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The Nina Simone Database

To Be Free
Posthumous discography

Legacy Recodings 88697 38192 2 (2008 US)

This collection presents a overview of Simones's recording career from her first recordings for Bethlehem in 1957, through to her last major label album for Elektra, 1993's A Single Woman + some previously unreleased tracks.

In addition to three CDs of music, this collection also includes the Emmy-nominated short film, Nina: A Historical Perspective. Running 23 minutes, this 1970 TV special highlights rare performance footage filmed between 1968 and 1969 at various US venues and locations, including the Westbury Music Fair, The Village Gate, and RCA Studios in New York City. Also featured are candid and personal interviews with Nina herself, revealing her unique views on music and life.

Review on All About Jazz.

Tracks sorted by number (sort by session or by title)
Disk 1
 1 [4:01] Mood Indigo   Duke Ellington, Irving Mills, Barney Bigard

 2 [4:09] I Loves You Porgy   George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin, DuBose Heyward

 3 [3:36] My Baby Just Cares for Me   Walter Donaldson, Gus Kahn

 4 [2:39] Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out   Jimmie Cox

 5 [5:55] You Can Have Him (I Don't Want Him)   Irving Berlin

 6 [3:33] Wild Is the Wind   Dimitri Tiomkin, Ned Washington with overdubbed applause

 7 [5:34] Trouble in Mind   Richard Jones standard live version

 8 [5:39] When Malindy Sings / Swing Low Sweet Chariot   Paul Lawrence Dunbar, Oscar Brown jr (medley) first release

 9 [2:36] See-Line Woman   George Bass

 10 [6:38] Pirate Jenny   Bertolt Brecht, Kurt Weill piano played by Atkinson

 11 [2:44] Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood   Bennie Benjamin, Gloria Caldwell, Sol Marcus

 12 [2:34] I Put a Spell on You   Screamin' Jay Hawkins, Slotkin sax solo by Jerome Richardson

 13 [3:35] Ne Me Quitte Pas   Jacques Brel

 14 [2:54] Feeling Good   Leslie Bricusse, Anthony Newley

 15 [4:25] Four Women   Nina Simone

 16 [4:17] My Man's Gone Now   George Gershwin, DuBose Heyward

 17 [3:08] I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free   Billy Taylor, Richard Lamb

 18 [2:38] To Love Somebody   Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb

 19 [3:16] Sunday in Savannah   Hugh Mac Kay with the hot-dog comment by little Lisa at the end of the songstandard version

 20 [3:32] Backlash Blues   Langston Hughes, Nina Simone original

Disk 2
 1 [6:54] Mississippi Goddam   Nina Simone

 2 [2:42] In the Morning   Barry Gibb original unedited version

 3 [2:56] Ain't Got No / I Got Life   Gal MacDermot, James Rado, Gerome Ragni previously unreleased in US

 4 [3:00] Do What You Gotta Do   Jim Webb

 5 [3:02] Seems I'm Never Tired of Lovin' You   Carolyn Franklin

 6 [4:49] Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues   Bob Dylan

 7 [5:54] The Times They Are A-Changing   Bob Dylan

 8 [3:40] Turn! Turn! Turn!   Pete Seeger

 9 [6:00] The Other Woman   Jessie Mae Robinson

 10 [4:45] I Think It's Going to Rain Today   Randy Newman

 11 [3:33] Save Me   Aretha Franklin, Carolyn Franklin, Curtis Ousley

 12 [6:21] Revolution   Weldon Irvine jr, Nina Simone

 13 [2:50] To Be Young, Gifted and Black   Weldon Irvine jr, Nina Simone standard studio version

 14 [3:23] Black Is the Color of My True Love's Hair   Traditional

 15 [8:46] Westwind   Salter, Semenia

 16 [4:58] Who Knows Where the Time Goes   Sandy Denny without spoken words

 17 [5:03] Suzanne   Leonard Cohen

Disk 3
 1 [4:49] No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed   Richie Havens

 2 [4:51] Just Like a Woman   Bob Dylan

 3 [3:34] Here Comes the Sun   George Harrison

 4 [3:26] Tanywey   first release

 5 [5:15] Funkier Than a Mosquito's Tweeter   Alline Bullock with applause added

 6 [18:18] My Sweet Lord / Today Is a Killer   George Harrison, Nina Simone, David Nelson (medley)

 7 [5:00] Let It Be Me   Gilbert Becaud, M. Curtis, Pierre Delanoe first release

 8 [4:45] Poppies   Lennie Bleecher, Jeremy Wind

 9 [4:51] Mr. Bojangles   Jerry Jeff Walker

 10 [5:46] I Want a Little Sugar in My Bowl   Tim Brymn, Dally Small, Clarence Williams

 11 [4:14] Nina   Nina Simone first release

 12 [4:18] Zungo   Michael Olatunji first release

 13 [4:38] Baltimore   Randy Newman Al Schackman, piano

 14 [3:33] A Single Woman   Rod McKuen

Liner notes by Richard Seidel and NPR's Ed Ward - with track-by-track annotations by Nina Simone biographer David Nathan

Nina Simone was one of those controversial figures American pop music puts forward from time to time, with the notable exception that she started her controversy earlier in the 1960s that, say, Bob Dylan. To see this African-American woman get angry about the racial situation in her country, right there on stage, was a shock to people who'd come to hear her sing 'I Loves You, Porgy.' Not that she cared; she figured that it was the artist's job to deliver the truth, and if the truth hurt, so be it. Of course, events wound up proving her right, but she never stopped being prickly about one thing or another. It was just part of who she was, and part of why her music has endured while that of some of her contemporaries has faded: she's still contemporary.