Ike Turner

Studio Productions: New Orleans and Los Angeles 1963-1965

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Although this CD is credited to Ike Turner, it might be more appropriately classified as a various-artists compilation, since Turner is the credited artist on just one of the 27 tracks. As the title indicates, it's devoted to recordings he produced between 1963 and 1965, an era in which his industriousness was something to behold given he was also recording many discs with his then-wife Tina, as well as extensively touring. Tina herself is the singer on a couple of these tracks, and the Ikettes are heard as a backup band on a few others. But for the most part, this material is performed by artists who never made a name for themselves, like Jimmy Thomas, Stacy Johnson, Bobby John, and Vernon Guy, though ex-R&B star Jackie Brenston (of "Rocket 88" fame) does a couple numbers. Only five of the cuts were released at the time, some others only showing up on archival compilations decades later, and over half the stuff making its first appearance ever on this disc. Though Ike Turner was undoubtedly a major figure in rock and soul music, this is ephemera when stacked against his primary accomplishments, and of most interest to rabid Ike collectors/enthusiasts. The sound is consistently gutsy and sometimes rawer than almost anything else in the bluesy R&B/rock groove at the time, and the singers usually perform with the kind of passion heard in artists hungry for a break. True to the location of some of the recordings, some of the selections have a more pronounced New Orleans feel than others. But the songs are for the most part just OK, and sometimes not too worked out, as you might expect from takes that often didn't even make it into the marketplace. There's some good playing from the Kings of Rhythm, but unless this is one of your favorite all-time kinds of music, the songs do start to roll by without making much in the way of separate impact. And the two Tina Turner tracks might have been throwaway outtakes, but she sings everyone else under the table on covers of Maxine Brown's hit "All in My Mind" and Eddie Boyd's blues classic "Five Long Years." It's more a listenable document to fill in the some of the background of Turner's resumé than a testament to his finer achievements, with some of the moodier Turner compositions that came out on 1963 singles (Vernon Guy's "You've Got Me [Just Where You Want Me]" and Stacy Johnson's "Remove My Doubts") also standing out in this crowd.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
feat: Jimmy Thomas
2:29
2 2:15
3
feat: Vernon Guy
1:46
4
feat: Bobby John
2:38
5 2:38
6 3:02
7 2:53
8 3:19
9
feat: Vernon Guy
2:00
10
feat: Vernon Guy
2:34
11
feat: Jimmy Thomas
3:52
12
feat: Jimmy Thomas
2:22
13
feat: Tina Turner
3:37
14 2:18
15
feat: Bobby John
2:35
16
feat: Bobby John
2:34
17 2:26
18
feat: Vernon Guy
2:17
19
feat: Jimmy Thomas
2:51
20
feat: Jimmy Thomas
2:10
21
feat: The Ikettes
2:15
22 2:31
23
feat: Tina Turner
2:15
24 3:44
25 2:17
26
feat: Vernon Guy
2:24
27
feat: Vernon Guy
2:36
blue highlight denotes track pick