Tina Turner

Private Dancer

Composed by Mark Knopfler

Song Review by

Dire Straits' Mark Knopfler originally wrote "Private Dancer" around the time of his band's Love Over Gold album, and the seven-plus-minute song would have been an excellent addition to that album's worth of long, slowly unfolding songs, adding a dash of the pop sense of Making Movies and hopefully relegating the jokey "Industrial Disease" to a B-side. However, Knopfler decided at the last minute that he didn't feel comfortable singing a song from a female perspective -- much less in the character of a prostitute -- and bequeathed the song to Tina Turner, who made it the title track and climax of her 1984 comeback album. (Ironically, although the rest of Dire Straits is the backing band on this track, Knopfler doesn't appear at all; that's Jeff Beck performing a solo in Knopfler's familiar, restrained style.) Given room to build tension throughout the extended song, Turner starts quietly, almost conversational, climaxing with a masterful performance on the bridge at the song's heart, until she shrieks the line "Tell me, do you want to see me do the shimmy again?" with just as much visceral force as she had managed on "River Deep Mountain High" nearly two decades before. Although mono-named producer Carter (the Motels, etc.) lacks the elegant grace that Knopfler's own production would have brought to the recording, he does a serviceable job of mimicking the Dire Straits sound.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Private Dancer 1984 GC / Rhino 7:14
No Image 1985 Pioneer
Tina Live In Europe 1988 Capitol/EMI Records / Capitol 5:35
Pop Classics, Vol. 1 1990
Various Artists
Simply the Best 1991 Parlophone 4:00
Sing the Hits of Tina Turner 1993
Singing Machine (Karaoke)
Ladies of the 80's, Vol. 2 [Import] 1994
Various Artists
Alex 4:00
Heart & Soul, Vol. 3: Heart Full of Soul 1994
Various Artists
Pro 4:03
The Very Best of That Loving Feeling 1994
Various Artists
Dino Entertainment 3:57
The  Collected Recordings: Sixties to Nineties 1994 Parlophone 7:11
Greatest Hits [Cema] 1994 7:13
Rock of the '80s, Vol. 4: Modern Girls 1996
Various Artists
EMI-Capitol Special Markets / Cema Special Ma 4:03
Wildest Dreams 1996 EMI / Parlophone 9:01
Live in Amsterdam: Wildest Dreams Tour 1997 Image Entertainment
No Image 1997
Various Artists
Rio '88 2000 Image Entertainment
Twogether Love 2002
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 3:59
Oldies But Goodies: 80's Pop, Vol. 1 2003
Various Artists
Original Sound Entertainment 7:12
Capital Gold 80's Legend 2004
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 3:32
All the Best 2004 EMI Music Distribution 4:03
All the Best: The Live Collection [DVD] 2005 Capitol
Live in Amsterdam/One Last Time 2005 Eagle Vision
Let's Hear It for the Girls 2006
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 4:00
No Image 2007
Various Artists
GR8 / Panpipes 3:59
Babski Wieczór 2007
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 4:00
Pure Temptations 2008
Various Artists
Eminence Records 3:58
Tina! 2008 EMI Music Distribution
Slave To Love 2008
Various Artists
Somerset Entertainment 4:01
The Platinum Collection 2009 EMI 4:04
Tina Live 2009 Manhattan Records 9:51
101 Dinner Party Songs 2009
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution
101 Soul Anthems 2011
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution / EMI TV / Source Interlink / Virgin 4:03
Love Songs 2014 Rhino 4:00
No Image Immortal 6:20
SmoothFM Presents: Music for Mum 2016
Various Artists
Sony Music 7:14
No Image
Various Artists
blue highlight denotes editor's pick