Tina @45 in 1984 – The Year of Tina’s Comeback, showing the world what she was made of and giving everything to John Lennon’s Help.
Let’s Stay Together – unplugged @58 in 1997 – Heaven 17 must be thanked for their part in Tina’s relaunch with their reworking of Al Green’s classic song. New audiences were electrified by Tina’s presence in the performance and live audiences can’t stop themselves joining in.
Two People– Tina @48 in 1987 – another hit by Terry Britten and Graham Lyle. I love the message of the song and its tone really evokes something of the spirit of that time. Released in 1986 it was another opportunity to show Tina’s tonal mastery.
The song that U2’s Bono and The Edge wrote for Tina – James Bond theme, Goldeneye – Tina @57 in 1996 (with a nod to Billie Holiday’s 1947 video performance in The Blues are Brewin’)
Whatever you Want – Tina, taking it up a notch @57 in 1996. The song, written by Arthur Baker, Fred Zarr and Taylor Dane gave Tina a more complex composition and Trevor Horn’s production took Tina’s vocal performance to new levels. The visuals and choreography of the video make it compelling to watch. Live, it’s a powerful performance that pulls us into the desperation and intensity of the song.
Something Beautiful Remains – Tina @57 in 1996
Guesting on Herbie Hancock’s Joni Mitchell Album “Rivers” – Tina @68 in 2007 showing yet another side to her vocal genius with Edith and the Kingpin
Honky Tonk Woman – Tina @31 In the 70’s TV lighting rooted performers to the spot. All their style and energy had to be expressed without moving off the X. It gives performances from that time an amazing intensity. Here’s Tina on the top of her TV game in 1970
I Can’t Stand the Rain – Tina @45 in 1984
Tina @53 – performing The Best in 1992 – a song written by the Pet Shop Boys, originally recorded by Bonnie Tyler in 1988. Tina made a hit of it and then – as the voice of Australian Rugby league – shared the limelight with Aussie rocker Jimmy Barnes. Two powerful voices lavished on what has become Tina’s anthem.
What’s Love Got to do with it? – Tina @45 Back in the Limelight in ’84. Tina’s manager Roger Davies was on the money when his instincts told him this was a hit and outcompeted Cliff Richard for the song – one of Terry Britten’s best IMHO. Tina was insistent that she couldn’t sing it and didn’t want it. The song didn’t have enough grit. But Roger insisted that she meet with with Terry Britten. When Terry showed Tina his musicality on the guitar and then showed Tina what bringing her vocal to the song would do…it was music magic. And the rest is history! The song hit #1 around the world and changed everything for Tina’s career. Thank you Terry! Thank you Roger!
Tina @54 in 1993 – I Don’t Wanna Fight – The Theme Song of the movie of Tina’s life
Tina @58 in 1997 – performing with an idol of hers – Eros Ramazatti! Cose della vida
Wildest Dreams – Tina @65 in 2004
Look me in the heart – Tina @50 in 1989. Try singing this song and you’ll notice the vocal range and complexity it calls for. Tina’s voice meets every interval and modulation with precision, energy and ease. The song was written by a partnership which had delivered hits for Madonna, Cindy Lauper, the Bangles and Whitney Houston. The song charted at #8 in the USA and was part of the assured mix of her album Foreign Affair.
Addicted to Love – Tina @51 in 1990. Who would dare take this song on after Robert Palmer’s iconic, one might say perfect performance had made a hit of it? Tina did and showed there’s more than one way to music nirvana!
Love Thing – Tina @52 in 1991
Tina @ 51 performing Tony Joe White’s Steamy Windows – Live in Barcelona, with Lejeune Richardson and Annie Behringer, the two dancers who accompanied Tina through the heady days of her comeback. Tony Joe White wrote several songs carried by Tina. This song, close to her blues roots was one of Tina’s favourites.
Tina @57 in 1996 finishing a concert with an encore – On Silent Wings
A favourite moment – Tina @60 on her farewell tour invites a fan – a DJ called Donovan, whom she had spotted dancing in the front rows at several concerts – to come onto the stage to perform her signature song with her. I can’t think of many artists who would do that. Kudos to both!
Tina @61 on her retirement tour in 2000 – the only female artist ever to pack out Wembley Studio – acing her self-written “Nutbush City Limits.” This performance shows Tina’s commitment to give everything in a show. Here she is, still high at the end of a three hour concert!
My generation encountered Tina Turner as a fully formed and authoritative performer, bursting onto the pop scene “from out of nowhere” in the early 1980s. I had only a dim awareness of the 25 years of prior career, the years of physical abuse that she had endured, and hard yakka that had honed her performance skills.
For me, as for many, Tina’s inspiration lies in her longevity, her perpetual energy and her ability to continually adapt – sufficiently to extend her musical career from a first performance in 1957 at the age of 18 to a final farewell tour in 2009 at the age of 70. Tina is the only female performer to pack out Britain’s Wembley Stadium, she has sold more concert tickets than any other performing artist and is the best selling female artist in history.
In July of this year (2019) Tina turns 80. In this season of her life Tina’s honesty, acceptance and openness in processing ill-health, frailty and bereavement expresses a fresh challenge and inspiration to those of us who admire her vitality and longevity.
Tina’s story, as much as anybody’s – is really a story of teamwork – the collaboration of a brilliant manager in Roger Davies, among many other musical comrades – including David Bowie, Heaven 17, U2, Pet Shop Boys, Bryan Adams, Mark Knopfler, Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger and Lionel Richie. Tina’s story of survival and growth gives others of us courage to play the long game, to continue developing and adapting. And it spurs me to believe that even I might prove a later bloomer! Thank you Tina for your amazing inspiration.