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Nina Simone’s Lesser-Known ‘Fodder On My Wings’ For Wide Release

The LP was recorded for a small French label in 1982, soon after Simone moved to Paris, and has only been sporadically available since.

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Nina Simone Fodder On My Wings

Fodder On My Wings, a lesser-known album by Nina Simone that was a personal favourite of the great songwriter-performer, will be reissued on 3 April via Verve/UMe.

The LP was recorded in 1982, soon after Simone moved to Paris, for a small French label. It has only been sporadically available since that initial release, and will now reappear in a variety of formats including CD and LP. It will also be available digitally for the first time, in both standard and hi-res audio.

The original album will be augmented by three bonus tracks from the sessions, taken from a rare French reissue of 1988. As a preview of the release, the brief but uplifting opening track ‘I Sing Just To Know That I’m Alive’ is now available to stream, and as an instant grat download with digital preorders of the album. The percussive, horn-laden track has Simone proclaiming “Live and die! 1981!” throughout, was clearly influenced by the African musicians she met in France. She often performed it live in her later years. Watch the lyric video here:

Fodder On My Wings also features similarly personal and autobiographical songs such as ‘I Was Just A Stupid Dog To Them’ and a searing lyrical improvisation about the death of her father, on a remake of Gilbert O’Sullivan’s ‘Alone Again (Naturally).’ Simone’s loneliness at the time of her Parisian stay exacerbated her mental illness, and her family life was fractured. From her despair, the near-title track ‘Fodder On Her Wings’ was forged.

Pitchfork, in their analysis of Simone’s most memorable work, said that the song ‘Fodder On Her Wings’ “captured with startling intimacy the pain of this period, and she returned to it frequently through the next decade, cutting another studio version three years later (the synth-heavy take on Nina’s Back!) and including it on several live albums, including an awe-inspiring performance on 1987’s Let It Be Me. Simone’s vocal makes a song of weariness and defeat carry an air of defiance, a wise word from someone who survived to tell the tale.”

A 2005 review of the LP by Jazz Times observed: “At the core of the album is a rare, powerful example of Simone with all masks stripped away: her personal pain explodes to the surface as she reworks Gilbert O’Sullivan’s ‘Alone Again (Naturally)’ into a diatribe about her dying father that bravely progresses from venomously embittered to cautiously conciliatory.”

Fodder On My Wings is released on 3 April. Scroll down for the tracklisting, and pre-order it here.

Fodder On My Wings tracklistings:

VINYL
SIDE A
1. I Sing Just To Know That I’m Alive
2. Fodder In Her Wings
3. Vous êtes seuls, mais je désire être avec vous
4. Il y a un baume à Gilhead
5. Liberian Calypso
6. Alone Again (Naturally)

SIDE B
1. I Was Just A Stupid Dog To Them
2. Colour Is A Beautiful Thing
3. Le peuple en Suisse
4. Heaven Belongs To You
5. Thandewye
6. Stop
7. They Took My Hand

CD/DIGITAL
1. I Sing Just To Know That I’m Alive
2. Fodder In Her Wings
3. Vous êtes seuls, mais je désire être avec vous
4 Il y a un baume à Gilhead
5. Liberian Calypso
6. Alone Again (Naturally)
7. I Was Just A Stupid Dog To Them
8. Color Is A Beautiful Thing
9. Le Peuple en Suisse
10. Heaven Belongs To You
11. Thandewye
12. Stop
13. They Took My Hand

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