SCREAMIN JAY HAWKINS I PUT A SPELL ON YOU
1. Portrait of a Man 4:17
2. Itty Bitty Pretty One 2:29
3. Don't Deceive Me 3:45
4. What's Gonna happen on the 8th Day? 5:01
5. Ashes 2:48
6. We Love 2:51
7. It's Only Make Believe 3:20
8. Please Don't Leave Me 3:49
9. I Put a Spell on You 3:31
10. I Don't Know 3:34
11. Guess Who 4:23
12. What Good is It Pt. 1 2:17
13. What Good Is It Pt. 2 4:33
14. Same Damn Thing 5:51
Total time: 52:35
This 1972 set recorded in Nashville sees the wild man of rock back by a six-piece band and the 21st Century Singers in fine soul style.
Screamin' Jay Hawkins, who died in Paris in February 2000, was the original wild man of rock. His outrageous live act, with its use of ghoulish stage props, was a major influence on Alice Cooper, Arthur Brown and Screaming Lord Sutch.For this set, recorded in 1972 in Nashville, Hawkins does his thing in fine soul style, backed by a six-piece band and the 21st Century Singers.As well as including a batch of new songs and his individual take on Conway Twitty's 'It's Only Make Believe', this collection includes a soulful re-working of his all-time classic, 'I Put A Spell On You', a song which has been covered over the years by numerous artists ranging from Nina Simone to Creedence Clearwater Revival.
His most successful recording, "I Put a Spell on You" (1956), was selected as one of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll. According to the AllMusic Guide to the Blues, "Hawkins originally envisioned the tune as a refined ballad. The entire band was intoxicated during a recording session where "Hawkins screamed, grunted, and gurgled his way through the tune with utter drunken abandon.The resulting performance was no ballad but instead a "raw, guttural track" that became his greatest commercial success and surpassed a million copies in sales
The performance was mesmerizing, although Hawkins himself blacked out and was unable to remember the session. Afterward he had to relearn the song from the recorded version Meanwhile the record label released a second version of the single, removing most of the grunts that had embellished the original performance; this was in response to complaints about the recording's overt sexuality. Nonetheless it was banned from radio in some areas.
Soon after the release of "I Put a Spell on You", radio disc jockey Alan Freed offered Hawkins $300 to emerge from a coffin onstage. Hawkins accepted and soon created an outlandish stage persona in which performances began with the coffin and included gold and leopard skin costumes and notable voodoo stage props, such as his smoking skull on a stick – named Henry – and rubber snakes. These props were suggestive of voodoo, but also presented with comic overtones that invited comparison to "a black Vincent Price.”