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Tina Turner Sings Covers

The death of Tina Turner yesterday brought to a close one of the great stories in pop music. It’s a well-known story, and it requires no rehashing here (in any case, if you didn’t know it and missed the movie, you’ll read it in the obituaries). Still, it is a triumph of the human spirit that Tina left her abusive husband at the risk of everything she had and knew, and came back, eventually, a bigger star than she was with him.

I don’t have much love for Tina’s output after the Private Dancer album, her big comeback in 1984, but I love her success, which was a permanent fuck-you to her erstwhile abuser, who lived out huis days as a public fool. I hope Tina’s story inspired many abused women to leave their abusive partners (and before anyone objects, “Men are abused, too”, yeah, sure. But that is a different story).

It is remarkable that Tina Turner was seen as a bit of a rock granny when she made her comeback at the age of 44. It seemed so unlikely, and it was unprecedented that a woman of that age might have a second stab at superstardom (and here we might remember the role the members of Heaven 17 played in returning Tina to the big stage). If you were a woman, you were considered past-it once you had crossed the threshold of 30. That comeback helped change things for women in popular music. Beyoncé is only three years younger than Tina was in 1984; nobody would even think of calling her a granny, or even an aunty. At 43, Pink is topping the album charts around the world; try calling her “old”…

Poster of Tina Turner in Germany’s Bravo magazine in February 1974.

As performers, Ike and Tina were dynamite, especially when they were backed by The Ikettes. Ike’s arrangements were of such genius that the covers he produced often turned out to be new songs (check out what he and Tina did to the hoary old standard You Are My Sunshine as an example), or improved on the original, even when the initial version seemed pretty much perfect (Proud Mary is a good example).

Tina’s vocals might have lacked in elegant beauty, but Tina inserted so much character in their delivery — and when required also explosive energy. She sang with authority, even when she lacked that in her private life. Few vocalists have ever been both soul and rock singers simultaneously, and nobody in the way Tina Turner was. She was unique.

This mix of covers by Tina Turner demonstrates that duality in music sensibility; and a couple of tracks here — Kris Kristofferson’s Lovin’ Him Was Easier and Brenda Lee’s If This Is Our Last Time — are from her foray into country in 1974 , though they were released only in 1979.

By then she had already released her cover of Dan Hill’s Sometimes When We Touch, the original of which features on the Any Major Power Ballads Vol. 2 mix, which I posted only a day before Tina Turner’s death.

Some of Turner’s biggest post-comeback hits were covers, though they don’t feature here. The comeback started with her fine version of Al Greens Let’s Stay Together and took pace with What’s Love Got To Do With It, a much superior cover of a song by Bucks Fizz. Her signature tune probably is (Simply) The Best, a terrible song first recorded by Bonnie Tyler, which was included in The Originals: 1980s Vol. 2. None of them feature here, but I close the mix with her slowed-down interpretation of Help, from Private Dancer, which was in contention for the Beatles 1962-66 Recovered mix I posted in March.

As always, this mix is timed to fit on a standard CD-R, includes home-doopdoopdooped covers and the above text in an illustrated PDF. PW in comments.

1. Ike & Tina Turner – Proud Mary (1971)
2. Ike & Tina Turner and The Ikettes – Gimme Some Lovin’/Sweet Soul Music (1969)
3. Ike & Tina Turner and The Ikettes – Respect (1969)
4. Ike & Tina Turner – Honky Tonk Woman (1973)
5. Tina Turner – The Bitch Is Back (1978)
6. Tina Turner – Whole Lotta Love (1975)
7. Ike & Tina Turner – Higher Ground (1974)
8. Tina Turner – Back Stabbers (1979)
9. Ike & Tina Turner – You Are My Sunshine (1973)
10. Ike & Tina Turner and The Ikettes – Son Of A Preacher Man (1969)
11. Ike & Tina Turner – With A Little Help From My Friends (1973)
12. Tina Turner – Let’s Spend The Night Together (1975)
14. Ike & Tina Turner – I Wish It Would Rain (1969)
15. Ike & Tina Turner – I’ve Been Loving You Too Long (1969)
16. Ike & Tina Turner – Save The Last Dance For Me (1966)
17. Tina Turner – If This Is Our Last Time (1974)
18. Ike & Tina Turner – Drift Away (1973)
19. Tina Turner – Lovin’ Him Was Easier (1974)
20. Tina Turner – Sometimes When We Touch (1978)
21. Tina Turner – Help (1984)


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  1. amdwhah
    May 25th, 2023 at 13:49 | #1

    PW = amdwhah

  2. Glenn Edward Longpre
    May 26th, 2023 at 11:35 | #2

    I keep getting a virus detected message for this file

  3. amdwhah
    May 26th, 2023 at 21:05 | #3

    From Windows Defender? It keeps doing that, but all antivirus programmes find nothing wrong with the files. I don’t know what to do…

  4. Rhodb
    May 27th, 2023 at 23:05 | #4

    Thanks for the Ike and Tina and Tina Turner covers they do justice to each and every song Good work

  5. Glenn Edward Longpre
    May 31st, 2023 at 13:00 | #5

    @Glenn Edward Longpre

    I waited 5 days and tried again. This time my computer let me have it. Go figure.
    Thank you for your posts.

  6. amdwhah
    May 31st, 2023 at 17:50 | #6

    Windows Defender didn’t like Ike, but then decided to let Tina in…

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