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Sammy Davis Jr.: Sammy Davis Jr.: Satan Swings Baby and That's the Truth, The Whole Truth and Nothing But...

Trevor MacLaren By

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It's no secret that The Candyman was digging the Dark Lord in the early '70s, when he was awarded an honorary Warlock degree by the Church of Satan. But this long-lost recording of odes to the devil is a bit a surprise. These seven tracks were recorded in Los Angeles in 1974 with a small swing band. The mix has the vocals hidden behind the horns and sounds as if it has been mastered from vinyl. The package lacks liner notes, recording dates and player information.

Lousy sound or not, this is an important release in Sammy Davis Jr.'s catalogue. Though it clocks in under thirty minutes, the album features compositions that neither Davis nor biographers ever mentioned him recording. Choices like an eerie and ominous version of the Coleman/Leigh classic "Witchcraft make sense, but a bizarre swinging take on The Rolling Stones' "Sympathy For Devil is regrettable. If that was not strange enough, the album closes with an Elvis cover, "Devil in Disguise, featuring Church of Satan founder Anton LeVey on vocals and Wurlitzer organ.

These sessions are obviously untended archival material, with their grainy sound, yet they are a strange curiosity for fans and baffled listeners alike. This material certainly shows Sammy could take on rock and roll when he needed to; his chops are perfect and the band is hot. Destined to be one of the greatest forgotten releases of 2006.

Track Listing: Witchcraft; Dark End of The Street; She has a Touch of the Devil in Her; Sympathy for the Devil; Devil in Her Heart; Darkness Follows Me; Devil in Diguise.

Personnel: Sammy Davis Jr: vocals.

Title: Sammy Davis Jr.: Satan Swings Baby and That's the Truth, The Whole Truth and Nothing But... | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Capitol Records

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