Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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I Put a Spell on You

First recorded by “Screamin’ Jay” Hawkins (1955).
Re-recorded by “Screamin’ Jay” Hawkins (1956).
Hit versions by Nina Simone (US #120/R&B #23/UK #49 1965 |UK #28 1969), The Alan Price Set (US #80/UK #9 1966), The Crazy World of Arthur Brown (UK #111 1968), Creedence Clearwater Revival (US #58 1968), Bryan Ferry (UK #18 1993), Sonique (UK #6 1998 |UK #8 2000), Annie Lennox (US #97/UK #63/FRA #29 2014).
Also recorded by Bette Midler (1995), Jeff Beck & Joss Stone (2010).

From the wiki: “‘I Put a Spell on You’ was written in 1956 by Jalacy ‘Screamin’ Jay’ Hawkins. Hawkins first recorded the song as a ballad during his stint with Grand Records in late 1955. However, that version was not released at the time (it has since been reissued on Hawkins’ UK compilation The Whamee 1953–55).

“The following year, Hawkins re-recorded the song for Columbia’s Okeh Records. Of the latter recording, Hawkins remembers producer Arnold Maxin bringing 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.’

“The Okeh Records version was released in October 1956. However, it was banned from most radio programming for its outrageous ‘cannibalistic’ style. An edited version was later released omitting the grunts and moans from the ending of the song but, regardless, the ban generally remained. Despite the restriction, Hawkins’ record, while it never charted, still sold over a million copies.

“‘I Put a Spell on You’ has been covered extensively by other artists; there are several hundred cover versions. Most of the covers treat the song seriously; few attempt to duplicate Hawkins’ bravura performance. Although Hawkins’ own version never charted, several later cover versions have.

“Nina Simone’s version from her album of the same name reached #120 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #23 on the R&B charts in 1965; it also reached #49 on the UK singles chart that year, and #28 when it was reissued in 1969. A single release by The Alan Price Set reached #9 in the UK in 1966 and #80 on the Billboard Hot 100. The Crazy World of Arthur Brown covered the song on their 1968 self-titled album, with the promotional single ‘bubbling under’ the Hot 10 at #111.

“Creedence Clearwater Revival’s 1969 recording reached #58 on the Hot 100 in 1968, but gained wider awareness when the band later performed it at the Woodstock Festival in 1969. A recording of the group’s performance was ultimately included in the 1994 release of the 25th anniversary expanded compilation titled Woodstock: Three Days of Peace and Music.

“In the UK, Bryan Ferry’s version, covered on the album Taxi, reached #18 in 1993. A coverby Sonique reached #36 in 1998 and #8 on reissue in 2000.

“Bette Midler recorded ‘I Put a Spell on You’ in 1995 for the Disney motion picture Hocus Pocus. In 2010, Jeff Beck, with vocals by Joss Stone, covered the song on the album Emotion & Commotion. Their recording was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal at the 53rd Grammy Awards.

“Annie Lennox recorded her cover of the song in 2013. It was released on 15 September 2014 as the lead single from her sixth studio album Nostalgia. Its original release failed to make any impact on charts until it was included on the 2015 film Fifty Shades of Grey, after which the song did chart in the US, UK and France.”

“Screamin’ Jay” Hawkins, “I Put a Spelling on You” re-recording (1956):

Nina Simone, “I Put a Spell on You” (1965):

The Alan Price Set, “I Put a Spell on You” (1966):

The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, “I Put a Spell on You” (1968):

Creedence Clearwater Revival. “I Put a Spell on You” (1968):

Bryan Ferry, “I Put a Spell on You” (1993):

Bette Midler, “I Put a Spell on You” (1995):

Sonique, “I Put a Spell on You” (1998 |2000):

Jeff Beck feat. Joss Stone, “I Put a Spell on You” (2010)

Annie Lennox, “I Put a Spell on You” (2014):

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