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Music Review: Tina Turner – Tina

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Tina Turner’s retirement tour was a massive, intercontinental affair concluding in the year 2000. What she has been doing since that time I don’t know, but it is not surprising that she has come out of retirement and is headed back out on the road. Tina, an album of her greatest hits, some live tracks and a couple of new tunes, has been released in conjunction with this tour. I was going to rant about the lack of chronological order to the tracks but have realized that they are in order of how they will be performed in concert. So what we have is basically a preview of what will be presented live.

Tina breaks little, if any, new ground. If you are in possession of any of her past compilation albums, there will be a lot of duplication. If you are new to Tina Turner’s music, if that is possible, or do not own a retrospective of her career, then this is a good place to start.

She has had several careers during the past 50 years. She has been a gritty rhythm and blues singer with her husband Ike, produced some high energy solo work in the 1970s, and gained huge popularity with her pop/rock hits of the 1980s. Personally I enjoy her older work better.

“Nutbush City Limits” finds a tough Turner from her days with Ike. This is an R&B voice at its best. This track finds her far from the stadiums and large arenas she would fill at the height of her career. Here we see her as she began; in a small, smoke filled club just singing with uninhibited abandon. “Proud Mary” is not the original version but has been re-recorded. Tina Turner transformed this Creedence Clearwater classic into a sexual, seductive, brilliant production. “River Deep, Mountain High” is another classic that she makes her own.Her frenetic vocal just increases its intensity far beyond any other interpretation of this often recorded song.

“Acid Queen” is a performance from Tommy. If you are familiar with the song and its context, but have not heard this version, you may think she was an odd choice for this role. But she just revels in the song and not only interprets it but acts it out and gives the character life through her voice.

The 1980s would find a much different Tina Turner. Songs such as “What’s Love Got To Do With It,” “We Don’t Need Another Hero,” and “Private Dancer” find her giving some of the most powerful vocals of the decade. She really is in rock mode with these songs. They would be the most popular of her career and the accompanying albums would sell in the millions. These are the songs that introduced her to a vast audience beyond her rhythm & blues roots.

There are four live tracks contained on the album. “Let’s Stay Together” and “I Can’t Stand The Rain” were recorded in Amsterdam. Both find her at her best and give a good sample of her concert style and modern vocal power. “Addicted To Love” is just a song that is a stretch for her and “The Best” is not a solid effort.

“It Would Be A Crime” and “I’m Ready” are her first new songs in several years. The first is a fine addition to her inventory while the second is average at best.

Tina is a good sample of who Tina Turner is musically. It presents the high energy of her music and her vocal power well. I would recommend this album as a definite buy. 

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About David Bowling

  • timothy

    hmmmmmm the second song i’m ready is FAN-FRIGGIN-TASTIC! the best not a solid choice, you’re kidding right??? it’s her best known solo song!