This article is about the big band-era song popularized by Glenn Miller. For other uses, see In the Mood (disambiguation).
"In the Mood" is a big band era #1 hit recorded by American bandleader Glenn Miller. It topped the charts for 13 straight weeks in 1940 in the U.S. and one year later was featured in the movie Sun Valley Serenade.
In 1999, National Public Radio (NPR) included the 1939 Glenn Miller recording on RCA Bluebird on the NPR 100, the list of "The 100 most important American musical works of the 20th century".
"In the Mood" opens with a now-famous sax section theme based on repeated arpeggios that are rhythmically displaced; trumpets and trombones add accent riffs. The arrangement has two solo sections; a "tenor fight" solo--in the most famous recording, between Tex Beneke and Al Klink--and a 16-bar trumpet solo. The arrangement is also famous for its ending: a coda that climbs triumphantly, then sounds a simple sustained unison tonic pitch with a rim shot.
"In The Mood" was arranged by Joe Garland and Andy Razaf based on a pre-existing melody. The main theme, featuring repeated arpeggios rhythmically displaced, previously appeared under the title of "Tar Paper Stomp" credited to jazz trumpeter/bandleader Wingy Manone. Manone recorded "Tar Paper Stomp" which did not become popular until the middle of 1930, just months before Horace Henderson used the same tune in "Hot and Anxious," recorded by his brother's band, The Fletcher Henderson Orchestra, on March 19, 1931.
Under copyright rules of the day, a tune that had not been written down and registered with the copyright office could be appropriated by any musician with a good ear. A story says that after "In the Mood" became a hit, Manone was paid by Miller and his record company not to contest the copyright.
The original recording of Joe Garland's version was made by Edgar Hayes and his Orchestra in 1938, with Garland participating. In this recording there was a baritone sax duet rather than a tenor sax battle. Popular thought is that the melody had already become popular with Harlem bands (e.g. at the Savoy Ballroom) before being written down by Joe Garland. Before offering it to Glenn Miller, Garland sold the tune to Artie Shaw, who could not record it because the original arrangement was too long. The Hayes recording also bears signs of being a shortened arrangement. The tune was finally sold to Glenn Miller, who played around with its arrangement for a while. Although the arrangers of most of the Miller tunes are known, things are a bit uncertain for "In The Mood." It is often thought that Eddie Durham (who contributed other arrangements on the recording date of "In The Mood," Aug. 1, 1939 as well), John Chalmers McGregor (Miller's pianist) and Miller himself contributed most to the final version.
Glenn Miller's "In the Mood", though undisputably a hit, represents an anomaly for chart purists. "In the Mood" was released in the period immediately prior to the inception of retail sales charts in Billboard magazine. While it led the Record Buying Guide (jukebox list) for 13 weeks and stayed on the Billboard charts for 30 weeks, it never made the top 15 on the sheet music charts, which were considered by many to be the true measure of popular song success. The popular Your Hit Parade program ranked the song no higher than ninth place, for one week only (1940).
The Glenn Miller 1939 recording on RCA Bluebird, B-10416-A, was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1983. The recording by Glenn Miller is one of the most recognized and most popular instrumentals of the 20th century. The song even appeared in The Beatles "All You Need is Love" #1 single in 1967 and in the Jive Bunny and the Mastermixers rendition in 1989, "Swing the Mood", a worldwide hit. The Glenn Miller RCA Bluebird recording was released as V-Disc 123B in February 1944 and a new version was released as V-Disc 842B in May 1948 by Glenn Miller and the Overseas Band by the U.S. War Department.
Notable artists who have recorded big-band versions of "In The Mood" include the Joe Loss Orchestra, Xavier Cugat, Tommy Dorsey, Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, Lubo D'Orio, the Brian Setzer Orchestra, The Shadows and John Williams with the Boston Pops Orchestra.
Non-big-band renditions were recorded by the Andrews Sisters, Jerry Lee Lewis, Chet Atkins, Bill Haley & His Comets, Bad Manners, and the Puppini Sisters. In addition, in 1959 Ernie Fields and his Orchestra peaked at number 4 on the pop chart and number 7 on the R&B charts. The song charted at number 16 in 1953 in a version by Johnny Maddox. Bette Midler recorded the song in 1973 (on the album Bette Midler). Jonathan King scored a UK Top 50 hit with his version of the song in 1976. The avant-garde synthpop act Art of Noise occasionally performed a rendition of the song on their live shows, in their trademark sampled style. The rock band Chicago added their version in 1995. An unusual version of the song was released on Maynard Ferguson's 'Lost Tapes Volume 2' album. The first 30 seconds are the traditional version, but the band then restarts with the trumpets taking the lead. German thrash metal band Destruction covered the first few bars at the end of their track "Survive to Die" at the end of their 1988 album Release From Agony.
In the fifties, former Bando da Lua musician, producer Aloisio de Oliveira wrote a humorous Portuguese lyric to this song, retitled it as "Edmundo". This version was recorded by artists like Elza Soares and Brazilian surf-rock group João Penca & Seus Miquinhos Amestrados.
A novelty version of the song was recorded by country/novelty artist Ray Stevens in 1977. Stevens' version consisted of him performing the song in chicken clucks, bar-for-bar. The performance was credited to the "Henhouse Five Plus Too". The single was a Top-40 hit in both America and the UK.
In 1951 a Ferranti Mark 1 computer at the University of Manchester played "In the Mood", one of the first songs to be played by a computer, and the oldest known recording of digitally generated music.
Jive Bunny and the Mastermixers recorded a version of the song as part of a medley entitled "Swing the Mood" which went no. 1 in the UK for 5 weeks. The record reached #11 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States where it also went gold. It was the 2nd best-selling single of 1989 in the UK.
Bluesman John Lee Hooker has said that "In the Mood" was the inspiration for "I'm In the Mood" which became a #1 hit on the R&B Singles chart.
A 1953/54 version of Eddie Cochran was released in 1997 on the album Rockin' It Country Style.