The Album: Nina Simone It Is Finished (1974)
It Is Finished is an ominous title, least of all given where Nina Simone was in her personal life at the time. Much of the early ‘70s had seen the High Priestess of Soul escaping to Barbados, first to avoid a troubled marriage, then to avoid the IRS. But RCA Records lured her back to New York to tape a live show, much of which would go into It Is Finished alongside a few tracks from an earlier studio session. One of those vault cuts, “Funkier Than a Mosquito’s Tweeter” would become an unlikely hit on the funk/soul dance floor circuit but It Is Finished was far more than one-tracker, especially as Simone dipped into Afro-Caribbean spirituality via the (under-credited) participation of Exuma on much of this album. Our guest, Mark “Frosty” McNeill is the co-founder of the long-running Dublab internet (now terrestrial) radio station and together, we got deep into Nina’s public and personal tribulations of that era, how the album reflects a particular moment in black cultural identity and a spirited debate about Tina vs. Nina.
More on Mark McNeill
More on It Is Finished
- Nina Simone: The ‘Princess Noire’ (NPR)
- Nina Simone’s ‘It Is Finished’ Review and Thoughts (A Short Man In A Wide World)
Show Tracklisting (all songs from It Is Finished unless indicated otherwise):
- Obeah Woman
- Nina Simone: Wild Is The Wind
- Nina Simone: See Line Woman (Masters at Work Remix)
- To Love Somebody
- Nina Simone: Revolution (Live at the Harlem Cultural Festival)
- Mr. Bojangles
- Kumbaya (earliest known recording)
- Walter Hawkins: Come By Here Good Lord
- Com’ By H’Yere Good Lord
- Exuma: Mama Loi, Papa Loi
- Ike and Tina Turner: Funkier Than A Mosquito’s Tweeter
- Funkier Than A Mosquito’s Tweeter
- Let It Be Me
- Elvis: Let It Be Me
- I Want A Little Sugar In My Bowl
- Obeah Woman
- Esther Phillips: Home is Where the Hatred Is
- Ganga and Hess OST: Survival Drive
- Exuma: Exuma, The Obeah Man
About the show
Hosted by Oliver Wang and Morgan Rhodes, every episode of Heat Rocks invites a special guest to talk about a heat rock – a hot album, a scorching record. These are in-depth conversations about the albums that shape our lives.
Our guests include musicians, writers, and scholars and though we don’t exclusively focus on any one genre, expect to hear about albums from the worlds of soul, hip-hop, funk, jazz, Latin, and more.
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