A Pop Music Feature
Celebrating 50 years of Tina Turner’s legacy as a solo artist collected in a 3-disc set are the hit singles that made her one of the most unforgettable artists of all time and music’s undisputed Queen of Rock ’n’ Roll.
A titan of her time is perhaps one of the most appropriate descriptions for Tina Turner. The undisputed Queen of Rock ’n’ Roll rose from the ashes of an embattled and abusive career as one-half of the headlining “Ike & Tina Turner” revue, to reemerge in the 80s as an indomitable force to be recognized. Born Anna Mae Bullock, she made a stunning debut on the 1960 hit single “A Fool in Love”, and hit the road with Ike Turner to become one of the most energizing live acts of the decade, before formally disbanding in 1976.
Her life story was famously brought to the big screen in 1993. Portrayed by the celebrated actor Angela Bassett, Tina Turner walked away from her marriage and only asked for one thing: that she retain her name. Deciding immediately that she wouldn’t just sit back and wait to be (re)discovered, Turner worked small venues, while never allowing her charismatic skills and stage presence. Aligning herself with Roger Davies, Tina trusted him to manage her back into music and asserted the types of musical genres she was most interested in exploring after having conquered R&B.
Tina Turner wanted to be a rock star. In 1984 the release of Private Dancer heralded her comeback and reintroduced her to the pop music landscape. The hit single “What’s Love Got to Do with It” would become her signature song, became her first #1 song, and would win that year’s Grammy Award for Record of the Year. The hits just kept coming, along with the album’s title track “Private Dancer”, and “We Don’t Need Another Hero (Thunderdome) for the film Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome which she also starred in, Tina Turner’s return would redefine the music industry.
All Hail the Queen!
In 1986, Turner released Break Every Rule and again proved her viability. Including the title track, the album included “Typical Male”, and “What You Get Is What You See” and was supported by a record-breaking world tour. Tina Turner’s marriage of sheer ferocious talent, undeniably immortal sex appeal, and genuine charisma would also land her at the top of MTV with her groundbreaking videos. Her powerful strut is always on best display. The Queen of Rock ’n’ Roll would become one of the most relevant artists of the 20th Century, continuing to record and tour into the 21st Century.
The latest compilation Tina Turner: Queen Of Rock ’n’ Roll is more than just a greatest hits package, it is a reflection on a career paved with trial and tribulation. A core force that is relentless and pure. You can hear it clearly in one of her earliest hits “Proud Mary” which stirs in the pits of your belly before its euphoria takes over your nervous system! “Steamy Windows” from her 1989 release Foreign Affair remains one of Tina Turner’s most penetrative and seductive rock hits, and when paired with “The Best”, it’s a reminder of how much the artist had to endure to arrive at his point, this level.
The 3-disc set includes 55 of her biggest hit singles from across her legendary career and is brought full circle with contemporary re-imaginings of “What’s Love Got to Do with It” by Kygo and an inspiring version of “Something Beautiful”. The liner notes feature a wonderfully emotive memory by Bryan Adams who appeared on the hit “It’s Only Love”, and toured with Tina. When Turner was asked what she most would like to be remembered for, she answered: “As a woman who showed other women that it is OK to strive for success on their own terms.”
Your heart can’t help but break knowing that she has since left this mortal coil, especially if you’ve had the privilege of seeing her perform live and have been in the presence of her spirit. Though it could have been a venue as massive as an outdoor arena, or a music hall, Tina Turner had a piercing presence that made you feel she was singing it all just for your pleasure. She had a reach as a performer, as a singer that felt as if she was extending her hand — giving you a lifeline — to remain in the moment; live for today. Her voice and its strength are medicinal. It’s generated from her heart and soul.
Here is your #FanzEyeView of Tina Turner’s video for “The Best” from the album Foreign Affair.
The video directed by Lol Creme features the artist co-starring with a stallion and expertly captures through creative lighting and clever shadow casting the best attributes of both in all their majesty. All hail the Queen!
QUEEN OF ROCK ’N’ ROLL | by TINA TURNER | is available on most Digital Download stores including iTunes, and is available in a 3-disc set featuring all 55 singles chronicling her incredible career. Download from iTunes here.