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  • To Be Free: The Nina Simone Story
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To Be Free: The Nina Simone Story Box set


Price: $42.98 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Audio CD, Box set, September 30, 2008
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Amazon's Nina Simone Store

Music

Image of album by Nina Simone

Photos

Image of Nina Simone

Biography

Nina Simone was born Eunice Wayman on February 21st 1933, in Tryon, South Carolina. She is, for many, the ultimate jazz/blues diva. Few know however, that Ms. Simone holds a doctorate in music, yet was once refused admission to the legendary Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, an event that has forever marked her life. An intense live performer, Nina Simone's shows are legendary, ... Read more in Amazon's Nina Simone Store

Visit Amazon's Nina Simone Store
for 273 albums, 7 photos, discussions, and more.

Frequently Bought Together

To Be Free: The Nina Simone Story + Complete RCA Album Collection + Four Women: Nina Simone Philips Recordings
Price for all three: $141.62

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 30, 2008)
  • Original Release Date: 2008
  • Number of Discs: 4
  • Format: Box set
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: Sony Legacy
  • ASIN: B001D52XO2
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #74,482 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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)
See all 20 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Mississippi Goddam (Live)
2. In The Morning
3. Ain't Got No-I Got Life [previously unreleased in the U.S. - alternate version]
4. Do What You Gotta Do
5. Seems I'm Never Tired Loving You
See all 17 tracks on this disc
Disc: 3
1. No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed (Live) [previously unreleased]
2. Just Like A Woman
3. Here Comes The Sun
4. Tanywey [previously unreleased]
5. Funkier Than A Mosquito's Tweeter (Live)
See all 14 tracks on this disc
Disc: 4
1. Ain't Got No-I Got Life (DVD content)
2. Pirate Jenny (DVD content)
3. Don't You Pay Them No Mind (DVD content)
4. Milestones(DVD content)
5. Go To Hell (DVD content)
See all 9 tracks on this disc

Editorial Reviews

3 CD + DVD (NTSC/Region 0) set. Sony BMG. 2008.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
5 star
16
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See all 18 customer reviews
The DVD was a nice and informative addition.
beverley j conte
I've read that she was bi-polar and it's clear that something is a little off in her demeanor in this doc, but the power and intensity really comes through.
Alex Honda
I purchased this CD and DVD as a birthday gift.
Anna

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Alcee Arobin VINE VOICE on January 5, 2009
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I've owned the complete Nina Simone discography for some time, but I wanted this box set specifically for the 8 previously unreleased tracks and the 1970 documentary that I assumed had been lost.

The new material is fantastic. I'd gladly have paid just to hear the new, live recording of "Suzanne" included in this set. It's a brilliant concert piece, equal parts bold and vulnerable. I'd heard Nina sing with her brother Samuel at a 1968 Paris concert on the album Live at the Great Show, but if not for the release of "Let it Be Me" included on this set for the first time, I would never have known how truly talented and soulful he was. Music must have been a familial trait.

The DVD is brief (only about 20 minutes) but packs a punch. Nina is engaging and captivating, especially when she muses with her interviewer that freedom must be the equivalent of having no fear. A rehearsal cut of "Don't You Pay Them No Mind" before a concert is overwhelming. This was always one of my favorite songs on the High Priestess of Soul album and to see her perform it with the accompaniment of her grand piano, her mighty vibrato trembling with emotion, is something to behold. She closes a concert with "I Wish I Knew How (It Would Feel to Be Free)," taking the song in a new and liberating direction, singing along and quoting Bible scripture while her band provides a hypnotic melody.

This could easily pass as an introduction to Nina Simone's work, if that is what you're looking for. I don't agree with all of the choices included here as a career spanning collection, but this is an artist who recorded so many albums on so many different labels, if you took two Nina fans and asked them to assemble her best work, you'd inevitably come up with two completely different collections.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Rhapsodos Azoil Kallitechnis Strigidae on December 27, 2008
Format: Audio CD
This is a wonderful collection for Nina Simone to gain more fans. The choices of the versions of songs for this collection, are the smooth more soothing ones. Each song easily fits together on the same album with any of the other songs. The DVD is really just for already fans. (I guess if your buying a box, you must already be a major fan)The mix of the clips of her performances and the interview disturbs the full experience. They should have had the performance then the interview. Do not get me wrong. I highly recommend this box set to anyone. I am personally a fan of the coarser versions of some songs. One thing I really like about Nina Simone, is that no two performance of her are the same.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Alex Honda TOP 1000 REVIEWER on July 9, 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The set of TO BE FREE: THE NINA SIMONE STORY is the perfect box set for those interested in getting to know this wonderful singing legend. It encompasses Simone's singing career from 1957 - 1993, '93 being the last time she recorded professionally, and gathers recordings that were done for different record labels and puts it all on three CDs.

If that weren't enough this set also includes one DVD that shows Simone being interviewed and performing in the recording studio and at cabarets and concert halls. Even though this documentary is short, running about 26-minutes, it's more than enough time to get a feel of the person behind the legend. I've read that she was bi-polar and it's clear that something is a little off in her demeanor in this doc, but the power and intensity really comes through. Like all geniuses, Simone comes off as a little eccentric, but very cool and highly intelligent! She seemed like someone who would've been great to hang out with. The picture quality is clear but it's obvious that this was filmed in 1969-70.

This set also comes with a booklet that's attached to the CD package that includes bio information by Ed Ward and liner notes from the CD set producer Richard Seidel. And there's detailed information written for each track included on this set, as well as photographs.

The sound quality is excellent with no discernible difference between tracks recorded in the 50s to the 90s, including the "live" performances peppered throughout this collection.

I'm new to the music of Nina Simone and this collection has more than brought me up to speed. In fact, this collection has such a variety of songs and styles from her body of work that it'll probably be the only one you'll need unless you're a hardcore fan and/or completist.
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By Ra'sheeda Bey on April 24, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Grettings...
I love it...I purchased it for my daughter's birthday...and now i'm going to purchase one for me.
And it's nicely packaged.
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By Anna on April 2, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I purchased this CD and DVD as a birthday gift. I was told that it was the best collection of Nina Simone and they loved it. Would highly recommend it.
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By David C. Kowalka on February 11, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Quiet, quality music which thrills the soul and relaxes the mind. Today, we should insert all the discs in your player and just listen and share with a friend.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Great set. Should appeal to everyone. Nina Simone was known for jazz however she did blues, gospel,pop, and protest songs. All excellent. The DVD was a nice and informative addition.
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By Darius de Haas on January 7, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Great overview of the musical journey of Nina Simone. Maybe not the most comprehensive but she recorded so much and for so many labels, I think that would be volumes. Wonderful rarities as well.
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