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Johnny Feelgood

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“Johnny Feelgood” was originally Matador’s first choice to be the first single from Liz’s third album, whitechocolatespaceegg, but Capitol opted for “Polyester Bride” instead.

At the beginning of 1999, promotional posters and magazine ads started to promote it as the second single, but the album was starting to lose steam at this point, despite Phair’s consistent touring. Plans for a retail release were ultimately scrapped.

A promotional single for “Johnny Feelgood” was released around this time and sent out to radio stations and media publications. It contains only two tracks: a radio edit and the album version of the song.

Strangely, the release didn’t contain a front cover or back card information that is usually standard, even with promotional releases. Instead, it featured a generic image that was used for many promotional singles distributed by Capitol Records at that time.

The song, which … is one that often is performed by Liz at concert shows and is a considered a favorite among fans.

Promotional ad for “Johnny Feelgood”

“It’s that swagger that I had so much fun appropriating for myself. Sort of taking back the narrative from that traditional rock vocalist. And I knew at that time, when I was talking about him knocking me down and dragging me around in the back of his car… I knew the buttons I was pushing in terms of female sexuality. Are you allowed to say that? Are you allowed to like that? That wasn’t drawn from a real-life experience about getting it on in a car. That was about a different way to express your sexuality, even from a feminist’s point of view.”

Liz Phair on “Johnny Feelgood”
Hey Lou, Hey Liz Livestream (March 3, 2021)

Johnny Feelgood (Promotional Single)

Released: January 19, 1999
Label: Matador / Capitol Records
Format: CD
Country: US
Availability: Rare

Guitar: Liz Phair
Guitar: Jason Chasko
Guitar, Bass, Drums, Organ, Handclaps: Brad Wood
Guitar, Handclaps, Engineer: Ed Tinley
Keyboards, Programming, Engineer: John Hiler

Written by Liz Phair
Produced by Brad Wood
Mixed by Tom Lord-Alge

01. Johnny Feelgood (Edit)2:59
02. Johnny Feelgood (Album Version)3:23


Johnny feel good, Johnny right on
Johnny miss you, Johnny light on
Johnny makes me feel strangely good about myself

Moderation is a memory
Dive right in and let him send me
I could take this in doses large enough to kill

I never met a man who was so pretty inside
He’s got diamonds on the bed of his thumbnails and I
Never realized I was so dirty and dry
‘Til he knocked me down, started dragging me around in the
Back of his convertible car…

And I liked it
I liked it more and more
Crimson and Clover, soon he’s taken over all my senses

He’s got petals on the bed of his sweat sock drawer
And who the fuck am I to criticize him
‘Cause I really need him now, in fact
I’m kinda freaking out
And I’m wondering where the hell you all are…

I’ve never met a man I was so crazy about
It kinda has become an obsession to me
I hate him all the time, but I still get up
When he knocks me down and he orders me around
‘Cause it loosens me up
And I can’t get enough
And I’d pay to spend the night with him
Some more!

‘Cause I liked it…
I really, really, really liked it…

whitechocolatespaceegg (1998)
WCSE Sessions (1999)
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