Blue Swede (originally Blåblues) was the first Swedish band ever to top the charts in the US.
They did so in 1974
with their version of B.J. Thomas' "Hooked on a feeling" (including the
famous "Ooga Chaka" chanting). The single wasn't even supposed to be released in the US,
but a radio station got hold of a copy and started playing it. The listeners soon
called in to request it, and that got the ball rolling. The Swedish record company
had no idea how to cope with a successful single in the US. They decided it was
important for Blue Swede to finish their tour of Sweden before they flew over.
So 6 months after their big hit (too late) they started touring. The show centered around a viking
ship that turned out to be so big that they couldn't transport it. Even though they had
another top ten hit with their re-working of the Addrisi Brothers' "Never My Love",
they soon disappeared from the charts.
Author Wilson Bryan Key claims in his book "Media Sexploitation" from 1976 that
there's more to their #1 hit than you may think
"Though few fans could consciously decipher the banality
in the song's lyrics, the melody was whistled and hummed by both teen-agers
and even by some of their parents who picked it up unconsciously.
At several points in the continuity
of the background chant--consciously ignored because attention was focused
upon the foreground lyric--the chanted phrase "Ooh-ga-shook-ah" smoothly
and very distinctly converted into "Who got sucked off?" The technique
has been called metacontrast or backwards masking, much like
the magician who tricks you into watching his right hand while he picks
your pocket with his left."
Hooked on a Feeling
Out of the Blue