High Priestess of Soul

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High Priestess of Soul
Studio album by Nina Simone
Released 1967
Recorded New York, 1965–1966
Genre Jazz, blues, folk, R&B
Length 35:51
Label Philips
Producer Hal Mooney
Nina Simone chronology
Wild Is the Wind
High Priestess of Soul
Nina Simone Sings the Blues
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 5/5 stars[1]
Pitchfork 9.2/10[2]

High Priestess of Soul is a studio album by jazz singer, pianist and songwriter Nina Simone. The songs are accompanied by a large band directed and arranged by Hal Mooney. The album contains popular songs (such as "Don't You Pay Them No Mind") and African American gospel and folk related songs written by Simone herself (such as "Take Me to the Water" and "Come Ye"). After this album title –an attempt to broaden her appeal by management execs– Nina Simone was sometimes titled “the high priestess of soul”, although she completely rejected the title herself because it placed a label on her as an artist. However, according to her daughter, Simone, she never hated that moniker.[3]

Information about songs on this album[edit]

  • The songs "I Hold No Grudge" and "He Ain't Comin' Home No More" were co-written by Andy Badale, the pseudonym of Angelo Badalamenti, who later became known as the composer of the soundtracks for the films of David Lynch. Simone recorded also "Another Spring" by Badalamenti and Clifford for her album Nina Simone and Piano released 1969.
  • An earlier recording of the soul-jazz hit "Work Song" by Nat Adderley and Oscar Brown, Jr. had been featured on Forbidden Fruit (1961, also featured on the compilation Nina’s Choice from 1963). In 1966 Simone recorded the song once again With Strings.
  • The last track "I Love My Baby" is a composition by Andy Stroud to whom Simone was married from 1960 until 1970. His company Stroud Productions also produced many of her albums.

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Don't You Pay Them No Mind" (Richard Ahlert, Robert Scott) – 3:05
  2. "I'm Gonna Leave You" (Rudy Stevenson) – 2:15
  3. "Brown Eyed Handsome Man" (Chuck Berry) – 2:02
  4. "Keeper of the Flame" (Charles Derringer) – 3:21
  5. "The Gal from Joe's" (Duke Ellington, Irving Mills) – 2:43
  6. "Take Me to the Water" (Nina Simone) – 2:49
  7. "I'm Going Back Home" (Rudy Stevenson) – 2:47
  8. "I Hold No Grudge" (Andy Badale, John Clifford) – 2:17
  9. "Come Ye" (Nina Simone) – 3:34
  10. "He Ain't Comin' Home No More" (Andy Badale, John Clifford) – 3:06
  11. "Work Song" (Nat Adderley, Oscar Brown, Jr.) – 3:03
  12. "I Love My Baby" (Andy Stroud) – 4:00


Chart 1967 Peak position
Billboard R&B Chart 29[4]


  1. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^ Wallace, Carvell (30 July 2016). "Nina Simone : High Priestess of Soul". Pitchfork. Retrieved 30 July 2016. 
  3. ^ [1] Simone: I never heard Mommy say she hated that moniker.
  4. ^ "Nina Simone". AllMusic. Retrieved 2012-02-21.