Our top 10 Big Bad Voodoo Daddy songs list digs deep into the music of an American band best known for pioneering the neo-swing revival. Big Bad Voodoo Daddy was formed by lead vocalist/guitarist Scotty Morris and drummer Kurt Sodergren. The band came at a time when grunge/alternative rock soundscapes by bands like Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, and Stone Temple Pilots were flourishing on the West Coast.
However, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy was committed to providing an “alternative” to swing music aficionados. The band wasn’t afraid to take a shot at swing music, a scene that burgeoned in the ‘40s and ‘50s with artists such as Duke Ellington and Cab Calloway, to name a few. In fact, several other West Coast artists/bands followed suit. Among them were California’s Royal Crown Revue and Lavay Smith & Her Red Hot Skillet Lickers, and Oregon’s Cherry Poppin’ Daddies.
The neo-swing revival took root in the West Coast spreading to the East Coast. Some of the conspicuous neo-swing revival acts from the East Coast include Squirrel Nut Zippers and the Brian Setzer Orchestra (formed by former Stray Cats member Brian Setzer). Quite some amazing rock history there but hi, let’s drift back to our main subject, the top 10 Big Bad Voodoo Daddy songs. Beforehand, we ought to have a look at what each of the band’s albums had to offer.
In 1994, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy released their eponymous debut studio album. The album was quite a momentous record—the only mishap is that the album was issued on the band’s own label. Of course, being the band’s debut record Big Bad Voodoo Daddy would barely manage to promote the album adequately. As a result, the album was a commercial failure, barely becoming a mainstream success.
Nevertheless, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy played a significant role in helping the band establish its signature neo-swing revival sound. The band quickly earned a cult-following prompting its members to seek stardom beyond the borders of California State. “Jumpin’ Jack,” “King of Swing,” and “Cruel Spell” are some of the best Big Bad Voodoo Daddy songs from the band’s debut album.
The band returned in 1988 with its sophomore studio album Americana Deluxe. Americana Deluxe was issued through Interscope Records. Other artists (once) affiliated with Interscope Records include Imagine Dragons, Dermot Kennedy, U2, and Maroon 5. The album marked the band’s first mainstream successful record. Americana Deluxe climbed to the forty-seventh spot on the Billboard 200 Chart.
The album is home to popular Big Bad Voodoo Daddy songs including “Mr. Pinstripe Suit,” “Mambo Swing,” “Go Daddy-O,” and “You and Me and the Bottle Makes 3 Tonight (Baby).” Big Bad Voodoo Daddy featured some songs from their debut recording on this record. Americana Deluxe also featured the band’s cover of the 1931 track “Minnie the Moocher” by Cab Calloway.
This Beautiful Life, issued in 1999, marked the band’s third studio album. The album was also a mainstream success peaking at number ninety-three on the Billboard 200. This Beautiful Life saw Big Bad Voodoo Daddy push their swing revival soundscapes even further. “Big Time Operator,” “I’m Not Sleepin’,” “2000 Volts,” and “What’s Next” are some of the best Big Bad Voodoo Daddy songs from the album. This Beautiful Life also featured Big Bad Voodoo Daddy’s cover of Louis Prima’s 1967 song “I Wan’na Be Like You.”
In 2003, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy returned with their fourth studio album Save My Soul. The album was issued through Vanguard Records. Other artists who (once) issued music through Vanguard Records include Barenaked Ladies, Julius Baker, The Living Sisters, Indigo Girls, Chris Isaak, and Susanna Hoffs.
Save My Soul was co-produced by the band members in conjunction with record producer Scotty Morris. The album was received warmly rising to position one hundred and ninety-five in the Billboard 200. “Save My Soul,” “Simple Songs,” “You Know You Wrong,” and “I Like It” are the best Big Bad Voodoo Daddy songs from this album.
Big Bad Voodoo Daddy later returned in 2004 with their fifth studio album Everything You Want for Christmas. As the title suggests, the LP is a Christmas-oriented record. However, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy blends their signature swing revival sound influences in this record. Everything You Want for Christmas featured several Christmas cover songs by the band. The album missed entering the Billboard 200 chart, settling for position thirty-one on the Billboard Independent Albums Chart.
How Big Can You Get?: The Music of Cab Calloway, issued in 2009, marked the band’s sixth studio album. The album found Big Bad Voodoo Daddy delivering eleven cover tracks of songs earlier issued by swing icon Cab Calloway. Some of the notable cover tracks include “Tarzan of Harlem,” “Calloway Boogie,” and “The Old Man of the Mountain.”
In 2012, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy returned with their seventh studio album Rattle Them Bones. The studio album made it to position one hundred and twenty-nine on the Billboard 200 Chart. Rattle Them Bones also graced the Billboard Jazz Albums Chart where it peaked at the second spot. “Why Me?” “It Only Took a Kiss,” and the band’s cover of Duke Ellington and His Orchestra’s hit “Diga Diga Doo” are some of the best Big Bad Voodoo Daddy songs from the LP.
Big Bad Voodoo Daddy returned with yet another Christmas-oriented album in 2013. The album was entitled It Feels Like Christmas Time. Unfortunately, the album was both a mainstream and commercial flop. Big Bad Voodoo Daddy tried to rekindle their way back to mainstream success with their ninth studio album Louie Louie Louie. The album featured cover tracks by Louis Armstrong, Louis Prima, and Louis Jordan. Louie Louie Louie made it to the seventh spot on the Billboard Jazz Albums Chart.
Big Bad Voodoo Daddy’s Legacy
Big Bad Voodoo Daddy remains one of the most revered bands of the contemporary swing revival scene of the ‘90s. The band pioneered the neo-swing revival scene, paying homage to music from early swing icons including Cab Calloway, Louis Armstrong, Louis Prima, and Louis Jordan. Let’s now have a look at the top 10 Big Bad Voodoo Daddy songs of all time.
#10- Big Time Operator
We begin our top 10 Big Bad Voodoo Daddy songs review with the hit “Big Time Operator.” The song is featured on the band’s third studio album This Beautiful Life. “Big Time Operator” finds vocalist Scotty Morris crooning about his unapologetic pursuit of success and happiness. The song features infectious and catchy melodies that echo the ‘40s swing music era. “Big Time Operator” is a toe-tapper that invites its listeners to dance to its beat.
#9- Jumpin’ Jack
“Jumpin’ Jack” is one of the most memorable songs by Big Bad Voodoo Daddy from the band’s early years. The song serves as the album-opening track to the band’s debut studio album Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. “Jumpin’ Jack” is among the energetic and vibrant picks that showcase Big Bad Voodoo Daddy’s perfect start in the neo-swing revival scene. The song remains one of the favorite picks for Big Bad Voodoo Daddy fans to date.
#8- I Wan’na Be Just Like You
Ranking eighth on our top 10 Big Bad Voodoo Daddy songs list is the hit “I Wan’na Be Just Like You.” The song is yet another impressive pick off the band’s third studio album This Beautiful Life. “I Wan’na Be Just Like You” is a 1967 hit penned by Richard and Robert Sherman. The song was initially recorded and released by Louis Prima—the original version features additional vocals by Phil Harris.
Big Bad Voodoo Daddy covered this song in 1996 with their version featuring in the comedy-drama film Swingers. Other artists who covered the song “I Wan’na Be Just Like You” include Robbie Williams, Jonas Brothers, Fall Out Boy, and Craig David. Of course, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy’s version remains a darling for many thanks to the band’s striking swing influences on its quality.
#7- Go Daddy-O
The term “remarkable” is an understatement if used to describe describing the song “Go Daddy-O.” “This catchy pick is featured on the band’s sophomore and most critically acclaimed album America Deluxe. “Go Daddy-O” is among the songs by Big Bad Voodoo Daddy that showcase the band’s ability to churn out classic swing hits with a touch of modern production.
The song is an energetic pick that perfectly embodies the playful spirit of the swing era. “Go Daddy-O” is among the few musical gems that played a significant role in helping Big Bad Voodoo Daddy revive the love for swing music. This enthusiastic swing music gem was featured in the 1996 film Swingers.
#6- Diga Diga Doo
Quite a handful of tracks by Big Bad Voodoo Daddy were cover tracks that echoed the past success of swing music icons. Once again, we get to experience the musical excellence of Big Bad Voodoo Daddy with the rendition of the song “Diga Diga Doo.” The song was initially issued in 1928 by Duke Ellington and His Orchestra.
Big Bad Voodoo Daddy took this song and worked on it passionately! The result was an anthemic ‘30s-Esque swing track with tinges of modern production. “Diga Diga Doo” was also covered by American trumpeter Al Hirt and Canadian jazz pianist Oscar Peterson.
#5- King of Swing
We head back to the band’s debut studio album Big Bad Voodoo Daddy where we find the track “King of Swing.” “King of Swing” went ahead to find its way into Big Bad Voodoo Daddy’s sophomore record Americana Deluxe too. The song features a driving rhythm section that makes it quite an awe-inspiring pick. “King of Swing” finds the band celebrating its enthusiasm and love for swing music.
The song manages to capture the true spirit of swing music outlining all elements that make swing music quite catchy. Of course, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy might not be able to fill the gap left by swing legends such as Cab Calloway. However, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy’s efforts in the contemporary swing revival scene make the band an undisputable contender of the twenty-first century “Kings of Swings.”
#4- Save My Soul
“Save My Soul” is one of the most sought-after Big Bad Voodoo Daddy tracks of all time. The song is the album title track of the band’s fourth studio album. “Save My Soul” delivers the band’s blend of swing music and jazz soundscapes. The song has its lyrics centered around themes of emotional redemption. “Save My Soul” also features vibrant instrumentation—the song’s dynamic solos add to the infectiousness of its groove.
#3- You and Me and the Bottle Makes 3 Tonight (Baby)
Ranking third on our top 10 Big Bad Voodoo Daddy songs list is the remarkable track “You and Me and the Bottle Makes 3 Tonight (Baby).” The song is featured on the band’s album number two Americana Deluxe. “You and Me and the Bottle Makes 3 Tonight (Baby)” has lyrics showcasing the singer’s carefree mood on a cheerful night whose thrill emanates from drinking some booze.
This high-octane track was featured in the 1996 film Swingers. “You and Me and the Bottle Makes 3 Tonight (Baby)” was a mainstream success rising to position thirty-one on the Billboard Alternative Rock Chart. The song missed entering the Billboard by four slots,
#2- Why Me?
“Why Me?” is by far the most popular song by Big Bad Voodoo Daddy issued in the twenty-first century. The song is featured on the band’s seventh studio album Rattle Them Bones. “Why Me?” is Big Bad Voodoo Daddy’s most-watched song on a number of platforms including YouTube. However, achieving such feats doesn’t warrant “Why Me?” becoming the best Big Bad Voodoo Daddy song of all time.
In this (subjective) review, we rank “Why Me?” second thanks to the solid musicianship showcased by its members. The song finds Scotty leading the band members in crooning about a sad love story. Apparently, the singer seems to have lost the love of his love and he keeps asking, “Why Me?” The song showcases Scotty Morris’ zeal to be in terms with his lover.
#1- Mr. Pinstripe Suit
Coming in at number one in our top 10 Big Bad Voodoo Daddy songs list is the amazing hit “Mr. Pinstripe Suit.” The song is featured on the band’s second studio album Americana Deluxe. “Mr. Pinstripe Suit” topples every other song by Big Bad Voodoo Daddy to become our number one pick thanks to its infectious blend of vintage swing sound with catchy melodies and imposing instrumentation.
“Mr. Pinstripe Suit” never made it to the mainstream charts. However, the song rose to fame thanks to its intricate yet beautiful arrangement, catchy melodies, and its charming lyrical content. The song’s dynamic arrangement also makes it quite a rare gem. “Mr. Pinstripe Suit” was covered by the a cappella pop-funk group Blue Jupiter.
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