Gary: “I was never a huge fan, but this was the first Swedish group to have a #1 Song on Billboard.
Vocalist Bjorn Skifs was already well known in Sweden when he and EMI Records record producer, Bengst Palmers, decided that an offensive on the English-speaking market in 1973 would be feasible. Forming Blue Swede, they listened hard to Slade’s rowdy sing-along style and, as they had no compositions of their own, the sextet covered B.J. Thomas’ 1969 hit single ‘Hooked On A Feeling’.
After a successful testing in domestic charts, it was issued in the USA and reached #1 – doing likewise in Canada, Australia and Holland.
In the UK, however, it was eclipsed by Jonathan King’s original version, but this was only a petty dampener on Blue Swede’s triumph.
Following another US Top 10 entry (with a revival of the Association’s ‘Never My Love’), a medley of Deep Purple’s ‘Hush’ and the Hollies’ ‘I’m Alive’, and other subsequent releases, were confined mainly to Scandinavia.
A sample from the band’s version of ‘Hooked On A Feeling’ later appeared in the late 90s TV series Ally McNeal.