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.’
First performed (in Casino Royale) by Dusty Springfield (1967).
First single release by Nina Simone (1967).
Hit versions by Dusty Springfield (US #22/CAN #26 1967), Sergio Mendes & Brazil ’66 (US #4 1968).
Also recorded by Isaac Hayes (1970).
From the wiki: “‘The Look of Love’ was written by Burt Bacharach, and was originally intended to be an instrumental for the James Bond spook, Casino Royale but, later, Hal David added the lyrics. The song was first recorded by Springfield originally for the Casino Royale soundtrack by Phil Ramone, the soundtrack’s engineer, who recorded the song separately from the rest of the film tracks with Springfield accompanied by only piano, saxophone and percussion.
“Springfield re-recorded the song in London the same year with a more full arrangement, releasing the track as the B-side of ‘Give Me Time’. That version charted in the US and Canada. But, prior to the release of Springfield’s single, Nina Simone recorded and released her own version of ‘The Look of Love’ in 1967 for her album Silk & Soul. Simone’s single had no chart impact.
First recorded by Nina Simone (1964).
Hit versions by The Animals (US #15/UK #3/CAN #4/AUS #29/SWE #7 1965), Santa Esmeralda (US #15/UK #41/AUS #7 1978).
From the wiki: “‘Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood’ is a song written by Bennie Benjamin, Gloria Caldwell, and Sol Marcus for Nina Simone, who first recorded it in 1964.
“The beginnings of ‘Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood’ originated with composer and arranger Horace Ott, who came up with the melody and chorus lyric line after a temporary falling out with his girlfriend (and wife-to-be), Gloria Caldwell. He then brought it to writing partners Bennie Benjamin and Sol Marcus to complete. However, when it came time for songwriting credits, rules of the time prevented BMI writers (Ott) from officially collaborating with ASCAP members (the other two), so Ott instead listed Caldwell’s name on the credits. Horace Ott’s involvement did not end with his initial songwriting; he was the arranger and orchestral conductor for Simone’s entire album, Broadway-Blues-Ballads, released in 1964.
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