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“She is one of pop’s first and greatest divas” - Entertainment Weekly, 2005
“In the 1960s, no black woman was more gangsta than Nina Simone” – NPR, 2005
RCA/Legacy Recordings, a division of SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT, teams up with producer Scott Schlachter (of New York-based dance/electronic music imprints C&S, Adrenalin and Topaz Records) to present the maiden release of a new series, REMIXED & REIMAGINED.
This brand-new collection includes many of Nina Simone’s most definitive works from her RCA Records recording period (1967–1974), reinvented by some of contemporary dance and electronic music’s best producers, including Francóis K., Tony Humprhies, Mocean Worker, Coldcut, Nickodemus, Groovefinder, Madison Park & Lenny B., Chris Coco, DJ Logic, Organica, and more. Other legendary Legacy artists will appear with their own Remixed & Reimagined titles in the months to come.
Nina Simone (born Eunice Kathleen Waymon) established herself as the preeminent “self-invented” Black American singer, songwriter, pianist and outspoken activist. Although generally classified as a jazz artist/musician (which she despised), Nina covered a diverse range of influences -- from blues, soul, R&B, classical, Broadway musicals, folk, African, European pop to gospel. Her music carries a distinctive trademark that defies simple categorization, and she remains one of the most significant voices of the 20th Century.
Simone seduced (and often provoked) the world with such classics as “My Baby Just Cares for Me,” “Love Me or Leave Me,” “Feeling Good,” “Ne Me Quitte Pas,” “To Be Young Gifted And Black,” “Do I Move You,” House of the Rising Sun,” “I Put a Spell on You,” “Here Comes the Sun,” “Four Women,” “I Shall Be Released,” “To Love Somebody,” “O-o-oh Child,” and “Ain’t Got No/I Got Life.” The latter track from the musical Hair reached No. 2 in the UK charts in 1968.
REMIXED & REIMAGINED assembles a cross section of these stand-out selections from Nina’s RCA Records period, namely those titles that sparked the imagination of the club world. Her music and life struck a powerful chord with the emerging club underground that was simmering in New York and Chicago during the late ‘70s and early ‘80s post-disco era. Fueled largely by the gay and multi-ethnic minorities that pioneered the movement, the flourishing subculture -- and soon-to-be global dance music revolution -- embraced Simone’s music and message. The DJs and dancefloor denizens related to her authenticity and inspiring words of liberation, empowerment, equality, passion and love. Providing a voice for the disenfranchised, Simone channeled her beliefs through music which could uplift and motivate.
But it wasn’t just Nina’s soul-stirring songs that transfixed clubgoers, it was also the blistering funk, fiery gospel, tribal African rhythms and underpinning soul jazz grooves that ignited the dancefloor. It wasn’t uncommon to hear songs like “See Line Woman,” “Westwind,” “Funkier Than a Mosquito’s Tweeter,” “O-o-oh Child,” “African Mailman,” the reggae-tinged “Baltimore” or “To Be Young Gifted And Black” (many of which are included on this release) reverberating on sound systems at seminal dance clubs like New York’s Paradise Garage, The Loft, The Gallery and Better Days, New Jersey’s Club Zanzibar or Chicago’s Music Box and The Warehouse.
Influential DJs like Larry Levan, Frankie Knuckles, Francois K., David Mancuso, Nicky Siano, Ron Hardy, Tee Scott – who championed musical diversity and experimentation -- regularly featured these tracks in their sets.
Since her untimely death on April 21, 2003, Nina’s vast and vibrant catalog (which spans over three decades) has experienced several resurgences courtesy of film and motion picture soundtracks (Point of No Return, The Thomas Crown Affair, The Bourne Identity and The Dancer Upstairs), placements on award-winning TV shows (Six Feet Under, 24 and Scrubs), commercial advertisements, video games, compilations (namely the Verve Remixed collection) and remixes – most notably, Groovefinder’s platinum-selling UK Top 30 remix for “Ain’t Got No/I Got Life” (from the musical production Hair and featured on her 1968 RCA album Nuff Said!), which is included on this collection.
Alongside Groovefinder’s sweltering big beat ‘60s pop re-rub of “Ain’t Got No/I Got Life,” REMIXED & REIMAGINED also includes reconstructions from famed dance/electronic music icon Francóis K. (whose incandescent reworking of “Here Comes the Sun” channels the introspective electro-jazz house nuances of classic Mr. Fingers/Larry Heard), influential cut-up beat reconstructionists/Ninja Tunes recording artists Coldcut (aka Matt Black and Jonathan More), soulful “Jersey” House music mastermind Tony Humphries (of Club Zanzibar), and electronic sophisticate Mocean Worker (who tastefully recasts Nina’s derisive “Go To Hell” into a irresistible hip-shaker laced with funky breaks and mesmerizing sound effects).
Dreamy dance pop duo Madison Park and versatile House music producer Lenny B. collectively reinvent “The Look of Love” into a radiant late night seduction. Veteran NYC hip hop, funk and modern soul DJ/producer/remixer and Giant Step/Turntables on The Hudson mixmaster Nickodemus transforms “O-o-oh Child” into a colorful rollicking anthem reminding you just how blissful life can be. Newcomer Daniel Yaghoubi injects Simone’s haunting rendition of “I Can’t See Nobody” with a sumptuous backdrop of midtempo hip hop beats and lush orchestration that updates this classic for the chill-out generation. And DJ Logic delivers a spiritually-charged remix of “Obeah Woman” that soars with rousing keys and propulsive back beats which create a transcendent insurrection that rivals the original.
REMIXED & REIMAGINED is set to rekindle the world’s fascination with the celebrated High Priestess of Soul. It is a powerful reminder of the gifts she bestowed to a generation of music lovers to uncover, embrace and share. It is also a homage to her music and life, which deeply impacted and inspired the global dance community.
This title follows the January 2006 release of two expanded editions from Simone on RCA/Legacy, Nina Simone Sings the Blues and Silk And Soul, and the new compilation Forever Young Gifted And Black: Songs of Freedom and Spirit. In September of 2005, The Soul of Nina Simone arrived in stores from RCA/Legacy and has the distinction of being the first newly-created compilation released on DualDisc.
For further information on REMIXED & REIMAGINED contact:
Judy Miller Silverman, Motormouth Media