One of the best known versions of “I Put A Spell On You” is by legendary jazz and blues performer Nina Simone. Her recording reached #23 on the U.S. Billboard R&B chart in 1965. There are very few videos of Simone singing this classic song. This “Found Performance” is from Simone’s 1968 live performance in the United Kingdom.
“I Put A Spell On You” is an interesting story. “Screamin’” Jay Hawkins wrote, composed and performed the original version back in 1956. Although it was somewhat popular, or at least notorious and talked about over the years, his record was wild (with grunting) and his stage performances included a voodoo theme and his crawling out of a coffin. The majority of radio stations wouldn’t play it — too controversial and, therefore, the record failed to chart. However, Hawkin’s rendition of his song is included in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s list of 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.
There have been several other cover versions of “I Put A Spell On You.” The one that reached the highest position on the Billboard Hot 100 (#58 in 1968) was by Creedence Clearwater Revival. Other cover versions worth mentioning were by The Allan Price Set, Bryan Ferry, Marilyn Manson and Sonique.
Technical: This is shortened version of her song, but it is unedited and as she performed it live. The video quality and the sound have been enhanced, and the lip sync corrected, to improve the overall quality of this more than 50 year-old archival recording.