To Be Free: The Nina Simone Story [Box]
1. Backlash Blues - (live)
2. How It Would Feel To Be Free - (live)
3. Precious Lord - (live)
4. Percussion/Drums/Clapping/Dancing - (live)
5. Ain't Got No-I Got Life - (live)
6. Go To Hell - (live)
7. Milestones - (live)
8. Don't Pay Them No Mind - (live)
9. Pirate Jenny - (live)
10. Precious Lord - (live)
Performer: Nina Simone
Producer: Richard Seidel (Compilation)...
Distributor: Sony Music Distribution (
Notes: Personnel: Nina Simone (vocals, piano). Audio Mixer: Todd Whitelock. Audio Remasterer: Mark Wilder. Liner Note Author: David Nathan. Jazz singer and pianist Nina Simone was such a prodigious talent that even a four-disc box set might seem too small a canvas to fully sketch her genius, but TO BE FREE: THE NINA SIMONE STORY is nonetheless an ideal introduction. The three CDs contain 51 tracks covering Simone's career from 1953 to 1993, from her beginnings as a classically trained supper club artiste through her period of political awakening into her later, idiosyncratic blend of jazz, blues, pop, and rock. The fourth disc is a DVD containing a documentary film with live concert footage that was completed in 1970 but never released until this set. The set also contains eight previously unreleased songs and a book with essays and track-by-track commentary.
Mojo (Publisher) (p.122) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "Over the course of 3CDs, we bear witness to a singer who had no equal. Simone carved phrases with that smoky tenor, a natural instrument so regal that her whisper packed more power than the caterwauling of lessers who compensate with overkill." Blender (Magazine) (p.81) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "She squeezed audiences with a mysterious intensity, and this three-disc set is rightly heavy on the live tracks." Paste (magazine) (p.66) - "TO BE FREE: THE NINA SIMONE STORY stirringly captures Simone's journey from a reluctant cabaret performer to one of the most powerful voices of the Civil Rights era." Uncut (magazine) - 5 stars out of 5 -- "The songs Simone wrote or covered in response to the Civil Rights struggle of the 1960s suited her throaty snarl perfectly."
Nina Simone was a great pianist, a riveting vocalist, and an uncompromising personality. Her sociopolitical consciousness and eclecticism set her apart from the pack. Her interpretations of soul, jazz, blues, and standards are both striking and unique; not for nothing do her fans refer to her as "the Goddess." She established her jazz credentials with an emotive interpretation of George Gershwin 's 'I Loves You Porgy' in 1959. Her influential '60s work included "Forbidden Fruit" and "I Put A Spell On You." One of her singles, "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood," later became a worldwide hit for the Animals. In later years, she recorded less frequently, but in 1987, while in self-imposed exile in France, she had a fluke hit after her '50s version of "My Baby Just Cares For Me," was resurrected in a TV commercial. Simone died in 2003 at her home in France at age 70.
Also Appears On:
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