In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Let It Be. “A restaurant that removed your favorite item from the menu, a bad cover of a great song… Write a post about something that should’ve been left untouched, but wasn’t. Why was the original better?
<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/let-it-be/”>Let It Be</a> Still playing catch up on Blogging 101, but actually catching up at last… The task today is to make a post to the blog, that has been inspired by a prompt, in this case the prompt comes from ‘The Daily Post’. The prompt itself didn’t immediately grab me by the throat and shake the words right out of me, though sometimes I need that to happen !! What actually happened was that I noticed in the first line of the prompt the words…‘a bad cover of a great song…and, something that should have been left untouched but wasn’t’ … it immediately brought to mind the song “I Put a Spell on You” (The link is for the complete album The Best of Nina Simone,) by Nina Simone or Eunice Kathleen Waymon as she was christened … I can remember when that song hit the charts here in the UK, just scraping into the top 50 at number 49 in 1965…it was like a slap in the face for me, my intro to Nina Simone and the world of a phenomenal woman. As I learned about her and her music my admiration grew for her and, like my other music idol at the time, Ray Charles, Nina could do no wrong. I began recalling the footage showed on BBC news of the white population of the Southern States of America and the police and officials in particular assaulting the black population with batons, water cannon, fists and boots because they dared to ask to be treat like human beings…for me the music of Nina Simone reflected this struggle for human rights and endeared me to the Civil Rights movement and Nina in particular. I never dreamed that anyone could sing “I put a spell on you” like Nina could…… and then a friend and work colleague JAYNEY WRIGHT introduced me to the artist (not in person !!) who wrote and sang the original version…. SCREAMING JAY HAWKINS …. and I changed my mind about no one coming close to Nina’s version. Jay Hawkins wrote the song in 1956 and on release…didn’t make any charts at all on either side of the pond. It’s very different and was recorded originally after a recording session fuelled by ‘Ribs and Mash’ and I don’t mean potatoes !!!…anyway I think that Jay Hawkins’ version, different as can be from Nina’s, is as powerful and as unique. It reflects the power of his voice and demonstrates perfect pitch as well as, when you see his stage act, his performing ability. All in all, not the same but equally as affecting. The Third cover of this song is by MANFRED MANN , like Nina’s version a slow and passionate song of Love against the odds. Paul Jones of Manfred Mann lends his voice to perfection in this song. Only recently discovered by myself, I was amazed at how yet another singer can be as good as Nina Simone but in a different interpretation. There are many other covers that would deserve a mention including Annie Lennox, Jeff Beck Allan Price sect, the Animals…. They all changed something that should have been left alone … thank God!! all VERY worthy contenders for the tittle of ‘Best Cover of I put a spell on you’….for me…it has to be that classically trained pianist, Eunice Kathleen Waymon… What a woman !!!