- Number of Discs: 4
- Released: September 30, 2008
- Label: Sony Legacy
Mojo (Publisher) - p.1224 stars out of 5
-- "Over the course of 3CDs, we bear witness to a singer who had no equal. Simone carved phrases with that smoky tenor, a natural instrument so regal that her whisper packed more power than the caterwauling of lessers who compensate with overkill."
Blender (Magazine) - p.813 stars out of 5
-- "She squeezed audiences with a mysterious intensity, and this three-disc set is rightly heavy on the live tracks."
Paste (magazine) (p.66) - "TO BE FREE: THE NINA SIMONE STORY stirringly captures Simone's journey from a reluctant cabaret performer to one of the most powerful voices of the Civil Rights era."
Uncut (magazine)5 stars out of 5
-- "The songs Simone wrote or covered in response to the Civil Rights struggle of the 1960s suited her throaty snarl perfectly."
Tracks on Disc 1:
- 1.Mood Indigo
- 2.I Loves You, Porgy
- 3.My Baby Just Cares For Me
- 4.Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out
- 5.You Can Have Him - (live)
- 6.Wild is the Wind - (live)
- 7.Trouble In Mind - (live)
- 8.When Malindy Sings / Swing Low Sweet Chariot - (previously unreleased, live)
- 9.See-Line Woman - (live)
- 10.Pirate Jenny - (live)
- 11.Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood
- 12.I Put a Spell On You
- 13.Ne Me Quitte Pas
- 14.Feeling Good
- 15.Four Women
- 16.My Man's Gone Now
- 17.I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free
- 18.To Love Somebody
- 19.Sunday In Savannah - (live)
- 20.Backlash Blues - (live)
Tracks on Disc 2:
- 1.Mississippi Goddam - (live)
- 2.In the Morning - (previously unreleased, alternate take)
- 3.Ain't Got No-I Got Life
- 4.Do What You Gotta Do
- 5.Seems I'm Never Tired Loving You
- 6.Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues
- 7.The Times They Are a-Changin'
- 8.Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There is a Season) - (live)
- 9.Other Woman, The (Live) - (live)
- 10.I Think It's Going To Rain Today - (live)
- 11.Save Me - (live)
- 12.Revolution - (live)
- 13.To Be Young, Gifted and Black - (live)
- 14.Black is the Color of My True Love's Hair - (live)
- 15.Westwind - (live)
- 16.Who Knows Where the Time Goes - (previously unreleased, live)
- 17.Suzanne - (previously unreleased, live)
Tracks on Disc 3:
- 1.No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed
- 2.Just Like a Woman - (previously unreleased)
- 3.Here Comes the Sun - (live)
- 4.Tanywey - (previously unreleased, live)
- 5.Funkier Than a Mosquito's Tweeter - (previously unreleased, live)
- 6.My Sweet Lord / Today is a Killer - (live)
- 7.Let It Be Me - (previously unreleased, live)
- 8.Poppies - (live)
- 9.Mr. Bojangles - (previously unreleased, live)
- 10.I Want a Little Sugar In My Bowl - (previously unreleased, live)
- 11.Nina - (previously unreleased, live)
- 12.Zungo - (previously unreleased, live)
- 14.A Single Woman
Tracks on Disc 4:
- 1.Ain't Got No-I Got Life - (live)
- 2.Pirate Jenny - (live)
- 3.Don't Pay Them No Mind - (live)
- 4.Milestones - (live)
- 5.Go To Hell - (live)
- 6.Backlash Blues - (live)
- 7.Percussion / Drums / Clapping / Dancing - (live)
- 8.Precious Lord - (live)
- 9.How It Would Feel To Be Free - (live)
- 10.Precious Lord - (live)
Personnel: Nina Simone (vocals, piano).
Audio Mixer: Todd Whitelock.
Audio Remasterer: Mark Wilder.
Liner Note Author: David Nathan.
Jazz singer and pianist Nina Simone was such a prodigious talent that even a four-disc box set might seem too small a canvas to fully sketch her genius, but TO BE FREE: THE NINA SIMONE STORY is nonetheless an ideal introduction. The three CDs contain 51 tracks covering Simone's career from 1953 to 1993, from her beginnings as a classically trained supper club artiste through her period of political awakening into her later, idiosyncratic blend of jazz, blues, pop, and rock. The fourth disc is a DVD containing a documentary film with live concert footage that was completed in 1970 but never released until this set. The set also contains eight previously unreleased songs and a book with essays and track-by-track commentary.