Twisted (Annie Ross song)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

"Twisted" is a 1952 vocalese song with lyrics by Annie Ross, set to a tenor saxophone solo of the same name by Wardell Gray that was recorded in 1949. It has been covered by Bette Midler, Joni Mitchell, and many others.


"Twisted" is a whimsical account of the protagonist's insanity that satirises psychoanalysis.[1][2] In 1952, Ross met Prestige Records owner Bob Weinstock, who asked her to write lyrics to a jazz solo, in a similar way to King Pleasure, a practice that would later be known as vocalese. The next day, she presented him with "Twisted", a treatment of saxophonist Wardell Gray's 1949 composition of the same name, a classic example of the genre.[3][4][5] She later said of the inspiration for the song:

The title was infinite possibilities. You could marry anything to it and it was the name signified, "Twisted." And it just occurred to me that it would be good as a kind of song about an analyst.

[3]The song, first released on the 1952 album King Pleasure Sings/Annie Ross Sings, was an underground hit, and resulted in her winning Down Beat's New Star award.[4][6][7] Ross released a second version with the vocalese trio Lambert, Hendricks & Ross on their 1960 self-titled album, also known as The Hottest New Group In Jazz; Gramophone described that recording as "more lighthearted, perhaps a little more individual" than Ross' first release of the song.[8]


"Twisted" has been covered by many groups and artists, including the following recordings:[9]

The song was part of the live repertoire of The New Journeymen, before it evolved into The Mamas & the Papas.[1]

In popular culture[edit]


  1. ^ a b Greenwald, Matthew. "Twisted". Allmusic. Retrieved 23 December 2011. 
  2. ^ Dale, Michael (10 May 2007). "Annie Ross at The Metropolitan Room: Lush and Twisted". Retrieved 23 December 2011. 
  3. ^ a b Don Ball, ed. (22 September 2009). "Interview by Molly Murphy for the National Endowment for the Arts". National Endowment for the Arts. Retrieved 24 December 2011. 
  4. ^ a b Bush, John. "Annie Ross biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 24 December 2011. 
  5. ^ Yanow, Scott. "Wardell Gray". Allmusic. Retrieved 23 December 2011. 
  6. ^ Gavin, James (3 October 1993). "A Free-Spirited Survivor Lands on Her Feet". The New York Times. Retrieved 24 December 2011. 
  7. ^ a b "Annie Ross". B.H. Hopper Management. Retrieved 24 December 2011. 
  8. ^ "Lambert, Hendricks and Ross The Hottest New Group In Jazz". Gramophone. May 1960. Retrieved 23 December 2011. 
  9. ^ "Annie Ross: Credits". Allmusic. Retrieved 23 December 2011. 
  10. ^ Marom, Malka (June 1974). "Joni Mitchell:self-portrait of a superstar". Maclean's. Retrieved 12 October 2012. 
  11. ^ Harvey, Adam; Hyman, Dick (March 2007). The soundtracks of Woody Allen: a complete guide to the songs and music in every film, 1969–2005. McFarland. pp. 50–. ISBN 978-0-7864-2968-4. Retrieved 23 December 2011.