Simply the Best is surrounded by some of the best situations a compilation can hope for. Tina Turner's work for Capitol past Private Dancer was spotty, she made a bunch of appearances on soundtracks and other artists' albums, and most of the tracks on Private Dancer are good enough to own twice. Almost half of Private Dancer shows up on Simply the Best, but you don't have to endure the way the original album spiraled down into slick fizzle. Instead you have to endure a misguided, pumped-up house remix of "Nutbush City Limits," but that's it. Everything else here is either top-notch or campy, certifiable fun. A duet with Rod Stewart on "It Takes Two" supplies the fun along with the new track, "I Want You Near Me" (Turner to lover: "You're so good with your hands/To help me with a hook or zip"). The two other new tracks tacked to the end beat out most of the album cuts the collection passes on, plus you get the bombastic "We Don't Need Another Hero (Thunderdome)" without having to buy a dull soundtrack. The oldest cut by years is the monolithic "River Deep-Mountain High," which is a bona fide classic but sonically out of place here. Reprogram the disc to play it at the beginning or end, skip the new "Nutbush" completely, and you've got sparkling, nearly perfect overview of Turner's postcomeback career.
AllMusic Review by David Jeffries
feat: Rod Stewart