It’s been a really long time since my last blog post, so I thought I’d start off with one of my favorites 🙂 Fever !! When you hold me, Fever all through the night 🙂
I was thinking of adding a little poll in at the end to see which Fever version the world thought was the best, but it turns out there are a few more than I expected. I thought there’d be 20-30 max… Surprise surprise (or maybe not), there are 250 odd renditions of Fever. A few of the top favorites (in order of the number of songs sold and the worldwide ratings) are by :
- Little Willie John
- Peggy Lee
- James Brown
- Christina Aguilera
- Rita Moreno and the Muppets
Other notable artists who have recorded it are :
Fine Frenzy, , * Boney M., , * Amanda Lear, , * Annabella Lwin, , * Ann-Margret, , * Daniel Ash, , * Roy Ayers, , * Michael Ball, , * Paris Bennett, , * Beyoncé (for the film The Fighting Temptations), , * Bobby & the Midnites, , * Bobby “Blue” Bland, , * The Bobs, , * Bow Wow Wow, , * James Brown, , * Precious Bryant, , * Michael Bublé, , * Sam Butera, , * Virginia Maestro and Chipper (Operación Triunfo), , * Junior Byles, , * Eva Cassidy, , * Ray Charles and Natalie Cole, , * Christina Aguilera, , * George Clinton, , * Marc Cohn, , * The Cramps, , * Celine Dion, , * The Doors, , * Bob Dylan, , * Brian Eno, , * Gentlemen of St. John’s, , * Grateful Dead, , * Buddy Guy, , * Dick Dale, , * Lalah Hathaway, , * Gwyneth Herbert, , * The Jam, , * Tom Jones, , * Laura Stoica, , * Madleen Kane, , * Diana Krall, , * Claude Nougaro (French singer, song as “39 degrés de fièvre”), , * La Lupe, , * Little Nell, , * Peggy Lee, , * Lucybell, , * Madonna (see Fever (Madonna song)), , * Marine Girls, , * The McCoys, which peaked at #7 on the Billboard Pop chart, , * Rose McGowan (as Paige Matthews on Charmed), , * Meiko, , * Judith Light (as Angela Bower on Who’s the Boss), , * Syesha Mercado, , * Bette Midler, , * Mina, , * Nina Hagen, , * Willie Mitchell, , * Sylvester James, , * Rebbie Jackson, , * Michelle Mc Grath, , * Sophie Milman, , * Rita Moreno, , * Mika Nakashima, , * Neville Brothers, , * Una Palliser, , * Over the Rhine, , * Rhymefest, , * Nicholas Pedro, , * Elvis Presley, , * The Pussycat Dolls, , * Ratdog, , * Quincy Jones, , * Suzi Quatro, , * Joe Sample, , * Helen Shapiro, , * The Simpsons, , * Sumo, , * Superpitcher, , * Toots & the Maytals, , * Fever Tree, , * Sarah Vaughan, , * Nana Visitor, , * Don Williams, , * Little Willie John, , * Ana Carolina, , * Mountain, , * Farnham Youth Choir, , * The Winkies, , * Kate Ceberano, , * G4, , * Joe Cocker *
Well obviously we won’t talk about all of them, or we’d be here for days…. What I’m going to do is discuss my 5 favorite versions and let you choose for yourself….
1. Little Willie John (the original)
Little Willie John, so named for his famous 5’4” stature (much like my sister Liddle Sheflet Azad, I couldn’t resist pulling her leg in this post, sorry Sheffy), was the first person to record the song. He stated in an interview that he wasn’t all that keen on recording the song because he didn’t like the idea of “clicking his fingers” for the entire song. He faded away eventually from stardom with Fever being his biggest hit that he’s remembered for.
Contrary to popular opinion, Little Willie John has always been the more popular recorder with his #1 and sales proving it.
Drumroll please… cos at a close second we have
2. Peggy Lee (also the original)
I know its a little startling to have 2 “the Original’s” but if you’re a fan of the song, you’ll know there are two renditions sung. One was of course Little Willie John, who sang the “boy” version of the song, the other more famously is Peggy Lee’s. She adds in the love stories that we’re so familiar with. That of Romeo & Juliet, Captain Smith & Pocahontas, Ahab & the Whale (kidding :D)
3. Rita Moreno & Animal
This was featured at the end of one of the Muppets episodes. It features Rita Moreno with Animal on the drums. Rita is better known for being one of the best actors on West Side Story and Chicago. She is the first actor to have ever won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and a Tony.
One of the best Fever renditions, this one also ends on a humorous note with Rita telling the Muppet (in Spanish)
“Listen Buddy. All I wanna tell you is that you shouldn’t do that. It’s not nice, you understand? Look at me when I’m talking to you. This is my number, and if you bother me any more I’m gonna hit you so hard, it’s gonna leave you stupid. Cool it.
She does hit him at the end, prompting him to call her “My kind of Women…” before he passes out
4. James Brown
No one, but no one has poured their heart out to Fever like he did. He adds to the song his own Jazz twist of the lyrics. I don’t think I need to introduce him to the masses so I’ll just add in…. Masterfully done **all hail**
5. Usha Uthup
No Indian worth his salt will refuse that Usha has a undeniable flair. The best part about Usha Uthup, is that like any good Jazz singer either she or the musicians just suddenly “take off” (for the lack of a better word) on a tangent, and yet at the end it all sounds planned.
I’ve decided to keep her for the end, because I found 3 completely unique, yet all abso-bloomin’-lootely gorgeous Fever tracks and I’ve added them all below.
So we have her in Nairobi, Kenya
And again, in Bandra, India
And once more, in Kolkatta, India (song starts at 1:50)
What to take away from this article….
I’ve missed a lot of other favorite versions like Ella Fitzgerald, Michael Buble, Elvis, and more. Another that you need to YouTube is Madonna Fever, she was in the process of recording a completely different song and just sang this one to the tune, liked it and made it live 🙂 So many songs, so little time, but I had to choose, and I must say, I’m pretty happy with my selection.
Well first things first, lie down, close your eyes and play all the songs I’ve listed up above one after the other and comment below to share your favorite one.
So now you’ve listened to my story, here’s the point that I have made… Chicks were born to give you fever, whether Fahrenheit or Centigrade. What a lovely way to burn….