Between June 1969 and February 1973, Ike & Tina Turner released 10 albums worth of material - a staggeringly prolific amount. But outside of R'n'B and Soul circles - barely anyone noticed. Finally, when "Nutbush City Limits" did give them a bona-fide worldwide smash in November 1973, it cruelly turned out to be a virtual one-hit wonder. Tina then found the courage to leave that musical prison and famously abusive relationship in 1974 and blossomed into a global superstar who is revered to this day over 40 years later (with more than a little help from musical friends in the industry).
Since those heady 1970's days of recording and touring slog - their 'funky-as-a-gnat's-tweeter' albums have all but disappeared - resolutely ignored really (especially here in the UK). Hopefully this superb release will change all that. There is so much on here to savour - and in brand new sparkling sound quality too. Here are the details...
Released August 2010, Beat Goes On BGOCD942 breaks down as follows (68:09 minutes):
Tracks 1 to 12 are the album "Come Together", released May 1970 in the USA on Liberty LST-7637 and September 1970 in the UK on Liberty LBS 83350
Tracks 13 to 23 are the album "'Nuff Said", released November 1971 in the USA on United Artists UAS-5530 and March 1972 in the UK on United Artists UAG 29256
This CD comes in an outer card wrap that lends each of the Beat Goes On reissues a classy look and feel. The 12-page booklet has liner notes by DAVID WELLS and features black and white photos of the duo as well as a history of the two albums. But it's the sound that impresses most. Remastered by ANDREW THOMPSON at Sound Mastering in London - the audio is really clear and full of detail.
Each cut now has a power that gives the predominately funk tunes a real wallop as they exit your speakers.
The first single off the "Come Together" album in the UK was the title track released on Liberty LBF 15303 in March 1970 - a fairly workmanlike cover of The Beatles "Abbey Road" opener. Far better - and featured on cool CD compilations in the last few years - was the B-side "Honky Tonk Women" - a cover of The Rolling Stones gem. In the hands of Ike's guitar funk and Tina's rasping vocals - it's a very cool dancefloor filler. There then followed a second single in June 1970 on Liberty LBF 15367 where both sides absolutely rocked. "I Want To Take You Higher" on the A is a funky cover of the Sly & The Family Stone tune from the 1969 "Stand!" LP. But even better is the drugs and abuse song on the flip - "Contact High" (written by Ike from experience) spares no punches about cocaine and its effect on people - caustically commenting on the sheer amount of narcotics involved in the music business at the time (lyrics above). The spoken words of the naughty "Doin' It" end the album on a high note - it would also become a B-side in November 1971 on United Artists.
The "'Nuff Said" album relied a lot on brassy arrangements which gave the tunes an almost Blood, Sweat & Tears feel to them with Ike's trademark choppy guitar licks holding up the rhythm section. One such example is the excellent "What You Don't See (Is Better Yet)". The title track is a driving instrumental that sounds like a studio jam - Ike ripping through guitar flicks as the keyboards and brass punch in and out. "Tell The Truth" gets back to funky business - catchy as a rash in a Bangkok knocking shop - it's a highlight on here and is presented in pumping great sound too. "Part II" of the title track ends the record - bringing the rocking instrumental down to a slow grooving finish - very nice.
To sum up - I've enjoyed these albums a lot. And while not all of the tracks are undiluted Soul/Funk genius - when Ike & Tina hit that groove - man were they good.
Recommended like a gin-soaked Honky Tonk Woman...
Beat Goes On has also issued "Workin' Together" (1971) and "Let Me Touch Your Mind" (1974) on a single CD in August 2011
Raven of Australia reissued "Nutbush City Limits" (1973) and "Feel Good" (1972) on a single CD in 2006
Blue Moon reissued "The Hunter" (1970) and "Outta Season" (1969) on a single CD also in 2006