I Put a Spell On You

Well, another Friday is upon us.  That means another song.  Today is a song that I am really fond of.  You may not know this but Screamin’ Jay Hawkins wrote and did this song first in 1956.

In 1965 Nina Simone released a very soulful version of the song.

The version I am really talking about here is the familiar version that Creedence Clearwater Revival did.  Here is that version in all it’s splendor.

I just really love the blues and soul that CCR puts into this song.  This song has a very interesting history.  I learned a lot about this song.  Please read about a little bit of what I have learned.  Enjoy!

I Put a Spell on You” is a 1956 song written by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, whose recording was selected as one of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.  It was also ranked #320 on the Rolling Stone magazine’s list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Although Hawkins’ version did not make any charts, several later cover versions have done so.  Nina Simone‘s version reached # 23 in the US Billboard R&B chart in 1965; it also reached # 49 in the UK singles chart that year, and # 28 when it was reissued in 1969.  The version by The Alan Price Set reached # 9 in the UK in 1966, and # 80 on the Billboard Hot 100Creedence Clearwater Revival‘s version reached # 58 on the US Hot 100 in 1968.  In the UK, Bryan Ferry‘s version reached # 18 in 1993, and the version by Sonique reached # 36 in 1998 and # 5 on reissue in 2000.  The song has been recorded by numerous other artists.  The song version by Jeff Beck featuring Joss Stone, was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal at 53rd Grammy Awards.

The original version

Hawkins had originally intended to record “I Put a Spell on You” as a refined love song, a blues ballad.  He reported, however, that the producer “brought in ribs and chicken and got everybody drunk, and we came out with this weird version.  I don’t even remember making the record.  Before, I was just a normal blues singer.  I was just Jay Hawkins.  It all sort of just fell in place.  I found out I could do more destroying a song and screaming it to death.”

Some sources claim that “I Put a Spell on You” had been released earlier than 1956 in a more sedate form, but this has not been verified.  The date of 1949 for an original release on the Grand label would appear unlikely, since it predates both the formation of the record label and the beginning of Hawkins’ performing career.

“I Put a Spell on You” became a quick success, despite being banned by some stores and radio stations.  A softer version, minus certain sounds deemed “cannibalistic“, did not chart but brought Hawkins together with Alan Freed and his “Rock and Roll Review”.

Up to this time, Hawkins had been a blues performer; emotional, but not wild.  Freed suggested a gimmick to capitalize on the “demented” sound of “I Put a Spell on You”: Hawkins wore a long cape, and appeared onstage by rising out of a coffin in the midst of smoke and fog.

The act was a sensation, later bolstered by tusks worn in Hawkins’ nose, on-stage snakes and fireworks, and a cigarette-smoking skull named “Henry”.  The theatrical act was one of the first shock rock performances, and a basis for much that came later in rock and roll, including Dr. John, Alice Cooper, Eric Burdon, Screaming Lord Sutch, Warren Zevon, Arthur Brown, Black Sabbath, Ted Nugent, George Clinton, The Butthole Surfers, The Cramps, and Marilyn Manson.

Covers and samples

“I Put a Spell on You” has been covered very many times, perhaps most famously by Nina Simone in 1965, Alan Price in 1966, and Bette Midler in the 1993 movie Hocus Pocus (film).  Other artists to record the song include:

MiM0SA‘s is a Post-dubstep remix of Nina Simone’s cover of the song

Most of the covers treat the song seriously; few attempt to duplicate Hawkins’s bravura performance. Arthur Brown comes close.

In 1967, the arrangement was used once more for Frank Sinatra‘s “The World We Knew (Over and Over)“.

Also, it has been sampled on tracks by The Notorious B.I.G. (“Kick In The Door”), The Beatnuts (“Se Acabo”), LL Cool J and The Heavy (“Sixteen”). Producers Cookin’ Soul reworked the sample used by The Notorious B.I.G, incorporating more elements of the original song and changing the tempo, and released a song featuring Styles P of The LOX.

The song has been used as the exit music for the annual Halloween fireworks show HalloWishes at Walt Disney World in Florida. It can also be heard at the end of Halloween Screams at Disneyland and Disney’s Nightmare in the Sky at Hong Kong Disneyland.

The title of the song was borrowed to name one of the quests in the role-playing game Fallout New Vegas, as one of the numerous references and allusions to the music of the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s in that game.


I Put A Spell On You

Creedence Clearwater Revival

Songwriter: HAWKINS, JAY
I put a spell on you
Because you’re mine
You better stop
The things that you’re doing
I said “Watch out!”
I ain’t lying, yeah!
I ain’t gonna take none of your
Fooling around
I ain’t gonna take none of your
Putting me down
I put a spell on you
Because you’re mine.
All right!
(repeat 1x)

About wmarsau

Most of the people who visit this blog already know me so it is kind of pointless to try to describe my life in this short little blurb. What is the purpose of this blog is the question. Over the course of this last year I have been exposed to some amazing people and have made personal development an important focus of my life. Being successful, not by the world's standards, but by God's has become my main focus. Mainly, I want to work to develop myself as a person who is kinder, reaches out to help those in need, and truly makes a difference in this world. To this end I am constantly reading and am exposed to so many differnet things along the way. These have been amazing and it is helping me grow so much. Then I started to think, "Why am I being so selfish?" You need to share with others these amazing things you are learning and being exposed to. That is where this blog comes into play. As I am reading and experiencing things that are truly amazing and life changing, I will be posting them on this blog. Obviously, I will not be able to post everything in it's entirity, but I will be summarizing them and letting you know the source of the article or book they come from so you can check them out later if you wish. I want this blog to be a place where you can go to often and be inspired and leave here with a smile on your face. I will be covering all kinds of different topics dealing with success and personal development. Topics like taking action, relationships, living to your potential, reinventing yourself, finances, leadership, presenting, goal setting, time management, etc. I will also be occasionally including topics on cooking, music, and gardening because they are special interests of mine. As a little disclaimer, I have given my life to the Lord and he is #1 in my life. I am his servant and everything I do in life is for his glory. With that being said, religion influences all areas of my life. There will be references to God in this blog because I can't seperate God from this or any other area of my life. I want you to know that if you do not believe in God, that is fine. That is your choice. This blog is open to anyone who wants to better their life. I will not be trying to influence or pressure anyone into having a relationship with the Lord from this site. Please don't feel uncomfortable. You can just read the portions of the blog that you wish to. I am inviting you to go on a journey with me. We will learn together to be the kind of people we were designed to be. Anyone can make a difference in this world, but it starts%
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