass and drums, respectively. Other Motown men Larry Veeder (guitar), Hank Cosby, and Mike Terry (horns) fill out the track.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Burnin' 1962 Collectables 2:32
No Image 1964 Vee-Jay
Is He the World's Greatest Blues Singer? 1965 Collectables 2:30
Urban Blues 1969 Beat Goes On 2:44
Whiskey & Wimmen 1975 St. Clair / Prime Cuts 2:30
Alone, Vols. 1 & 2 1976 Rhino 4:16
Dusty Road 1977 Master Dance Tones 2:35
No Image 1980 Charly Records
Collectables Blues Collection, Vol. 2 1982
Various Artists
Collectables 2:32
Blues Before Sunrise 1984 Time Music
Sock Hop [DCC] 1986
Various Artists
DCC Compact Classics 2:31
The Real Blues Brothers 1987
Various Artists
DCC Compact Classics 2:31
The Hook: 20 Years of Hits & Hot Boogie 1989 Capitol 2:32
No Image 1991 Bella Musica
The Ultimate Collection (1948-1990) 1991 Rhino 2:34
Boom Boom 1992 Classic Records 4:18
This Is Hip: Charly Blues Masterworks, Vol. 7 1992 Charly Records
Now: 1992 [1993] 1993
Various Artists
Virgin/EMI 3:29
Vee-Jay: Celebrating 40 Years of Classic Hits 1953-1993 1993
Various Artists
Vee-Jay 2:34
In the Air Tonight: Virgin's Greatest Hits 1994
Various Artists
DA Music
Blues Brother Soul Sister [Dino] 1994
Various Artists
Dino Entertainment 2:30
Boom Boom [Delta] 1994 Delta Distribution
The Gold Collection [Fine Tune] 1994 Retro Records 2:31
No Image 1994
Various Artists
Charly Blues Masters 2:28
The Very Best of John Lee Hooker [Rhino] 1995 Rhino 2:34
Blues Anthology [Boxsets 1995] 1995
Various Artists
Disky 3:34
Moanin' the Blues [Eclipse] 1996 BCI-Eclipse Distribution 2:31
Boom Boom [K-Tel] 1996 K-Tel Distribution 2:32
The Very Best of John Lee Hooker [Charly] 1996 Charly Records 2:30
A Mess'a Blues: The John Lee Hooker Collection 1996 Boxsets 2:30
Blues Story, Vol. 1 1996
Various Artists
ITC Masters / Intercontinental Records 2:31
Alone: The First Concert 1996 Blues Alliance 4:16
The Great 1996 Goldies 2:32
The Essential Blues, Vol. 2 1996
Various Artists
Platinum Entertainment 2:34
Electric [Collector's Edition] 1996 Magnum (UK) / Magnum 2:32
No Image 1996
Various Artists
American Roadhouse
Blues Classics, Vol. 1 1997
Various Artists
Beacon Records 3:28
Blues Collection [Madacy Box] 1997
Various Artists
Madacy 2:30
Best of the Blues, Vol. 1 [BMG] 1997
Various Artists
BMG Special Products / BMG 2:32
Revue Collection 1997 Revue Collection / Revue
The Best of the Blues [Excelsior] 1997
Various Artists
Excelsior Recordings 2:28
The Very Best of Boom Boom 1998 Cleopatra 2:31
No. 1 Blues Album 1998
Various Artists
Polygram 2:34
The Best of Friends 1998 Shout! Factory 4:19
Spirit of Blues 1998
Various Artists
Spirit Of (UK) 2:32
The Blues Box [Excelsior] 1998
Various Artists
Excelsior Recordings 2:29
Whole Lotta Blues: Legends of Blues Guitar 1999
Various Artists
BCI-Eclipse Distribution / Eclipse Music Group 2:34
Best of John Lee Hooker [Music Club] 1999 Music Club Records 2:32
Basic Blues, Vol. 2 1999
Various Artists
Platinum Disc 2:38
Baby's Got the Blues 1999
Various Artists
Dressed To Kill 2:28
John Lee Hooker [Dressed To Kill] 1999 Dressed To Kill 2:30
Dimples [Charly] 1999 Charly Records 2:30
Forever Gold 1999 St. Clair 2:30
Born to Be Wild: Music for Road 1999
Various Artists
Bcd
Boom Boom: The Best of John Lee Hooker 1999 Remember Records 2:30
Legends of Music: Blues - Hoochie Coochie Man 1999
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Legends of Music Collection 2:41
Living the Blues: Blues Masters 1999
Various Artists
Time/Life Music
Boom Boom and Other Classics 1999 K-Tel Distribution / Intercontinental Records 2:31
Best of John Lee Hooker [Prism] 1999 Prism Leisure 2:30
R&B Superhits 2000
Various Artists
Legacy 2:30
Play It to the Bone 2000
Original Soundtrack
Hollywood 2:33
The Best Blues Album in the World Ever 2000
Various Artists
Virgin 4:19
Definitive Collection [Metro] 2000 Metro / Metro 2:31
Here Comes the Blues 2000
Various Artists
Justin Time 5:34
Golden Legends [Direct Source] 2000 Direct Source 2:30
The Blues All Night Long 2000
Various Artists
Direct Source 2:37
Shades of Blues 2000
Various Artists
Direct Source 2:32
Shades of Blue [Direct Source] 2000
Various Artists
Direct Source 2:32
The Greatest Blues Album of All Time, Vol. 1 2000
Various Artists
Dressed To Kill 2:29
The Very Best of Blues, Vol. 5 2000
Various Artists
Collectables 2:32
Forever Gold: The Best of the Blues 2000
Various Artists
St. Clair 2:32
Blues Collection, Vol. 1 [Dressed to Kill] 2000
Various Artists
Dressed To Kill 2:28
The Legends Collection 2001 Dressed To Kill 2:30
The Legends Collection: Blues 2001
Various Artists
Dressed To Kill 2:28
Forever Gold: Electric Blues 2001
Various Artists
St. Clair 2:32
Newport Folk Festival: Best of the Blues 1959-1968 2001
Various Artists
Wel 3:00
The In Crowd: UK Mod R&B Beat,1964-1967 [RPM] 2001
Various Artists
Decca
The Blues Box [Simply the Best] 2001
Various Artists
Simply The Best (Netherlands) 2:33
John Lee Hooker Is Hip: Greatest Hits 2001 Music Club Records 2:30
Blues Legendes 2001
Various Artists
Universal International 2:40
Chicago Blues Festival: 1969-1986 2001
Various Artists
Black & Blue 3:39
The Man, the Legend 2001 Collectables 2:32
Testament 3 2001 Snapper
No Image 2001 Rajon Entertainment Pty Ltd.
Blues & Soul Sessions 2002
Various Artists
Sessions Records 2:33
Live at Newport 2002 Vanguard 3:23
Best of John Lee Hooker [Classic World] 2002 Classic World Productions, Inc. 2:31
Boom Boom [Prestige Elite] 2002 Prestige 2:33
American Roots of the British Invasion 2002
Various Artists
Varèse Vintage / Varese 2:32
Topdog & Underdog 2002
Original Broadway Cast
MCA 2:40
John Lee Hooker [Members Edition] 2002 Members Edition 2:29
Giant of Blues 2002 Fruit Tree 2:35
Vanguard: Roots of the Blues 2002
Various Artists
Vanguard 3:01
Vee Jay: The Chicago Black Music 2002
Various Artists
P-Vine Records 2:35
Boom Boom [Past Perfect] 2002 Past Perfect 2:29
The Story of Vee-Jay: America's Premier Black Music Label 2002
Various Artists
Metro
Boom Boom [Hallmark] 2003 Hallmark Recordings 2:33
Good Morning Bluesman 2003
Various Artists
P-Vine Records 2:32
Blues Box: The Story of Blues 2003
Various Artists
MSI Music Distribution / Sony BMG 2:32
Best of Vee-Jay Blues 2003
Various Artists
Collectables 2:32
Ultimate Blue 2003
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 2:41
No Image 2003
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 2:32
The Best of John Lee Hooker 2003 Phantom Import Distribution
Martin Scorsese Presents the Blues: The Best of the Blues 2003
Various Artists
UTV 2:32
Simply the Blues 2003
Various Artists
Liberty / Liberty 2:32
Every Day I Have the Blues [RCA] 2003
Various Artists
Bluebird RCA / Bluebird 2:33
Blues Story [Shout! Factory] 2003
Various Artists
Shout! Factory 2:33
The Blues - The Electric Blues Experience 2003
Various Artists
St. Clair 2:32
Martin Scorsese Presents the Blues 2003
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution
Boom Boom and Other Hits 2003 Flashback Records / Rhino Flashback
Shoutin' the Blues [Direct Source] 2003
Various Artists
Direct Source 2:31
On the Road Again [Goldies Box Set] 2004
Various Artists
Goldies 2:32
The British Invasion Box 2004
Various Artists
Varèse Sarabande 2:32
Don't Look Back [Blue Label] 2004 Complete Blues
A Proper Introduction to John Lee Hooker: I'm in the Mood 2004 Goldies
The Best of John Lee Hooker, Vol. 1 2004 Liquid 8 2:31
Standing in the Shadows of Motown: Deluxe Edition 2004
Original Soundtrack
Hip-O 2:32
No Image 2004 MCA / Universal Distribution
Black Night Is Falling 2004 Just A Memory Records 5:53
In the Mood for Blues [Universal] 2004
Various Artists
Universal International 2:42
Chooch 2004
Original Soundtrack
Kebrutney Records
Bests of JLH 2004 GNP 2:30
The Blues, Vol. 1 [Platinum] 2004
Various Artists
Platinum Disc 2:33
Boom Boom [Synergy] 2004 Synergy Distribution 2:30
Singin' the Blues [St. Clair] 2004
Various Artists
St. Clair 2:31
Golden Legends [St. Clair] 2004 St. Clair 2:31
Great Blues Masters 2004
Various Artists
St. Clair / Essential Records 2:32
Boom Boom [Pazzazz] 2004 Pazzazz 2:33
No Image 2005
Various Artists
Legacy 2:33
Legend: The Best of John Lee Hooker 2005 Music Club International Records 2:33
Dusty Road [Compilation] 2005 Pazzazz 2:33
No Image 2005
Various Artists
Disky
Jazz: Club Collection 2005
Various Artists
Delta Music Ltd. / Delta Distribution
Blues Is the Healer 2005 Membran
The John Lee Hooker Collection 2005 Music & Melody 2:28
King of the Boogie [Music Avenue] 2005 Music Avenue 2:29
Classic Rhythm & Blues, Vol. 3 2006
Various Artists
Music Video Distribution
No Image 2006
Various Artists
Bcd
Story Songs and Voices of the Blues 2006 Direct Source 2:28
Blues Legend 2006 Universal Special Products 2:38
The Definitive Collection 2006 Hip-O 2:33
Bits & Pieces About 2006 DeLta Musi / Lasel 2:32
The Blues Box [Metro Triples/Union Square] 2006
Various Artists
Metro
No Image 2006
Various Artists
Cafe Con / Horizon
Mastercuts 2006 Mastercuts / Apace/Mastercuts 2:29
Kings of Blues [Weton] 2006
Various Artists
Cheap O Lata / Weton 2:31
Hooker [Box Set] 2006 Shout! Factory 2:32
Best of the Blues [Madacy 2006 #2] 2006
Various Artists
Madacy 2:30
Blues Legends/Blues in the Night 2006
Various Artists
Direct Source Special 2:28
No Image 2006
Various Artists
EMI 2:27
Superstars of Black Music 2007
Various Artists
Direct Source 2:28
Rough Guide to the Blues 2007
Various Artists
World Music Network 2:29
Gold 2007 Hip-O 2:33
Blues Deluxe [KRB] 2007
Various Artists
2:28
18 Greatest 2007 Direct Source 2:28
Vee-Jay: The Definitive Collection 2007
Various Artists
Shout! Factory 2:32
Blues Is the Colour 2007 Kings Road 2:30
Blues Classics [St. Clair] 2007
Various Artists
St. Clair 2:31
Blues Giants: Trilogy 2007
Various Artists
Music Brokers / PMG 2:38
Blues Classics, Disc 1 2007
Various Artists
St. Clair 2:31
No Image 2008 Bell
Intro Collection 2008 Union Square Music 2:34
25 Best: Blues Classics 2008
Various Artists
Madacy 2:30
Best of the Blues [Madacy 2008] 2008
Various Artists
Madacy 2:30
Sweet Soul Music: 28 Scorching Classics From 1962 2008
Various Artists
Bear Family Records 2:31
Ain't Times Hard: Political and Social Comment In The Blues 2008
Various Artists
Charly Digipak (UK) / Charly Records 2:52
Best of Blues [Greatest Collection] 2008
Various Artists
Greatest Collection 2:32
No Image 2008
Various Artists
Universal Distribution 2:30
The Very Best of John Lee Hooker [Not Now] 2009 Not Now Music 2:30
Anthology: 50 Years 2009 Shout! Factory 2:33
Ultimate Blues [Decca] 2009
Various Artists
Universal Distribution 2:28
Tell It Like It Is!: Legends of Soul 2009
Various Artists
Delta Music Group 2:30
No Image
Various Artists
Time/Life Music
No Image
Various Artists
The Collection
No Image Tring
De Pre Historie: 1962, Vol. 2
Various Artists
Eva 2:34
Essential [Red X] Red X 2:31
No Image
Various Artists
Goodman Group
No Image
Various Artists
Universal Distribution
Jazz Dance, Vol. 1
Various Artists
Charly Records
No Image OBJECT
Mojo Music Guide, Vol. 4: Blues Power
Various Artists
Mojo Music (Independent) 2:33
On the Charts: 1948 to 1972 - Blues, Soul, R&B and Rock 'n Roll
Various Artists
AMC
Onxrt: Live from the Archives, Vol. 1
Various Artists
4:13
Twogether Rock N Roll
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution
Ultimate Blues Collection
Various Artists
Phantom Import Distribution
Vol. 2-Play Me the Blues
Various Artists
Wesgram
No Image Vee-Jay
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