To Love Somebody (album)

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To Love Somebody
Studio album by Nina Simone
Released 1969
Recorded RCA Studios, New York City, 1967–69
Genre Jazz, Blues, pop, folk
Label RCA Victor
Producer Stroud Productions, Danny Davis
Nina Simone chronology
Nina Simone and Piano
(1969)
To Love Somebody
(1969)
Black Gold
(1970)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[1]

To Love Somebody is an album by Jazz singer-songwriter/pianist Nina Simone. It was released as quickly as possible to prolong the unexpected success of 'Nuff Said! The title is taken from the Bee Gees song "To Love Somebody", her cover of the song became her second British hit single after "Ain't Got No-I Got Life".

Personnel[edit]

  • Charles D. Alias - Drums
  • Weldon J. Irvine - Organ
  • Al Schackman - Guitar
  • Gene A. Perla - Fender Bass
  • Doris Willingham - Vocalist
  • Virdia Crawford - Vocalist

Information about songs on this album[edit]

  • The title track, "To Love Somebody", as well as "I Can't See Nobody" are songs by the Bee Gees.
  • "Suzanne", originally by Leonard Cohen.
  • "Turn! Turn! Turn!", originally by Pete Seeger. Simone recorded an alternative version of the song that was (previously) unreleased.
  • "Revolution" (parts 1 & 2) was Simone's third subsequent single released in the UK after "Ain't Got No-I Got Life" and "To Love Somebody" both became hits. The song was released around the time of the same titled song by The Beatles and, although it has a similar hook ("Don't you know it's gonna be - all right") and structure, most of the lyrics differ. Interestingly, the song also uses a guitar lick similar to "Old Brown Shoe," which had been recorded by The Beatles the same year. John Lennon commented on the similarities in his 1971 interview with Rolling Stone:

I thought it was interesting that Nina Simone did a sort of answer to “Revolution.” That was very good–it was sort of like “Revolution,” but not quite. That I sort of enjoyed, somebody who reacted immediately to what I had said.[2]

It is actually one song, but because of an unknown reason chopped in two by a two-second silence. "Revolution" didn't do well in the UK charts, and only had a mild success in the United States R&B charts. Simone didn't expect this lack of success and said to Sylvia Hampton, author of the biography Break Down and Let It All Out about this:

(…) I don't get it. It's about a revolution, man: not just colour, but everything! It's about barriers being broken down, and they sure as hell need getting rid of. (…) We need a revolution to sort it all out and get back to God. You know how lost we are, man – it's sad.[3]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Suzanne" (Leonard Cohen) - 4:21
  2. "Turn! Turn! Turn! (to Everything There Is a Season)" (Pete Seeger, Traditional) - 3:41
  3. "Revolution (Part 1)" (Irvine, Simone) - 2:53
  4. "Revolution (Part 2)" (Irvine, Simone) - 1:54
  5. "To Love Somebody" (Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb) - 2:42
  6. "I Shall Be Released" (Bob Dylan) - 3:55
  7. "I Can't See Nobody" (Gibb, Gibb) - 3:10
  8. "Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues" (Dylan) - 4:52
  9. "The Times They Are A-Changin'" (Dylan) - 6:00

References[edit]

  1. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^ Wenner, Jann S. (February 4, 1971). "The Rolling Stone Interview: John Lennon, Part II". Rolling Stone. Retrieved February 5, 2013. 
  3. ^ Hampton. Break Down And Let It All Out. p. 62.