Pastel Blues

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Pastel Blues
Studio album by Nina Simone
Released October 1965
Recorded March 1964 – May 1965
Studio New York City
Length 36:00
Label Philips
Producer Hal Mooney
Nina Simone chronology
I Put a Spell on You
Pastel Blues
Let It All Out
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic3.5/5 stars[1]

Pastel Blues is a studio album by American jazz singer, songwriter, and pianist Nina Simone. Recorded in 1964 and 1965 in New York City, it was released by Philips Records in 1965. It peaked at number 139 on the Billboard 200 chart,[3] as well as number 8 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart.[4]

Critical reception[edit]

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."[1] 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."[1]

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."[5]

In 2008, Cokemachineglow included it on the "30 'Other' Albums of the 1960s" list.[6] In 2012, Alicia Keys included it on her "25 Favorite Albums" list.[7] In 2017, Pitchfork placed it at number 21 on the "200 Best Albums of the 1960s" list.[8]

Track listing[edit]

1."Be My Husband"Andy Stroud3:20
2."Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out"Jimmy Cox2:38
3."End of the Line"John Edmondson, Cynthia Medley2:54
4."Trouble in Mind"Richard Jones2:40
5."Tell Me More and More and Then Some"Billie Holiday3:08
6."Chilly Winds Don't Blow"Hermann Krasnow, William Lovelock4:01
7."Ain't No Use"Rudy Stevenson3:00
8."Strange Fruit"Lewis Allan3:29
9."Sinnerman"Traditional; arranged by Nina Simone10:19


Credits adapted from liner notes.

  • Nina Simone – piano, vocals, arrangement
  • Al Schackman – guitar, harmonica
  • Rudy Stevenson – guitar, flute
  • Lisle Atkinson – double bass
  • Bobby Hamilton – drums


Chart Peak
US Billboard 200[3][9] 139
US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums (Billboard)[4][9] 8


  1. ^ a b c Unterberger, Richie. "Pastel Blues - Nina Simone". AllMusic. Retrieved January 25, 2018. 
  2. ^ Wallace, Carvell (July 30, 2016). "Nina Simone: Pastel Blues". Pitchfork. Retrieved July 30, 2016. 
  3. ^ a b "Nina Simone - Billboard 200". Billboard. Retrieved January 25, 2018. 
  4. ^ a b "Nina Simone - Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums". Billboard. Retrieved January 25, 2018. 
  5. ^ Muggs, Joe (July 21, 2014). "An In-Depth Look at Nina Simone's 'Pastel Blues'". Noisey. Retrieved January 25, 2018. 
  6. ^ "30 "Other" Albums of the 1960s (page 1 of 3)". Cokemachineglow. July 5, 2008. Retrieved January 25, 2018. 
  7. ^ Kenner, Rob (November 14, 2012). "Alicia Keys' 25 Favorite Albums". Complex. Retrieved January 25, 2018. 
  8. ^ "The 200 Best Albums of the 1960s (page 9 of 10)". Pitchfork. August 22, 2017. Retrieved August 22, 2017. 
  9. ^ a b "Nina Simone - Awards". AllMusic. Archived from the original on March 23, 2016. Retrieved January 25, 2018. 

External links[edit]