Wednesday, December 27, 2006


IKE TURNER was one of those guitarists that you just knew who it was when he fired it up & let go – that high-pitched, upper-register, “biiiiiing” that he played on nearly every song was his signature, and it made for some pretty wild-ass early rock & roll as well. This collection of his various bands’ instrumentals from the 50s and 60s is chock-full of his patented whammy bar action, all overlaid on superb R&B-flavored rave-ups that are among the hallmarks of instrumental rock and roll. Most of the 1954-65 work is done with his band THE KINGS OF RHYTHM, with a few tracks originally credited to “ICKY RENRUT”, which got past me the first time I saw a song under that nom de plume on a comp, but duh, Renrut is Turner spelled backwards. They tackle some country, some barrelhouse-flavored jump blues, but mostly it’s packed with soulful, vivacious R&B that would fit in well at pretty much any party you chose to spin it at. The only bum note on the whole thing is the instrumental version of “It’s Gonna Work Out Fine”, the great IKE & TINA hit, because it actually substitutes a saxophone to replace Tina’s spoken call-and-response vocals, and it sounds flat-out ridiculous whether you’ve heard the original or not. But it’s a totally inspired package from ACE RECORDS otherwise, and one you might want to think about adding to your hipshakers collection if you haven’t already.


Anonymous said...

I don't have this, but have heard enough of these tracks to know this has got to be a strong one. Ike had such a go for the throat approach to both the tone and playing with his guitar and of course the rhythms are all very in the pocket.

luKe said...

You should also check out the "Trailblazer" CD on Charly Records. Ike Turner was an awesome talent and one of the true pioneers of rock 'n' roll. "Trailblazer" features the pre-Tina records that Turner waxed in 1956 and 1957 with his best vocalists, Jackie Brenston and Billy Gayles. Essential!