2016 is already two months old and so far, we did not hear anything from Tina Turner, her record company or anybody else about a mandatory ‘de luxe edition’ and commemorative box set of her “Break Every Rule” album which turns 30 this year. What we heard, however, were literally a dozen requests from our readers for such a release so that we feel compelled to cry out for help in this matter: We want “Break Every Rule” released in a spectacular 30th anniversary edition! (By the way, Thanks for ‘Private Dancer 30th Anniversary’ last year Mr Bach!)
Just to be clear about this: this is not really a mere suggestion or a hint that such a release is absolutely essentially necessary and highly awaited but rather a demand. Just think of it as an online petition. But we safe you the burden of reading through our Excel sheets with all the names and email addys and simply call a spade, a spade here.
2016 will be a Tina Turner Super Year. There are so many anniversaries it will be difficult to find any space left in the calendar which is not filled with albums or singles which were released so many years ago that they already pile up to decades. This introduction into 2016 will prepare you and your nerves for the Tina Turner rollercoaster ride you can expect but for which you might not be ready without seeing the big picture.
Tina Turner’s classic album Private Dancer was a huge global success on its release in June 1984 and became Tina Turner’s breakthrough solo album, thanks in part to an 18-month single release schedule that saw no fewer than seven songs from the ten-track album released in various territories, including ‘What’s Love Got to Do With It’,‘Better Be Good To Me’, ‘Private Dancer’ and a cover of Al Green’s ‘Let’s Stay Together’.
To celebrate this 30 year milestone we are releasing an extra special Anniversary Edition. This edition compiles the remastered album and a second disc which features Ball Of Confusion (That’s What The World Is Today) (with B.E.F.), recorded with Martin Ware from Heaven 17, and which lead to him producing the lead single from Private Dancer ‘Let’s Stay Together’. It also features 12” mixes and b-sides as well as three non-album singles, including the duet with Bryan Adams ‘It’s Only Love’.
In the early nineties, one of the first cd I got after discovering Tina was ‘Ike & Tina Turner Live at the Olympia 71′. And I felt really lucky to have it while my collection was only flourishing… Most fans will tell you that they remember the exact time they heard certain songs, certain albums, the feeling of the moment and all the emotions that it gives…
By the time I purchased this cd I already had a few Ike & Tina Turner LPs but the quality of those wasn’t as good as the digital CD recording. Growing up in a small village in the east part of France, secluded in my sanctuary bedroom, I would religiously listen to this recording, so far removed from what I ever been used to. Jacques Brel, Serge Gainsbourg, Aznavour, Barbara, Renaud … were my parent’s repertoire. But my father did like a bit of Jazz & Louis Armstrong from time to time and my sister brought home MJ, that I only learned to appreciate music wise only later in life. So “Ike & Tina Turner at the Olympia 71” was incendiary. Even the name of it sounds great! Featuring “The Family Vibes”, “The Ikettes”, Ike “the Man in the back with the stone face” and of course Teeenah. The hardest working woman in show business shouts a musician, and that deep voice comes out delivering a fantastic performance song after song. A French reviewer wrote that “Tina’s voice was so incendiary on that record that the diamond of the lp player could melt any moments”. And it sure felt like it. You just had to close to eyes to be there. It is an absolute gem and it is still regarded today among music connoisseur as a significant and paramount record.
Now, in 2015, I have reached the same age as Tina was when she was putting that Paris stage on fire and I relate and realize even more how crazy her life was, struggling with Ike, raising kids, giving that same show 2 or 3 times a day in the same place, billions of shows! Come to the first or the last one and Tina would still simply be stunning and explosive. Nowadays, Anna Mae Bach says she will never go back on stage because people still expect her to be the iconic wild-dancing high-heeled persona. I tend to disagree and I think everybody knows that Tina could totally re-invent herself “stagewise” once again but that’s only up to her.
Back to the record. It did not only participate in shaping my Tina knowledge but it built a bridge to a whole “new” kind of artists: As usual, the Turner covers the great Rock’N’Roll band like The Stones, The Beatles and iconic singer like Otis Redding. Getting older with Tina as the central point of my musical education, I grew up listening to the great black singers, Nina, Ella, James, Ray… the deep depressive old gallant south traditional songs etc… But there’s also Shirley, Grace, Aretha, Whitney, and there’s David, Mick, Bryan, Bruce, Joe, Paul… Rock Royalty so to speak…
Chronologically and, to quote Buddhist believers, if everything in this world is linked and has a meaning then I have to mention the Beyond “experience” and the message brought by Tina, Dechen, Sawani & Regula. You would now find new releases of Tina Turner in the “New World” section of a shop than in the Rock/Blues section. I know a lot of Tina fans who turned to Buddhism because of Tina. And I think they are genuine and sincere in their search for personal elevation and enlightenment. And maybe that was the message behind being a Tina fan before we knew it. Through centuries strong & powerful women were worshiped and considered bigger than life by people around the world. Entities… coming back again on this earth in any type of form possible to spread their message in any sort of way… Concerts being big communion… The metaphor is known but what if we dare look Beyond?
Back to the collection. “Ike and Tina Turner” recording history is sometimes a bit obscure and messy (to say the least) but a new unedited version of the Olympia concert came into my hand ( I remember I was in the South of France but I can’t name the city) including songs omitted in the LP, Audio Tapes & Cd original releases. The original recording didn’t include “River Deep Mountain High”, “With a Little Help From My Friend” & “The Boy From New York City”:
“River Deep Mountain High” (turning 50 years old next year!) was already a classic of mine but Ike always failed to make this song his own. His studio reworked and live versions could never match the masterpiece that Phil Spector produced with the only help of Tina.
“With A Little Help From My Friends”. Of course, I knew the amazing version of the late Joe Cocker, written by Lennon & Mc Cartney and it is totally “Turnerized” during this show in Paris. A very funky, light version of the song!
“The Boy From New York City”. The credit for this song on the album goes to Davies – Taylor. And there’s indeed a song called “The Boy from New York City” wrote by them and recorded in 1965 by the “Ad Libs” band. But after a quick Google & Youtube search, you find out that the lyrics and songs are totally different. This live version by Ike & Tina is a real duet between the couple à la “It’s Gonna Work out Fine”. Looks like it is the only live or even studio recording (to my knowledge) of this song.
Ike Turner passed away in December 2007 at the age of 76. Tina Turner, now 75, regarded by many as a Music and Life Sphinx, Queen of Soul, again, in the literal meaning of the word “Soul”, living the life of a “modern-occidental” Buddhist “monk” in a long retreat on the golden banks of Lake Zurich appearing sporadically since 2009 and mostly via video doesn’t seem to miss the spotlight any minute and her entourage won’t let anyone disturb this well deserved quiet. Beyond being Tina’s current “musical era”, I encourage all of you who are not familiar with these albums to listen to these transcendental recordings.
And in the end, we still have “Ike & Turner at the Olympia 71”, and we still have all those records and the DVDs (we seriously need more)… and, from time to time, and i know hundreds feels the same, certain albums of her discography, some of her old records that still makes me feel eleven, twelve years old again, alone in my bedroom and imagining being the boy from New York City, dreaming that, maybe in another lifetime, I could hear Tina’s voice resonating again inside the Olympia…
The 1980s saw the rise of the music video clip – and Tina Turner followed the rule: every single release needed a video. So, no wonder that we can enjoy “three plus one and another one” video clips from the “Private Dancer” album. So, five clips in total but why the strange bookkeeping? Follow us back to 1984 and throw in either a video cassette or a Laser Disc.
A few days ago, we already posted a long-lost studio version of ‘I Heard It Through The Grapevine‘ that was recorded for Tina Turner’s album ‘Twenty Four Seven’. But this was not the only new thing that could be found on a recently discovered test pressing of Tina’s 1999 final studio CD. Hero of the week Christian noticed that two songs that we already know appeared in a slightly different arrangement from the final cuts that you will find on the finished product. Namely, ‘All The Woman’ and ‘Talk To My Heart’ sound, well, unfinished, in a stripped-down arrangement. Tina’s vocal tracks however are the same as you can hear on the album. Sometimes it might so happen that one can prefer the demo version over the final mastered track. So, have a listen and let the music talk to your heart. And thanks again to Christian for sharing this with the Tina Turner fan community.
In a career of 50+ years you will find many ups and downs and probably more highlights than anywhere else but there still might be the one and only super-nova which outshines everything else. Tina Turner´s “Private Dancer” album is one of these bright spots. Despite all her other successes and her triumphant tours around the globe, this album will always be her finest ever. We dare to ask “Why is that?” Of course, you know that it was successful, incredibly successful to be exact, and maybe you even started your own fan life with that particular album, but still: did it ever occur to you to ask you the “Why is that?”-question? Hopefully, you will find the answers in this article.
Tina Turner´s mega hit “Private Dancer” creates a vast collection of images in the mind of the listener: the private dancer (or – a little bit spiced up – the exotic dancer), the complicated and not-so-desirable man/woman situation, and the scenery of purchasable affection. All themes that ring a bell and sound familiar but luckily do not have anything to do with our real lives. But it will be today that I will lead you down a road towards a disturbing revelation: we all have an inner Private Dancer, and in case you are not too thrilled to think of yourself as such then it might help to ease the pain by describing it as the “inner Private Dancer state”. This might be a parallel and because of that something which surely until now no psychologist ever discovered – so be warned, reader with your inner Private Dancer.
2014 marks the 15th Anniversary of Tina Turner last (!) studio album issued in November 1999. While fans worldwide are looking for a new release, today, we take you behind the scenes of the production and recordings of Twenty Four Seven. Enjoy!
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