A best of may not strictly be an album but considering the hit and miss affairs of Nina Simone's career (aside from 1966's sublime 'Nina Simone Sings the Blues'), a retrospective is usually the best place to start, and 'Anthology' is definitely the greatest. Released very shortly after her death in 2003, 'Anthology' may seem like coffin chasing and profiteering, but the track selections alone make for a fitting epitaph.
Spread over two discs, 'Anthology' tells her story brilliantly, featuring cuts from every label she ever recorded for, seamlessly mixing live and studio tracks. It does miss off a few of her greatest covers - Leonard Cohen's 'Suzanne' and George Harrison's 'My Sweet Lord' ('Here Comes the Sun' is here instead) - but Bob Dylan's 'Just Like a Woman' is present. The only other notable absence is 'Wild is the Wind'. Picky points aside, this set perfectly showcases the pianist/singer at her powerful, genre-jumping best from first album to last.
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