*Gordon Ramsay voice* finally some good fucking music. Seriouly, this album could come out today and nobody would blink an eye. It's completely outstanding not just among 60s music, but 20th century music in general.
Wild Is the Wind is the sixth studio album by American singer and pianist Nina Simone released by Philips Records in 1966. The album was compiled from several recordings that were left over from sessions (in 1964 and 1965) for previous Philips albums. In 2020, the album was ranked 212 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. The album was a Billboard magazine "special merit pick" on release, with the reviewer commenting: "Simone ... sets up an exceptional romantic mood that offers top listening delight". The song "Four Women" was released as a single, and gained attention when banned by the New York jazz focused radio station WLIB due to concern over the lyrics. Simone first recorded "Black Is the Color of My True Love's Hair" in 1955, in Philadelphia with a strings arrangement and was not intended for release at the time. (In 1970 that version appeared on the album Gifted & Black.) In April 1964 she went into a New York Studio with her band, and on the second day in the studio, she recorded the version of "Black Is the Color of My True Love’s Hair" that would appear on Wild Is The Wind. For the song, Simone only wanted a minimal accompaniment with her playing the piano and a bass drone. Lisle Atkinson [describes] what he was asked to do during his time in Nina Simone’s band: “She wanted the least amount of complication as possible—roots and 5’s, nothing too slick. I have to give Nina credit for being aware that I could bow, and she utilized it a lot. She had me playing a lot of arco in performances. "Wild Is The Wind" was covered by David Bowie on his 1976 album Station to Station. "Lilac Wine" was covered by Jeff Buckley on his album Grace (1994). The album was included in Robert Dimery's 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. The album was also rated the 5th best album of the 1960s by Pitchfork.
*Gordon Ramsay voice* finally some good fucking music. Seriouly, this album could come out today and nobody would blink an eye. It's completely outstanding not just among 60s music, but 20th century music in general.
Tough to put to words, but when you feel something powerful through a work of music, it has achieved its purpose.
This was honestly gorgeous. A surprising new discovery even though I had heard of Nina Simone. Every song on the record captivated me.
LOVE. I want to swing in a hammock strung from her vocal cords.
i wrote such a good review but then this bitch ass deleted it 🙄 here’s what i can remember: IM ROCKIN WITH NINA four women is where it’s at (fight me) part of lilac wine is used in a beyoncé documentary and i fully got whiplash when i heard it break down and let it all out is a fucking BANGER THIS SHIT SLAPS she sings so intimately, like it’s a conversation i love her voice 0 skips
Ok, so this is a five star for me. It's hard to believe that this album was constructed over tracks left over from recording sessions across the previous few years. The material is understandably eclectic, but held together by Ms Simone's authoritative voice and piano playing. There are standards, ballads, folk songs and one (astounding) original, mixing love songs with the political. She is completely in control of the dynamics and presentation of the material, and it comes out with a consistent and definitive voice. Four Women is a powerful song of racial inequity and discrimination (banned on many radio stations at the time, with the still common conservative tactic of claiming that material calling out racism is, itself, racist.) Subsequently sampled by Jay-Z on The Story of O.J., picking up on the themes of racial discrimination (although there are elements of his message I find a little baffling. Art speculation as a cure for racial inequity?) Her version of Lilac Wine is definitive and was clearly massively influential on Jeff Buckley, who lifted her arrangement intact for his album 'Grace'. David Bowie was also a massive fan, covering Wild is the Wind on 'Station to Station' in explicit tribute to Nina Simone. And it obviously stayed close to him; he released it as a single in 1981, opened his 200 Glastonbury set with it, and performed it at his final ever live show in 2006. I have listened to this album straight through three times in a row, and I hear more from her performances every time. She is so in control of her performance, even when she goes slightly out of control, such as her screamed "my name is Peaches!" at the end of Four Women. This is a masterclass in how deeply a musician can understand and project a song. She is at the height of her formidable powers on this record. A five star classic, perfect and massively influential. My hidden gem on the album: If I Should Lose You. It's beautiful and heartbreaking. A moment of reflection on the 1001 albums list; why does Paul Simon (the adjacent artist on this list) rate six album inclusions, and Nina Simone only one? More evidence of the white-boy rock critic bias of this list. I cannot understand why an artist of Ms Simone's stature and breadth of material only rates a single inclusion.
A powerful, profound, and gripping album by an indisputable icon. While I was already familiar with Ms. Simone's enormous and versatile talent, I was not familiar with her story, which I read in the linked Wikipedia article. Wow. What a strong, brave, and visionary person. I hope more people get the chance to learn her story. And of course, listen to her wide-ranging, massive, and incredible body of work.
Genre: Vocal Jazz 5/5 A titan of her time, Nina Simone is one of the greatest voices in the history of modern music. Wild Is the Wind is her opus, a collection of songs that truly showcase her range, and not just vocally. Nina Simone does not just sing, she performs. The power of a song like Four Women isn't just in its dark, brooding soundscape or its biting, socially critical lyrics, but Nina's raw power and genuine emotion, which is felt with every note. Every song on here, especially the aforementioned Four Women and the album's title track, are perfect examples of the genre, but even better examples of how talented Nina was, and how good she sounded on anything you gave her. From the upbeat, near doo-wop style of I Love Your Lovin' Ways, to her classic heartfelt tearjerkers like Either Way I Lose, she just simply floats on top of the track. An essential listen, and a perfect foray into what we now know as Vocal Jazz, a genre rife with wonderful artists with some really wonderful records.
Nina Simone is a pleasure to listen to even if you only know her through being sampled all over the place. She makes you feel the struggles and torment of black Americans through this album. She didn’t have a bad track; her vocal performance was outstanding and very track felt new. The Soul, Jazz vibe was so fun and it's clear why artists use her work, the most famous being Jay-Z using the beat and vocals from ‘Four Woman’. The album didn’t stop on this great track it also had soulful powerful vocals on ‘Break Down and Let It All Out’. Overall this album was amazing, I will defiantly come back in the future.
The energy and emotion she puts in her lyrics, especially in her song, "Four Women" sends absolute chills and amazement. Would Give It: 5/5
Absolutely wonderful album. A beautiful but authentic mix of genres that just feel good. Nina's songwriting is both challenging and comforting and she has the voice of an angel. Really surprised and pleased with this one.
This album blew me out of the water. Nina Simone's voice and delivery demands attention. It is textured, deep (contralto), and arresting. Everything about this album is striking down to the socially conscious lyrics. This is one of those albums that make me understand the simple power the human voice can have.
Vocal competence, well arranged music, but not for me. I prefer both Billie Holiday and Eartha Kitt. As usual for the genre and time, the songs are not written by the performer, with the exception of Four Women, which in contradiction to the statement on the album cover, is highly forgettable. Overall OK, but nothing exceptional.
Apparently this is an album made up of left over bits from other recording sessions, and it sounds like it. Generally it's quite nice, but a bit lacking in cohesion and some of the tracks sound a bit unfinished. I'm also not overly keen on her voice. Sure its objectively great, just not to my taste.
Only a couple of songs are strong to me. The lyrics are very romantic, the voice of Nina Simone is amazing, but that's it. The album have a lot of weaknesses, really far from her best work as an album, maybe because it's made of leftovers from other sessions and compiled into this.
I think this is an incredible work, and it is truly so unique and beautiful. Her voice is so iconic, and the piano is really amazing too.
Astonishingly beautiful. An amazing album and experience.
The opener is slight compared to its follow-up, which I recognize thanks to its legacy as sample. In not too much longer, that song unfolds, with subtle drama and plenty of good nature. For forty minutes, it's the Nina's Voice Show; With minimal accompaniment, one still gets the distinct sense of traveling through many corners of American music. Comparisons are inevitable because of the mentioned samples and the Buckley cover served to me two months ago by this very site. The songs here have powerful forward momentum, but the lateral movements are quite delicate. That makes me think of Wild as an album not quite arresting enough to fall in love with, and then I hear the blatant parallel with Mitski's Nobody (which I was absolutely arrested by). Desaturation by familiarity: That's something decently new to yours truly. But in the interests of ending speculation about things I know nothing about: One hundred percent beautiful, fascinating as a document of singers'-songwriter's songs. I can't wait to digest it again and hear a more focused project. I can tell she's capable of a better run of songs and yet this one is better than so many others...
Literally WTF. why haven't I heard some of these songs before - they are spellbinding. I have of course enjoyed Nina Simone songs before, but some of these are masterpieces. I'm in love with 'If I should lose you' and 'what more can I say'.. the piano playing, the lyrics, the chord progressions. 6/5
I like stouts, and a while back I drank one with a uniquely Mexican take, flavors of chocolate and cinnamon, and then the bite of some jalapeno heat. It’s one of the best stouts I’ve ever had. Likewise, on 'Wild Is The Wind,' Nina Simone brings the rich smoothness of chocolate, the spice of cinnamon, and definitely the passionate pepper heat to create her own intoxicating brew; and, it’s heady stuff. I was emotionally worn out by the end of the fourth song, ‘Lilac Wine,’ a particularly soulful rendering, sung with incredible heart, and an ending I can best describe as true. Ms. Simone’s powerful vibrato heralds her passion, her vocals at times sheer power, but also showing great restraint when the mood is required. The way she relaxes into each word, often patiently drawing out syllables, allows time for the listener to really let the lyrics settle in. The total length of the LP is under 40 minutes. It felt longer, and in a good, satisfying way. The variety on Wild Is The Wind is pretty amazing. I counted no less than seven genres of music, including R&B/Soul, rock n’ roll, blues, jazz, pop (the first four songs), folk, and believe it or not, to close the LP, doo-wop! Shoot, Nina could probably take on country and make it her bitch, too, if she wanted. Apparently, she desired only minimal accompaniment, and it works, revealing a very intimate and honest look into the emotions of her heart and mind. That said, the musicians who do accompany her from the tasteful stand up jazz bass on ‘That’s All I Ask’ to the controlled gallop of the drummer on ‘Break Down and Let It All Out,’ are all terrific. Including, of course, Nina’s own heartfelt piano playing. Her accompaniment on ‘If I Should Lose You’ is simply lovely. 'Wild Is The Wind' definitely brings the feel of 1966. The overall sound’ll take you right back there before the opener, ‘I Love Your Lovin’ Ways,’ finishes it’s first verse. As for Nina Simone and her piano? Well, that’s a little harder to pin down to any one time or place, much like a wild wind itself.
Haunting, beguiling, soulful, intelligent and extraordinarily beautiful. Once Nina Simone has drawn your attention, be it from a tv documentary, video clip or radio program, that’s it - there really is no escape - ever. She was utterly magnetic in concert by the look of videos.
What an amazing vocal range. Evocative and beautiful.
I am ashamed to admit I hadn’t really listened to Nina Simone before. I was blown away by her voice, her lyrics, the piano, everything. If this album doesn’t make you feel something, then you are soulless.
Starts strong but gets boring
I knew Wild Is The Wind from Bowie's Station to Station, never realised it was a cover. The song Four Women is an emotional gut punch, very powerful.
I have a pretty great 2 disc Nina Simone anthology that I listened to alot for awhile but I've never really listened to one of her albums in it's entirety. It's hard to choose with such a long and prolific career (and I'd say she was pretty consistently great through it all). This album has some great tracks for sure. It's fairly spare in it's arrangements on most tracks and she has an amazing ability to use space/silence to build drama. Powerful voice, incredible piano playing. I can't even imagine seeing this live. It would be so intense. I had to check and see if spotify had changed to a new album when I heard the last track "Either way I lose" come on.
Soulful and deep. A uniquely classic album that shines on its elegance and simplicity. Four Women is a beautiful and moving song. Overall enjoyed more than I expected. 7.7/10
Always incredible. *What More Can I Say? *Why Keep On Breaking My Heart?
Going to keep it simple: Nina Simone was an amazing, highly talented individual. The music is great. Very little to complain about here.
The lyrics are just so beautiful and her voice has so much gravity. The music is lilting. My mood is lifting
Some interesting lyrics (a tad rambly), glimpses of life as a black woman in the US '60. Good musical variety. "I love your loving ways" stands out. "Four women" is trying to tell a story, but the "my name's" shtick makes it kinda forced.
Regarded by many as Simone's greatest artistic triumph, Wild is the Wind his a collection of very different songs that work together on multiple levels. They work as social commentary, the singer voicing her frustration with the limited opportunities of African American women in a ways both overt and subtle. They also work as a showcase for the artist's versatility, as she tackles everything from sexy soul to soothing pop, from traditional folk to angry blues. Simone was not just capable of playing in these varied mediums; she could turn each into mesmerizing performance art, powerful self-expression composed of elegance and drama simultaneously.
This isn’t a album you listen to. It’s one you feel. Love, hate, passion all central to the themes of what Nina wants you to feel.
First album in here that I just didn't enjoy. Nina Simone has a great voice and plenty of songs that are known all around the World. I approached this album (for the first time ever), hoping that I could like it. It is now a big part of the history of musi, after all. First song, I Love your Lovin' Ways, was very promising. The groove was there, I could easily blend into the atmosphere and enjoy it. Next song, the famous Four Women, was a bit of a turn in the mood, that actually stayed that way until the end of an album. Light, jazzy bit, deeply in the background and Nina Simone pushing all emotions out. I do think this album might be enjoyable in a different moment in life, or with a different mood when listening. But at the time, I could not take any pleasure from the compositions. Especially the titular song, Wild is the Wind was a very hard one to even sit through. On teh first listen I had to stop halfway, and start again after some time. Strong voice of Nina plus a simple, jazzy structure didn't make my day better, in fact I was constantly throwing glances at the length of songs, to see how much is there until the end. I love some songs made by Nina, but unfortunately, this album has basically zero of those.
Glad to listen to it, but not my jam. In general: 4/10 My rating: 2/10
I do like Nina Simone, but I like greatest hits Nina Simone. I don't like an album that is so bereft of joy. This was hard work.
album muito intimista, emotivo e espetacular. Não conhecia Nina Simone.
Nina é foda. Sempre canta a alma pela boca, em todas as fases (e foram muitas). Esse disco é animal, só Lilac Wine já o deixa memorável
truly amazing classic jazz record
Fantastic album, haven't really listened to Nina Simone before but thought this album was great.
Every track is a banger.
I mean, Nina.
love you nina
Nina Simone classic bluesy jazz. transported to a different place. easy listening warmth.
Get it up ye
Meilleur album que j’ai ecoute de Nina simone, j’adore. 5*
Me gustó la mezcla de géneros, pero sobre todo la tranquilidad que transmite la enorme voz de Nina. Gran descubrimiento
Esta mujer me transmite mucho cuando la escucho. Además, todo suena muy bien y pues a veces las letras tienen gran impacto; otras veces pueden ser muy románticas y todo bien. Canciones fav: "Four Women" (¡ese final!), "Break Down and Let It All Out", "Either Way I Lose" y obvio ese clásico que es "Wild Is The Wind". Tqm, Nina. 10/10
nina simone nina simone nina simone nina simone nina simone nina simone nina simone nina simone 9/10
Excelente. Su voz, su vibración... su sentimiento. Gracias por la recomendación.
Nina rarely disappoints! I had not heard of this album and thoroughly enjoyed listening to her cover versions.
Menuda voz tiene la hija de puta
Lots of soul
Bello bello album, bella voz y bella instrumentación. ritmo, drama, tristeza y alegría. Quedé muy contento después de escuchar este disco. Fue difícil escoger una canción favorita, pero creo que breakdown and let it all out fue la que más disfruté. Mood: She put a spell on me
Zo een prachtig album. Puur genieten gewoon. Ik kan niet wachten om het luid door het hele huis te laten schallen.
god bless nina simone's voice
Todo este disco es un mood, excepto la primera canción que iba como por otro lado. Esa voz...
Отличный альбом. Опять же, имею крайне ограниченное представление об исполнителях в сфере, возможно, сопоставимых альбомов – тьма. Но даже если мы предположим, что сами композиции – продукт своего времени и оригинальностью не отличаются, то всё равно нельзя будет сказать, что вокальные партии Нины Симон, её голос может быть чем-то конвейерным. Да и композиции не воспринимаются как нечто вторичное, они грамотные: минималистичные аранжировки, где всё на своём месте, лаконичные мелодии, в которых всё равно есть место внутреннему развитию, замечательно. В целом, хорошая музыка. Но что для меня отличает хорошую музыку от прекрасной? Нет, не вклад в развитие жанра, не оказанное влияние на общество или конкретных людей. Это всё, конечно, хорошо, но отличную музыку для меня определяет катарсис. Момент, когда тот или иной трек берёт за яйца, грубо говоря, захватывает дух. Тут такое есть: концовка Four Women, вторая половина What More Can I Say? Альбом создаёт густую атмосферу, а записан так, будто обращён в вечность. Да, из-за не слишком высокой сложности существует риск, что просто-напросто быстро надоест. Но пока не надоело – это ведь чудесно.
Not into jazz
Gorgeous, beautiful, emotional musicianship. Why have I never heard of this?
Love some Nina
Ah yeahhh. Nina is my girl!
Amazing voice. Real mix of Sykes in the songs as well.
Strong from start to finish. A lot of soul and emotion in the songs. 5/5
I see we're moving the emotional devastation to a Tuesday instead. What a powerful album, and Four Women will surely stay with me for a very long time.
ta bonito. um classico
Beautiful voice. Magically odd collection of songs. Highly influential tracks, often sampled in modern pop/hip hop.
Like being a 7 year old on a long ride with me dad again. Good shit here.
A no brainer!! Musical genius, the most uniquely perfect voice, a journey of an album. I really experienced the album, listened to it a bunch of times. Absolute perfection!!!
An incredible album. The voice. Dr Simone’s vocals are spellbinding. So crisp, clear and distinctive. A true milestone. And so far ahead of it’s time. Top tracks: Four Women, What more can I say?
Dramatic, passionate, soulful. Real, unfiltered music sung by an intense artist with something to say. Fuck off Lorde.
Gorgeous jazz album. Loved hearing rap samples lol. You can hear the influence on r&b and pop ballads moving forward.
Maravilhoso! Delicado e vigoroso.
Beautiful music. Great blues as always from Nina.
Gostei muito, principalmente porque ela tem umas músicas mostrando o sofrimento feminino.
This is good enough to keep my comments on me and just give it 5 stars
phenomenal album, every song is so beautiful and moving, hitting in a totally different way what an incredible way to spend 40 minutes, please listen to this spectacular, 10/10 album
Love. Listened to at dusk in my mountain home. Sun setting on the opposite side of the house. The valley growing dark. Cloud rising. Hinze Dam shimmering in the fading light. Perfection
Ooh 'Nina Simone' on seeing this come up became very 'oh wow' when you stop and take on tunes like 'Four Women'. She's truly unique, and truly special.
This is just so stunningly good, a powerful album in every way. The album is a brief 39 minutes, but it's so rich and soulful. It feels more substantial than anything you could fit in 39 minutes, and yet not nearly long enough. I'm still turning over in my mind the fact that this album is comprised of leftover songs (!) from previous albums. Nina Simone's leftovers outshine the best songs of other artists. Fave Songs (All songs, in order from most to least favorite): Wild Is the Wind, Black Is the Color of My True Love's Hair, Four Women, If I Should Lose You, What More Can I Say, Why Keep On Breaking My Heart, Lilac Wine, Either Way I Lose, I Love Your Lovin' Ways, That's All I Ask, Break Down and Let It All Out
Frábær plata, algerlega frábær. Mér finnst Bowie ábreiðan af titillaginu betri, en það er ekki eins og þessi útgáfa sé eitthvað slor. Og hin lögin eru æðisleg og mörg hver afar áhrifarík. Hlustið bara, krakkar.
How does one woman kick so much ass?
The wonderful Ms Simone. First became aware of her in the early 80's when a girlfriend introduced me to "My Baby Just Cares For Me" before it was a hit due to the Chanel No 5 advert! Her voice is visceral and speaks loudly of her struggles and battles with her mental health. I love these songs "Four Women" and "Wild Is The Wind" (Which I think is, at least as good as Bowies interpretation) are my favourite tracks. A good choice for this list I think.