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Bad to the Bone by George Thorogood

Album: Bad to the BoneReleased: 1982
  • This is based on the Bo Diddley Blues song "I'm A Man." Thorogood is influenced by The Blues, and Diddley is one of his heroes. Thorogood's version has a much heavier guitar sound, which replaces the harmonica in Diddley's recording. Both songs are full of swagger, with the singers exuding lots of testosterone.
  • The phrase "Bad To The Bone" means there isn't a bit of good in him. Other songs have been published with that title, but Thorogood popularized it and created a modern Blues classic with this song. Some artists to cover it include The Countdown Singers, Molly Hatchet and The Starlite Singers. Hip-Hop artist Tek did a rap version of the song.
  • With MTV coming on the air in 1981, Thorogood picked a good time to release a memorable video. The clip showed Thorogood playing pool against Bo Diddley in a place where there was no chance of a dance sequence breaking out. Pool champion Willie Mosconi also appears in the video, which introduced Thorogood - and to some extent, Diddley - to the younger MTV crowd. Among the British New Wave acts that dominated MTV playlist at the time, Thorogood certainly stood out, and he created an image of a bad man. While Thorogood is a disciple of the Blues, he was raised in a Delaware suburb and by most accounts is actually a pretty nice guy, despite what he claims in this song.
  • This song was featured in the film Terminator 2: Judgment Day when Arnold Schwarzenegger steps out of a bar wearing biker clothes. It also appears in the movies The Parent Trap, Major Payne, Christine and Problem Child. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Ricky - Los Angeles, CA
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Comments: 7

Jennifur, I believe he got that real scratchy effect by taking a metal guitar slide and scraping it across the strings, near the pickups. You can see him doing it in the video for the song.Bryce - Lima, Oh
Does anyone know how he got those effects on this guitar? Also who played sax and drums.Jennifur Sun - Ramona
One of the baddest ass songs of all time. Never gets old.Shawn - Green Bay, Wi
Saw him live,back then I didn't knew much about him,but it was exciting to see play,great guitarist,,and when i listen to this tune the '59 Plymouth Fury comes to life,lolJorge - Bronx, Ny
the song is not about being uncircumsiced its about a person thats just bad to the bone......dumbassTony - Connellsville, Pa
This was also the main theme for the Oliver Stone movie Talk Radio.Ken - Louisville, Ky
I was thinking about these lyrics and I was wondering if maybe George was extolling the "virtue"
of being uncircumcised. I wouldn't know, myself. But
some of the lyrics sounds like that is what he is singing about.
Thomas - Fuquay Varina, Nc
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