Pastel Blues is a studio album by American singer Nina Simone, released in October 1st, 1965, by Philips Records.

Pastel Blues
Studio album by
ReleasedOctober 1, 1965 (1965-10-01)
ProducerHal Mooney
Nina Simone chronology
I Put a Spell on You
Pastel Blues
Let It All Out

The album was recorded in 1964 and 1965 in New York City[1] and peaked at number 139 on the Billboard 200 chart,[2] as well as number 8 on the Hot R&B LPs chart.[3] The album was re-issued in November 2020 by Verve and Universal Music Enterprises as part of their "audiophile-grade" Acoustic Sounds series.[4]

Critical reception edit

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic     [5]
Record Mirror     [7]
Tom HullB+[8]

Richie Unterberger of AllMusic gave the album 3.5 stars out of 5 and called it "one of Nina Simone's more subdued mid-'60s LPs, putting the emphasis on her piano rather than band arrangements."[5] He added, "By far the most impressive track is her frantic ten-minute rendition of the traditional 'Sinnerman,' an explosive tour de force that dwarfs everything else on the album."[5]

Joe Muggs of Noisey said, "This is the blues as both urban and urbane, delivered with full knowledge of and passion for its history, and with all the guts and power that white rockers could ever muster, but with all the finesse, sophistication and abstraction that her Juilliard classical training could bring to bear on it."[9]

In 2008, Cokemachineglow included it on the "30 'Other' Albums of the 1960s" list.[10] In 2012, Alicia Keys included it on her "25 Favorite Albums" list.[11] In 2017, Pitchfork placed it at number 21 on the "200 Best Albums of the 1960s" list.[12]

Track listing edit

1."Be My Husband"Andy Stroud3:19
2."Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out"Jimmy Cox2:35
3."End of the Line"John Edmondson, Cynthia Medley2:51
4."Trouble in Mind"Richard Jones2:37
5."Tell Me More and More and Then Some"Billie Holiday3:05
6."Chilly Winds Don't Blow"Hermann Krasnow, William Lovelock3:59
7."Ain't No Use"Rudy Stevenson2:55
8."Strange Fruit"Lewis Allan3:26
9."Sinnerman"Traditional; arranged by Nina Simone10:15
Total length:35:02

Personnel edit

Credits adapted from liner notes.

Charts edit

Chart (1965) Peak
US Billboard 200[2][13] 139
US Hot R&B LPs (Billboard)[3][13] 8
Chart (2020) Peak
US Jazz Albums (Billboard)[14][13] 18

References edit

  1. ^ a b Pastel Blues (booklet). Nina Simone. Verve Records. 2006. 0602498887004.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  2. ^ a b "Nina Simone - Billboard 200". Billboard. Retrieved January 25, 2018.
  3. ^ a b "Nina Simone - Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums". Billboard. Retrieved January 25, 2018.
  4. ^ Helfet, Gabriela (September 27, 2020). "Nina Simone's I Put A Spell On You and Pastel Blues reissued in "audiophile-grade" editions". The Vinyl Factory. Retrieved March 14, 2021.
  5. ^ a b c Unterberger, Richie. "Pastel Blues - Nina Simone". AllMusic. Retrieved January 25, 2018.
  6. ^ Wallace, Carvell (July 30, 2016). "Nina Simone: Pastel Blues". Pitchfork. Retrieved July 30, 2016.
  7. ^ Jones, Peter; Jopling, Norman (22 January 1966). "Nina Goes Back To Blues" (PDF). Record Mirror. No. 254. p. 8. Archived from the original (PDF) on 1 April 2022. Retrieved 22 August 2022.
  8. ^ Hull, Tom (n.d.). "Jazz/Pop Vocals (1950s-70s)". Retrieved June 18, 2020.
  9. ^ Muggs, Joe (July 21, 2014). "An In-Depth Look at Nina Simone's 'Pastel Blues'". Noisey. Retrieved January 25, 2018.
  10. ^ "30 "Other" Albums of the 1960s (page 1 of 3)". Cokemachineglow. July 5, 2008. Retrieved January 25, 2018.
  11. ^ Kenner, Rob (November 14, 2012). "Alicia Keys' 25 Favorite Albums". Complex. Retrieved January 25, 2018.
  12. ^ "The 200 Best Albums of the 1960s (page 9 of 10)". Pitchfork. August 22, 2017. Retrieved August 22, 2017.
  13. ^ a b c "Nina Simone - Awards". AllMusic. Archived from the original on March 23, 2016. Retrieved January 25, 2018.
  14. ^ "Nina Simone - Jazz Albums". Billboard. Retrieved March 14, 2021.

External links edit