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Forever Young, Gifted & Black: Songs of Freedom and Spirit

Forever Young, Gifted & Black: Songs Of Freedom And Spirit


Forever Young, Gifted & Black: Songs of Freedom and Spirit is a textbook case for preparing a compilation by a single artist, thematically. These 11 tracks were recorded between 1967 and 1969, at the split seam in cultural and political history, where the African-American civil rights movement ceded its popularity -- among young people -- to the more visceral and visual Black Power movement. As an artist, Nina Simone was a presence and participant in both. Her influence continues to be an anchor and an inspiration to songwriters and singers from Alicia Keys (who wrote a short liner essay here) to Tracy Chapman, Robinella, Me'Shell Ndeg?Ocello, and Lauryn Hill, to name a few. The compilation contains a smattering of her many songs that deal with struggle, equality, and perseverance. It opens with "To Be Young, Gifted and Black," issued as a single in 1969 (the CD is bookended by this version and a live one at the end). The song itself is timeless; it rings with assertiveness and conviction nearly four decades later. But this is merely the beginning. There are three unedited performances here, all of which were originally cut and reshaped by producers for various recordings. The first of these, "Why (The King of Love Is Dead)," was written by her bassist, Gene Taylor, after hearing that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated. The previously issued version was part of the "Martin Luther King Suite." Here, it contains full spoken and sung sections and is nearly 13 minutes long. To call it stunning and revelatory would be an understatement. Ditto the full version of "Mississippi Goddam," which was also part of the aforementioned suite. This is the first time either of these recordings have appeared on CD in full unedited versions. Likewise, "Revolution (Pts. 1-2)" is restored as one tune instead of two as it appeared on To Love Somebody in 1969. A couple of unreleased alternates are fine touches and offer different shadings, colors, and interpretive gestures to their album-issued counterparts: Simone's wonderful read of "Turn! Turn! Turn!," stripped to her voice, piano, and a pair of backing vocalists; and "Ain't Got No/I Got Life," cut for 'Nuff Said!, which contains a horn section. Other tracks here, such as Simone's reading of Bob Dylan's "The Times They Are A-Changin'" and "I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free," are strident, forceful, soulful, and deeply moving. Fans will want this comp for the unreleased material and for its thematic slant. Those seeking out Simone for the first time may look to other sources, but this is a side of the artist that was present in everything she ever recorded, and deserves the focus it receives here. In these dark times in the early 21st century, these are songs of hope delivered by a true American original. ~ Thom Jurek, Rovi

  • Condition: --
    HPB condition ratings
    • New: Mint condition or still sealed (SS). Absolutely perfect in every way. New.
    • Fine/Like New (EX): No defects, little sign of use, well cared for. Plays perfectly. Close to new. Not necessarily sealed or unused, but close. Could be an unopened promotional or cut item. Sometimes called: mint-minus.
    • Very Good (VG): Will show some signs that it was played and otherwise handled by a previous owner who took good care of it.
    • Good (G): Attractive and well cared for, but no longer fresh. Minor signs of wear, scuffing or scratching, but will play almost perfectly. For vinyl: barely detectable crackles or pops.
    • Fair (FR): This item is in okay condition. For vinyl: good is not so good and the record may have low level crackles or pops when playing. CD: one or more tracks may skip.
    • Poor (P): Obviously well-worn and handled. Most vinyl collectors will not buy good or below, but some tracks on CD or vinyl will play.
    Conditions Guide
  • Format: Compact Disc
  • Sold by: --
  • Label: Legacy
  • UPC: 828767441320
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Track listings

  • 1. To Be Young, Gifted And Black
  • 2. Backlash Blues (Live)
  • 3. I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free
  • 4. Why? (The King Of Love Is Dead) (Live)
  • 5. Mississippi Goddam (Live)
  • 6. Revolution (Parts 1 & 2)
  • 7. Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There Is A Season (Previously Unreleased)
  • 8. Ain't Got No I Got Life (From Hair)
  • 9. Westwind (Live)
  • 10. Times They Are A Changin', The
  • 11. To Be Young, Gifted And Black (Live)
 
HPB condition ratings
  • New: Item is brand new, unused and unmarked, in flawless condition.
  • Fine/Like New (F): No defects, little usage. May show remainder marks. Older books may show minor flaws.
  • Very Good (VG): Shows some signs of wear and is no longer fresh. Attractive. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
  • Good (G): Average used book with all pages present. Possible loose bindings, highlighting, cocked spine or torn dust jackets. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
  • Fair (FR): Obviously well-worn, but no text pages missing. May be without endpapers or title page. Markings do not interfere with readability. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
  • Poor (P): All text is legible but may be soiled and have binding defects. Reading copies and binding copies fall into this category. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
Conditions Guide
HPB condition ratings
  • New: Mint condition or still sealed (SS). Absolutely perfect in every way. New.
  • Fine/Like New (EX): No defects, little sign of use, well cared for. Plays perfectly. Close to new. Not necessarily sealed or unused, but close. Could be an unopened promotional or cut item. Sometimes called: mint-minus.
  • Very Good (VG): Will show some signs that it was played and otherwise handled by a previous owner who took good care of it.
  • Good (G): Attractive and well cared for, but no longer fresh. Minor signs of wear, scuffing or scratching, but will play almost perfectly. For vinyl: barely detectable crackles or pops.
  • Fair (FR): This item is in okay condition. For vinyl: good is not so good and the record may have low level crackles or pops when playing. CD: one or more tracks may skip.
  • Poor (P): Obviously well-worn and handled. Most vinyl collectors will not buy good or below, but some tracks on CD or vinyl will play.
Conditions Guide
HPB condition ratings
  • New: This movie is unopened and brand new.
  • Fine/Like New (EX): Near new. No defects, little sign of use. Plays perfectly. Not necessarily sealed or unused, but close. No skipping; no fuzzy or snowy frames in VHS.
  • Very Good (VG): Attractive and well cared for but no longer fresh. Minor signs of wear, but will play almost perfectly. For VHS: barely detectable distortion or very few fuzzy or snowy frames.
  • Good (G): This item is in okay condition and basically works well. There may be some minor distortion on VHS tape; slight scratching or wear on DVD.
  • Fair (FR): Basically plays, but may be obviously well-worn with some scratching or tape distortion.
  • Poor (P): Disc or tape is intact, but may be scratched or stretched. There may be skips or distortion or product defects.
Conditions Guide
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