In 1971, Ike and Tina Turner and their Revue were mainstream. Late in 1970, the band recorded their cover of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Proud Mary”. The song was released the following January and became the duo’s best-selling single to date, reaching #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and selling well over a million copies, later winning them a Grammy Award for Best R&B Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group. The song’s parent album, ‘Workin’ Together’, became their most successful studio release, peaking at #25 on the Billboard 200.
The couple also toured Europe heavily, setting France on fire with a mythical concert at the Olympia or in The Netherlands with a show that would (years) later be released on DVD.
Later in 1971, a live album, Live at Carnegie Hall: What You Hear Is What You Get, was released, being certified gold in the U.S. That same year, they were reassigned to Liberty’s parent label, United Artists Records, after Liberty folded, releasing their later albums on United Artists.
With the money gained, Ike Turner built his own studio, Bolic Sound, a nightmarish maze of cameras, sex and cocaine where they would record the rest of their material.
You know it doesn’t get better than THE Turner’s live… Back in the 60’s & 70’s Ike & Tina Turner were one of the hottest touring band on earth. The mix of Ike’s musical genius and Tina’s breathtaking performances is still inspiring for millions of music lovers worldwide. Their story, as well as their music, is unique and now belongs to the collective memory. Unfortunately, the releases of Ike & Tina video concerts can be counted on the fingers of one hand. So we have to content ourselves with old TV broadcast who would truly deserve a digital treatment…
We can only hope that someday some BluRay/HD release will surface. Until then, here is a new upload for all the Ike & Tina fans out there: Ike & Tina Turner live in Las Vegas back in 1971! Recorded live at the Caesar’s Palace, the show captures the rawness of their performance and songs are intersected with interviews of the notorious duo! Enjoy!
Sweet Soul Music
Interview with Ike & Tina
I Want To Take You Higher
Interview With Ike & Tina
Honky Tonk Woman
Everyday People (The Ikettes)
Interview with Ike & Tina
I’ve Been Loving You Too Long
Interview with Ike & Tina
A Love Like Yours Don’t Come (Knocking’ Everyday)
Interview With Ike & Tina
I Want To Take You Higher
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…
Some of us already had the pleasure of watching the new Ike & Tina Turner DVD by Bob & Nadya Gruen. We enjoyed it a lot and asked a few of our friends and Tina historians Alan, Hank & Marco to review it for the blog. Since their full stories were too big for print, below you’ll find a glimpse at each one of their reviews on the blog. And since they all are worth a reading, the unedited versions of the reviews are available to download!
“From the camera of Bob Gruen comes this amazing, intimate look at the legendary Ike and Tina Turner at their creative and popular peak. From the hot lights of their unequaled stage show to tender moments crooning the blues with only the camera as their audience, this is a look inside a hardworking band as well as an iconic couple”. 90MN.
This is a very unusual moment in Tina Turner’s career. Ike & Tina appeared in a movie directed by Milos Forman called “Taking Off” released in 1971. The movie received the Golden Palm in Cannes and was nominated for several BAFTA awards. Ike & Tina are not directly related to the story of the movie; at some point during the film, the main characters just wants to have some fun and forget their worries, so what better way to do so than going to an Ike & Tina concert! To get more info about the movie visit the IMDB page related to it. Continue reading for the video of Ike & Tina’s cameo in the movie (in HD) and some screenshots!
Interview from 1971 with Tina Turner from the British music magazine Disc and Music Echo. Tina talks about the difference between her on stage and off stage personalities and her relationship with Ike. Interesting read!