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You can have your Big Jay McNeely, Wynonie Harris, even your Little Richard 'cuz when it comes to R&B wildmen, we'll see you and raise you one Screamin Jay Hawkins, the craziest SOB ever to grab a microphone. Jay's legend begins on September 12, 1956, when, after reportedly being plied with bottles of cheap Swiss Colony wine by A&R man Arnold Maxin, he and the band cut what is probably the single most insane slab of vinyl ever released: "I Put a Spell on You." The song became an underground hit, and launched a career spanning three-plus decades during which, in the indelible words of liner note writer Chris Morris, Hawkins materialized on stages around the world as a shrieking, tail-dragging hoodoo creature. Rising like one of the undead from a coffin, his hair sculpted in a towering conk, his noise pierced by a pointed bone, he shook a stick topped by a skull (nicknamed Henry) in his audiences faces, declaiming his wacked-out songsin a molten baritone punctuated by throat-rending howls, profound groans, jibbering wails, and guttural howls. This 10-track compilation captures the best tracks that Hawkins cut in the early 90s for Bizarre Records (could a label have a more perfect name for Screamin Jay?), the imprint originally founded by Frank Zappa and his business partner/manager Herb Cohen. Among the highlights are his two Tom Waits covers, Whistling Past the Graveyard and Heart Attack and Vine, Jays first-time-on-vinyl disquisition on oral hygiene, Shut Your Mouth When You Sneeze, and his lustful ode to the Twin Peaks star, Sherilyn Fenn, (Parental Advisory, yall!). Pressed in lurid purple vinyl, limited to 1,000 copies, with the aforementioned notes by Mr. Morris. Bizarre indeed!
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*SEALED* Jacket still sealed in shrink original wrap; disc sold ungraded or "as is."
NM (Near Mint) Appears unplayed and will bear no marks, sleeve scuffs, or scratches.
EX+ (Excellent) May have one or two visible imperfections (i.e. sleeve scuffs, faint scratches, or other superficial marks) that will not affect playback.
VG+ (Very Good+) A few visible imperfections. These may include sleeve scuffs, light scratches, or other superficial marks.
VG (Very Good) Similar imperfections found on VG+ records but in slightly greater numbers. Records graded VG and above will typically not have any scratches that are deep enough to be felt with a fingernail.
VG- (Very Good-) A number of visible imperfections; the presence of a considerable number of light scratches will force a VG- grade, as will the presence of significant isolated defects such as scratches deep enough to be felt with a fingernail.
G (Good) Record can be played without skipping, but will have significant surface noise, scratches, and visible groove wear. G+ and G- are used to indicate stronger and weaker copies within this range.
*SW/DNAP* Slight warp, does not affect playback
*QUAD* Quadraphonic Sound, similar to today’s surround sound
All records are visually graded by our experienced staff, using a bright lamp and an Audio-Technica ATLP-120 turntable.