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The Nina Simone Database
Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood
1964 Bennie Benjamin, Gloria Caldwell, Sol Marcus
"Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" was one of five songs involving the writing of Benjamin and Marcus, presented for Nina Simone's 1964 album Broadway-Blues-Ballads. There, it is taken at a very slow tempo and arranged around harp and other orchestral elements; a backing choir appears at several points. Simone sings it in her usual hard-to-categorize style. Horace Ott's involvement did not end with his initial songwriting; he was the arranger and orchestral conductor for the entire album. Backed with "A Monster", "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" was released as a single in 1964, but failed to chart.

The Animals' lead singer Eric Burdon would later say of the song, "It was never considered pop material, but it somehow got passed on to us and we fell in love with it immediately." The Animals gave it one of their trademark R&B-unto-rock workups, speeding up the tempo and starting off with a memorable electric guitar-and-organ doubled riff from Hilton Valentine and Alan Price, that was picked out and expanded from an element that originally appeared in the Simone recording's intro.

Recording sessions
1964 June: New York
Baby you understand me now
If sometimes you see that I'm mad
Don't you know no-one alive can always be an angel
1967 July 1: Newport (US-RI) 13th Jazz Festival
1968 April 7: Westbury (US-NY) Music Fair
1968 June: London (UK) Granada TV
2008 [1:42] DVD 11 Live in '65 & '68 Reelin' in the Years 2.119014 (US)
1968 June 16: Montreux (CH) 2nd Jazz Festival
1969 November 3: Roma (IT) Teatro Sistina
Unknown recording session