Tina Turner’s Best Songs: 12 Not-So-Simply Best Songs

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With today’s death news Tina Turner At 83, it’s not just the passing of a legend that has impacted the wider audience. The end of a song style that brings the deepest loss, a passion-enhanced, vulgar style of singing. Whether it was while she was with her ex-husband Ike Turner, who discovered Anna Mae Bullock only to harass her, or during her multi-platinum pop solo career, Tina Turner made it “nice and mean” in her own words. A muffled, sultry voice filled with the grace of Southern gospel and the pebbles of rocking blues. Whether it’s raunchy R&B or bright powerful ballads, Tina has turned one such song, each song into a sweaty, graceful show.

No one has ever sounded like Tina Turner. Nobody will.

Here are 12 of his best musical moments, including some of the biggest hits and rarities of his 62-year career:

Ike and Tina Turner, “I’m Jealous” (1961)
“I’m Jealous,” the first track on their debut Sue label album, “The Soul of Ike & Tina Turner,” prepares us for many of the things that will define Tina Turner’s legacy. Written by guitarist Ike Turner with Jane Bussong, “I’m Jealous” gives listeners a theatrical tale of lovers’ grief, will, and villain romance, with Tina’s loud vocal plunging along a three-chord tune. Screaming and fainting in turn, Tina lets the listener enter her own world of disappointment with delicious abandon.

Ike & Tina Turner, “It Will Work Well” (1962)
“A Fool in Love” may have been Ike & Tina’s first million-selling single, but their second biggest seller, “It’s Gonna Work Out Fine”, is still “Dynamite!” The album is much more dramatic. Borrowing a furry guitar and rhumba rhythm input from Bo Diddley, Tina dances around a talking Ike, bouncing between a seductive low hum and screaming to herself.

Ike & Tina Turner, “I’ve Loved You for So Long” (1969)
A tumultuous part of the live Ike & Tina Turner Revue, the Otis Redding/Jerry Butler-penned blues number reminds us of 1969 when Tina brought Technicolor psychedelic R&B and rock spirit to widescreen sound and became even more liberated. and moody, never losing the classic tone and sweetness of the lower end of his voice.

Ike & Tina Turner, “River Depth – Mountain Height” (1966)
The story of how Phil Spector pushed Ike Turner aside to produce and co-wrote “River Deep – Mountain High” (with Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich) for Tina is always central to the legend of this song. Yet nothing is more operatic and uplifting than Tina’s climb over Spector’s deceptively complex melody and its dense wall of sound. Literally an epic.

Tina Turner, “I Can See a Thousand” (1975)
Moviegoers got their first glam-rock glimpse of what Tina Turner could be like as a soloist when she made Pete Townshend’s “Acid Queen” her own in director Ken Russell’s wild 1975 version of Who’s “Tommy: The Movie.” When it comes to her 1975 solo album – her second album after 1974’s contemporary cool “Tina Turns the Country On!”. – Tina went to a series of Jagger/Richards and Townshend numbers with “I Can See for Miles” given a manic mix of rubbery, cool rock and sparkly, schmaltzy disco. My god.

Tina Turner and Cher, “Shame, Shame, Shame” (1975)
The high camp of network television in the mid-’70s, as described by CBS’s “The Cher Show,” did not deter Tina Turner from internalizing the bile of jealousy that has marked many of her best songs. describes this Shirley & Company hit. Listen to how strong Turner’s voice is and he forces Cher to join him on the sidelines.


Ike & Tina Turner, “The Power of Delilah” (1977)

Although attributed to Ike & Tina, the entire eponymous album to this segment was released by United Artists a year after Turners broke up, with only a handful of rare, raw songs—like this title track—written by Tina Turner. . The legendary tale of a hairy man torn apart by a woman’s cunning, Turner’s cool vocal performance and his own powerful melody give real fun and encouragement, while emotionally as well. Who knows what more Tina could have done as a writer in the years she left earlier.


Tina Turner and BEF, “The Confusion Ball” (1982)
Decaying without a record label in the UK while trying to figure out his next move, Turner met Martyn Ware, then two recently separated Human League members, and Ian Craig Marsh, whose powerful electro-pop vision fueled the emotional spirit. . The throaty retelling of Turner’s Temptations classic was what drove Capitol Records to Turner’s comeback, and the rest is history.


Tina Turner, “Private Dancer” (1984)

It may seem strange to say it now, as Mark Knopfler’s words about the intimacy of sexuality were part of the ’80s playlist. But hearing a middle-aged woman like Turner embody the vastness of mature lust is what makes this song powerful for her and the audience. With a quiet, slick melody driven by Turner’s loud growl, it’s chilling to listen to, despite the now smooth finish of the track.

Tina Turner, “What Does Love Have To Do With It” (1984)
Composers Terry Britten and Graham Lyle became two of Tina Turner’s principal writers in the 1980s and beyond, and this piece makes it easy to hear why. Simple in its message (love is a sweet, old-fashioned concept) and playful in its melody, this “Love” song makes Turner jump octaves (E♭3 to D♭5) effortlessly; sing home.


Tina Turner, “Not Enough Romance” (1989)
Just as he did with BEF earlier in the decade, Turner makes the most of composer and producer Dan Hartman’s bold synthetic brilliance, hanging along its walls of sequencers and bouncing off the floor of drum machines as if facing a full band. An understated vocal performance in collaboration with an underappreciated genius composer, “Not Enough Romance” is as delicate soul work as it is a chess match.

Tina Turner, “When the Heartache Is Over” (1999)
For “Twenty Four Seven”, his last solo studio album before retiring, Turner selected old acquaintances and new songwriter friends to write its grand finale. The soft, soulful elegance and graceful splendor of “When the Heartache is Over” by composers Graham Stack and John Reid make it peak as Turner’s deep, pebbly voice quivers and trembles on its sweet chords. This song is not like a goodbye, it feels like a welcome home.

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