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sexta-feira, 9 de abril de 2010

Wildest Dreams 1996/97 Era: Legs

Wildest Dreams 1996/97 Era: Virgin's Turner brings her 'Dreams' to U.S. (Virgin Records; Tina Turner)(Artists & Music) Billboard's Complete Article

Virgin's Turner brings her 'Dreams' to U.S. (Virgin Records; Tina Turner)(Artists & Music)

Billboard; 8/10/1996; Sexton, Paul

Virgin Records is preparing for the US release of Tina Turner's 'Wildest Dreams' album on Sep. 3, 1996, following the success of its European tour which ran from May to Dec. 1996. The Apr. 1996 release of the said album in Europe also posted sales of 1.5 million copies. Although Turner's albums have only had mild successes since 1984, the pop and soul artist believes that 'Wildest Dreams' will suit American taste. The album's US version boasts of a different packaging than the other versions. Virgin is also banking on a promotional tie-in with Hanes Corp. to boost album sales.

LONDON - When her huge European tour came to Cologne July 27, German audiences became the latest to buy into the seemingly never-ending phenomenon of Tina Turner.

Thirty-six years after her recording debut, European dates on the legendary singer's exhaustive Wildest Dreams tour began May 3 in Paris and will run until December, by which time she will have played to an estimated 2.5 million people. This follows last April's release across Europe of her Parlophone album of the same name, which has had estimated sales there of 1.5 million copies.

Such is Turner's status as a superstar member of the European music community that she has made her home here, with houses in Switzerland and France. But as Virgin Records prepares for the U.S. release of the album Sept. 3, Turner is relishing the prospect of taking her sophisticated blend of fifty something pop and soul back home.

"What I've done so far [in my solo career] in America is to give them good quality music," she says. "You have to leave it up to America to see what they're going to take. Their taste is not flexible; they stick with a theme, a style of music. I'm not a rapper, I'm not a Janet Jackson-style artist, I'm not a Whitney Houston or Mariah Carey type of person. But I think this music has a chance in America."

Invigorated by the typically tumultuous responses to her spectacular live shows across Europe, she adds, "I'm a performer first, and once you see an album performed, it makes a difference. Once people take time to really listen to it, they'll have a memory of it being performed onstage."

Tony Wadsworth, U.K. managing director of Parlophone, says the label has already seen some instant results from Turner's British dates, the first of which was June 30 at Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh, Scotland. "We've been able to roll the campaign around the tour geographically," he says, "and that has worked very well indeed. Over the past two weeks, we've sold another 50,000-60,000 albums in the U.K. alone."

The U.S. version of "Wildest Dreams" is being "repackaged completely" from the version out in other markets, according to Turner's manager, Roger Davies. Her U.S. tour is still 10 months away: It is scheduled to begin in May 1997, following dates in Australia in the new year, and will run until September.

In the meantime, Virgin has the benefit of a major promotional tie-in: Turner has been selected as the spokeswoman for a Hanes pantyhose TV campaign, which launches this September and has a budget of $20 million. Hanes will also sponsor the 1997 U.S. tour. Says Turner of the campaign: "It's really quite different and enjoyable, and it adds a little bit more [to] going back to America. And it's a new way of introducing myself to an audience."

Her cover of John Waite's "Missing You" (her current U.K. single, due out in Europe in late August) will be released in the U.S. as the first pop single on Monday (5). This track is featured in the Hanes campaign, images of which are reflected in the new artwork for the American album. "Missing You," the fourth U.K. release from the album, debuted on the U.K. singles chart at No. 12 for the week ending July 27.

The new package also features a different version of "In Your Wildest Dreams," on which Turner shares vocals with soul giant Barry White. The track "The Difference Between Us," removed at the 11th hour from the original album, will also be added, with production by its writing team, C&A and De La Soul. R&B radio is being serviced with a revamped version of "Something Beautiful Remains," featuring new production by format star Joe, although this version is not on the U.S. album.

The stellar lineup of contributors to "Wildest Dreams" also includes writers Sheryl Crow and U2's Bono and the Edge; a guest vocal by Sting on "On Silent Wings"; and producers the Pet Shop Boys, Nellee Hoeper, and Trevor Horn, who has remixed "Whatever You Want," the second European single, for the album's new version. A special edition of "Wildest Dreams" will be released in the U.K. and continental Europe in September and will consist of the original album plus a bonus CD containing the additional U.S. tracks.

Phil Quartararo, Virgin Records president/CEO (U.S.), says the revamped album is "probably more suited to America than anything Tina's made in 10 years. I believe that the strategic combination with the Hanes campaign means that we've got the strongest possible chance of taking her to a new audience." He also enthuses about the planned broadcast in September of a "60 Minutes" segment on Turner.

"I wanted to extend myself," says the singer about the album project. "I didn't want to sound like myself. I'm known basically from my R&B roots, and I made a change with the 'Private Dancer' album. I've tried to make every album since then an album of quality. For listening, these songs sound great."

Twelve years ago, when Turner was signed to Capitol, the U.S. market was a vital part of the overwhelming success of Turner's "comeback" record, "Private Dancer," which went five times platinum in America, part of an estimated 11 million in worldwide sales. Since then, despite all her Grammy Awards, successful film ventures, and tours, her albums have had diminishing returns in the U.S. while remaining tremendously robust in other territories.

"Break Every Rule" (1986) was platinum in the U.S.; her last regular studio album, "Foreign Affair" in 1989, went gold there. The 1991 compilation "Simply The Best," which topped the charts in 12 countries and sold 4 million copies worldwide, peaked on The Billboard 200 at No. 113. Turner came to Virgin in 1993 with the soundtrack to "What's Love Got To Do With It," the film based on her autobiography, "I, Tina."

"Roger [Davies] and I have been friends for many years," says Quartararo. "For whatever reason, he asked if [the soundtrack] could be on Virgin in America. The result was that 'I Don't Wanna Fight' was the biggest song she's had in America for 10 years. That song has given us a plateau to build on, and I think we have a better springboard for Tina in August 1996 than possibly she's ever had in her career."

Davies says Turner was a natural choice for the Hanes campaign. "She's famous for her legs," he says.

The TV commercial was filmed in March. For Turner, the Hanes project "is coming at a perfect time. It's a promotional thing, but it's also musical."

Davies, widely credited with reviving the singer's career after she had descended from her glories in the '60s with ex-husband Ike and was playing the cabaret circuit, says, "I said to Virgin, 'Here's the album. Do whatever remixes and changes you feel you need to make [for North America].' If you originate any album out of Europe, America is going to want to change it, either with remixes, changing the cover, or whatever. I'm happy to have them do that; then they don't have any excuse if it doesn't work."

"Tina's a huge celebrity in the States," adds the Australian-born, Los Angeles-based Davies. "She's an icon over there - everybody knows Tina Turner, and she's had a movie made about her." He also points to a highly successful series of dates in the U.S. at the time of the film's appearance, including seven nights at Radio City Music Hall in New York and six nights at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles. "But you're only as hot as your current record," he adds, "and radio changes all the time."

"Wildest Dreams" was previewed outside North America by "Goldeneye," Turner's theme song from the last James Bond movie, which became a top 10 hit in the U.K. and many other European territories last November but failed to reach Billboard's Hot 100 Singles chart and reached only No. 89 on the Hot R&B Singles chart.

"That's water under the bridge," says Quartararo. "It didn't connect for a variety of reasons. But people perceive Tina in an upward momentum."

James Curran, head of music at Scot FM in Leith, Scotland, says, "We target the 25-45 age group, and she's very much a core artist for that age group. She played in Edinburgh recently [at Murrayfield Stadium], and that really has brought her much further back into focus. That'll have a knock-on effect not just with singles but the album as well, which got off to a slow start. After that performance, no one can fault her. She's a bit of a legend, and there's very few of them left."

Rod MacLennan, senior chart buyer for the 270-store Virgin Our Price chain, says of the retail performance of "Wildest Dreams," "Initially, sales seemed disappointing, and we thought it was in danger of slipping away. But it's held up really well; it's climbed due to the activity of the new single and the tour, and now we're looking at a long-term seller."

As Turner views the long road that stretches ahead for the next year, filled with arena and stadium dates, she says she misses little about the club circuit on which she cut her teeth as a performer. "Someone else asked me if I missed that. I said, 'Are you kidding?' I worked all my life to pack these stages. I don't think I want to go back."

As for any suggestion of retiring, she has learned never to say never again. "I don't know when I'll ever stop recording," she says. "I still think the time will come when I won't be doing these type of tours, but I'll never trap myself into saying, 'This is the last one' again."

Wadsworth notes that Parlophone U.K. is considering "Something Beautiful Remains" as a U.K. single for November. "There's a whole series of contenders [for future singles]," he says, adding with a smile, "This project's got legs."

COPYRIGHT 1996 VNU Business Media

Wildest Dreams 1996/97 Era: Smile!

quarta-feira, 7 de abril de 2010

Tina Live 2008/09 Era: Tina!

Private Dancer 1984/85 Era: Grammy Awards (1985)

Private Dancer 1984/85 Era: Tina Turner turns a page in the evolution of pop-soul (NY Times Album Review)



Published: August 26, 1984

''Private Dancer'' (Capitol ST 12330), Tina Turner's first solo album in many years, is a landmark not only in the career of the 45-year-old singer who has been recording since the late 1950's, but in the evolution of pop-soul music itself. An innovative fusion of old-fashioned soul singing and new wave synth-pop, ''Private Dancer'' caps several years of struggle to find a recording contract by a singer who was considered by many to be an over-the-hill oldies entertainer.

In a year that has seen black music dominated by flashy young androgynes like Michael Jackson and Prince and by electronic ''hip-hop'' records prodding teen-age breakdancers to turn themselves into spinning tops, Miss Turner has made an album that proudly exploits the ravages of time on a voice that was never smooth to begin with. Like Billie Holiday in her later years, she conveys a wounded but indomitable sensuality as she interprets current songs about the darker and more desperate aspects of love, money, and emotional and physical need. And the fact that the album has reached the top 10 on the pop album charts and number 1 on the black album chart shows that there's still a large record-buying public for mature pop-soul. ''Private Dancer,'' which Miss Turner recorded in England with several different producers, is the first time that the singer has seriously probed beneath her familiar caricature of a sexually voracious rock giantess. That image, which she and her ex-husband, Ike, popularized in smuttily explicit introductions to ''Proud Mary,'' culminated in Miss Turner's memorable portrayal of the Acid Queen in the movie ''Tommy.''

From then on, Miss Turner was stuck in the role of a devouring rock superwoman, using the gospel-based Southern soul music she'd grown up with as the basis for performances that mixed steamy caterwauling vocals with burlesque show humor. Strutting about the stage like an exhibitionistic streetwalker, flaunting a campy sexual challenge and singing with a raucous abandon, Miss Turner seemed to have settled into a comfortable niche as the Mae West of rock and roll.

But with her English producers, Miss Turner has discarded many of those Southern soul trappings - blaring horns, frenzied percussion and gospel calls and responses - in favor of cool synthesized arrangements that silhouette the singer's physical and emotional heat against a chilly orchestral backdrop. At the same time she has softened her cartoonlike sex goddess pose. While the new album's haunting title song, written by Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits, is about a prostitute, Miss Turner doesn't turn it into a typical erotic boast. The narrator is a ''private dancer'' so alienated from her work that the customers she services no longer seem human. Murmuring the first verse and chorus in a deep, dreamy tenor, then taking the song up an octave and abruptly switching to a tone of defiant declamation, Miss Turner creates a whole character - a scheming businesswoman whose hard shell protects a surprisingly conventional inner life. It is a beautifully realized dramatic performance.

In the album's biggest hit, ''What's Love Got to Do With It,'' written by Terry Britten and Graham Lyle, Miss Turner portrays a similar character - a wounded romantic who denies much too strenuously that a budding relationship is based on anything but sexual attraction. As on the album's title song, this performance begins on a note of cool composure and builds in passion and in defensiveness, as the singer scoffs at love as ''a sweet old fashioned notion.''

Miss Turner's frayed timbre and raw directness also help her to turn two early 70's soul hits - Al Green's ''Let's Stay Together'' and Ann Peebles's ''I Can't Stand the Rain'' - into chilling cries of emotional need. ''Let's Stay Together'' is a particularly compelling performance, because the kind of woman Miss Turner's big, rough voice suggests is a tower of strength, yet she sings the song close to tears, pleading for a security that she already has.

The ambivalent psychological portraits Miss Turner creates in these ballads help to give her tougher uptempo vocals on ''Show Some Respect'' and ''Better Be Good to Me'' an extra resonance. And in her hard, growling rendition of ''Steel Claw,'' a rock and roll raveup narrated by another prostitute - one who can't afford the luxury of a protected inner life - the singer serves up a cold hard slice of inner city realism.

''Private Dancer'' is the first pop record to show that English synthesizer pop - the medium of Culture Club, Eurythmics, Spandau Ballet and other groups that use electronic keyboards in an orchestral way - can be adaptable for more grown-up pop styles. Especially on the title song and ''What's Love Got to Do With It,'' the production has a cinematically descriptive quality that recalls the bleaker film music of Bernard Herrmann. At the same time, ''Private Dancer'' acknowledges the singer's heritage and mystique. ''I Might Have Been Queen,'' a fascinating pop-funk song about reincarnation, pointedly evokes Miss Turner's lustier days, with its references to a river that won't stop, and in ''Show Some Respect,'' Miss Turner offers a spunky vocal tribute to Otis Redding.

The album's sophisticated aural ambiance presents an alternative and a challenge to the high-gloss Los Angeles studio pop made by producers like Quincy Jones, Michael Omartian and Giorgio Moroder. Where these Hollywood high-tech craftsmen enjoy flaunting sound effects that conjure up science-fiction thrills and chills, the arrangements for the best cuts on ''Private Dancer'' serve the singer and the song by distilling the perfect psychological atmosphere for telling a story. And although she didn't write the songs on ''Private Dancer,'' Miss Turner's singing gives them a ring of personal truth. The portrait of Tina Turner that emerges on ''Private Dancer'' is of a passionate, self-knowing woman who has come through the fire, cognizant in the ways of the world, her spirit undefeated.

sábado, 3 de abril de 2010

Tina Live 2008/09 Era: Tina's return to the stage! Part 2

Tina Live 2008/09 Era: Tina's return to the stage!

Early Solo Career: Late 70's

Ike & Tina Era: Early-to-Mid 60's

Ike & Tina Era: Mid-to-Late 60's

Ike & Tina Era: Early 70's

Ike & Tina (Acid Queen 1975 Era): Tina Turner, the New Acid Queen, Turns Down the Voltage for a Solo Career Sans Ike (Article)

* May 05, 1975
* Vol. 3
* No. 17

Tina Turner, the New Acid Queen, Turns Down the Voltage for a Solo Career Sans Ike
By Robert Windeler

Only a very dumb honkie dares to share a show anymore with Tina Turner. She has a way of making song-and-dance partners, even the likes of Mick Jagger and Ann-Margret, seem as bland as Nelson Eddy and Jeannette MacDonald. When Tina hits a stage, it is in full scream, amid a flash of strobes, flying wig and gyrating thighs, and it may be as long as 90 minutes before the devil will let her stop.

Between gigs, though, Tina has heretofore always played submissive housewife (and mother of four) to husband and co-star Ike Turner. He was, after all, the creator of the Ike and Tina Turner Revue, and long ruled it with an iron guitar. In fact only now, after a remarkably durable 15-year joint career, has Tina suddenly begun to break out into properties of her own. But if it all sounds like the Sonny-and-Cher saga soul-style, the newly liberated Tina is not busting up either the act or the marriage.

Her splashiest solo venture so far is in the rock-opera movie smash Tommy. Though on screen for less than 10 minutes in the role of the Acid Queen, she did more to reawaken the autistic hero—and most reviewers—than any other of the film's panoply of superstars. Tina's most improbable metamorphosis, however, is in her music. In Tina Turns the Country On, her first album neither backed up nor produced by Ike, she has gone city-billy, crooning the works of Kris Kristofferson, Bob Dylan and Hank Snow. And increasingly, as she hits the TV-talk-and-variety-show circuit as a single, Tina is into ballads and out of her trade-marked go-go gold-meshed miniskirts. "I want to look pretty," she explains, adding improbably for showbiz's No. 1 mover and shaker, "and stand still."

Partially, the changing image is in realistic recognition of her age. Tina claims to be only 35 and explains, "Most people think I'm 50, because I've been in business so long." Originally Annie Mae Bullock of Nutbush, Tenn., Tina migrated in her teens to St. Louis, where she first bumped into Isaac Turner. He was born 43 years ago in Clarksdale, Miss., took up piano at 6 and then moved on to Memphis where he learned the blues from Sonny Boy Williamson and Howlin' Wolf and remembers meeting Elvis Presley when he was still driving trucks. Ike then became a local hit in St. Louis with his formative rhythm-and-blues group, the Kings of Rhythm. Tina began hanging around, and one night, she remembers, "I jumped up on stage, took a mike and started singing along." They produced a quickie hit, A Fool in Love, and at a slower pace four sons: Ike Jr., now 17; Craig, 16; Ronnie, 15; and Michael, 14.

In 1963, Ike and Tina rounded out their roadshow with their first trio of teeny-Tinas, the Ikettes. Tina dismisses reports that the Ikettes, scores of whom have come and swung through the revolving door over the years, are a floating harem for Ike by pointing out that she runs the final audition. "Ike's been the only man in my life since high school," she says, though he has never gone out of his way to issue any flip side of that statement. (If there is any real threat of split between the Turners, it is over his heavy gambling in Vegas.)

During the 1960s, the 15-member Turner revue toured everywhere from roadhouses to Carnegie Hall and cut a half-dozen albums on just as many record labels, while the gifted, hard-driving Ike searched for the right formula. Though their singles like the Phil Spector-produced River Deep, Mountain High were smashes in England, American deejays could not decide where to play them since, as Tina puts it, "We were hitting between R&B and rock." Their big breakthrough came at the end of the decade when the Rolling Stones booked them as a warm-up act. Since then Ike and Tina have reversed the old formula of white pop groups "covering" (cashing in on) black songs. Their classic 12-minute version of Creedence Clearwater Revival's Proud Mary won a Grammy in 1971, and they also scored with Beatles' hits like Come Together.

Ike, the compulsive musicman, hangs out most days and into the night in the recording studio they own in Inglewood, a mile from their suburban L.A. home in View Park. There, Tina says, she lets down her wig, and when the housekeeper's not around, "I clean the house and make a good Creole gumbo." Ruefully she adds that "I'd like to have a couple more children. I didn't raise these four—housekeepers did that. I just gave them birth."

To some extent, Tina regards Ike as her fifth "almost helpless kid. I don't want Ike to feel like I'm leaving him behind," she says. "But I've always been in there helping him and now, in Tommy, I've learned I can do things without him. Ike'll be proud," she figures, "but he's gonna miss me."

sexta-feira, 2 de abril de 2010

Tina Live 2008/09 Era: Forever!

Tina Live 2008/09 Era: Tina at the United Center (Windy City Times Concert Review)


Bent Nights: Tina Turner at the United Center

by Vern Hester


Everybody loves an underdog. Take Michael Phelps. The eight gold Olympic medals hanging around his neck have made the 6'4' swimmer with the protruding ears and drunken altar-boy grin the hottest dude-babe on the planet. But the all-time underdog title goes to Tina Turner, the ultimate hard-luck story with a happy ending. Nutbush Tenn., Ike Turner, the 60's chitlin circuit, the smash comeback, the multiple Grammys, the hit Oscar-nominated movie of her life, the tons of platinum records, the friendship with Oprah and the record-breaking concert attendences: It's a rags-to-riches cliché. But Turner is such a vivid personality and presence that she makes the cliché something entirely new.

Now, at age 67, she's at the start of her ( supposed ) final tour. With much of the U.S. half sold-out [ they're adding dates where they can ] and every seat on the Europeon leg long gone, Turner is hot all over again. With zero advertising, no new recordings, no renewed interest, no press build up, this last hoohah is one of the only arena shows this year that's already headed into the black. ( Big-ticket acts like George Michael, R.E.M. and Janet Jackson couldn't sell out a single night at either the United Center or the Allstate Arena while Turner has nearly sold out both for three nights. With a higher ticket price, Madonna will top Tina's gross but Tina will play to a far larger audience ] .

The new show, held Oct. 4, was a blatant 'greatest hits' bash: more polished, choreographed, glitzed up, blown up than anything I've ever seen her in. In fact, it was so polished that the sheen nearly cancelled out Tina's unique roughhouse charm. But the important questions: Did she look great? ( Yes... ) Did she burn down the house? ( In spots... ) Was it worth it? ( Well... )

The first half got off to a chugging start with Steamy Windows and Typical Male, but Turner didn't let loose until River Deep Mountain High. River Deep was exhilarating to 'experience' this time because you couldn't escape the fact that she originally recorded it in 1966 up against Phil Spector's 'Wall of Sound.' So, 42 years later against the thunder of her own band and the hollow acoustics of the cavernous United Center, she still hit those gargantuan notes with jaw-dropping power. Her intensity scared the hell out of the little kid sitting next to me. Then came the stuffing. Four acrobatic dancers got into a balletic streetfight and the whole bit didn't make sense until the band rumbled into the Who's Won't Get Fooled Again. Turner came out in a shrieking red cape and had fun with Acid Queen from Tommy but, then, more stuffing. For We Don't Need Another Hero, Turner—in a sequined version of her Aunty Entity costume and what looked like a poofed-up Jayne Mansfield wig—looked like a linebacker in drag. The barrage of film clips, dancers and her get-up cut the drama of the song to the quick.

Fortunately the second half got back on track, i.e., it focused on her. A seated acoustic Let's Stay Together brought the volume and tone to a warm intimate level. A piano-driven I Can't Stand the Rain was all hardened church soul and even better than the original. Just Turner with her band turned all the flash into high-end clutter. Still, that last half is what got that crowd in the United Center in the first place: Turner cutting up. Addicted to Love was a brutal vamp with her strutting those legs in a mini and wielding the smirky sarcastic lyrics like a switchblade. By the time she got into Proud Mary, people started filing out—which was a shame. If anyone ever wondered why Turner was ever such a big deal for 50 years, Proud Mary is it. It was a smash-up of gut-bucket southern soul slammed into the new century with glam, New Wave sheen and the life-affirming fury of a survivor. I daresay that it's one for the ages.

So can we expect more from her anytime soon? I guess it's too much to ask. But if it ever happens, it would be a beautiful thing—if Turner came back with just a rock-and-roll band, some snappy minis, her attitude and her sassy self.

Foreign Affair 1989/90 Era: Foreign Affair European 1990 Tour

Break Every Rule 1986-88 Era: Break Every Rule 1987/88 World Tour

Private Dancer 1984/85 Era: Private Dancer 1985 World Tour

Early Solo Career: Late 70's

Ike & Tina Era: Mid-to-Late 60's

Tina Live 2008/09 Era: Timeless Tina

Tina & Beyonce: Grammy Awards Performance (2008)

Tina at the Armani Fashion Show (2008)

Private Dancer 1984/85 Era: Live Aid Concert (1985)