Vibe - 12/99, p.164
Included in Vibe's 100 Essential Albums of the 20th Century - "A fierce interpretive singer, arranger, pianist, Simone sings virtually every genre of song...with a bluesy, self-assured artistry that soothes and intimidates in equal measure..."
Personnel includes: Nina Simone (vocals, conductor); Sammy Lowe, Jimmy Wisner, Horace Ott, Weldon Irvine, Harold Wheeler (conductor).
Producers: Danny Davis, Joe Rene, Stroud Productions And Enterprises, Inc., C.F.N.S.
Compilation producer: Paul Williams.
Recorded between 1967 and 1972. Includes liner notes by David Nathan.
Nina Simone's five-year tenure at RCA Records found her deviating only slightly from the traditions established at her previous corporate home, Philips Records. The political content is slightly reduced, and there are a few more covers of pop songs, including four Bee Gees tunes (highlighted by a surprisingly effective solo take on the relatively obscure "Please Read Me") and Randy Newman's oft-covered "I Think It's Going To Rain Today." Simone never sold out, though: in one of the four previously unreleased tracks, Simone breaks off a version of Judy Collins' "My Father" after a single verse, calmly telling her producer that she's not going to sing the song because she feels no connection with the sentimental lyrics. This two-disc collection is considerably less complete than the four-disc box set of Simone's Philips work, FOUR WOMEN, but in focusing on Simone's vocal power and subtle interpretive skills, it makes an effective argument for the somewhat contrarian view that her RCA years were equal, if not superior, to her earlier work.