Hello my dearies! I hope everyone had a wonderful New Years and that 2013 is off to an ab fab start. In addition to reading, writing, and indulging all the amazing things tht goes with being on vacation, I'm feeling a surge of bloggy creativity and am working on a few posts at the moment, including a massive list of tunes that will inspire overdue resolutions (if you're a procrastinator like I am) that should be up in a day or two. In the interim, I am sharing Nina Simone's cover of "Just Like a Woman." Why you ask? JUST LISTEN TO IT.
Isn't this just the ultimate cover? Okay, maybe not the ultimate-ultimate, because I know that I've made equal cases in the past for Patti Smith's re-arranging of "Gloria" and "Killing Me Softly" by the Fugees, and Johnny Cash's "Hurt" and Jose Feliciano's "Light My Fire" album, but this cover is one of the tops, at least.
So you've listened to it and still you ask for more explanation? Let me break it down: Nina is the bee's knees. She's one of my all time favorite artists. Her voice is deep and sultry and powerful, but also somehow really vulnerable and romantic. She is the embodiment of woman. W-O-M-A-N. (For some reason I feel like that needed to be spelled out for emphasis.) Some of her most well-known songs are probably "Sinnerman" (Felix Da Housecat does a great remix of the song, and the original is sampled in Talib Kweli's "Get By"), "Feeling Good" (covered by Jennifer Hudson in that Weight Watchers commercial), and "I'll Put a Spell on You" (which is lush and haunting and creepy and amazing). I recommend checking out the "Forbidden Fruit" LP and her live album "At Newport," which has one of my ALL-TIME favorite songs ever on it: her version of "You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To." Oh wow, it's so incredible that I cannot even put into words all of the feelings I experience whenever I put on that tune.
Being a Nina fan, I am shocked and frankly appalled with myself that I hadn't heard her cover of Bob Dylan's "Just Like a Woman" until very recently. My Dylan fanship is definitely far more than a casual appreciation -- it's more like a ridiculous adoration (I won't say worship simply because he hates being any voice of any generation, so I'll respect that even though he obviously is), so I honestly don't know how I missed this connection. Especially considering that "Just Like a Woman" is not just one of my favorite tracks from "Blonde on Blonde" but one of my other favorite songs across all genres ... well, my mind reels over my ignorance. I expect that probably everyone else has heard this song, but on the off chance that you haven't checked it out either, do yourself a favor because it's brilliant. Though should we expect any less from a pairing between Bob Dylan and Nina Simone?