Nina Simone’s 20 greatest songs – ranked!

Ahead of an album of previously unreleased 1966 live recordings, we appraise the strident, sexual, socially conscious songcraft of a truly indomitable artist

One thing Nina Simone had in abundance was attitude, which can be heard in her frankly astonishing version of Brecht and Weill’s Pirate Jenny. It is a theatrical piece that she sings as if she means every word, her vocal dripping with venomous relish as it delivers its saga of murderous revenge: listening to it feels like being pinned to a wall.

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