Bad To The Bone – George Thorogood

George Thorogood is a blues rock performer from Wilmington, Delaware, known for his hit song “Bad to the Bone” as well as for covers of blues standards such as Hank Williams’ “Move It On Over” and John Lee Hooker’s “House Rent Boogie/One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer”. Another favorite, in which Thorogood displays his impressive guitar skills, is a cover of Bo Diddley’s “Who Do You Love?” George Thorogood and the [Delaware] Destroyers have released 16 studio albums, including five that have been certified Gold. The band is credited with the early success of Rounder Records.

George Thorogood’s rasping growl and squealing, overdriven slide was Rounder Records’ best kept secret until “Bad to the Bone” came out in 1982. His saxophone-heavy Blues Rock became an FM radio/MTV staple and song titles like “I Drink Alone” became bumper stickers and catchphrases for late-stage alcoholics all over the country. Due in part to this success, Thorogood has never been a favorite among blues purists, but his early recordings showcase a genuine Hound Dog Taylor influence, matching the master’s jagged guitar in caterwauling screech, if not incendiary speed.

Bad To The Bone

The song’s roots can be traced back to rock and roll legend Bo Diddley’s song “I’m a Man”, which uses the same guitar riff and vocal rhythm, and has a similar overall structure, as well as Muddy Waters’s “She Moves Me” and “Mannish Boy”.

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On the day I was born, the nurses all gathered ’round
And they gazed in wide wonder, at the joy they had found
The head nurse spoke up, and she said leave this one alone
She could tell right away, that I was bad to the bone
Bad to the bone
Bad to the bone
B-B-B-B-Bad to the bone
B-B-B-B-Bad
B-B-B-B-Bad
Bad to the bone

I broke a thousand hearts, before I met you
I’ll break a thousand more baby, before I am through
I wanna be yours pretty baby, yours and yours alone
I’m here to tell ya honey, that I’m bad to the bone
Bad to the bone
B-B-B-Bad
B-B-B-Bad
B-B-B-Bad
Bad to the bone

I make a rich woman beg, I’ll make a good woman steal
I’ll make an old woman blush, and make a young woman squeal
I wanna be yours pretty baby, yours and yours alone
I’m here to tell ya honey, that I’m bad to the bone
B-B-B-B-Bad
B-B-B-B-Bad
B-B-B-B-Bad
Bad to the bone

  • Audio from the 1982 album, Bad To The Bone:


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About DJ Allyn

DJ Allyn is a burned out radio guy who went on to become a burned out sound engineer for a few Seattle area grunge bands in the 1980s and 1990s. Left the madness of worldwide tours with bands, cleaned up my act and went into the relative sanity of sound engineering for television series. Currently working as the Director of Sound for a television series being filmed in North Vancouver, British Columbia. I am always on the lookout for interesting videos, old music, and fun.

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