I Put a Spell on You (2:24)

Cover of Cow Fingers and Mosquito Pie

From Cow Fingers and Mosquito Pie and 174 other releases

“I Put a Spell on You”

Single by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins
from the album At Home with Screamin’ Jay Hawkins
Released 1957
Format 7” 45 RPM
Genre Rock and Roll
Length 2:25
Label Grand (1949)
OKeh (1957)
Writer(s) Screamin’ Jay Hawkins
Producer Arnold Maxon

“I Put a Spell on You” is a 1957 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 #313 on the Rolling Stone magazine’s list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. The song was later covered by numerous other artists, including Creedence Clearwater Revival, Crazy World of Arthur Brown, Nina Simone, The Animals, Them, The Alan Price Set and Marilyn Manson.


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’s performing career.

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