From her cradle in Tennessee (USA) where she was born in 1939 as Anna Mae Bullock, Tina Turner’s was a career in which managed to overcome racism and machismo in an industry and a society that later ostracized her… until she was reborn independent and reinvented as “the best”.
Here are ten songs that illustrate why before Beyoncé there had to be that woman who traveled one of the most tortuous and at the same time triumphant paths in the history of musicten songs attached to an iron will and a throat forged in fire, like her hips.
1) “A Fool In Love”: Released in 1960, this r&b cut marked her professional musical debut, shared as part of the duo with her future husband, Ike & Tina Turner. It was her first joint commercial success.
2) “It’s Gonna Work Out Fine”: Their second great “hit” as a couple came from the hand of this song published in 1961, which also became the first for which Tina Turner received a Grammy Award nomination.
3) “River Deep – Mountain High”: Impressed by Tina’s strength, famed producer Phil Spector of the “wall of sound” invited the duo into his studio. With 21 session musicians involved and “about 500,000 takes” required of the artist, the result was what is considered one of the “500 Greatest Songs of All Time” by Rolling Stone magazine.
4) “Proud Mary”: John Fogerty created this song for his band, the Creedence Clearwater Revival, and with it he obtained one of his greatest hits, although probably the version that has transcended the most has been the one that Ike and Tina made in 1971, a song of feminist pride interpreted curiously by a woman then subjected to the yoke of a harasser and who gave them a Grammy.
5) “Nutbush City Limits”: Written by herself, it is an autobiographical story in which she returns to her hometown and her very modest origins. Released in 1973, it was one of the last songs she published with Ike Turner.
6) “Private Dancer”: In the years after her traumatic breakup with Iker Turner, Tina began to become more of a memory than a current artist.
In the 80s, however, Capitol Records believed in its resurrection, moving it away from r&b, first with its reinterpretation of Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together” and, above all, with that of this song written and discarded by Mark Knopfler himself. For her, Jeff Beck recorded one of the guitars.
7) “What’s Love Got to Do with It”: Curious that this song passed from hand to hand, from Cliff Richard to Donna Summer, until Tina made it her biggest hit in the US. That’s how she rose as the oldest woman to crown the American chart, all a knock on the table that showed that a middle-aged woman (45 years old at the time) was still far from a fading star.
8) “We Don’t Need Another Hero”: Despite the misgivings of those around him, Turner wanted to give his music more rock touches and he achieved it in 1985 with this “power ballad” with guitar “riffs” that was born as the central theme of the soundtrack of the movie “Mad Max. Beyond of the dome of thunder”, in which she participated as a naked Amazon of weapons to take.
9) “The Best”: Better known popularly as “Simply (The Best”) for its chorus, once again Turner had the good sense to cover a cut that in its first incarnation under the voice of Bonnie Tyler hardly had any significance. Released again in 1988 under the production of Desmond Child, it is perhaps her last undisputed big world hit.
10) “Goldeneye”: With shorter hair, once again he showed that he could not be forgotten, even less if you have authors at your service such as Bono and The Edge, from U2, for this 1995 theme for the film saga of James Bond in which she gave herself all her feline claw.