On the Road Again (Canned Heat song)

On the Road Again (Canned Heat song)
"On the Road Again"
Single by Canned Heat
from the album Boogie with Canned Heat
B-side "Boogie Music"
Released April 24, 1968 (1968-04-24)
Format 7" 45 rpm record
Recorded Liberty Studios, Los Angeles
September 6, 1967
Genre Blues rock
Length 3:28 (single version)
5:01 (album version)
Label Liberty (Cat. no. 56038)
Writer(s) Floyd Jones, Alan Wilson
Producer Cal Carter
Canned Heat singles chronology
"Evil Woman"
"On the Road Again"
"Going Up the Country"

"On the Road Again," a song recorded by the American blues rock group Canned Heat, was released as a single in April 1968, and appeared on their 1968 album Boogie with Canned Heat as well as the 1969 compilation The Canned Heat Cookbook. It reached number eight[1] on the UK Singles Chart and number sixteen on the Billboard Hot 100.

"On the Road Again" was adapted by Alan Wilson from a song of the same name recorded in 1953 by Floyd Jones (July 21, 1917 – December 19, 1989), a Chicago blues musician.[1] Jones' song was itself an adaptation of "Big Road Blues," recorded in 1928 by Delta blues musician Tommy Johnson.

With his knowledge of Eastern music, Wilson used a tambura drone to give the song a hypnotic effect and a psychedelic edge.[2] The song features Wilson as the lead singer and harmonica player. Wilson's harmonica solo has a note that is not playable without an overblow; he re-tuned his harmonica's six hole up a half step. The B-side of the single was entitled "Boogie Music". A black and white live performance is used in place of a video.

The song appears in the films Alice in the Cities (1973), Hideous Kinky (1998), "Frequency" (2000), Cold Creek Manor (2003), and The Bucket List (2007).

Other versions

Love Sculpture, the British blues band led by Dave Edmunds, recorded "On the Road Again" for their first album Blues Helping which was released at the end of 1968. Tom Jones covered the song in 1978. An electro-rock version of the song by the French band Rockets appeared on their 1978 album On the Road Again. A similar version was released in a 2006 single by the Belgian band Telex. The Jeff Healey Band covered the song in the film Roadhouse. Andy Prieboy covered the song on his 1990 album ...Upon My Wicked Son.

Pete Townshend performed "On the Road Again" (as well as another Canned Heat song, "Going Up the Country") in his 1998 concert series, most notably at Woodstock (August 15) and at the House of Blues, Chicago (August 16). The latter concert was partially recorded as the CD A Benefit For Maryville Academy and included "On the Road Again".

Status Quo recorded the song which was included on their 2003 covers album Riffs. Katie Melua recorded it for her 2005 album Piece by Piece. The Smashing Pumpkins included a snippet of this song during a medley version of "Heavy Metal Machine" on their 2007 tour. Dubstep DJ and Producer Stenchman sampled the original track in his 2009 track of the same name.


  1. ^ "On the Road Again". Chart Stats. http://www.chartstats.com/release.php?release=4764. Retrieved July 27, 2011. 
  2. ^ Greenwald, Matthew. "On the Road Again – Song Review". allmusic. http://www.allmusic.com/song/on-the-road-again-t992520. Retrieved December 11, 2010. 

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