The most famous version of “Louie Louie” is performed by the Kingsmen and was immortalized in “National Lampon’s Animal House”. However, the song has a long history predating that recording, and it was something of a garage rock and dub standard.
Of all the many iterations of “Louie Louie”, the one recorded by Seattle garage rock legends, The Sonics, stands out as the absolute best. It can be found on the band’s second album, Boom.
Despite existing in the ’60s The Sonics managed to record a blistering collection of songs that made The Kinks sound like The Partridge Family. Virtually everything they recorded is worth a listen, but their take on “Louie Louie” is a personal favorite.
This amazingly loud, wonderfully distorted take on the song is a prescient glimpse of punk and hard-rock set to a familiar tune.