Tina Turner at 80: Simply her best songs ever

26 November 2019, 09:08 | Updated: 26 November 2019, 09:11

Tina Turner
Picture: Getty

By Tom Eames

She is known as the Queen of Rock 'n Roll for a reason...

Tina Turner is one of the most successful singers of all time, thanks to her unique blend of R&B, soul, pop and rock music, with a career that has lasted for many decades.

On the day that she celebrates her 80th birthday, here are just a handful of Tina Turner classics for a perfect playlist...

  1. 'Let's Stay Together'

    This cover of the Al Green classic was produced by the synthpop group Heaven 17, and gave Tina a much-needed comeback single in 1983.

    It became her biggest solo hit at the time, and was a slightly bigger hit than Al's original in the UK.

  2. 'Goldeneye'

    This was the theme tune to the 1995 James Bond movie of the same name, starring Pierce Brosnan.

    The song was written specially for Tina by Bono and the Edge from U2, when they learned that she had been invited to sing the theme.

  3. 'Nutbush City Limits'

    This is a semi-autobiographical song written by Tina about her rural hometown of Nutbush, Tennessee.

    It was released shortly before her separation from then-husband Ike Turner, and was the last hit single they produced together.

  4. 'The Best'

    If you want a positive feel-good power anthem, look no further than this.

    Bonnie Tyler actually recorded the original version, but Tina scored the bigger hit with a cover a year later in 1989.

  5. 'River Deep - Mountain High'

    This is considered one of producer Phil Spector's best ever songs, thanks to his unique 'Wall of Sound' technique.

    Spector was aware of Ike Turner's controlling attitude in the studio, and he came up with an unusual contract, the album and single would be credited to 'Ike & Tina Turner', but Ike was paid $20,000 to stay away from the studio, with only Tina's vocals being used on the record.

  6. 'Proud Mary'

    Creedence Clearwater Revival first recorded this song in 1969, but it is arguably better known for Tina's cover versions.

    In 1970, she first covered with with her husband Ike, transforming it into a funk soul rocker.

    She later re-recorded it for the 1993 movie What's Love Got to do With It, and it has become one of her signature songs.

  7. 'Private Dancer'

    This song was originally intended for Dire Straits' album Love over Gold. An instrumental track was recorded, but Mark Knopfler considered the lyrics too unsuitable for a male singer, so it was cut.

    It became a huge hit for Tina in 1984, with a music video that features a young Arlene Phillips.

  8. 'What's Love Got to Do with It'

    This song ended up becoming Tina's most successful song ever, and was taken from her 1984 album Private Dancer.

    It was later used in the 1993 film of the same name, based on Tina's life.

    Amazingly, it was first offered to Cliff Richard, who rejected it. It was also given around to Phyllis Hyman, Donna Summer and even Bucks Fizz. The Fizz even recorded a version but it was shelved as Tina got hers out first.

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