Posted tagged ‘Ike and Tina Turner’

Ike and Tina: The end

March 31, 2014

Tonight on The Midnight Tracker, we have a side that might best be described as part historical document, part curiosity.

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It’s from “The Edge,” a 1980 album by Ike Turner. And, yeah, that cover art is about a subtle as a sledgehammer. Ike liked cocaine, and was deep into it at the time.

While Ike’s name is in the biggest type, it’s not a solo record.

Side 2 is Ike playing his own songs and backed by Home Grown Funk, a popular Memphis group that had gone to Los Angeles in the mid-’70s to try to make it big.

Side 1 — tonight’s side — is Ike and Tina Turner together on record for the last time (at least until the compilations and reissues started coming).

It’s a bunch of covers from the mid-’70s, recorded at the end of Ike and Tina’s time together. They split personally and professionally in 1976 and divorced in 1978. When this record came out in 1980, both Ike and Tina were struggling to make it on their own.

Hear, then, what the end of Ike and Tina Turner sounded like. Tina was in her mid-30s at the time and had been with Ike for 15 years.

“Shame, Shame, Shame,” “Lean On Me,” “Philadelphia Freedom,” “Use Me” and “Only Women Bleed,” Ike and Tina Turner, from “The Edge,” 1980. This is Side 1. It runs 17:40. It’s out of print. Three of the cuts are available digitally on “Ike and Tina Turner Sing Great Rock & Pop Classics,” a 2011 compilation CD of covers.

All but “Philadelphia Freedom” are fairly interesting interpretations. The original versions were by Shirley & Company in 1974, Bill Withers in 1972, Elton John in 1975, Withers in 1972 and Alice Cooper in 1975.

No small irony that the last song is about a battered wife.

Tina’s tunes

February 10, 2008

Tonight on The Midnight Tracker, we catch Ike and Tina Turner just past the peak of their popularity.

They’d hit it big with covers of Sly Stone’s “I Want to Take You Higher” in 1970 and John Fogerty’s “Proud Mary” and the Phil Spector-produced “River Deep, Mountain High” in 1971.

But by 1972, when “Feel Good” was released, their career arc was headed downward. By 1976, it was over for Ike and Tina.

Tonight’s album strays from the formula that put Ike and Tina on top of the charts and returns to their R&B roots. Whether that was the record company’s idea or Ike and Tina’s idea, who knows?

“Feel Good” has only one cover — the Beatles’ “She Came In Through the Bathroom Window” — and nine songs written by Tina Turner.

Though it apparently didn’t make much of a dent in the charts, “Feel Good” holds up nicely. Ike orchestrates a blistering mix of soul, R&B and early funk, and Tina’s voice oozes sizzle and sensuality as always.

Though it’s barely two minutes long, the fourth cut, “I Like It,” manages to work in some nasty Hammond organ, a solid bass line, energetic horn charts and plenty of wah-wah guitar.

Other highlights of Side 1: The sound of a big Harley drowns out the greasy guitars at the end of “Chopper;” the near-gospel sound of “Feel Good,” a song about — what else? — sex; and the joyous revival of a dance from the early ’60s in “If You Can Hully Gully (I Can Hully Gully Too).”

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“Chopper,” “Kay Got Laid (Joe Got Paid),” “Feel Good,” “I Like It” and “If You Can Hully Gully (I Can Hully Gully Too),” Ike and Tina Turner, from “Feel Good,” 1972. It runs 14:19.

(The album link is to a 2006 Australian release that puts this album and the “Nutbush City Limits” album from 1973 on the same CD.)