Annie Lennox : 100 BEAUTIFUL SONGS

Number 24 : I Put a Spell on You by Annie Lennox from Nostalgia in 2014

The lead single from 2014’s Nostalgia has a storied history. Written in 1956 by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, the song was a million-seller. It has since been covered by a number of musicians, including Annie. With Nostalgia garnering a Grammy nomination, Annie was invited to perform with fellow nominee Hozier and do a combo performance of Hozier’s “Take Me to Church” and Annie’s version of “I Put a Spell on You.” The performance was considered a highlight to the awards show. Annie’s version got a slight remix and was included during the opening scene of the movie adaptation of “Fifty Shades of Grey.” It is included on the soundtrack.

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I Put A Spell On You
Because You’re Mine
You Better Stop The Things You Do
I Tell You I Ain’t Lyin’
I Ain’t Lyin’
You Know I Can’t Stand It
You’re Runnin’ Around
You Know Better, Daddy
I Can’t Stand It ‘Cause You Put Me Down
Oh No

I Put A Spell On You
Because You’re Mine

You Know I Love You
I Love You
I Love You Anyhow
And I Don’t Care If You Don’t Want Me
I’m Yours Right Now

I Put A Spell On You
Because You’re Mine

Our number 24, from 2014’s Nostalgia, and the first single from the album of The Great American Songbook covers, “I Put A Spell on You” was also reimagined and re-recorded for 2015’s “Fifty Shades of Grey” film, and soundtrack.

In researching the song for this write up, I realize the pairing of Annie’s talents, and the song itself, are paired perfectly together, like a good wine and cheese. The song, originally written and performed by “Screamin’ Jay” Hawkins, was intended to be a blues ballad, but after a night in the studio with ribs, chicken, and lots of booze, Screamin’ Jay recorded it as a screaming, sloppy, raw track, which on release was actually banned from radio stations for sounding too cannibalistic in 1956.

The song, while never charting, became a cult classic, and almost 60 years later, a perfect choice for Lennox’s own take on the classic. The song has been covered frequently over the years, including by Marilyn Manson on the ‘Smells Like Children’ EP that also contained their famous take on “Sweet Dreams.” And much as Manson made a Eurythmics’ classic their own, so does Lennox, with her pointed and precise delivery of the song.

Taking the stage with Hozier at the 2015 Grammy Awards, Lennox stole the show with her rendition of “I Put A Spell On You,” surly and not the least bit ironically, one of the best live performances ever at the Grammy’s and perhaps, of all time anywhere.
– Dan Mueller

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