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The Nina Simone Database

Wild Is the Wind + High Priestess of Soul
Additional discography

Mercury 846 892-2 (1990 US)

Tracks sorted by number (sort by session or by title)
 1 [2:30] I Love Your Lovin' Ways   Bennie Benjamin, Sol Marcus

 2 [4:28] Four Women   Nina Simone

 3 [2:52] What More Can I Say   W. Brown jr, Horace Ott with Orace Hott orchestra

 4 [4:18] Lilac Wine   James Shelton

 5 [2:29] That's All I Ask   Horace Ott with Orace Hott orchestra

 6 [2:41] Break Down and Let It All Out   Van McCoy with Orace Hott orchestra

 7 [2:36] Why Keep On Breaking My Heart   Bennie Benjamin, Sol Marcus

 8 [7:00] Wild Is the Wind   Dimitri Tiomkin, Ned Washington

 9 [3:29] Black Is the Color of My True Love's Hair   Traditional

 10 [4:00] If I Should Lose You   Ralph Rainger, Leo Robin

 11 [2:45] Either Way I Lose   Van McCoy with Orace Hott orchestra

 12 [3:05] Don't You Pay Them No Mind   Richard Ahlert, Robert Scott

 13 [2:19] I'm Gonna Leave You   Rudy Stevenson

 14 [2:06] Brown Eyed Handsome Man   Chuck Berry

 15 [3:23] Keeper of the Flame   Charles Derringer

 16 [2:47] The Gal From Joe's   Duke Ellington, Irving Mills

 17 [2:49] Take Me to the Water   Traditional

 18 [2:52] I'm Going Back Home   Rudy Stevenson

 19 [2:22] I Hold No Grudge   Angelo Badalamenti, John Clifford

 20 [3:39] Come Ye   Nina Simone

 21 [3:13] He Ain't Comin' Home No More   Angelo Badalamenti, John Clifford

 22 [3:09] Work Song   Nat Adderley, Oscar Brown jr

 23 [4:06] I Love My Baby   Andy Stroud

Liner Notes by Joel E. Siegel, City Paper, Washington, DC
Bach and Billie Holiday; African chants and Christmas carols; Gershwin and Bob Dylan; gospel hymns and showtunes; Chopin and Chuck Berry; country blues and French chansons... Nina Simone has fused an abundance of seemingly incompatible influences and traditions into a distinctive, inimitable style. A world of music finds expression in her haunting molasses-vinegar voice and articulate piano settings.

Born Eunice Waymon on February 21, 1933 in Tyron [sic], North Carolina, Simone, the sixth of eight children, is the daughter of a handyman and a mother who worked as a housekeeper by day and served as an ordained Methodist minister at night. At 7, Eunice played piano and organ, and sang with her sisters in her mother's church choir.

In her teens, Eunice studied classical piano and gave recitals at the town library. With the financial help of some local supporters, she attended a girls' boarding school and, after graduation, continued her musical education at the Julliard [sic] School of Music. Then the money ran out. She returned to her family who had relocated to Philadelphia, where she supported herself as a piano teacher and accompanist for vocalists. Auditioning for a summer job at an Atlantic City night club, she learned that the club owner was looking for a singer-pianist and decided to take the job, assuming the stage name Nina Simone to conceal her new vocation from her students and family.

Simone's first album, recorded for Bethlehem in 1958, won her stardom. A single released from that recording, "I Loves You Porgy," became a national pop hit in the summer of 1959, selling over a million copies. 30 years later, "My Baby Just Cares for Me," another selection from the same album, was used in a 1987 British television perfume commercial and reached the 5th slot on the English pop charts.

In 1959, Simone signed with Colpix Records, producing a series of studio and "live" performances. Then, in 1964, she began a 3-year association with Philips, a Mercury subsidiary, which yielded 7 albums, 6 of which are currently being reissued on compact disc and cassette. From 1968 through 1974, she recorded a series of albums for RCA, to date her last longtime affiliation with an American label.

Embittered by racism and exploitation of artists, Simone renounced her homeland in 1969, and has subsequently lived in Barbados, Liberia, France, and Switzerland. Although she rarely returns to the United States, she continues to perform and record abroad.

Wild is the wind
Wild Is The Wind (1966) brings together 11 hitherto unreleased selections which Simone recorded in 1964 and 1965 at sessions for her 4 previous Philips albums. Some of the shorter pieces - "I Love Your Lovin' Ways", "Why Keep on Breaking My Heart?" and "Either Way I Lose", all under 3 minutes - were apparently aimed at the mainstream pop music market. Other performances are more ambitious. "What More Can I Say?", composed by Oscar Brown Jr. and arranger Horace Ott, is a touching declaration of love and loyalty. Simone reinterprets songs she had recorded before - "Black Is the Color of My True Love's Hair" and "Lilac Wine" - and offers moody versions of the ballads "If I Should Lose You" and "Wild Is the Wind." The most striking selection is Simone's composition "Four Women" - brief, incisive portraits reflecting the experiences and generational perspectives of a variegated quartet of black women: the aged, long-suffering Aunt Sara; the confused, racially-mixed Saffronia; the prostitute Sweet Thing; and the militant Peaches who vows to "kill the first mother I see."

High Priestess of soul
High Priestess of Soul (1967) was Simone's final album for Philips. In orchestral settings arranged by Hal Mooney, she offers a characteristically wide-ranging program of material. Included are pop tunes (Bobby Scott's "Don't Pay Them No Mind" and a lighthearted version of Chuck Berry's r&b hit "Brown-Eyed Handsome Man"); jazz compositions (Duke Ellington's "The Gal from Joe's" and the Nat Adderley-Oscar Brown Jr. "Work Song"); and traditional gospel themes ("Take Me to the Water" which seamlessly dovetails with Rudy Stevenson's high-spirited "I'm Going Back Home.") Simone's composition "Come Ye" is particularly inspired and inspiring, a visionary voice-and-percussion rallying cry reaffirming survival, unity and peace.