Celebrating Anna Mae Bullock aka Tina Turner, 26th November 1939 to 24th May 2023.
When I started this blog at the tail end of 2020, it didn't cross my mind that at at some point I would post a Tina Turner selection. I would not describe myself as a Tina Turner fan. Indeed the opening seconds of one of her 1980s videos, seeing her unique approach to dancing, at times the 'dial stuck at 11' vocals would be enough to make me flip to another channel.
But still, that voice. That sheer unstoppable force of nature that was there from her earliest recordings in the 1960s, through the 1970s, rising again (and higher) in the 1980s and then finding a new level in the 1990s and into the 21st century.
And then, gaining even the merest insight into Tina's story, not least her relationship with Ike Turner, that opened up her talent to the world but at the cost of being subjected to years of horrific abuse. Tina's resilience and strength in not allowing Ike to define her, leaving yet finding herself a single parent, saddled with crippling debt and living on food stamps and low-rent gigs to get by, then finding even greater global success as a solo artist in the mid-1980s. That Tina kept going, that her soul and her voice remained undimmed, is nothing short of miraculous.
So, I still wouldn't call myself a Tina Turner fan and whilst I wanted to post some words when I read the sad news of her passing, I thought it would be just a few comments and perhaps a video or two. I didn't think I had that many songs in my digital music collection, let alone enough for a Dubhed selection. And yet, here we are with an 18-song cycle a few seconds shy of 90 minutes.
Admittedly, quite a few of these have come from 1980s compilations, music magazine promo CDs and so on. I don't own a physical copy of any of Tina Turner's albums or singles, the closest I came being B.E.F's Music Of Quality And Distinction Volume 1 on vinyl.
I remember loving Nutbush City Limits as a kid, hearing it regularly on Tony Blackburn's Saturday request show on BBC Radio 1. I saw Tina appear with Glenn Gregory and Martyn Ware of Heaven 17 on The Tube on Channel 4 in 1983 and was blown away. We had the first four Now That's What I Call Music compilations on cassette and I'm pretty sure Tina's songs appeared in each one. The theme from Mad Max 3 and a co-starring role in the film with Mel Gibson. There was Live Aid, appearing on stage with Mick Jagger (and let's be honest, outperforming him).
Tina was also a great interpreter of other people's songs. Her version of Massive Attack's Unfinished Sympathy can never match Shara Nelson's emotive performance, but I'm glad she had a run at it. Her duet with David Bowie on Tonight, which he originally wrote with and for Iggy Pop, is inspired. And Let's Stay Together is brilliant.
So, I still wouldn't call myself a Tina Turner fan. But bloody hell, she was an amazing woman with an amazing spirit, an amazing voice and some amazing songs.
Rest easy, Tina, and thanks for everything.
1) Private Dancer (Full Length Version):Tina Turner (1984)
2) Ball Of Confusion (That's What The World Is Today) (Album Version) (Cover of The Temptations): B.E.F. ft. Tina Turner (1982)
3) You Got What You Wanted: Ike & Tina Turner (1969)
4) I Can't Stand The Rain (Extended Remix) (Cover of Ann Peebles): Tina Turner (1985)
5) Legs (Live) (Edit) (Cover of ZZ Top):Tina Turner (1987)
6) Let's Stay Together (Live on The Tube) (Cover of Al Green): Tina Turner ft. Glenn Gregory & Martyn Ware (1983)
7) Tonight (Vocal Dance Mix By Steve Thompson) (Cover of Iggy Pop): David Bowie ft. Tina Turner (1984)
8) A Fool In Love: Ike & Tina Turner (1960)
9) (Simply) The Best: Jimmy Barnes ft. Tina Turner (1992)
10) Come Together (Cover of The Beatles): Ike & Tina Turner (1970)
11) State Of Shock / It's Only Rock 'n' Roll (Live @ Live Aid, Philadelphia): Mick Jagger ft. Tina Turner (1985)
12) Mojo Queen: Ike & Tina Turner (1963)
13) Steamy Windows (12" Vocal Mix By Justin Strauss & Daniel Abraham): Tina Turner (1989)
14) Goldeneye (Morales Club Mix By David Morales): Tina Turner (1995)
15) Nutbush City Limits (Full Length Version): Ike & Tina Turner (1973)
16) What's Love Got To Do With It (Extended Version): Tina Turner (1984)
17) We Don't Need Another Hero (Thunderdome) (Extended Mix): Tina Turner (1985)
18) Unfinished Sympathy (Cover of Massive Attack): Tina Turner (2007)
Good Or Bad, Happy Or Sad (1:29:23) (Box) (Mega)