Friday, April 3, 2009


On the back of this album, a guy called "Vinyl Demon" (and I'm pretty sure we'll be meeting in  a dark alley someday) says "Jalacey Hawkins is not an ordinary man and this is not an ordinary record. Play it and be damned". Screamin' Jay Hawkins was colorful, to say the least, he had a sort of a Vincent Price esthetic onstage, emerging from coffins, wearing capes and turbans and carrying a skull named Henry. He also had a flare for pyrotechnics, which got him into a lot of trouble and he dabbled in voodoo, obviously. Showmanship aside though, Hawkins was dazzling and if you haven't spent a little time with "I Put A Spell On You", I suggest you do so immediately because there's nothing on earth quite like it. It defies description.  The Rock and Roll Hall of fame lists it as one of the 500 songs that shaped rock and roll. In his later career, Hawkins became something of a cult figure, appearing in the Jim Jarmusch film "Mystery Train" and touring with Nick Cave and the clash. Hawkins died in 2000 leaving behind 75 offspring(!). The rest of the album pales in comparison to the first cut but I adore Little Demon and You Made Me Love You and Hawkin's version of I Love Paris is as good as it gets.

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