What's Love Got To Do With It

Tina Turner

EMI Records, 1993




For those of you just joining us in Ageless Singers 101, here's a quickie recap: Tina Turner's career can be divided into two major parts. The first part would be the Ikey Era. The second part would be, excuse the crudeness, After Ikey Era. Ever since the divorce made popular by the media (and later on by the Angela Bassett movie What's Love Got To Do With It, of which this is a soundtrack of), Turner had forsaken to perform her Ike and Tina songs (along with his Name) so some of the songs had remained unsung for decades.

But because of the movie, the songs had to be re-recorded to suit modern sound systems. Are the songs as time-proof as the singer in question?my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

With some songs you really can't help it. "Disco Inferno" has a dated title to begin with and the arrangement's enthusiasm doesn't live up to Turner's singing (then again, does it ever?). "It's Gonna Work Out Fine" even comes with a mention of making wedding plans with "Ikey." It's the kind of "Say A Little Prayer" picture-this song they don't make anymore (but should!).

The Aretha Franklin-type backup vocals in "A Fool In Love" are a charming alternative to the modern pop-gospel rage a la Whitney Houston. They do make the song sound old but old in the nostalgic sense, not the butchered-classic sense. And the exhuberant call-out to do the twist in "Shake A Tail Feather" is just timeless ("Do it right? Do it right!").

Three songs benefit directly from the new technology. "Stay A While" sounds similar to the drums-based rock ballads Celine Dion has on her latest album, without being as over-sung (and of course, with much more intelligent lyrics). Bluesy "Rock Me Baby" has a nice nighttime-studio-jam improv to it without being unbalanced arrangement-wise (like "Nutbush City Limits" where everyone is fighting the drums). And "I Might Have Been Queen" is a rocker that rocks fast without being a loud mass of noise (stereo!).

The new arrangement for "Proud Mary" has Turner talking directly to the listening audience about doing the beginning "nice, easy" while ending it "rough." Though it makes the song more complex the result takes away the fun a completely "rough" arrangement would've been. But near-original arrangements like "(Darlin') You Know I Love You" makes it sound like the classic that it is.The sensuous rendering of Bryan Adams' "Why Must We Wait Until Tonight?" is almost as good as the title track, "What's Love Got to Do With It" (though its title is a lot cooler than the song itself).

My personal favorite is a new song. Cinematic epic "I Don't Wanna Fight" shows Turner capable of riding today's wave effortlessly without losing herself in it ("Yo, Madonna!"). It's a nice bridge to her other greatest hits collection "The Best", an After Ikey retrospective. Most of the songs here can still shake it, but it's more of a courtesy album; The Best is definitely the better showcase for Turner's talents.

Rating: B+

User Rating: A-



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