Ike & Tina Turner were the R&B/soul-rock duo of American guitarist/bandleader Ike Turner and his then-wife, singer Tina Turner. They came together in the late 1950s when Ike hired Tina as a backing vocalist for his band, the Kings of Rhythm. She first sang lead on the 1960 Sue Records single “A Fool In Love,” which prompted their rebilling as the Ike & Tina Turner Revue.
For 15 years, Ike and Tina toured nonstop with the Ikettes, a revolving-door trio of female singer/dancers. Their explosive live performances drew favorable comparisons to the James Brown Revue. Between 1961 and 1964, they scored further hits on Sue, including “I Idolize You,” “Poor Fool,” “Tra La La La La,” and “You Can’t Miss Nothing That You Never Had.” The first record billed solely to Tina was “Too Many Ties That Bind” (b/w “We Need an Understanding”), released in 1964 on Ike’s Sonja Records label.
In 1965, they charted with the Warner release Live! The Ike & Tina Turner Show and issued singles on assorted soul labels, including “Tell Her I’m Not Home” (Loma) and “Good Bye, So Long” (Modern), both Billboard R&B hits. Impressed with their stage act, producer Phil Spector got them to appear in his 1966 concert film The Big T.N.T. Show. He produced what became their signature song, “River Deep – Mountain High.” Released in May 1966 on Spector’s Philles label (US) and London (abroad), it was a Top 10 smash in Western Europe (UK #3, Spain #1).
The duo signed to Blue Thumb for the 1968/69 albums Outta Season and The Hunter, then moved to Liberty for the 1970/71 albums Come Together, Workin’ Together, and Live In Paris. During this period, they covered songs by Otis Redding (“I’ve Been Loving You Too Long”), Sly & the Family Stone (“I Want to Take You Higher”), The Beatles (“Get Back”), and The Rolling Stones (“Honky Tonk Woman”). In 1971, their cover of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Proud Mary” became their biggest US hit (#4).
Tina’s involvement as a songwriter increased when they moved to United Artists for their 1972 release Let Me Touch Your Mind, which features three of her compositions: “I Had a Notion,” “Popcorn,” and “Help Him.” She wrote five songs on their 1973 album Nutbush City Limits, including the fuzz-laden title-track (Austria #1, UK #4). Their 1974 release, Sweet Rhode Island Red, features seven of her songs, including the hits “Sexy Ida” and the title-track.
Tina left Ike after a violent encounter en route to Dallas on July 1, 1976. During the subsequent decade, he faced legal setbacks while she launched a successful solo career, marked by the multi-platinum success of her 1984 release Private Dancer and the chart-topping singles “What’s Love Got to Do With It” and “We Don’t Need Another Hero (Thunderdome).”
- The Soul of Ike & Tina Turner (1961)
- Dynamite! (1962)
- Don’t Play Me Cheap (1963)
- It’s Gonna Work Out Fine (1963)
- Get It – Get It (1966)
- River Deep – Mountain High (1966)
- So Fine (1968)
- Outta Season (1969)
- Cussin’, Cryin’ & Carryin’ On (1969)
- The Hunter (1969)
- Come Together (1970)
- Workin’ Together (1970)
- ‘Nuff Said (1971)
- Feel Good (1972)
- Let Me Touch Your Mind (1973)
- Nutbush City Limits (1973)
- The Gospel According to Ike & Tina (1974)
- Sweet Rhode Island Red (1974)
- Delilah’s Power (1977, recorded 1975)
- Airwave (1978, recorded 1975)
- The Edge (archival, 1980)
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