Nina Simone has penned unforgettable protest material, covered jazz, folk, rock, and pop with equal flair, and created a body of work that's kept her popularity high. While this title is hardly accurate, since it only covers RCA material from 1967-1972, there's plenty of anthemic fare among The Essential Nina Simone's 16 selections. These include "Mr. Bojangles," "To Be Young, Gifted, and Black," "Seems I'm Never Tired Lovin' You," and "Since I Fell for You." While the absence of "Baltimore," "I Wish I Knew How It Feels to Be Free," and "Here Comes the Sun" (to name only three) is sizable, and the weighting of this compilation toward well-known rock types (Bob Dylan, Randy Newman, Jimmy Webb, George Harrison, two Bee Gees cuts) debatable, there's still no way it can be dismissed.
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AllMusic Review by Ron Wynn