Ike & Tina Turner

The Ike & Tina Turner Story 1960-1975

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For an act as iconic as Ike & Tina Turner, they sure haven't been given a CD compilation worthy of their stature. The main problem has always been that the duo, like many early R&B and rock & roll artists, recorded for a variety of labels, including many independents, which makes cross-licensing the key tracks a headache, and an expensive one at that. Time/Life's three-disc box The Ike & Tina Turner Story 1960-1975 comes close to being that long-awaited definitive set. It's close enough to satisfy, since it's certainly the easiest way to get the great majority of their best material, yet it falls just short of being the final word due to that long-standing problem of cross-licensing. Here, the blind spot is the mid- to late '60s, as this is missing the legendary Phil Spector production of "River Deep-Mountain High" and cuts that often show up on EMI-affiliated compilations, such as "Funkier Than a Mosquito's Tweeter" and other minor charting singles. These songs, especially "River Deep," are missed, but their absence hurts the set only slightly, because this traces their story very well and has all the other major hits and singles. Essentially, this set breaks down to three parts: the first disc concentrates on the first half of the '60s (even adding the Ikettes' "I'm Blue [The Gong-Gong Song]" into the mix), while the second is the early '70s and the third is devoted to the 1969 album Live...in Person, which finds its first CD release here. This gives the box a narrative and it also makes each disc very listenable on its own terms, as the first disc is hard-driving early R&B while the second is funkier and the final showcases their still-stunning live prowess. This listenability, combined with the comprehensiveness of the set -- it is as complete as the compilers could make it -- is why The Ike & Tina Turner Story 1960-1975 is the best overall Ike & Tina set yet assembled.

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