If you mention River Deep Mountain High to any music connaisseur, they’ll mention Tina Turner & Phil Spector. The masterpiece created by the two is the most famous songs of their collaboration but of course more B-sides and rare tracks have emerged over the years. And you can always count on a friend to get you back to those gems! Earlier today, TINA fan & friend Enrico send me remastered version of ‘A man is a man is man’, ‘Two to Tango’, ‘Down Down’ & ‘Watcha Gonna Do’ and offered to share them on the blog! So here their along with a very interesting story by David Young about Turner & Spector work.
Since the late 1970s, tapes have circulated among collectors of Tina Turner singing a Spectoresque version of the song “Everything Under the Sun,” written by Bob Crewe and Gary Knight. After remaining in the vaults for ten years, the song had seen official release in 1976 in a Spector-produced version by The Ronettes on the Phil Spector International compilation Rare Masters Vol. 2, and had previously been issued in radically differing versions by The Walker Brothers and Jackie DeShannon.
This year, one of the Tina Turner’s most important (if not the most important) recording turns 50. I’ll never forget the first time I heard the song River Deep Mountain High.It is the song that made me fall in love with Tina and it is definitely my song. For me, it always symbolized the path of a lifetime, the road is never flat, you might have to climb High Mountains and swim across Deep Rivers to achieve your goals.
Discovering the song as a child it totally blew me away. Living in a small village in the east of France, I never thought music could sound like this. I was familiar with Classical music but not that much with Rock & Roll and Soul music. And this song was the perfect combination of them all. Defying Spector’s Wall of Sound, Tina’s voice is like a perfect instrument and every sound coming out of her mouth penetrates our body and soul.
We all know the story behind River Deep Mountain High, Ike being put aside from the project by Spector, the reluctance of radio station to play a record judged too white for black stations and too black for white stations and most importantly, the fact that it launched Ike & Tina Turner’s career in Europe.
Everything has been said and written about River Deep so instead of long boring article, and to celebrate the anniversary of the album in the right way, a special upload with a live version of River Deep Mountain High live at the Yankee Stadium in 1969! Enjoy!
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 is a guest VJ on Friday Night Videos back in 1989. She is joined by Paul Schaffer: musician, composer and probably most famous as band leader on David Letterman’s Late Night shows. Paul is a big fan of Phil Spector, so he takes the opportunity to ask some questions to Tina about recording River Deep, Mountain High in 1966: she shares some interesting anecdotes. Besides that, Tina talks a bit about recording her album Foreign Affair, and of course introduces some of her favourite videos.