Saturday, September 07, 2013

Songoftheday 9/7/13 - You must understand that the touch of your hand makes my pulse react...


Tina Turner - "What's Love Got To Do With It"
from the album Private Dancer (1984)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #1 (three weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 18

Today's Song of the Day is by Tina Turner, who went from a oldies cult legend who left her husband penniless and appeared in such projects as the Who's Tommy as the "Acid Queen", got her first "comeback" break when helped by David Bowie to be signed by Capitol Records, scored a top-40 hit in the US (and top 10 R&B and in the UK) with her cover of Al Green's "Let's Stay Together".

From that success, Tina was commissioned to make a full album but fast to capitalize on the hit single, and in two months with a myriad of producers was able to finish Private Dancer. The second single from the project was a song originally meant for British former teen idol Cliff Richard, who hard himself experienced a renaissance in his career in the late 70s with such soft disco hits as "Devil Woman" and "We Don't Talk Anymore". After being rejected by him and reserved but not recorded by Donna Summer for a couple of years, "What's Love Got To Do With It" was released by Tina and produced by one of the song's two writers, Terry Britten (along with Scotsman Graham Lyle, previously in the Apple Records writing stable). The light-reggae track, along with the high-profile video with Tina in her fright-wig sauntering through New York with a few dancers (including Pamela Springsteen, sister of Bruce), and showing off her legs and her moves, slowly produced her biggest hit to date...


"What's Love Got To Do With It" became Tina's first (and only) solo #1 single in September of 1984, spending 18 weeks in the top-40 (more than any other single in 1984). It also made the runner-up spot on the R&B chart, while reaching #8 on the adult-contemporary (easy-listening) radio chart as well. The record even crossed over to the dance club list in Billboard, topping out at #21, while spending a few weeks on the rock radio format chart at #51. Tina also topped the charts in Canada and Australia, while making it to #3 in Britain. "What's Love Got To Do With It" went on to win a big trifecta of Grammy Awards for Record, Song, and Female Pop Vocal Performance of the year in 1985.

It would be the biggest "comeback" story of the 80s, and a very welcome one at that, using just her voice, her presence, and just the right song to capture the attention of the record-buying youth of America (at the ripe old age of 44, oh lord I'm old)....

(Click below to see the rest of the post)


There was another version of the video that was previously filmed for the song, but it didn't get much play (though equally worth a look)...


Tina was also one of the performers on the first MTV Video Awards, where she nabbed the "Best Female Video" moonman...


...and here she in in her prime in concert...


...and just as good in 2009...


I mentioned that Cliff Richard was first offered the song. He doesn't forget it now, and even recorded it for an album of favorites in 2001...


Another act that had a go at the song before Tina was the British Eurovision-winning vocal quartet Bucks Fizz, who ended up shelving it after her version caught hold that same year...


One of the better more recent takes on "What's Love..." was vocal powerhouse Beth Ditto and her band the Gossip on British radio...


...and lastly, the most successful reinterpretation of the song came in 1996 when rapper Warren G interpolated the record for his contribution of the same name to the soundtrack to the Jackie Chan film Supercop, featuring Adina Howard on vocals. The single made the top-40 on the American pop and R&B charts (at #32 and #36), and even went one rung higher than Tina on the British charts at #2...


Up tomorrow: A Canadian makes a fashion faux-pas.

No comments: