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A Music Blog (#30: Burn the witch)
This'll be probably the 2nd/3rd last song purposefully featured with a guitar solo in it before I retire the theme! The real question though is when that'll actually happen. =p
Anyways, this song is a cover of I Put a Spell On You, with this version by Creedence Clearwater Revival. It's not my favourite song by them but certainly good enough for the entry here, and the guitar solo is precisely why. They don't have a very happy history though in that they do not current own any of their own songs - they belong to a record company who let them be used in apparently hundreds of ads. Probably a lesson in there to be careful with contract signing... It was also a band which broke up after a number of arguments, which isn't too unusual but still a shame, given how many neat songs they have.
The song in itself would be short if the solo wasn't there, especially as it takes up almost half of the song! Which is no bad thing I suppose. It's also accompanied decently with the drums, but it's undoubtedly the stand out component. A bit out of the norm - I usually think the best part of the band is either the singing itself or the whole cohesion of the song. Not that the singing is bad here either - it's quite well sung here (almost in an anguished/angry manner) and mixes well with the instruments.
Nothing too complicated about the lyrics, and there's only the one verse that's practically repeated. What's interesting about this song though - and a lot of the other covers for that matter - is that it is fairly different to the original in portrayal. It's performed in a serious manner, for starters. Nothing really weird about it - it's just good music.
The original? The writer and singer was a guy by the name of Screamin' Jay Hawkins, which should say something in itself.
He called that skull 'Henry'. I think that also says something.
This singer liked to do more of an 'act' than just a song with his performances, and scream/shout the song more than sing (although he certainly has no lack of singing ability). He'd put so much into his act in fact that I'm putting one of his performances below too even if it has no guitar solo of note in it, just because it's worth a look. He rambles, he shouts, he shuffles about like a madman and sings like one possessed. Never mind his facial expressions. It takes guts to do a performance like that.
Apparently the song was meant to be a blues ballad. But then someone 'brought in ribs and chicken and got everybody drunk, and we came out with this weird version'. A version that Hawkins didn't recall himself after that night according to other sources. Well, whatever works, I guess.