As 1968 rolled around, Ike and Tina had been performing as the “Ike & Tina Turner Revue” since the early 60s, doing tons of television appearances but they were only treading water, especially in America. Their luck had started to change in England in 1966 when they had a big hit on their hands in the UK thanks to producer Phil Spector and the song “River Deep – Mountain High” (written by Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich—the prolific husband and wife songwriting team who gave us, among other earwigs, “Da Doo Ron Ron.”). Though Ike is credited on “River Deep – Mountain High,” he was allegedly paid $20,000 by Spector to fuck off during the session which according to Tina was about as much fun as “carving furniture.” Spector considers the song to be his single greatest achievement, but when the single didn’t do that much in the U.S. this is what seemed to prompt his withdrawal from the music industry. That didn’t stop the Rolling Stones from tapping the Revue to open a dozen shows for them during their British tour that same year. (Where do you think Mick got his moves from? Tina Turner and Inez Foxx!)
Still, the Revue was still technically without a hit in the U.S. Undaunted, Ike, Tina and the band would take up a residency in Las Vegas. They also recorded a few albums that year and in 1969 including, The Hunter, which would yield a Grammy nomination for Tina for her vocal work on the title track. Ike would also get a Grammy nod in the Best Rhythm & Blues Instrumental Performance category for his record A Black Man’s Soul while leading his other funky outfit, Ike Turner & The Kings of Rhythm. At the end of 1969, the busy Revue was touring yet again with The Rolling Stones.
Here’s a clip of Tina’s absolutely incendiary performance of Otis Redding’s “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long” taken from Gimme Shelter documentary.
Much more Ike & Tina after the jump…