In 1964, Nina Simone embarked on new stage of her career. Her rejection by the Philadelphia-based Curtis Institute Of Music; time spent as a pianist in an Atlantic City nightclub; her jazz, gospel, pop and classical influences – all these had fused to make her one of the most complex, fascinating and talented artists of the decade. Simone released her debut album in 1958, but when she signed to Philips, in 1964, her creative output was about to dovetail with the Civil Rights movement – notably coinciding with the Civil Rights Act Of 1964, which outlawed discrimination based on race, color, gender, religious affiliation or nationality.
Though compiled from recordings initially earmarked for previous Philips outings, 1966's Wild Is The Wind remains a cohesive artistic statement whose influence runs deep. Bowie was the obvious devotee, covering the song's title track 10 years later on his groundbreaking Station To Station album, but Jeff Buckley once again showed his love for Simone when he included a version of "Lilac Wine" on his 1994 album Grace. "Four Women," meanwhile, saw Simone once again in Civil Rights mode, with a song that took an unflinching look at the history of black women in America – so unflinching, in fact, that the New York-based jazz radio station, WLIB, banned it.