Ike & Tina Turner

Funkier Than a Mosquito's Tweeter

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Funkier Than a Mosquito's Tweeter is a 21-track collection culled from one of Ike & Tina's most prolific and creative periods. It is also a largely forgotten period because they had no hits. Between 1969 and 1972, Ike & Tina released eight records on two different labels: two for Blue Thumb and six for Liberty/UA. On this set they took four tracks from 1970's Come Together, five from 1971's Nuff Said, and three each from 1972's Feel Good and Let Me Touch Your Mind. Also thrown in are a single from 1969, an Ikettes song from 1972, and a solo Tina cut from 1974. Ike & Tina had been many things in their long career: R&B pioneers, blues belters, stars of a soul revue, and pop stars. After coming off a tour with the Rolling Stones in 1969, Ike decided that the band needed to rock. He set about creating a hard-rocking brand of funk overloaded with proto-punk attitude perfect for the post-Woodstock and Altamont comedown. Ike's guitar playing is meaner than ever; he really attacks the strings on songs like "I Wanna Jump" and "The Chopper." Tina is at her snarling best throughout, cutting a wide path with her withering sneer and screaming emotion. It is especially fun on the title track to hear her reading the riot act to some jerk who is doing her dirt (although it is less fun when you realize she is talking about Ike and her life with him was a living hell at this point). Ike's production shows him to be on a creative high (and probably just high as well) as he builds walls of funk-nasty guitar riffs and grinding bass topped off with sleazy-sounding horns and all kinds of weird touches. He was getting into synthesizers at this time and he does strange things with them, like the wobbly drone that runs through "What You Don't See (Is Better Yet)" or the burbling tones on "Popcorn." Production-wise, the high point comes on "Up on the Roof," where he turns the Spector chestnut into a psychedelic soul tune not unlike the Temptations' "Ball of Confusion." Another highlight is Ike & Tina's version of Sly & the Family Stone's "I Wanna Take You Higher." They never rocked harder than this. Where Sly's original is an invitation, Ike & Tina make it sound like a command you don't dare disobey. The inclusion of Tina's "Whole Lotta Love" shows how important Ike's production was to their sound. The take on the Led Zeppelin track is pretty good, with Tina wailing away frantically as usual, but it lacks the rawness and sonic unpredictability that is Ike's trademark. The whole disc lives up to its title. It is no doubt funkier than a mosquito's tweeter and heavier than a mosquito's woofer too. If you are a fan of Ike & Tina, you need this disc. If you are a fan of raw and nasty funk-rock, you need this disc. If you are a fan of music, you need this disc.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 2:36 Amazon
2 3:16 Amazon
3 2:33 Amazon
feat: The Ikettes
2:15 Amazon
5 2:52 Amazon
2:48 Amazon
feat: Tina Turner
4:42 Amazon
8 2:22 Amazon
9 2:57 Amazon
10 2:35 Amazon
11 3:29 Amazon
12 2:24 Amazon
13 2:30 Amazon
14 2:54 Amazon
15 2:38 Amazon
16 2:53
17 2:43 Amazon
18 2:27 Amazon
19 1:59
20 3:09 Amazon
21 3:43 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick