Monday, May 09, 2011

Essential Albums of the '80s: Tina Turner - Private Dancer (1984)

Tina Turner made a name for herself in the '60s and early '70s singing alongside her husband on memorable hits like "Proud Mary" and "River Deep, Mountain High." Theirs was a tempestuous relationship, well documented in the 1993 biopic, What's Love Got to Do With It. That film's name came from this album's biggest hit, a #1 hit for Tuner in 1984 that cemented her musical comeback intended by this release. For Private Dancer, Turner's first album in 5 years, the singer veered away from soul toward more rock and pop territory, creating a fine album of memorable '80s tunes. She rocks out on the very '80s-sounding "Show Some Respect" and "I Might Have Been Queen," and really lets loose on "Steel Claw," belting out the lyrics like only Turner could. As fun as those songs are, the album's best moments are its quieter ones, like the moody come on of "What's Love Got to Do With It," keyboard-heaving "Just Can't Stand the Rain," and heartful remake of Al Green's "Let's Stay Together," a version almost as famous as the original. The best song though is the title track. Like Houston did later on "Saving All My Love for You," Turner takes the persona of a downtrodden woman--this time a prostitute/stripper--and makes you really feel for her. At over 7 minutes, the song is sensual, sad and powerful. It made a saxophone sound more amazing than any other '80s pop song.

Best: Private Dancer, What's Love Got to Do With It, Just Can't Stand the Rain, Show Some Respect, Let's Stay Together, Better Be Good to Me.

No comments: