Top 10 John Lee Hooker Songs

John Lee Hooker Songs

Photo: Jean-Luc, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Our Top 10 John Lee Hooker Songs list looks back at the songs of one of most important artists in musical history. John Lee Hooker took multiple blues styles from early 20th century blues musicians and created his own hard edged sound starting in the late 1940s. It was a sound that is credited by many music historians as laying out some of the foundations of early rock and roll. His four on the floor driving styles has influenced the genre of classic rock heavily.

John Lee Hooker released his first single in 1948. From that point on, John Lee Hooker would continue to release singles and albums up until the year 2001. Our Top 10 John Lee Hooker songs list picks out 10 of his most important recording’s with a few outliers in the mix for fun.

# 10 – Chill Out (Things Gonna Change)

We open up our top 10 John Lee Hooker songs list with a somewhat modern John Lee Hooker recording. Presented here is the title track to John Lee Hooker’s 1995 album entitled Chill Out.  Carlos Santana’s 90s sound heavily influences the sound of this record. It makes for a very interesting listen.

# 9 – Messin’ with the Hook

Continuing with our top John Lee Hooker Songs list we turn to the legendary album John Lee Hooker recorded with the band Canned Heat. The album entitled Hooker ‘n Heat. The album was released in 1971. “Messin’ With The Hook,” was the double record set’s opening song. It was written by John Lee Hooker.

# 8 – Dimples

No John Lee Hooker songs list would be complete without his classic song “Dimples.” John Lee Hooker wrote the song Dimples in 1956. It was released as a single on Vee Jay Records that same year. John Lee Hooker released a new version of the song in the 1990s with the group Los Lobos. The song has been covered over the years by many musical legends including the Allman Brothers Band, The Animals, the Spencer Davis Group and of course the Canned Heat versions that John Lee Hooker recorded with the band.

# 7 – One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer

At number seven on this John Lee Hooker songs list we turn to John Lee Hooker’s great rendition of the Blues classic “One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer.” The song was originally recorded by Amos Milburn in 1953. The song was written by Rudy Toombs. John Lee Hooker recorded his first great version of this song in 1966. The song was originally released on the 1966 album The Real Folk Blues. George Thorogood did a great cover of the song in 1977.

# 6 – Blues Before Sunrise

This great John Lee Hooker recording “Blues Before Sunrise,” was released on his legendary album Burnin’  in 1962. Its a slow blues jams fueled by a comping blues piano lick played by Joe Hunter. The legendary James Jamerson who played on all those great Motown records played bass on the album. This is a standout recording featuring some killer guitar playing and vocals by the great John Lee Hooker.

# 5 – I Don’t Want Your Money

We break into the second half of our top 10 John Lee Hooker songs list with this classis recording entitled “I Don’t Want Your Money.” The song was recorded and released as a single between the years 1950 and 1952, It appeared on the album John Lee Hooker Plays & Sings the Blues. The album was released in 1961 on Chess Records as a compilation of John Lee Hooker early singles. If you’re young and looking to learn how to play and sing the blues, this is one of the first recordings you should take a listen too.

# 4 – Crawling King Snake

John Lee Hooker’s “Crawling King Snake” is one of his most popular and most widely covered songs. No one is quite sure who wrote the song, but what does stand as a fact is John Lee Hooker was the first one to have a big hit with it. John Lee Hooker released the song “Crawling King Snake” in 1949. It was his third single release. The song was very successful on the charts as it was a top 10 hit on the Billboard rhythm and blues charts. Like so many of his songs, John Lee Hooker  recorded “Crawling King Snake” multiple times throughout his career. One of our favorite versions is the version he recorded with Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones on the album Mr. Lucky. There has been many great versions of this song recorded by such brilliant artists as Muddy Waters, The Doors, Peter Green and one of our favorite versions which was recorded by George Thorogood and the Destroyers.

# 3 – Boogie Chillen’

Want to know where the origins of WHERE rock and roll began? Well this is one of the first stops. As we have covered in our story of classic rock, rock and roll origins began with early blues artists like Robert Johnson and many of the traveling blues musicians that never got the lucky chance to be recorded. John Lee hooker’s first recorded song entitled “Boogie Chillen,” stands at one of those early moments when blues became electric. You don’t think Chuck Berry was listening to this? This classic John Lee Hooker song was released in 1949 on Modern Records. Just think about that…… 1949. People went nuts over this song. The song would go straight to number one on the Billboard rhythm and blues charts.

# 2 – I’m In The Mood

As we begin to wind down our top 10 John Lee Hooker songs list with his number one single “I’m in the Mood.” The song was released in 1951 on Crown records. It was John Lee Hooker’s second of only two number one singles in his career. Both of his number one singles appeared on the United States Billboard rhythm and blues charts. This great John Lee Hooker song “I’m in the Mood,” also peaked at number 30 on the Billboard Hot 100 music charts. It was the highest charting song John Lee Hooker ever had on the Billboard Hot 100. This one is pretty organic. It’s interesting to hear John Lee Hooker double his voice on this one. The recording technology at the time might not have been the greatest, but John Lee Hooker’s playing was pure golden blues.

# 1 – Boom Boom

We close out our Top 10 John Lee Hooker songs list with his most famous song entitled “Boom Boom.” The song was originally released in 1962. The song was issued on Vee Jay records, the label that released the first Beatles album. The song was a huge hit for John Lee Hooker. It was a top 20 hit on the Billboard rhythm and blues charts. It was also his last single to break the Billboard Hot 100. Blue songs don’t often break the Billboard Hot 100, but John Lee Hooker did it twice. Two years later in 1964 the group The Animals also broke the Billboard Hot 100 with their cover of the song “Boom Boom.” John Lee Hooker has recorded the song multiple times throughout his career. It remains probably his most popular song of all time. The song was originally released on the fantastic 1961 album entitled Bunrin’.

Top 10 John Lee Hooker Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2021

Classicrockhistory.com claims ownership of all its original content and Intellectual property under United States Copyright laws and those of all other foreign countries. No one person, business or any organizations is allowed to republish any of our original content anywhere on the web or in print without our permission. 

DMCA.com Protection Status

Add Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

London Grammar Songs
London Grammar Songs Ranked
Royal Blood Songs
Top 10 Royal Blood Songs
New Found Glory Songs
New Found Glory Songs Ranked
Bryan Ferry Songs
Top 10 Bryan Ferry Songs
Creed Albums
Creed Albums Ranked
Peter Gabriel Albums
Top 10 Peter Gabriel Albums
Buffy Sainte-Marie Albums
10 Best Buffy Sainte-Marie Albums
Leonard Cohen Albums
10 Best Leonard Cohen Albums
Classic Rock And Roll Quiz # 2
Classic Rock and Roll Quiz # 2
10 Unique Rock And Roll Singers That Sounded Like No One Else
10 Unique Rock And Roll Singers That Sounded Like No One Else
Madonna Songs
20 Acts That MTV Made Super Famous
Rock and Roll Quiz
Classic Rock History Rock And Roll Quiz # 1