Tag Archives: Ike and Tina Turner

I’m still talking ’bout Shaft

This week marks 10 years of doing business on this increasingly lightly traveled corner of the web.

If you’re looking for something from Ten Years After or anything from Neil Young’s “Decade,” well, sorry.

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It was 10 years ago Sunday that we had the first audio clip here. Appropriately enough, it was John Williams’ theme to the old “Time Tunnel” TV show. The blog post that accompanied it was little more than practice. The image that topped that post is long gone, the boy in the picture on the verge of grad school.

It was 10 years ago yesterday that we had the first real tunes here, something from what was perhaps the second or third LP I ever bought, way back in 1971.

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“Walk From Regio’s,” Isaac Hayes, from the “Shaft” soundtrack, 1971.

In 10 years of record digging since we got started here, I’ve been looking out for interesting “Shaft” covers. This is one.

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“Bumpy’s Lament,” Soul Mann and the Brothers, from “Shaft,” 1971. Soul Mann actually was Sy Mann, a New York arranger, conductor and keyboard player. Strictly a studio knockoff on the Pickwick label, which I usually avoid, but fun to have found. Just a little different sound.

As for all that record digging, some good news. We are back in business when it comes to ripping all those old records, thanks to a new turntable just installed last weekend. Here’s the first thing ripped on that new turntable. Its volume may not be perfect. Still getting used to it.

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“Finger Poppin’,” Ike and Tina Turner, from “Live! The Ike & Tina Turner Show,” 1965. I’m always looking out for cool Ike and Tina records, and this certainly qualifies. It was recorded live at The Skyliner Ballroom, Fort Worth, Texas, and Lovall’s Ballroom in Dallas.

When I posted on Facebook that I’d found it at the Milwaukee record show a couple of weeks ago, my friend Larry Grogan of the mighty Funky 16 Corners blog offered this instant review: “Great album. … Great snapshots of a mid-’60s soul revue, multiple singers, cover songs.”

Which reflects perhaps the greatest joy of 10 years of doing this blog — getting to know and being part of a good group of like-minded record diggers and music buffs. I’ve met JB from The Hits Just Keep On Comin’ and Greg from Echoes in the Wind in real life and still hope to meet those on the coasts and elsewhere.

More to come.

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Filed under February 2017, Sounds

Still with us: Tina Turner

Our premise, revisited: What a year this has been. Since we last gathered here just two weeks ago, we’ve lost even more music greats. Merle Haggard, Leon Haywood and Gato Barbieri — quite a cross-section there — and still another Van Zant, country singer Jimmie, cousin to Ronnie.

Time, then — well past time, really — to wrap up an appreciation of four music greats who are still with us. These are my four. Yours may be different. We started with three elders, Chuck Berry, Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis. We end with …

The legend: Tina Turner.

Age: 76.

Still performing? Apparently not. It’s been almost seven years since she last performed live. That was on May 5, 2009, at the Sheffield Arena in Sheffield, England, the end to a 50th anniversary tour that featured 90 shows.

What we must acknowledge but won’t dwell on: Ike Turner.

Where I came in: I’m sure I’d seen Ike and Tina on TV before, but I certainly knew of them by the time “Proud Mary” was released in early 1971. That certainly warmed up a Wisconsin winter.

My evening with Tina: I’ve had two, thankfully. We first saw her in 1983, performing on a small side stage at Summerfest in Milwaukee, a night I will never forget. We then saw her at Alpine Valley Music Theatre, a big outdoor venue west of Milwaukee, on Sept. 14, 1987, on our honeymoon, a time I will never forget.

But about that first show. Tina Turner was just 43, but was considered an oldies act. She had split from Ike, had no record contract and was touring with two backup singers. Yet on that night, on that side stage in the middle of the Summerfest grounds, it was wild. To call her show sizzling or scorching or incendiary doesn’t do it justice. It was insane. You couldn’t believe what you were seeing and hearing. It was that good.

Appreciate the greatness: To get some idea of what we saw that night, kick back for an hour and watch this show. It was taped at the Park West in Chicago on Aug. 4, 1983, about a month after we saw her at Summerfest.

The set list: “Cat People,” “Acid Queen,” “River Deep Mountain High,” “Hot Legs,” “Get Back,” “Where the Heart Is,” “Nutbush City Limits,” “Givin’ It Up For Your Love,” “Nightlife,” “Help,” “Proud Mary,” “Music Keeps Me Dancing” and “Hollywood Nights.” (You may need to reset the video to 0:00.)

Then go back. So many great tunes from her time with Ike. These are some of my favorites from just some of my Ike and Tina records.

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“River Deep, Mountain High,” from “River Deep, Mountain High,” 1966. Also available digitallyIke and Tina and Phil Spector. But I still prefer the Supremes-Four Tops version.

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“I Want To Take You Higher” with the Ikettes, from “Come Together,” 1970. Available on this double CD with “‘Nuff Said” from 1971. Never anyone more qualified to sing “Boom shaka laka boom shaka laka boom da boom!”

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“Baby (What You Want Me To Do),” from “‘Nuff Said,” 1971. Available on this double CD with “Come Together” from 1970. Tina finishes strong.

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“Let It Be,” from “Workin’ Together,” 1971. Also available digitally. Tina takes us to church.

 

 

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Filed under April 2016, Sounds

Tin Dog’s sound advice

enjoy the tunes

There, on the bottom of the receipt from Saturday’s record-digging expedition, are words to live by.

“ENJOY THE TUNES”

I didn’t notice that until I got the record all the way home from Tin Dog Records in Beloit, Wisconsin, which is about as far south as you can go in Wisconsin without stumbling into Illinois.

Enjoy the tunes. That’s advice akin to Warren Zevon’s suggestion to “enjoy every sandwich.”

So I did. I enjoyed the tunes even though “River Deep, Mountain High,” from Ike and Tina Turner wasn’t exactly what I expected.

I knew Phil Spector produced, and that Ike and Tina got the Wall of Sound treatment. I didn’t know those tunes account for only six of the 12 cuts on the record. The rest? Apparently just stuff Ike had laying around.

So this 1966 record careens from that elegant Wall of Sound to Ike and Tina’s typically grittier sound and back again. It both disproves and confirms Tina’s spoken intro to “Proud Mary” four years later: “We nevah, evah, do nothing nice and easy. We always do it nice and rough.”

Nice and easy.

“A Love Like Yours (Don’t Come Knocking Everyday),” a Holland-Dozier-Holland song first recorded in 1963 by Martha and the Vandellas. It was the flip side to “Heat Wave.” Ike and Tina’s version — the followup single to “River Deep, Mountain High” — reached No. 16 in the UK in 1966 but didn’t chart in the U.S.

Nice and rough.

“Such A Fool For You,” written by Ike Turner.

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Both from “River Deep, Mountain High,” Ike and Tina Turner, 1966. Also available digitally. This LP originally was released in the UK that year. Then, after a third single — “I’ll Never Need More Than This” — was released in 1967, that cut was added to the LP for its American release. My copy is that A&M Records release from 1969.

As for the title cut? Well, sorry, but the definitive version for me is the one by the Supremes and the Four Tops from 1970. The one I heard first.

 

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Filed under March 2015, Sounds

That ’70s song, Vol. 12

The Beatles were all but done as a group by the last week of March 1970, but you couldn’t tell it from listening to the radio.

There, bunched together at the top of the charts 40 years ago this week, were these three hit singles:

— A song by the Beatles.

— A song by a solo Beatle.

— A song written and recorded first by a solo Beatle.

It was, perhaps, Beatlemania’s last stand.

It was about this time that I signed a petition begging the Beatles to stay together. It was something orchestrated by WOKY, the big AM Top 40 station out of Milwaukee. They wanted listeners to circulate petitions. If memory serves, the top prize was a complete set of Beatles LPs.

At our school, a seventh-grade girl named Robin took up the challenge. I signed her petition during lunch in the gym. Robin must have done a pretty good job. She got some kind of mention on the radio. Whether she got any Beatles LPs, I can’t recall.

We didn’t keep the Beatles together, of course, but no one was letting go of them. Not with these songs at No. 1, No. 2 and No. 4 in WOKY’s chart that week:

— “Let It Be” by the Beatles.

— “Instant Karma” by John Lennon.

— And the one written by Paul McCartney and released on the Beatles’ Apple label …

“Come And Get It,” Badfinger, from “Magic Christian Music,” 1970.

This was one of my favorite 45s. I liked this tune, but I liked the flip side even more. “Rock Of All Ages” is a wild piano- and guitar-driven rave-up that’s been posted here twice before.

McCartney did a solo demo of “Come And Get It” during the “Abbey Road” sessions in July 1969. It wasn’t officially released until 1996.

As for those other hit singles by the Beatles and by John Lennon … enjoy a couple of cool covers.

“Let It Be,” Ike and Tina Turner, from “Workin’ Together,” 1971. It’s out of print but is available digitally. Tina makes this one all her own.

“Let It Be,” the Mar-Keys, from “Memphis Experience,” 1971. It’s out of print. From the house band at Stax Records in Memphis, this is a sweet, laid-back instrumental with a warm sax lead. (This is a CD rip from “Mojo Beatlemania, Volume 2,” included with Mojo magazine in September 2004.)

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Filed under March 2010, Sounds

That ’70s song, Vol. 3

When I started listening to that new AM-FM radio in January 1970, it was a time when bands often broke regionally first, then nationally. The group behind today’s ’70s song is one of those bands, sort of.

Known first as South 40, the band changed its name after winning a recording session from the National Ballroom Operators Association. When the group left its hometown of Minneapolis and headed to Chicago for that session with Columbia Records, it was known as Crow.

Putting down blues- and R&B-influenced rock, Crow recorded five songs during that session on Jan. 31, 1969. Columbia wasn’t interested, but a scout was there that day, liked what he heard and shopped Crow to a handful of major labels. Crow signed with Amaret Records, which tweaked its sound, mostly by adding horns, then turned out to be too small to effectively promote the band when it broke nationally.

“Evil Woman (Don’t Play Your Games With Me)” was Crow’s biggest hit, thanks in large part to Dave Wagner’s distinctive vocal style. It broke out in Seattle, not the Midwest, but it was enjoying a last few weeks in the Top 40 in late January 1970.

From late 1969 into early 1971, Crow was one of the hottest groups around. But financial and management problems set in, and the group unraveled. Crow played its last gig in Minneapolis on June 26, 1972. There’s an excellent history of the band at Crow’s Web site.

The thing is, I know that ’70s song so well — and so do you, I suspect — and yet I don’t have it.

But I do have an interesting cover. Ike and Tina Turner turned it inside out. Instead of “Evil Woman,” Tina sings it as “Evil Man.” Draw your own conclusions from that.

“Evil Man,” Ike and Tina Turner and the Ikettes, from “Come Together,” 1970. It’s out of print.

“Evil Woman” was on “Crow Music,” the album released in 1969. It’s out of print, as is almost all of the band’s original stuff. That said, Crow offers “Crow Classics: 1969-1972,” a best-of CD, at its Web site.

Crow got back together in 1983 and is still at it. Crow was inducted into the Minnesota Rock and Country Hall of Fame in 2005. On iTunes, there’s a self-titled EP of new Crow music released last year and “Before The Storm,” a 2008 CD with re-recorded versions of Crow’s older tunes.

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Filed under January 2010, Sounds

High fives all around

Our friend Larry over at Funky 16 Corners is celebrating five years of F16C with more cool Beatles covers. Head over there and check out two new mixes and four older mixes.

Larry has been a guide, an inspiration and a good friend. We have plenty in common, and not just the music. On my wish list: Road tripping from Wisconsin to New Jersey just to soak in the vibe when Larry and his pals spin 45s at Asbury Park Lanes some night.

Here, then, as a small way of saying thanks, are five more Beatles covers in that same soul/R&B spirit. They’re more mainstream than Larry’s selections, but that just goes to show how deeply the man is digging it. Hope you will enjoy them nonetheless.

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“Eleanor Rigby,” Bobbie Gentry, from “Local Gentry,” 1968. An almost perfect match of sultry singer, downbeat song and low-key arrangement. (Also covered on this LP, and not as well: “Fool on the Hill” and “Here, There and Everywhere.”)

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“Get Back,” Al Green, from “Green Is Blues,” 1969. It’s out of print. (Al’s cover of “I Want To Hold Your Hand,” also from 1969, is much in the same sizzling vein.)

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“Got To Get You Into My Life,” the Four Tops, from “Soul Spin,” 1969. A song made for the great Levi Stubbs. (This is a CD rip from “Mojo Beatlemania, Volume 2,” included with Mojo magazine in September 2004.)

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“Let It Be,” Ike and Tina Turner, from “Workin’ Together,” 1971. It’s out of print but is available digitally. Listen to how Tina tweaks the lyrics to make this her own, then gives it a bit of a gospel feel. (Also on covered on this LP, and shared earlier by Larry: “Get Back.”)

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“Come Together,” Gladys Knight and the Pips, from “A Little Knight Music,” 1975. Recorded while they were at Motown in the early ’70s, maybe 1971 or 1972. Sassier than you’d think.

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Filed under November 2009, Sounds

Explain, please

There are 18,000 people in our suburb, but there’s evidence that it is nonetheless a small town.

Sitting out on a table near the checkouts at the grocery store the other morning was the most recent issue of our local police newsletter. Always good reading. Especially this item:

“(An officer) was on patrol late one night, when he came across a naked male and female having sex in a field of East Lawn Park.”

“Uhh … do it, baby .. uhh … mmm … mmm-hmm!”

“Doin’ It,” Ike and Tina Turner and The Ikettes, from “Come Together,” 1970. Out of print.

Oh, but it gets better.

“Upon seeing the officer, both took off running down the trail into Green Bay. The female was apprehended shortly thereafter …”

“In the daytime Mary Hill was a teaser/Come the night she was such a pleaser/Oh, Mary Hill was such a thrill after dark/In Cherry Hill Park.”

“Cherry Hill Park,” Billy Joe Royal, 1969, from “Billy Joe Royal Greatest Hits,” a 1989 CD release on Columbia. It’s out of print, but Amazon has mp3s. (The single is Columbia 44902. Thanks, Whiteray!)

Oh, but it gets better still.

” … however the male, in an attempt to avoid responding officers, swam out into the middle of the East River. Eventually, he gave up after being told a (police dog) was being deployed to bring him back to shore.”

“Hug me, squeeze me, love me, tease me/Til I can’t, til I can’t, til I can’t take no more of it/Take me to the water, drop me in the river/Push me in the water, drop me in the river.”

“I don’t know why I love you like I do/All the troubles you put me through.”

“Take Me To The River,” Talking Heads, from “More Songs About Buildings and Food,” 1978.

Just one question: How, exactly, is this a threat to the public’s safety?

“I ain’t hurtin’ nobody/I ain’t hurtin’ no one/Hurtin’ nobody/Hurtin’ no one.”

“Ain’t Hurtin’ Nobody,” John Prine, from “Lost Dogs and Mixed Blessings,” 1995.

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Filed under September 2008, Sounds