With the advent of “Love Songs” in 2014, we would like to review and celebrate Tina Turner´s previous Best-of collections and take you on a photo tour from 1991 to 2008.
1991 – Simply The Best
For many fans, the “Simply The Best” release surely stands still today as the one and only compilation of greatest hits. Between 1984 and 1989, Tina Turner only had released three albums under her own name. Only three albums at least in the eye of the overall majority of music lovers because the three solo albums she recorded before “Private Dancer” (1984) were and still are not so well-known except among fans who can´t get enough of her. Hence, it was a bit astonishing that there would be a greatest hits album as early as in 1991.
But it astounded the world nevertheless because it came with three new songs which were all released as singles plus a new version of “Nutbush City Limits (90s version)” in a very 90s-style disco style. Furthermore, it caught attention because Tina appeared in the promo photo shoots out of a sudden with a new hairdo, still big hair but not the lion´s mane she was famous for.
And now to the most important trivia details:
- The Canadian release was one song short and only contained 17 but not the regular 18 tracks.
- The Australian release even had 19 songs on CD 1 and on CD 2 (yes, Australia got a second disc) you could find “The Best” as a duet with Jimmy Barnes
- The release was accompanied by a collection of Tina´s video clips which appeared on every format which was fashionable back then: video cassette, video CD, laser disc (which even contained the clips for “Way Of The World” and “I Want You Near Me”), and a bit later also on DVD.
- There was a special box with CD, video cassette, and picture postcards in a limited number of 10,000.
1994 – The Collected Recordings
Only three years later, Capitol Records released an incredible treasure box called “The Collected Recordings”. And it was indeed a treasure box because it actually consisted of … collected recordings. Disc 1 focused on the Ike & Tina years, CD 3 presented the usual suspects, namely the big hits, but CD 2 was the one which could have qualified as a regular album of its own. That famous CD 2 was full of rare gems like “Johnny And Mary” (from the soundtrack of “Summer Lovers” – you surely don´t know the movie), or B-sides and unreleased songs like “When I Was Young”, “Games” or “Total Control”.
The box was not only a treasure box if you take the song selection into consideration but also because of its packaging design. It appeared as a standard 3-disc box but also in a 2-CDs heigh cardboard box incl. an extensive booklet with a kaleidoscope of impressive Tina Turner photos from 1983 until 1993.
2005 – All The Best
From three discs then back to two discs in 2005 – “All The Best” contained 33 tracks on two CDs and surprised with elegant and ladylike photos of Tina Turner. It also featured several new songs out of which “Open Arms” was released in two different formats. One of them was a single CD housed in a regular jewel case and contained also a new interview plus the Disney-song “Great Spirits” while the second edition was a small European-style CD single and contained only the title song and “The Best”.
Much to the dismay of the fans, Capitol did not release “Complicated Disaster” which indeed was a disaster because it surely would have scored much better than “Open Arms” which Tina herself called “a bit cheesy” in an interview. But well, it was a great year because she went on a promo tour, presented “Open Arms” live in several TV shows, threw in other songs like “Better Be Good To Me” in Canada and the US, and astonished the German TV viewers with a live version of “Complicated Disaster”. So, until now (2014), “Open Arms” was the last single she ever released.
But there was even more in that “All The Best” package. The studio version of “Tonight” with David Bowie? Yes, also that. But no, there was something else, something very special, namely the very dreamy ballad “Something Special”. And finally even a riddle from the 1996 promotional interview CD was solved. Back then, she elaborated on a song which was simple, so simple that everybody would be surprised to hear it, but it was special, and that was what the song was about, something special… Interesting enough, but nobody could figure out what she was talking about in 1996 because there was no song on the “Wildest Dreams” album which fitted to that specific characterization. Well, we got our answer in 2005 – and “Something Special” is truly a special gem.
2008 – TINA!
In 2008 and 2009 Tina Turner embarked on her last world tour and the world stood still because typically, women of 69 don´t embark on world tours in Rock´n´Roll style. Alongside the tour, Capitol threw another greatest hits compilation on the market –this time simply called “Tina!”. It again gave birth to new songs, the complex “It Would Be A Crime” and the soul-style up-tempo number “I´m Ready”. Everybody waited specifically for that song as the opening number of the tour because it gained great popularity among fans though it was never released as a single. But she decided to start with “Steamy Windows”, and let´s face it: “Steamy Windows” is always a good opening number whether you are ready or not.
“TINA!” was available in different formats. You could buy the de luxe 3-disc version which had no exclamation mark (de luxe editions don´t come with exclamation marks!) and had the additional title “The Platinum Collection”. It had a slightly different cover photo than the 1-disc version which then was available in a plastic jewel case in Europe and Japan but in a cardboard sleeve in the US. Rumor has it that there were more “TINA!” CDs in airplanes from Europe to the US and back during the tour than any other CDs because the US fans had to buy the jewel case version for their collection while the European fans had to buy the cardboard edition (which was only 10 dollars anyway).