The Second Disc

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What Kind of Love: Ike Turner’s Sixties “Studio Productions” Compiled By Ace

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Though some credit him with creating the very first rock and roll song (1951’s “Rocket 88,” credited to Jackie Brenston and His Delta Cats), Ike Turner’s tumultuous personal life has long taken priority in the public eye over his groundbreaking musical achievements.  Yet Turner, in addition to maintaining a grueling schedule on the road with the Ike and Tina Turner Revue, turned out a prodigious amount of studio material on a variety of labels.  The latest addition to Ace Records’ Producers Series, Ike Turner: Studio Productions – New Orleans and Los Angeles, 1963-1965, explores in depth a brief but fruitful period in Turner’s overlooked career.  Naturally, Tina Turner appears, but the emphasis is on Turner’s other singers including The Ikettes, Jimmy Thomas, Stacy Johnson and Bobby John.  Nearly half of this head-spinning anthology of raw rhythm and blues is previously unreleased, including stripped-down tracks, never-before-heard songs, unreleased versions and alternate takes. You’ll also hear rare 45s not issued on CD in longer versions.  In short, this is a treasure trove of rough-and-tumble rock and roll and R&B.

The electrifying Ike and Tina Turner Revue was well-known on the Chitlin Circuit and also on the teenage club circuit, as rock and roll ascended to the forefront of popular culture.  But pop success largely eluded Ike Turner.  Ace’s collection, produced and annotated by Brian Nevill, picks up Turner’s story in 1963, by which time the songwriter, producer and performer had notched a couple of hit singles on the Sue label as Ike and Tina Turner, and more for The Ikettes on Atco.  Turner signed with Modern Records and set up shop in New Orleans for sessions at the legendary Cosimo Matassa’s studios.  The restless Turner recorded a variety of performers, some issued on Modern, others on labels founded by Ike and some leased out to other imprints altogether.  The liner notes by Nevill provide the background on these songs, the history of which has often been muddled due to Turner’s re-recordings, reissues of the same song under a different name or artist, and issues on various labels.  Thankfully, the Ace team has been straightening out the prolific Turner’s catalogue for years, and this release is just the latest result of their efforts.

Hit the jump for more, including the full track listing with discography and an order link!

Vernon Guy’s name is on seven of the tracks here, with Jimmy Thomas and Bobby John not far behind, headlining five tracks each.  (Vernon, Jimmy and Bobby all appear with Stacy Johnson, himself represented by three tracks, on “I’m Comin’ Home.”)  These 27 songs all are cut from the same cloth, many with the same personnel.  The wonderfully illustrated booklet includes some rarely-seen photographs including a group shot of the entire Ike and Tina Turner Revue with all members identified.  Tenor saxophonist Jackie Brenston, who sang on Ike’s first hit “Rocket 88,” handles “I’m Tore Up” and joins The Ikettes for “In Love.”  Venetta Fields, a member of The Ikettes who later achieved great fame as a background vocalist for artists ranging from Pink Floyd to Barbra Streisand, is featured on “Through with You” as well as vocals on other tracks.  Tina Turner’s “All In My Mind” and “Five Long Years” are highlights, and Tina also appears with Ernest Lane and The Ikettes for “My Kind of Love.”

Shortly after the period covered on this disc, Phil Spector took Tina Turner into LA’s Gold Star Studios to produce his masterpiece, “River Deep, Mountain High,” credited to Ike and Tina Turner.  That clattering, majestic, layered production is the sonic antithesis of the tracks here.  Tina would ultimately separate from Ike in 1976 and divorce shortly thereafter, establishing her own superstardom and shedding light on their volatile relationship.  But the incendiary music created by the Ike and Tina Turner Revue retains its power.  You can hear why on Studio Productions 1963-1965, available now from Ace Records.

Ike Turner, Studio Productions – New Orleans and Los Angeles, 1963-1965 (Ace CDCHD 1329, 2012)

  1. The Darkest Hour (Take 7) – Jimmy Thomas (Sputnik 10001, 1963)
  2. Remove My Doubts – Stacy Johnson (Sony 113, 1963)
  3. They Ain’t Lovin’ Ya – Vernon Guy with Jessie Smith (Teena 1703, 1963)
  4. Too Late (Take 4A) – Bobby John
  5. Like I Do (Take 16) – Bobby John and the Ikettes
  6. In Love (Take 3) – Jackie Brenston and the Ikettes
  7. I’m Tore Up (fs/Take 7) – Jackie Brenston
  8. Through with You (Take 6 fs/Take 7) – Venetta Fields (Kent CDKEN 063, 1992)
  9. That’s All Right (Take 1) – Vernon Guy (Ace LP CHD 244, 1988)
  10. You’re So Fine (Take 3) – Vernon Guy
  11. I Smell Trouble (Take 1) – Jimmy Thomas (Ace LP CHD 244, 1988)
  12. Feel So Good (fs/Take 4) – Jimmy Thomas
  13. All In My Mind (Take 4) – Tina Turner
  14. What Kind of Love (Take 1-A) – Ernest Lane and the Ikettes with Tina Turner
  15. I’m Comin’ Home (Take 2-A) – Bobby John with Jimmy Thomas, Stacy Johnson and Vernon Guy (Kent CD KEND 119, 1995)
  16. Dust My Broom (Take 1) – Bobby John
  17. For Your Precious Love (Take 5) – Vernon Guy and the Ikettes
  18. Just To Hold My Hand (Take 1) – Vernon Guy
  19. Tin Pan Alley (Take 1) – Jimmy Thomas (Ace LP CHD 244, 1988)
  20. Mother-in-Law Blues (Take 1) – Jimmy Thomas (Ace LP CHD 244, 1988)
  21. Walking Down the Aisle (Take 4 – Ike Turner and the Ikettes
  22. Think (Take 4) – Bobby John and the Ikettes
  23. Five Long Years (Take 1) – Tina Turner (Ace LP CHD 244, 1988)
  24. Consider Yourself (Take 1) – Stacy Johnson (extended version of Modern 1001, 1964)
  25. Don’t Believe Him – Stacy Johnson (Modern 1001, 1964)
  26. You Can’t Have Your Cake and Eat It, Too (Take 2) – Vernon Guy with Ike and Dee Dee
  27. You’ve Got Me (Just Where You Want Me) – Vernon Guy (Teena 1703, 1963)

Tracks 4-7, 10, 12-14, 16-18, 21-22, 24, 26 previously unreleased Modern recordings

Written by Joe Marchese

May 8, 2012 at 10:15

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