Monday, June 13, 2011

Tina Turner - Hold On To What You Got


Tina Turner – Hold On To What You Got
2011, Philly West
Tina Turner’s career hasn’t been all about numbers, but the numbers are hard to ignore:  8 GRAMMY Awards and over 180 million albums sold.  Turner is one of the most successful female touring artists in the history of rock and roll; and while the Rock and Roll is more of a private club for denizens Jann Wenner’s personal record collection, Tina Turner’s induction is very much deserved.  Turner, born Anna Mae Bullock, rose to prominence as part of the Ike & Tina Turner Revue.  Tina Turner went solo in the mid-1970’s, splitting from husband Ike Turner and going it alone musically.  It took until 1984’s Private Dancer for Turner to catch on again.  But in the late 1970’s, Tina Turner recorded a song entitled “Hold On To What You Got”.  That recording was recently released, and is an incredible document of how vital a performer Turner remained even in the time between Ike & Tina Turner and her 1980’s revival.
The Queen of Rock N Roll brings the funk on “Hold On To What You Got”; her trademark voice ripping it up in classical style.  There’s a vibrant energy here that speaks of Turner’s earlier works with Ike Turner, but the incredible polish that became Turner’s trademark during the 1980’s is in evidence as well.  Turner is at her sexy best in a classic rockin’ R&B arrangement complete with horns and dazzling backing vocals.  Turner’s backing band is as tight as they come, and by all rights, this song would have begun her ascension back to the top of the pop charts early if it had been released early.
By today’s standards, the production on “Hold On To What You Got” is a bit lacking.  Listening to the MP3 is like listening to music on an AM radio in the late 1970’s.  This would have been a fair recording for the time frame, but it is surprising to find a single released in 2011 by a major recording artist to be handled in such haphazard fashion.  “Hold On To What You Got” is a tremendous archival recording of a once and future superstar in transition, documenting the quiet middle of a great career.  From that perspective it’s worth its weight in gold.  The recording/production quality is a novelty; a memorial to the days before pitch correction and digital remapping, when voice and talent were the ultimate barometers of success.  This is a must-have single.
Rating: 4 Stars (Out of 5)
Learn more about Tina Turner at http://www.tinaturnerlive.com/.  "Hold On To What You Got" is available digitally from Amazon.com and iTunes.