John Lee Hooker

Boom Boom

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
Is He the World's Greatest Blues Singer? 1965 Collectables 2:30
No Image 1969
Whiskey & Wimmen 1975 St. Clair / Prime Cuts 2:30
No Image 1977 DJM Records 0:00
No Image 1980 Charly Records
Collectables Blues Collection, Vol. 2 1982
Various Artists
Collectables 2:16
Sock Hop [DCC] 1986
Various Artists
DCC Compact Classics 2:31
The Real Blues Brothers 1987
Various Artists
DCC Compact Classics 2:31
Blues Classics [K-Tel] 1989
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 2:39
No Image 1991 Bella Musica
The Best of John Lee Hooker [JCI] 1991 JCI Associated Labels 2:31
Boom Boom 1992 Point Blank 4:18
This Is Hip: Charly Blues Masterworks, Vol. 7 1992 Recall (UK) 2:10
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
Boom Boom [Delta] 1994 Delta Distribution
King of the Boogie [Drive Archive] 1994 Drive Archive
The Gold Collection [Fine Tune] 1994 Fine Tune 0:00
Blues Anthology [Millenium] 1994
Various Artists
Millenium Music 2:33
No Image 1994
Various Artists
Charly Records 2:28
The Very Best of John Lee Hooker [Rhino] 1995 Rhino 2:34
Blues, Vol. 2 [Eclipse] 1996
Various Artists
BCI Music (Brentwood Communication) / Eclipse Music Group 2:32
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
Box Full of Blues 1996 Drive Archive 2:33
Blues Story, Vol. 1 1996
Various Artists
ITC Masters / Intercontinental Records 2:31
The Great 1996 Goldies 2:32
The Essential Blues, Vol. 2 1996
Various Artists
Platinum Entertainment 2:34
Electric [Collector's Edition] 1996 Collector's Edition 2:35
Blues Collection: 100 Blues Hits 1996
Various Artists
Madacy 2:30
Legends of Blues [Intercontinental] 1997
Various Artists
Intercontinental Records 2:31
Blues Classics, Vol. 1 1997
Various Artists
Beacon Records 3:28
Blues Collection [Madacy Box] 1997
Various Artists
Madacy 2:30
The Ultimate Collection [Polystar] 1997 Polystar 2:41
3 for 3: B.B. King, John Lee Hooker & Lightnin' Hopkins 1997 St. Clair / 3 for 3 2:31
Best of the Blues, Vol. 1 [BMG] 1997
Various Artists
BMG Special Products / BMG 2:32
No Image 1997
Various Artists
Crimson Productions
Most Famous Hits: The Album 1997 Surprise 2:30
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 Point Blank / Virgin 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
Blues Essentials [Charly] 1999
Various Artists
Charly Records 2:33
Forever Gold 1999 St. Clair 2:30
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
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
Millennium Blues 2000
Various Artists
Jamey Aebersold 0:00
Definitive Collection [Metro] 2000 Metro 2:31
Here Comes the Blues 2000
Various Artists
Justin Time 5:34
Golden Legends [Direct Source] 2000 Direct Source 2:30
High Profile 2000 Direct Source 2:32
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
New Millennium Blues Party 2000
Various Artists
Rhino 2:33
Forever Gold: The Best of the Blues 2000
Various Artists
St. Clair 2:32
Best of Blues [Madacy Box Set] 2000
Various Artists
Madacy 2:32
The Legends Collection 2001 Dressed To Kill 2:30
The Legends Collection: Blues 2001
Various Artists
Dressed To Kill 2:28
Forever Gold: Great Blues Masters 2001
Various Artists
St. Clair 2:32
The Blues Box [Simply the Best] 2001
Various Artists
Simply The Best (Netherlands) 2:33
Winning Combinations: John Lee Hooker & Muddy Waters 2001 Universal Special Products 2:39
John Lee Hooker Is Hip: Greatest Hits 2001 Music Club Records 2:30
Blues Legendes 2001
Various Artists
Universal International 2:40
The Man, the Legend 2001 Collectables 2:32
The Blues [Recording Arts] 2001
Various Artists
Recording Arts 2:32
Blues & Soul Sessions 2002
Various Artists
Sessions Records 2:33
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
No Image 2002 Geffen / Universal Distribution 2:42
Good Morning Bluesman 2003
Various Artists
P-Vine Records 2:32
Best of Vee-Jay Blues 2003
Various Artists
Collectables 2:32
Ultimate Blue 2003
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 2:41
The Time-Life Treasury of the Blues 2003
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 2:33
Classic American Voices 2003 Direct Source 2:30
Martin Scorsese Presents the Blues: A Musical Journey 2003
Original Soundtrack
Hip-O 2:32
Simply the Blues 2003
Various Artists
Liberty 2:32
Best of John Lee Hooker [Tomato Music] 2003 Tomato 2:32
Blues Story [Shout! Factory] 2003
Various Artists
Shout! Factory 2:33
American Roots Songbook: The Blues from Memphis to the Mississippi Delta 2003
Various Artists
St. Clair 2:31
Boom Boom and Other Hits 2003 Flashback Records / Rhino Flashback
Shoutin' the Blues [Direct Source] 2003
Various Artists
Direct Source 2:31
The British Invasion Box 2004
Various Artists
Varèse Sarabande 5:01
The Very Best of the Blues 2004
Various Artists
Nascente 2:30
Don't Look Back [Blue Label] 2004 Snapper 2:32
Come and See About Me [DVD] 2004 Eagle Vision
Best of the Blues [Liquid 8] 2004
Various Artists
Liquid 8 2:32
Back 2 Back: The Ultimate Collection 2004 Double Play Records 2:31
In the Mood for Blues [Universal] 2004
Various Artists
Universal International 2:42
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
Golden Legends [St. Clair] 2004 St. Clair 2:31
Best of John Lee Hooker [Essentials] 2004 St. Clair / Essential Records 2:31
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
Feeling Blue [Pazzazz] 2005
Various Artists
Pazzazz 4:58
My Dusty Roads 2005 Fruit Tree 2:31
36 Blues Masterpieces 2005 Solid Gold Collection / Union Square Music 2:32
The John Lee Hooker Collection 2005 Music & Melody 2:28
Blues Biography 2006 United Multimedia / United Multi Consign 2:30
Blues Legend 2006 Universal Special Products 2:38
The Definitive Collection 2006 Hip-O 2:33
Mastercuts 2006 Mastercuts / Apace 2:29
Hooker 2006 Shout! Factory 4:19
Best of the Blues [Madacy 2006 #2] 2006
Various Artists
Madacy 2:30
Rough Guide to the Blues 2007
Various Artists
World Music Network 2:29
Gold 2007 Hip-O 2:33
Vee-Jay: The Definitive Collection 2007
Various Artists
Shout! Factory 2:32
Blues Giants: Trilogy 2007
Various Artists
Music Brokers / PMG 2:38
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 Records 2:52
The Very Best of John Lee Hooker [Not Now] 2009 Not Now Music 2:30
Anthology: 50 Years 2009 Shout! Factory
Blues: Definitive Collection 2009
Various Artists
Music Brokers 2:39
Ultimate Blues [Decca] 2009
Various Artists
Universal Distribution 2:28
Tarantino Experience: Take II 2009
Various Artists
Music Brokers 2:39
King of the Boogie 2011 Allegro Corporation / American Legends 0:00
Boogie Chillun [Metro] 2011 Metro Select 2:31
No Image 2011
Various Artists
Universal 2:38
No Image 2011
Various Artists
Universal Music
Plug It In! Turn It Up! Electric Blues - The Definitive Collection, Pt. 3: 1960-1969 2012
Various Artists
Bear Family Records 2:32
King Snake At Your Door 2012 Blues Boulevard / Music Avenue 2:33
Ultimate Collection: 60s Classics [2014] 2014
Various Artists
Ultimate Collection / Union Square Music / Universal 2:32
The Modern, Chess & VeeJay Singles Collection 1949-62 2016 Acrobat Licensing / Acrobat Music 2:30
Whiskey & Wimmen: John Lee Hooker's Finest 2017 Vee-Jay 2:34
King of the Boogie [Craft] 2017 Craft Recordings 4:20
Blues Café
Various Artists
Allegro Corporation / Music Brokers 0:00
No Image
Various Artists
Time / Life Music
No Image
Various Artists
Collection
Blues [ZYX 4CD]
Various Artists
ZYX / ZYX Music 3:19
No Image QED
Classic Years - John Lee Hooker Stargrove 2:31
Electric Blues
Various Artists
Not Now Music 2:33
Essential [Red X] Red X 2:31
Get on the Right Track: Mod R&B, Jazz & Ska
Various Artists
Fantastic Voyage 2:34
Greatest Ever! Mod
Various Artists
Union Square Music 2:32
No Image
Various Artists
Goodman Group
Jazz Dance, Vol. 1
Various Artists
Charly Records
Mojo Music Guide, Vol. 4: Blues Power
Various Artists
Mojo Music (Independent) 2:33
No Image
Various Artists
Dino Entertainment
The Best of John Lee Hooker: Green Series Strategic Marketing 2:40
The Blues Collection CMC Records
The Boogie Chillen Man Blues Encore
The Essential John Lee Hooker Collection Metro / Metro Tins 2:33
Winning Combinations
Various Artists
Universal Special Products 2:40