Muddy Waters

(I'm Your) Hoochie Coochie Man

Song Review by

This 1954 recording (the second, after 1952's original) of blues standard "Hoochie Coochie Man" by Muddy Waters is one of the all-time classic blues records; a vital piece of Chicago-style electric blues that links the Delta to rock & roll, the session list is a who's who of bluesmen. Written by Chess Records everyman Willie Dixon, who also plays bass, the song also features Little Walter Jacobs (harmonica), Otis Spann (piano), Jimmy Rodgers (guitar), and Elgin Evens (drums). Above it all, we have the hearty and powerful Muddy Waters bellowing about his birthright as a "Hoochie Coochie Man." It was one of the earliest breaks from the Delta blues. Up until this song, most electric blues were just amplified versions of acoustic arrangements; this was something unique. Due to a dubious agreement, Dixon was never fully remunerated by Chess and its Arc Music publishing arm, and no amount of money could reflect the impact that this one man has had on popular music.

Waters employs his famous staggered, stop-and-start beat for the song, a dramatic stomp pattern that was recycled by him and Dixon for various other songs, including "Mannish Boy," and borrowed by Bo Diddley on his "I'm a Man." It epitomizes Waters, and by extension, the electric blues in general. The band is loose on the song's main lick and swings on the second section -- the chorus. The feel is undeniably sensuous. Jacobs's influential harmonica work is blistering, and Spann rolls his staccato piano figures in the trademark Chess style that can also be heard on Johnny Johnson's work on Chuck Berry's recordings. The recording are available on various compilations, the earliest LP versions were on Muddy Waters (1954) and The Best of Muddy Waters (1958).

Waters gives the self-mythologizing testament that would continue in urban American music, from blues, through rock & roll, right through the hip-hop of the late '90s. The braggadocio most likely came as a reaction to Dixon's past, escaping rural poverty by moving to Chicago, where he became an amateur prizefighter. Waters approach is appropriately swaggering as he brags (and/or warns): "Gypsy woman told my mother 'fore I was born/You got a boy-child coming, gonna be a son of a gun/Gonna make pretty womens jump and shout/And then the world gonna know what this all about/But you know I'm here/Everybody knows I'm here/Well, I'm the hoochie coochie man/Everybody knows I'm here." Dixon's lyrics roll off the tongue like the idiomatic poetry of Berry and Hank Williams. Like those writers, Dixon values the sounds of words and knows what combinations work as music in and of themselves. He lists off Hoodoo items (not to be confused with Voodoo): "I got the black cat bone and I got a mojo, too/I got the John the Conqueror Root, gonna mess with you." What a great line; when Waters sings, it sounds like "I got Johndaconkaroo"! The final verse rattles off a list, all items based on the number seven, which has biblical significance as the symbol of divine perfection -- coming from the Hebrew word "shevah," meaning full, or sated -- and the legend of the luck of the seventh son, which predated the Bible: "On the seventh hour, on the seventh day/On the seventh month, seven doctors say/'He was born for good luck, that you'll see'/I got seven hundred dollars; don't you mess with me!"

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
The Best of Muddy Waters [1957 Chess] 1957 Geffen / Universal 0:00
Electric Mud 1968 Geffen / Interscope / MCA / Chess 4:51
No Image 1971 Chess 2:49
King of the Blues: The Best of Muddy Waters 1975 MCA / Chess 2:49
I'm Ready 1978 Blue Sky 0:00
No Image 1981
No Image 1983 Magnum 2:48
Muddy Waters on Chess 1951-1959, Vol. 2 1984 Chess 2:50
Rock and Roll: The Early Days 1985
Various Artists
No Image 1989
Various Artists
Charly Records 2:49
The Collectables Blues Collection, Vol. 1 1990
Various Artists
Collectables 2:53
The Chess Box 1990 Chess / MCA / Universal 2:44
The Best of Chess Blues, Vol. 1 1990
Various Artists
Chess / MCA 2:49
The Blues, Vol. 1 [Chess/MCA] 1990
Various Artists
Chess 2:51
Chess Blues 1992
Various Artists
Chess 2:53
The Best of the Blues [Columbia/K-Tel] 1993
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 2:45
Music from the Wonder Years, Vol. 2 1994
Various Artists
Laserlight / Delta Distribution 2:53
Muddy Waters Gold 1994 TriStar Music 3:57
Blues Legends [Castle] 1994
Various Artists
Castle Music Ltd.
Blues Anthology [Millenium] 1994
Various Artists
Millenium Music 2:57
One More Mile: Chess Collectibles, Vol. 1 1994 Chess Collectibles Series / MCA / Chess 2:28
Born Under a Bad Sign [Alex] 1995
Various Artists
Nothin' But the Blues [Delta 1] 1995
Various Artists
Delta Distribution 3:18
Casino [Original Soundtrack] 1995
Original Soundtrack
MCA 2:50
Blues Straight Ahead 1995 Drive (import) 2:54
Chicago Blues Masters, Vol. 1 1995 Capitol 3:20
Blues Classics [MCA] 1996
Various Artists
MCA 2:51
Louisiana Blues 1996 Allegiance Records 2:46
Mean Old World: The Blues from 1940 to 1994 1996
Various Artists
Smithsonian Folkways Recordings 2:39
Blues Legend [Universal Special Products] 1997 Universal Special Products 2:50
House of Blues: Essential Chicago Blues 1997
Various Artists
A&M 2:46
Original Blues Masters 1997 St. Clair / Boxsets 3:05
Hard Again/I'm Ready/King Bee 1997 Sony Music Distribution 3:58
The Chess Blues-Rock Songbook: The Classic Originals 1997
Various Artists
MCA / Chess 2:53
King of the Electric Blues 1997 Epic / Legacy 3:58
His Best, 1947 to 1955 1997 MCA / Chess 2:50
Generations of Blues, Vol. 3: Guitar Greats 1998
Various Artists
Vanguard 2:47
No. 1 Blues Album 1998
Various Artists
Polygram 4:03
Great 1998 Goldies 2:47
Hot on the Highway 1998
Various Artists
18 Tracks from the Film Chicago Blues 1999
Various Artists
Drive (import) 4:33
Baby Please Don't Go 1999 3:00
Basic Blues, Vol. 1-3 1999
Various Artists
Platinum Disc 2:50
Best of Muddy Waters: 20th Century Masters 1999 MCA 2:52
Born on the Blues 1999
Various Artists
Universal Special Products / MCA 2:53
Nothin' But the Blues, Vol. 1 1999
Various Artists
Delta Distribution 3:18
Absolutely the Best of the Blues, Vol. 1 1999
Various Artists
Fuel 2000 / Varese 2:56
Home of the Blues [MCA] 1999
Various Artists
MCA 2:52
Legends of Music: Blues - Hoochie Coochie Man 1999
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Legends of Music Collection 2:31
Take a Walk with Me 2000 Recall (UK) 3:12
Nothing But the Blues [Import] 2000
Various Artists
Import 0:00
Manish Boy 2000 Blues Factory 3:26
The Essential Collection 2000 Spectrum Music
Got My Mojo Workin' [St. Clair] 2001 St. Clair 2:53
Pure Blues 2001
Various Artists
UTV 2:51
The Blues Box [Simply the Best] 2001
Various Artists
Simply The Best (Netherlands) 3:22
You Can Make It If You Try 2001
Various Artists
Connoisseur 2:52
The Anthology: 1947-1972 2001 MCA / Chess 2:48
Century of Blues: Celebrating 100 Years of Great Blues 2001
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 3:11
Blues Men [LRC Box Set] 2001
Various Artists
Lester Recording Catalog / LRC Records 3:16
The Blues [Recording Arts] 2001
Various Artists
Recording Arts 2:59
Walking in Memphis 2002
Various Artists
Universal International 3:58
The Birth of the Blues [Soho] 2002
Various Artists
Soho Latino 2:56
Festival International de Jazz de Montreal: 20 Years of Music - 1980-2000 2002
Various Artists
Fijm 3:06
Wolf Records 20th Anniversary Collection 2003
Various Artists
Wolf 2:45
Blues-Rock Songbook: Millennium Collection - 20th Century Masters 2003
Various Artists
MCA 2:51
The Time-Life Treasury of the Blues 2003
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 2:52
Martin Scorsese Presents the Blues: The Best of the Blues 2003
Various Artists
UTV 2:50
Martin Scorsese Presents the Blues: Muddy Waters 2003 Hip-O / Universal Distribution 2:51
Blues Story [Shout! Factory] 2003
Various Artists
Shout! Factory 3:58
Universal Masters Collection 2003 MSI Music Distribution / Universal International 4:52
The Americana Series: The Best of the Blues [Sanctuary] 2004
Various Artists
Sanctuary 2:52
The Roots of Rock 'n' Roll: 1946-1954 2004
Various Artists
Hip-O 2:50
Screamin' and Cryin' [Universe] 2004 Universe 2:50
In the Mood for Blues [Universal] 2004
Various Artists
Universal International 2:52
Gunsmoke Blues 2004
Various Artists
Born with the Blues [Synergy] 2004
Various Artists
St. Clair 2:54
Hoochie Coochie Man: Complete Chess Masters, Vol. 2: 1952-1958 2004 Fontana / Hip-O Select 2:51
The Collection: Hard Again/I'm Ready/King Bee 2005 Legacy / Epic 3:58
Story Songs and Voices of the Blues 2005 Direct Source 3:18
Chess Pieces: The Very Best of Chess Records 2005
Various Artists
Universal International 2:51
Blues: Gold 2006
Various Artists
Hip-O 2:50
Blues Biography 2006 AAO Music 3:02
King of Chicago Blues [Proper] 2006 Proper Box 2:52
The Definitive Collection 2006 Geffen 2:48
Jukebox Hits 1948-1954 2006 Acrobat Music 2:52
Father of Chicago Blues [Primo] 2007 Primo Records 2:50
Blues Giants: Trilogy 2007
Various Artists
Music Brokers / PMG 2:48
Black Music History Hits 2008
Various Artists
Chron Reissues 2:46
The Blues Roots of the Rolling Stones [Snapper] 2008
Various Artists
Snapper 2:46
Chess Chartbusters, Vol. 3 2008
Various Artists
Spectrum Music / Universal 2:49
The Best of Chess Records 2008
Various Artists
Geffen / Chess / Universal-Island Records 0:00
Blues: Definitive Collection 2009
Various Artists
Music Brokers 2:49
The Johnny Winter Sessions 1976-1981 2009 Raven
A Complete Introduction to Chess 2010
Various Artists
Universal / Universal Distribution 2:51
Icon 2011 Geffen / MCA 2:46
No Image 2011
Various Artists
Universal 2:49
Electric Mud/After the Rain 2011 Beat Goes On 4:50
50 of the Most Influential Blues Songs of the 20th Century 2011
Various Artists
Jasmine Records 2:52
The Willie Dixon Story 2012
Various Artists
Proper Box / Proper Records 2:50
Mad Daddy's Maddest Spins - Rotatin', Motivatin' and Stimulatin' Rockin' and Reelin' and Hangin' from the Ceiling: Vintage Late '50s Rock and Swing 2012
Various Artists
Cleopatra / Righteous 2:48
Plug It In! Turn It Up! Electric Blues - The Definitive Collection, Pt. 1: Beginnings 1939-1954 2012
Various Artists
Bear Family Records 2:51
Screamin' and Cryin' the Blues 2012 Blues Boulevard 3:05
Stand Up Guys [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack] 2012
Original Soundtrack
Lakeshore Records 2:51
You Shook Me: The Chess Masters, Vol. 3: 1958 to 1963 2012 Geffen 2:57
The Willie Dixon Story: The Songwriter 2012 Proper Records 2:50
Lipstick, Powder & Paint: The New York Dolls Heard Them Here First 2013
Various Artists
Ace 2:47
The Complete Aristocrat & Chess Singles A's & B's: 1947-1962 2014 Acrobat Music 2:51
Hoochie Coochie Man [Collectables] 2014 Collectables 4:01
Essential Original Albums 2016 Masters of Music 2:57
Best of the Blues: Muddy Waters - Chicago Blues Éditions Atlas
Blues Gold
Various Artists
Columbia / Sony Music 4:00
No Image
Various Artists
Time / Life Music
Chicago Blues: The Absolutely Essential 3 CD Collection
Various Artists
Big 3 2:50
No Image
Various Artists
MOJO 2:48
Muddy Waters [Bella Musica] [#1] Bella Musi 0:00
No Image Yazoo
No Image Ch