Another compilation album today, we have “Proud Mary: The Best of Ike and Tina Turner”, covering a lengthy span of their troubled history together. This time in 1970 made sense as it aligned with their iconic cover of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Proud Mary”. This album is rated #392 on Rolling Stone’s Top 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
Like the Spectors, we have another husband-and-wife team who were marred by the male being a completely abusive and repulsive human being. Somehow through all of that, they did make some amazing music. The first few songs on this album did not do much for me at all, they were early 60s Motown-knockoff songs that I felt were over-sung by Tina and an unfair ask of her vocal talents. However, starting with the Beatles “Come Together” the rest of the album is a complete home run. We go from that to a cover of the Stones’ “Honky Tonk Women”, which Tina and Mick Jagger later performed together at the 1989 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction. Then follows a cover of “I Want To Take You Higher” by Sly and the Family Stone, and after a less exciting “Workin’ Together”, we get their slow-then-frenzied historic take on “Proud Mary”.
The rest of the album is one excellent song after another, showcasing Tina (and occasionally Ike) at their best. I really loved “Sexy Ida (Part 2)”, as well as her version of the “Acid Queen” from “Tommy” by The Who. Tina Turner portrayed “The Acid Queen” in their cinematic version of this album, and I think this may be the 4th album to include music from “Tommy” in my blog.
The older tracks are forgettable, but late 60s / early 70s funk Tina Turner was a true force. I know some are more inclined to celebrate her musical rebirth in the 1980s, but I think this music is exponentially better.