Tina Turner

Private Dancer

Song Review by

Dire Straits' Mark Knopfler originally wrote "Private Dancer" around the time of his band's Love Over Gold album, and the seven-plus-minute song would have been an excellent addition to that album's worth of long, slowly unfolding songs, adding a dash of the pop sense of Making Movies and hopefully relegating the jokey "Industrial Disease" to a B-side. However, Knopfler decided at the last minute that he didn't feel comfortable singing a song from a female perspective -- much less in the character of a prostitute -- and bequeathed the song to Tina Turner, who made it the title track and climax of her 1984 comeback album. (Ironically, although the rest of Dire Straits is the backing band on this track, Knopfler doesn't appear at all; that's Jeff Beck performing a solo in Knopfler's familiar, restrained style.) Given room to build tension throughout the extended song, Turner starts quietly, almost conversational, climaxing with a masterful performance on the bridge at the song's heart, until she shrieks the line "Tell me, do you want to see me do the shimmy again?" with just as much visceral force as she had managed on "River Deep Mountain High" nearly two decades before. Although mono-named producer Carter (the Motels, etc.) lacks the elegant grace that Knopfler's own production would have brought to the recording, he does a serviceable job of mimicking the Dire Straits sound.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Private Dancer 1984 Capitol 7:13
No Image 1985 Pioneer 0:00
Best of 1980-1990, Vol. 2 1990
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 4:04
Simply the Best 1991 Capitol / EMI Records 4:02
Ladies of the 80's, Vol. 2 [Import] 1994
Various Artists
Heart & Soul, Vol. 3: Heart Full of Soul 1994
Various Artists
Pro 4:03
The Collected Recordings: Sixties to Nineties 1994 Capitol / EMI Records 7:11
Greatest Hits [Cema] 1994 7:13
Rock of the '80s, Vol. 4: Modern Girls 1996
Various Artists
EMI-Capitol Special Markets / Cema Special Ma 4:03
Wildest Dreams 1996 Parlophone / Virgin 0:00
Twogether Love 2002
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 3:59
Oldies But Goodies: 80's Pop, Vol. 1 2003
Various Artists
Original Sound Entertainment 7:12
All the Best 2004 EMI Music Distribution 4:03
All the Best: The Hits 2005 Capitol 4:02
Let's Hear It for the Girls 2006
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 4:00
Tina! 2008 Parlophone / Warner Music 0:04
Love Songs 2014 Atlantic / Elektra / Parlophone / Rhino / Warner Music 4:05