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Nina Simone or Aretha Franklin?

Discussion in 'music' started by merlin, Sep 19, 2017.

  1. merlin

    merlin Avatar changed - Town names deemed offensive.

    Nina Simone or Aretha Franklin?

    Whose work speaks to your soul?

    Very different styles but two of the finest soul singers of the sixties. Lyrically very different messages too.

    A bit like Stones or Beatles then. Just with better singers :)
  2. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Nina. A seriously underrated pianist too. One of the real jazz greats and civil rights pioneers.
  3. merlin

    merlin Avatar changed - Town names deemed offensive.

    Nina gets my vote too Tony - primarily for the lyrical content of much of her work and the manner in which she could deliver it. She simply had more "attitude".
  4. Konteebos

    Konteebos Post Ironic

    Nina, for me, too.
  5. blossomchris

    blossomchris I am not searching, I know what I am looking for.

    Nina had the better lyrics, but Aretha the better vocal range and her backing band/singers were superb also.
    A draw for me.

  6. Big Tabs

    Big Tabs frequently wrong.

    Ms. Simone every time. Song-writing, piano master and a great stylish voice. Different league.
  7. Weekender

    Weekender pfm Member

    I have nearly all of Aretha's Atlantic output. I have one of Nina's best of CDs. Never could get along with her vocals.
  8. Sean K

    Sean K pfm Member

    Nina every time for me- I understand she didn't really consider herself much of a singer, early on, at least. I agree that Aretha clearly has the 'better' voice but Nina communicates feeling much more. Plus, she has that kind of quiet, understated power that Mavis Staples has. I get a bit distracted by some of the pyrotechnics of Aretha's style but I'm only really familiar with the hits and I never loved a man the way....

    Just been listening to Nina's version of funkier than a mosquito's tweeter, it's terrific
  9. Midlandaudiox

    Midlandaudiox Trade: Midland Audio X-Change

    100% Nina musically more edgy and impowering
    just listen to Strange Fruit
  10. Vinniemac

    Vinniemac pfm Member

    Aretha. It's not even close.
  11. JamesJamerson

    JamesJamerson pfm Member

    +1. The way she sings:

    "And there's no misery...." at 3.37, is spine chilling:

    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 21, 2018
  12. Weekender

    Weekender pfm Member

    They are both great artists and it's horses for courses.
    If you haven't seen this watch it.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 21, 2018
  13. gassor

    gassor "There may be more posts after this."

    Rolling Stone gets it pretty well right in its' top 100 singers. Nina in at 29 and Aretha in at number 1. Just listen to the range and passion in her voice. No one is close to Lady Soul.
  14. Still

    Still gyldengourd

    The Strat likes this.
  15. Snufkin

    Snufkin pfm Member

    They seem so different that I am not sure that comparisons are worthwhile but oh well I will join in:

    Fight, Fight, Fight...

    (Despite the wisdom of Rolling Stone, my preference is Nina).
  16. merlin

    merlin Avatar changed - Town names deemed offensive.

    It's a fair point.

    The comparison is to do with which one speaks to your soul directly more often?

    Vocal range is only part of that equation to me. Lyrics, intonation, delivery and many other facets make it an intriguing one for me.

    Aretha undoubtedly has the vocal range, but the majority of the songs that I know are to do with relationships, family, love and emotion.

    Simone has a vocal delivery that is floss free. It feels it's straight from her heart and is more akin to modern rap music in it's delivery on occasion. It traces its way back more towards African roots. Lyrically, it's often more politically driven and focusses on more varied topics whilst still engaging the emotions.
  17. glancaster

    glancaster In the silicon vale

    Both great singers. However, Nina Simone's version of 'Strange Fruit' is simply extraordinary.
  18. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    To me its not even close, I'm pretty much complete with Nina Simone, haven't got a single Aretha Franklin album! Simone is up there with Billie Holiday, Gil Scott Heron, Bob Dylan etc, one of the most intelligent, powerful and articulate voices in music history. Aretha is a damn good singer.
  19. gassor

    gassor "There may be more posts after this."

    Faint praise I'm afraid, Aretha shared a platform with Martin Luther King at his request and her "Respect", became an anthem for women and black people in general during the Civil Rights Movement. Her version of A Change is Gonna Come is unsurpassed in my opinion. Politics aside Aretha is not just a damn good singer, she is the best singer ever, the voice of an angel.
  20. Natara

    Natara pfm Member

    Oh my god cannot believe that is a serious question Nina Simone was a very talented musician so were Lennon and Macartney as were Jagger and Richards as was Bowie, Marr & Morrisey and many, many others Aretha Franklin on the other hand was exceptional a one off who had a voice so profoundly incomparable that if I believed in such things I would say came from God.

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