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To Love Somebody
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  • No slouch as a songwriter herself, Nina Simone ably picked a variety of compositional classics from the new rock era for her 1969 LP To Love Somebody. Opening with a beautiful, introspective version of Leonard Cohen's "Suzanne," Simone shows an obvious affinity for social statements with the Byrds' "Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There Is a Season)" and a trio of Dylan standards: "I Shall Be Released," "Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues," plus a dramatic, meditative "The Times They Are A-Changin'." The title track, originally a 1967 hit for the Bee Gees and one year later for the Sweet Inspirations, suffers slightly from a weak, commercial-slanted arrangement, but her lone original, the two-part "Revolution," is a great blend of blues-rock and soul testifying. Among a rut of jazz vocalists making the worst of a bad situation during the late '60s, To Love Somebody is a rare success. ~ John Bush
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