Brittany Howard | photo by Danny Clinch | courtesy of the artist
Watch Brittany Howard cover Nina Simone’s “Revolution” on Colbert
Fresh off five Grammy nominations yesterday, Alabama Shakes lead singer Brittany Howard appeared on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert last night to perform Nina Simone’s “Revolution.”
Released in 1969, Simon’s “Revolution” was an answer song aimed at The Beatles’ “Revolution” and takes a more radical stance on the social justice issues of the day (which, by extension, still apply today). In it, Simone challenged John Lennon’s world-weary cynicism about activism and his criticism of violence in protests.
The song notably echoes The Beatles’ soaring chorus but paints them as oblivious to own role in oppression:
“Well you know you got to clean your brain
The only way that we can stand in fact
Is when you get your foot off our back.”
Watch Howard’s fired-up performance of the song below. Her 2019 release Jaime is up for Best Alternative Music Album in the 2021 Grammys, while “Stay High” is nominated Best Rock Performance and Best Rock Song; “Goat Head” is nominated for Best R&B Performance; and “Short and Sweet” is nominated for Best American Roots Performance. Jaime is also nominated for Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical. Listen to the album here and listen to Howard’s conversation with Stephen Kallao of World Cafehere.