By Stevie Connor.
Verve Records/Universal Music Canada announced the release of Nina’s Back, the 1985 album from Nina Simone. Recorded after a break from recording and time spent living in Barbados and Liberia, Nina’s Back features a rejuvenated Nina Simone reaching out to a wider musical audience. Now, this vital volume in her unparalleled catalogue will be available digitally for the very first time, with new artwork befitting the album’s energy. Simone’s effervescent take on “For a While” is out now with an animated visualizer.
Nina’s Back features a number of memorable original Simone compositions. While classics “I Sing Just To Know I’m Alive” and “Fodder On Her Wings” are also featured on her 1982 album Fodder On My Wings, Simone is accompanied here by a band featuring horns and backup singers, for a recording that’s unique in her catalog. Simone’s rendition of “For a While” is accompanied by a new animated visualizer, featuring a mesmerizing art style that goes hand in hand with Simone’s vocal power.
In addition to their new release of Nina’s Back, later this year Verve is planning to debut a short documentary on “Mississppi Goddam,” the protest anthem that marked one of the most influential moments in Simone’s career. Simone holds nothing back on the groundbreaking track, which has remained steadfastly relevant to this day. This documentary will highlight the timeliness of “Mississippi Goddam” 60 years after it was recorded.
2024 also marks the 60th anniversary of Simone’s signing to the Phillips label, a partnership that produced some of her most seminal works.
She was one of the most extraordinary artists of the twentieth century, an icon of American music. She was the consummate musical storyteller, a griot as she would come to learn, who used her remarkable talent to create a legacy of liberation, empowerment, passion, and love through a magnificent body of works. She earned the moniker ‘High Priestess of Soul’ for she could weave a spell so seductive and hypnotic that the listener lost track of time and space as they became absorbed in the moment. She was who the world would come to know as Nina Simone.
When Nina Simone died on April 21, 2003, she left a timeless treasure trove of musical magic spanning over four decades from her first hit, the 1959 Top 10 classic “I Loves You Porgy,” to “A Single Woman,” the title cut from her one and only 1993 Elektra album. While thirty-three years separate those recordings, the element of honest emotion is the glue that binds the two together – it is that approach to every piece of work that became Nina’s uncompromising musical trademark.
By the end of her life, Nina was enjoying an unprecedented degree of recognition. Her music was enjoyed by the masses due to the CD revolution, discovery on the Internet, and exposure through movies and television. Nina had sold over one million CDs in the last decade of her life, making her a global catalog best-seller.
No one website can fully explore the many nuances and flavors that made up the more than 40 original albums in the Nina Simone library. This site contains most of Nina’s finest works and press mentions. However, we might not have had the chance to witness the breathtaking range of material Nina could cover if she hadn’t taken the path she did.