June 1st, 2006
Titles: Forever Young, Gifted and Black ; Silk & Soul ; Nina Simone Sings the Blues
Artist: Nina Simone
Catalog No.: 82876 74413 2 ; 82876 73335 2 ; 82876 73334 2
Date: January 2006
Legacy/Sony BMG has recently reissued Nina Simone’s first two RCA releases, Silk & Soul and Nina Simone Sings the Blues, while compiling a new disc entitled Forever Young, Gifted and Black. With their bonus tracks, liner notes and live material, these digitally remastered CDs will appeal to newcomers and old fans alike.
Few artists have brought so many influences together while maintaining such a distinctive persona. Contemporary performers often release monochromatic albums, as if afraid to undermine their “serious artist” status by writing anything funny or lighthearted. Lyrically, Simone’s albums leap from drama to humor to pathos like a well-written play—like life itself. She moves between musical styles with equal ease. On Silk & Soul, for example, she covers Burt Bacharach, employs elaborate, classically influenced arrangements, and sings an Aretha Franklin tune. Tying it all together is her unorthodox, one of a kind voice—strange, beautiful and uncommonly emotive.
Legacy is doing the artist and her fans justice with these reissues. I hope they make it all the way through her RCA catalogue. I can’t wait for It is Finished to get this treatment—her last album for RCA, which features her amazing version of “Funkier than a Mosquito’s Tweeter” has been available only on import for at least a decade.
Posted by Mack Hagood