George Thorogood and the Destroyers‘ classic 1982 album Bad to the Bone, featuring the band’s signature tune of the same name, was released 40 years ago today.
The record, which was the veteran blues rockers’ fifth studio effort, only peaked at #43 on the Billboard 200, but went on to be certified Gold by the RIAA for sales of over 500,000 in the U.S. The album featured the band’s first two singles to break into the top 40 of Billboard‘s Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, “Bad to the Bone” and a cover of The Isley Brothers‘ “Nobody but Me.”
Thorogood tells ABC Audio that when he wrote “Bad to the Bone,” “I wanted [people] to think Bo Diddley wrote it or Muddy Waters wrote it, ’cause I wanted to follow that theme. ‘Cause that’s what I grew up on.”
George says he’s recognized more for that song than anything else he’s done in his career.
“Now, when I meet people who weren’t even alive when ‘Bad to the Bone’ was out, I’ll say my name and they’ll draw a blank,” the 72-year-old rocker notes. “And I’ll go, ‘Well, you know, “Bad to the Bone.”‘ They go, ‘Oh, that’s who you are!'”
Thorogood says he was thrilled when he met his all-time guitar hero, Jeff Beck, and Beck knew who he was because of the song.
The Bad to the Bone album featured longtime Rolling Stones touring keyboardist Ian Stewart playing piano throughout the record.
Thorogood, who’s a huge Stones fan, recalls about getting to work with Stewart, “I said [to myself], ‘You got to be kidding me, George? You’ve gone beyond your dreams. You’re in the studio with Ian Stewart’…And he was fantastic.”
Here’s the Bad to the Bone album’s full track list:
“Back to Wentzville”
“Nobody but Me”
“It’s a Sin”
“New Boogie Chillun
“Bad to the Bone”
“As the Years Go Passing By”
“No Particular Place to Go”
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