soundtracks of a soul

Nina Simone: Day Four in a Several-Day Series Celebrating the Inimitable Artist

So I figure today is a good time to list some of my favorite Nina tracks, if only to give some recommendations and perhaps a little glimpse into my musical tastes. The first set are songs—Nina for Novices—are those songs I’d consider more or less “Nina Simone Essentials,” though at the same time I tried to be sensitive to convey her extraordinary range as a musician. The second group runs more along the lines of personal favorites, and as a result, there are more live performances included (which is where I think Nina shines most brilliantly). The last category are simply more songs, because, well, I couldn’t resist listing more.

It should be noted that one of the reason’s why Nina’s music catelogue is so voluminous is because it is said that every time she performed a song she interpreted it completely differently, and as a result there are multiple versions available of nearly every song she performed. For example, in the first set My Baby Just Cares For Me is the original version that is considered Nina’s greatest success on the music charts; in the second, it’s a long, improvised live performance that I recorded from clip from YouTube. Same song, but they couldn’t be more different (or dazzling in their own individual ways).

I’d be more than glad to burn a copy of either of these sets and mail them to anybody that is interested (I’ll take care of postage–so don’t let that stop you). Just leave a comment or email me at jesse.ataide@gmail.com. And finally, I’m always open to more recommendations myself–so please share your favorites with me, as I’m always looking for more recommendations.

Nina for Novices

01) Ain’t Got No; I Got Life (The Nina Simone Story)
02) Trouble In Mind (Nina Simone: Anthology)
03) Feeling Good (Four Women: Nina Simone Philips Recordings)
04) I Wish I knew How It Would Feel to Be Free (Forever Young, Gifted and Black: Songs of Freedom and Spirit)
05) To Be Young, Gifted and Black (The Nina Simone Story)
06) Just in Time (Nina Simone: The Tomato Collection)
07) Love Me or Leave Me (Lady Blue: Volume One)
08) My Baby Just Cares for Me (Lady Blue: Volume One)
09) In the Morning (The Very Best of Nina Simone: Sugar in My Bowl)
10) Sunday in Savannah (The Nina Simone Story)
11) House of the Rising Sun (The Nina Simone Story)
12) Mississippi Goddam (Forever Young, Gifted and Black: Songs of Freedom and Spirit)
13) Ne Me Quitte Pas (Live) (The Nina Simone Story)
14) I Put a Spell on You (I Put a Spell on You)
15) He Ain’t Coming Home No More (Wild is the Wind/ High Priestess of Soul)
16) I Loves You, Porgy (After Hours)
17) Sinnerman (Nina Simone: Anthology)

Nina for the Converted

01) Ain’t Got No; I Got Life (The Nina Simone Story)
02) I Wish I knew How It Would Feel to Be Free (Forever Young, Gifted and Black: Songs of Freedom and Spirit)
03) Trouble In Mind (Nina Simone: Anthology)
04) Children Go Where I Send You (The Amazing Nina Simone
05) Sunday in Savannah (The Nina Simone Story)
06) House of the Rising Sun (The Nina Simone Story)
07) My Baby Just Cares for Me (Recorded off YouTube)
08) Just in Time (Nina Simone: The Tomato Collection)
09) I Shall Be Released (The Essential Nina Simone)
10) I’m Going Back Home (Wild is the Wind/ High Priestess of Soul)
11) Tomorrow is My Turn (I Put a Spell on You)
12) Save Me (The Soul of Nina Simone)
13) Blacklash Blues (Forever Young, Gifted and Black: Songs of Freedom and Spirit)
14) Either Way I Lose (Wild is the Wind/ High Priestess of Soul)
15) Please Read Me (The Nina Simone Story)
16) Just Like a Woman (Nina Simone: Anthology)
17) Everything Must Change (Baltimore)
18) Mississippi Goddam (Forever Young, Gifted and Black: Songs of Freedom and Spirit)

Other Favorites

Everyone’s Gone to the Moon (Nina Simone: Anthology)
Funkier Than a Mosquito’s Tweeter (Nina Simone: Anthology)
The Glory of Love (Nina Simone: Anthology)
Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues (The Soul of Nina Simone)
Lilac Wine (Wild is the Wind/ High Priestess of Soul)
Love Me or Leave Me (Let it All Out)
My Baby Just Cares for Me (The Soul of Nina Simone)
Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out (Nina Simone: Anthology)
Sea Line Woman (Nina Simone: Anthology)
Turn! Turn! Turn! (Forever Young, Gifted and Black: Songs of Freedom and Spirit)

And now it’s your turn…

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2 thoughts on “soundtracks of a soul

  1. From the album FORBIDDEN FRUIT, I also like the song WHERE CAN I GO WITHOUT YOU? very much. I like both Nina’s singing and the lyrics of the song, which is about a woman who can travel all over the world, but can’t erase the memories of the one she loves. The lyrics of this song reminds me of another favorite song called “Always Something There to Remind Me”, which was penned by Burt Bacharach and Hal David. My favorite version of this Bacharach song is the version by Espiritu.

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