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Anthology
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RCA (2003 US)

These 31 tracks from six labels begin with Simone's 1959 hit (Gershwin's ''I Loves You Porgy'') and end with 1993's return-from-exile ''A Single Woman.'' The singer and pianist's unclassifiable allure is evidenced by 1957's definitively swinging ''My Baby Just Cares for Me''; 1964's politically charged ''Mississippi Goddam''; a gut-wrenching ''Strange Fruit'' (1965); and a tender 1971 take on George Harrison's ''Here Comes the Sun.'' Even the final cut's schmaltzy strings can't dim Simone's star.
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Tracks sorted by number (sort by session or by title)
Disk 1
 1 [4:10] I Loves You Porgy   George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin, DuBose Heyward

 2 [3:37] My Baby Just Cares for Me   Walter Donaldson, Gus Kahn

 3 [2:59] The Other Woman / Cotton-Eyed Joe   (medley)

 4 [3:35] Black Is the Color of My True Love's Hair   Traditional

 5 [2:42] Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out   Jimmie Cox

 6 [5:30] Trouble in Mind   Richard Jones standard live version

 7 [4:55] Mississippi Goddam   Nina Simone

 8 [2:37] See-Line Woman   George Bass

 9 [2:46] Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood   Bennie Benjamin, Gloria Caldwell, Sol Marcus

 10 [2:35] I Put a Spell on You   Screamin' Jay Hawkins, Slotkin sax solo by Jerome Richardson

 11 [3:38] Ne Me Quitte Pas   Jacques Brel

 12 [3:31] Strange Fruit   Lewis Allan, Sonny White

 13 [4:26] Four Women   Nina Simone

 14 [10:21] Sinnerman   Traditional arr. Nina Simone

 15 [2:45] Do I Move You?   Nina Simone

Disk 2
 1 [2:32] I Want a Little Sugar in My Bowl   Tim Brymn, Dally Small, Clarence Williams

 2 [3:09] I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free   Billy Taylor, Richard Lamb

 3 [2:11] The Glory of Love   Billy Hill first release

 4 [2:40] To Love Somebody   Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb

 5 [3:01] Do What You Gotta Do   Jim Webb

 6 [2:11] Ain't Got No / I Got Life   Gal MacDermot, James Rado, Gerome Ragni edited version with applause added

 7 [5:48] Why? (The King of Love Is Dead)   Gene Taylor short version

 8 [3:09] Everyone's Gone To the Moon   George Kennet King

 9 [4:42] Revolution   Weldon Irvine jr, Nina Simone remixed version of Revolution part 1 and part 2

 10 [2:49] To Be Young, Gifted and Black   Weldon Irvine jr, Nina Simone standard studio version

 11 [8:13] Who Knows Where the Time Goes   Sandy Denny standard version

 12 [3:35] Here Comes the Sun   George Harrison

 13 [4:52] Just Like a Woman   Bob Dylan

 14 [5:18] Funkier Than a Mosquito's Tweeter   Alline Bullock with applause added

 15 [3:15] Rich Girl   Daryl Hall Will Lee bass - Andy Newmark drums - Jerry Friedman guitar

 16 [3:33] A Single Woman   Rod McKuen

Review by Thom Jurek, All Music Guide
In appearance, this two-disc anthology would seem to be an exercise in hearse chasing, issued just months after the great singer's death. In reality, no matter what the intention of the record label, this anthology accomplishes what virtually every other attempt failed miserably to do: definitively represent all the stages of Simone's career. While RCA has done a number of fine Simone collections, including "The Very Best of Nina Simone: Sugar in My Bowl 1967-1972", which featured a number of unreleased tracks, even they haven't accomplished this: a double-disc set that encompasses her entire career with recordings from every label she recorded for, including Bethlehem, Colpix, Philips, RCA, CTI, and Elektra. The lion's share of the material may come from RCA, but she spent the longest part of her career there.

The obvious beginning is with "I Loves You Porgy," from her Bethlehem album "Little Girl Blue" (or, as it was originally titled, "Jazz as Played in an Exclusive Side Street Club"). Also from this session is the definitive version of the Gus Kahn/Walter Donaldson classic "My Baby Just Cares For Me." While there are a couple of cuts from Colpix's "Nina Simone at Town Hall", such as "The Other Woman" and "Black Is The Color Of My True Love'S Hair," there is also the Colpix single "Nobody Knows You When You'Re Down And Out." Also, there is a slew of tracks from the Philips albums, including "Live at Newport", "Nina Simone in Concert" (featuring the infamous version of "Mississippi Goddam"), "Broadway-Blues-Ballads" (with her scorching version of "Please Don'T Let Me Be Misunderstood"), "I Put a Spell on You", "Pastel Blues", and "Wild Is the Wind" (which featured the tracks "Four Women," "Strange Fruit," and "Sinnerman"). From the RCA years there is something from virtually every album, most notably "I Want A Little Sugar In My Bowl," "To Love Somebody," Jimmy Webb's "Do What You Gotta Do," her own "To Be Young, Gifted And Black," "Here Comes The Sun," Dylan's "Just Like A Woman," and more. The set also features the Daryl Hall cover "Rich Girl" from "Baltimore", her lone CTI album, and Rod McKuen's title track from "A Single Woman", her last album released in 1993 from Elektra.

There are 31 tracks in all, and virtually every one of them essential Simone. The sheer breadth and depth of her phrasing and delivery when revealed in this way are nothing short of astonishing. Simone was virtually limitless in her abilities to cover almost any genre in her way, which transformed all the songs into hers alone. While there are other collections that address different parts of Simone's career more completely, and sometimes -- as in the case of the Verve box "Four Women" -- exhaustively, this is the only one most fans and curiosity seekers will ever need.