2-CD with 36-page booklet, 48 tracks. Playing time approx. 136 mns.
Esquerita may have been one of rockin'est cats ever, but Screamin' Jay' Hawkins was certainly the weirdest. A true original who has been steadily recording for more than 40 years, Hawkins conjures up images of voodoo evil and satanic rites, all presented in an often looped manner that defies all norms. The man who opened his live shows by rising from a coffin was not the easiest performer to market, and as a result the hit total is scanty. His recording career is scattered amongst some two dozen labels, and while his most sustained stretch, with Columbia's Okeh subsidiary label, has been digitally documented elsewhere, this fine collection gathers together the important missing pieces: two sessions for Mercury and Wing in 1955, two sessions for Decca in 1966, four sessions for Philips in 1969 and a one-off single session for RCA from 1974. Among the many goodies are two remakes of I Put A Spell On You plus such wonders as Voodoo, She Put The Whamee On Me, Feast Of The Mau Mau, Constipation Blues, Bite It, and, just to complete the cycle, You Put A Spell On Me. Add to this an amazing, photo-filled 36-page booklet and you've got a pretty strong picture of an amazing, if unorthodox, performer.