Tina Turner

Essential Collection

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Madacy's Tina Turner disc The Essential Collection is a strange package. From the title and the cover photo, it looks like a collection of latter-day solo Tina tracks. Flip it to the back cover and the wording changes to Ike & Tina Turner at their best. Inside are three discs. The first is a straight copy of EMI's 1992 collection called Proud Mary and Other Hits, a nine-song roundup of some of their best and funkiest songs like "Proud Mary" and "Sexy Ida" that were recorded in the early '70s for Liberty. The second two discs were first released as Love Sessions by Madacy in 2003 and are random collections of songs the duo released in the '70s as they went from label to label looking for a hit. The music on these discs is highly entertaining. Tina is in fine, rough, and ready voice and Ike's productions are as weird and funky as ever (on the tracks that don't sound like cheap re-recordings, that is, and there are a few -- whether Ike had anything to do with them is up in the air, since there is no documentation on either release). The tracks are a mix of covers of hits like "Living for the City," "Sugar, Sugar," "Let's Get It On," and "I've Been Loving You for Too Long" and Ike Turner originals like "Bold Soul Sister," "Five Long Years," "Bootsie Whitelaw," and "Golden Empire." Many of the songs on these discs have been released in more attractive packages (some like "Sugar, Sugar" and "Mississippi Rolling Stone" with different, and better, musical backing), and the whole thing smacks of laziness and the record company's desire to put one over on people. Regardless of how enjoyable the music is, it's hard to stand behind such a cynical and misleading release.

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