“Running Bear” by Johnny Preston vs. “Hooked on a Feeling” by Blue Swede

These two famously bad songs share one thing in common: an unbelievably stupid-sounding ‘chant’ that has sadly become iconic thanks to their success. In “Running Bear”, these bizarre noises are apparently supposed to be a very stereotypical and inaccurate version of a Native American tribal chant, but by the time Blue Swede came along I imagine they were seen as just stock funny noises. Of the two songs, “Running Bear” has far stupider lyrics (it’s a “Teen Angel”-style melodramatic teenybopper death song with a very insensitive faux-Native American theme), mostly because Blue Swede’s “Hooked on a Feeling” is based on something that was once good, B.J. Thomas’ classic Pop hit of the same name. That said, at least “Running Bear” didn’t have anything of merit to ruin; Blue Swede’s song, by blowing up the delicate original into a big, cheesy power ballad and adding that goddamned chant, managed to destroy the reputation of a once-classic song. That said, in the end, while both songs are utterly reprehensible, “Hooked on a Feeling” is still the less terrible of the two, if only because that idiotic chant doesn’t continue throughout the entire song the way it does on “Running Bear”.

Verdict: Both are very strong contenders for any list of the worst hit songs of all time, but “Running Bear” is still ever-so-slightly worse.

One thought on ““Running Bear” by Johnny Preston vs. “Hooked on a Feeling” by Blue Swede”

  1. A motivating discussion is worth comment. I do think that you ought to write more about this topic, it might not be a taboo subject but typically people don’t discuss such topics. To the next! Many thanks!!

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