Ike & Tina Turner

Nutbush City Limits/Feel Good

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Raven's 2006 two-fer Nutbush City Limits/Feel Good combines two of Ike & Tina Turner's last albums together and adds five bonus tracks, three of which were taken from other Ike & Tina albums from the early '70s, one taken from a Tina solo record, and one disco mix of "Nutbush City Limits." The album that arrives first on this two-fer was actually the last of these two to be released: Nutbush City Limits appeared in 1973, a year after Feel Good, but its title track is one of Ike & Tina's best-known songs so it's an appropriate choice to kick off this disc. Besides, the two records are so similar in tone and approach, it'd be easy to assume that Feel Good arrived before Nutbush, but that isn't to say they're interchangeable. Both records are hard day-glo funk, overloaded with fuzz guitars, wah wahs, clavinets and horn sections, but of the two, Nutbush City Limits is a bit closer to gritty deep soul thanks to a slow-burning cover of Dobie Gray's country-soul classic "Drift Away," the gospel-fied "That's My Purpose," a churning, funky reworking of "You Are My Sunshine," and, of course, the hard-driving title track, which mythologizes Tina's country upbringing. Of course, "rootsy" in this context is a relative term, since Nutbush City Limits still feels like '70s funk even with all the country flourishes; songs as greasy as the frenzied "Make Me Over" and down-and-dirty as "Get It Out of Your Mind," Ike's two originals here, guarantee that, as does an insane hard-rocking reclaiming of "River Deep, Mountain High" that plays like a spit in Phil Spector's eye. As such, Nutbush City Limits feels like a celebration of Ike & Tina's versatility, but even so it never wanders too far, since Ike knew that the key to the appeal of the Ike & Tina Revue was their hard, dirty funk -- and that's precisely what Feel Good celebrates. This, not Superfly, is the sound of early-'70s pimping, even when the tempo slows down (which happens rarely) it's for a slow blues grind, not a ballad, and songs like Tina's "Kay Got Laid (Joe Got Paid)" make no apologies for mythologizing pimps. This results in a supremely sleazy, utterly addictive record, one that's relentless in its rhythms and fearless in its funk as Ike lays down nasty rock & roll guitar -- check his solos on "Feel Good," where he's as elastic as rubber -- and Tina tears it up with pure, unbridled passion. Feel Good is quintessentially '70s -- the fuzz-toned funk practically conjures up platform shoes and mile-wide collars -- but it doesn't belong to any one sound; it casually draws from Southern soul, James Brown funk, Black pride, Superfly style, and jukejoint R&B, a sound that is uniquely identified with Ike & Tina. And while this contains no flat-out classics like "Nutbush City Limits" or "Proud Mary," as an album Feel Good undoubtedly ranks among their very best: it's a non-stop party. To that party, Raven has added "Help Him" from 1972's Let Me Touch Your Mind, "I Love Baby" from 1971's 'Nuff Said and "The Way You Love Me" from 1971's Workin' Together, all songs that fall halfway between the funk of Feel Good and the harder soul of Nutbush City Limits. Then, there are two disco tracks: Tina's version of the Who's "I Can See for Miles" from 1975's Acid Queen, dressed up with synths and laser effects, and a disco version of "Nutbush City Limits." It all makes for a terrific two-fer: these albums have never been issued on CD before, and this release finally rectifies that wrong.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:57
2 3:04
3 3:18
4 4:41
5 2:20
6 4:01
7 3:15
8 2:45
9 3:20
10 2:52
11 2:38
12 3:00
13 3:27
14 2:00
15 3:31
16 2:42
17 2:34
18 2:48
19 3:23
20 2:33
21 3:38
22
2:20
23 2:38
24 2:50
25 5:39
blue highlight denotes track pick