Simone, Nina / Anthology
Album: Anthology   Collection:Jazz
Artist:Simone, Nina   Added:Aug 2003
Label:Rca Victor/Bmg  

A-File Activity
Add Date: 2003-10-27 Pull Date: 2003-12-29 Charts: Jazz
Week Ending: Dec 28 Dec 21 Nov 30 Nov 23 Nov 16 Nov 9
Airplays: 1 1 1 1 4 5

Recent Airplay
1. Apr 08, 2024: Virtually Eclipsed by Happiness
Here Comes the Sun
4. Oct 07, 2022: soul street
To Be Young, Gifted and Blac
2. Mar 15, 2023: Some Songs Without Words
Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood
5. May 28, 2022: Everything
Who Knows Where the Time ...
3. Jan 15, 2023: The Zydeco Workout
Why? (The King of Love ...
6. Dec 13, 2021: Waste FM (rebroadcast from Jun 12, 2018)
Mississippi Goddam

Album Review
Reviewed 2003-11-12
Nina Simone – Anthology
One of the most famous jazz singers of the 1960s (plus a few years on either side), Simone was known equally for the emotive qualities of her voice and interpretations and for her then-eyebrow-raising outspokenness and activism on topics of the day, most notably civil rights. Simone’s own songs expand on the racial injustice and hard-life themes. These tracks are in chronological order and you can sense a quick rise in ability at the beginning, a high-level plateau for most of the 60s, and then a tailing-off as Simone takes up some weaker, less-heartfelt contemporary material.
1. Gershwin standard done in late night smoky club fashion; Simone emotes both surrender and love
2. Sassy jazzy shuffle
3. Cheated-on lament
4. Soulful meditation on love’s little details
5. Bluesy belting take on tale of parasitic friends
6. Lovely piano blues (Simone often played piano too, besides singing)
7. An angry (but humorously delivered – in musical style and tone of voice it’s very vaudeville) pox on Mississippi for its retrograde racial policies of the 60s; just listen to all the details of the life in the lyrics; amazing tune, great delivery
8. Popping percussion, sly flute, and ritual-like chant-singing
9. The original version of this famous song (notably sung by The Animals, to half the effect here), more soulfully done here than elsewhere
10. Not as nutty as Screaming Jay’s own version, not as exotic as Natacha Atlas’, this “I Put A Spell On You” is merely competent, not scary
11. The Jacques Brel classic sung heartbreakingly and with beautifully restrained orchestral arrangement
12. Metaphor of black bodies as strange fruit hanging from the trees is chilling as are Simone’s funereal arrangement and from-deep-down piano and vocal
13. A powerful Simone original telling the tales of four scarred but strong women; Trivia: Peaches (of electroclash fame) took her name from the fourth woman
14. An upbeat gospel tune with great churning piano and a full-bodied melody; later on in the long tune, there is a call-and-response section
15. Suggestive and challenging blues
1. Another suggestive blues, now with a more laid-back feel and a languid sax
2. Great, simple sing-along tune and pointed lyrics delivered just as simply
3. The first clunker – a doofy song
4. Another dodgy choice – a Bee Gees cover
5. Motown-ish soul ballad with overdone horns and ooh-oohs
6. If it sounds Broadway-ish but also hippie-ish, it must be a song from “Hair”; not bad musically but the lyrics are sort of stupid
7. Dignified tribute to MLK, Jr that’s more good for you than good to listen to
8. Difficult to take after the beauty of the first 17 songs here
9. I guess in 1969, the look-and-feel aspects of copyright law were not as rigid as they are now but if this ain’t a ripoff of the same-titled Beatles song, I’m a Nobelist (and the songwriter credit doesn’t show any Beatles); nonetheless, this tune is snappy and hep in that late-60s way
10. Ode to “young, gifted, and black”; despite the noble sentiment, its sort of cheesy Up With People (or Amway) uplift sentiment seems oh-so-earnest now, but people were less cynical then so taken in context, it’s a good song
11. Two minutes of chat precede this originally stunning lament about the passing of time and life; I’m sad to say though that Simone here saps all life out of this tune
12. Shudder; aside from the little piano bit, this sounds like an over-arranged, under-comprehended cover of what is a song of joy
13. Unexpectedly, given the dicey cover versions preceding it, Simone here adds some welcome soul to a classic Dylan tune
14. Ike and Tina did this funkeee; Simone does it Afro-jazzy with tuned drums and a drum solo; excellent
15. It’s difficult to imagine what Simone thought she could do with such a piece of lame-assed blue-eyed soul(lessness)
16. Cheezy listening romantic comedy soundtrack-quality song

Track Listing
1. I Loves You, Porgy   16. I Want a Little Sugar in My Bowl
2. My Baby Just Cares for Me   17. I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free
3. The Other Woman   18. The Glory of Love
4. Black Is the Color of My True Love's Hair   19. To Love Somebody
5. Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out   20. Do What You Gotta Do
6. Trouble in Mind   21. Ain't Got No / I Got Life
7. Mississippi Goddam   22. Why? (The King of Love Is Dead)
8. See Line Woman   23. Everyone's Gone to the Moon
9. Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood   24. Revolution
10. I Put a Spell on You   25. To Be Young, Gifted and Black
11. Ne Me Quitte Pas   26. Who Knows Where the Time Goes
12. Strange Fruit   27. Here Comes the Sun
13. Four Women   28. Just Like a Woman
14. Sinnerman   29. Funkier Than a Mosquito's Tweeter
15. Do I Move You?   30. Rich Girl
  31. A Single Woman