LONDON. – Tina Turner, who died at the age of 83, created many classic recordings with her winning combination of R&B, funk, rock and pop, all performed with her distinctive raw vocal power.
The songs trace her story from her unhappy partnership with first husband Ike to her 1980s comeback courtesy of a British synth pop group.
Here’s the pick of her most popular and best-loved hits.
- River Deep, Mountain High (1966)
Tina found success with Ike in 1960, and one of pop music’s masterpieces came her way six years later when producer Phil Spector asked to work with her.
Although the song was credited to the duo, Spector didn’t want the controlling Ike in the studio, and Tina was happy to work with someone else.
The record went to number three in the UK, but it flopped in the US. Radio DJs “said it wasn’t ‘black’ enough to be rhythm and blues, or white enough to be ‘pop’,” she said.
- Proud Mary (1971)
After this song was a hit for Credence Clearwater Revival in 1969, Ike and Tina transformed their unhurried country-rock vibe into an explosive and epic funk ode to freedom.
It reached number four in the Billboard chart and won a Grammy Award.
- Nutbush City Limits (1973)
“A church house, gin house/a school house, outhouse” – Tina famously immortalised her Tennessee home town in these lyrics.
Three years after this song came out, Tina left Ike after suffering years of his abuse, leaving her career in the balance.
- Let’s Stay Together (1983)
Tina had to start again and build herself back up as a solo artist.
Al Green’s Let’s Stay Together became her first UK top 10 hit for a decade.
- What’s Love Got to Do With It (1984)
She cemented her status as a solo star with this song, written by Terry Britten and Graham Lyle, which had already been offered to Sir Cliff Richard, Donna Summer and Bucks Fizz. Tina initially thought it was too light and poppy.
- Private Dancer (1984)
The title track from the best-selling album was first recorded by Dire Straits, having been written by the band’s frontman Mark Knopfler.
The song features Jeff Beck on guitar, while the video, filmed in London’s Rivoli Ballroom, was choreographed by former Strictly Come Dancing judge Arlene Phillips.
- We Don’t Need Another Hero (1985)
Another track penned by Britten and Lyle, this song – and Tina herself – appeared in the Mel Gibson film Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome.
- The Best (1989)
The song is often mistakenly called Simply The Best, a line from its famous chorus. It’s been featured in numerous commercials over the years, including a Pepsi ad featuring Turner herself. It was also used to promote rugby league in Australia.
- Steamy Windows (1989)
This was also on Turner’s 1989 album Foreign Affair, and the sultry bluesy track’s lyrics left listeners in little doubt as to what was going on in the back seat.
It was another empowering and feminist track from Turner, singing about taking the lead in a sexual encounter.
- GoldenEye (1995)
A James Bond theme is a milestone for any artist. Following the success of Tina’s Oscar-nominated 1993 biopic What’s Love Got to Do With It, the Bond producers called on her for Pierce Brosnan’s debut as 007.
The GoldenEye theme itself was written by U2’s Bono and The Edge. The frontman gave her a demo of sorts – but she had a lot of work to do. – BBC.