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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Private Dancer

Tina Turner

1984

Buy At Rough Trade
Private Dancer
Album Summary

Private Dancer is the fifth solo studio album by Tina Turner. It was released on May 29, 1984, through Capitol Records and was her first album released through the label. After several challenging years of going solo after divorcing Ike Turner, Private Dancer propelled Turner into becoming a viable solo star, as well as one of the most marketable crossover singers in the recording industry. It became a worldwide commercial success, earning multi-platinum certifications, and remains her best-selling album in North America to date. In 2020, the album was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Recording Registry for being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".

Wikipedia

Rating

3.25

Votes

11903

Genres

  • Pop
  • Rock

Reviews

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Fri May 21 2021
2

"WHO RUNS BARTERTOWN!?" TINA FUCKIN' TURNER, that's who! –– | –– I was dreading this album when I saw it come in last night. The '80s have a special place in my trashcan. I was relieved, however that the saxophone didn't make an entrance until track five—'Private Dancer' which I immediately hated. However, I think that if you can remove that wretched instrument from this song, you can find the beauty in the juxtaposition of Tina's strong, survive-at-all-costs voice singing those lyrics. A quick note on the saxophone. Byrd, Coletrane and James Bond– theyr're all great ... In the late '90's and early 2000's there was this belief that any crappy movie could be made better if only Sean Connery was in it. Studios figured this out and it worked for a bit until audiences eventually realized that Sean Connery equals suckfest, making him redundant and leaving us with movies like LXG. In the '80's the same thing happened with the saxophone. Anyway, Tina - an empirical 'YES!' The music backing up Tina... that's a harder sell. The flat drum machines, the stiff-lo-tech-robot percussion and errant guitar strum sprinkled through tracks is pure Connery. Is it possible to remix this without all that 80's baggage? If so, I'm on board. Just do me one favor and keep 'I Can't Stand the Rain.' Somehow, in ways I can't explain, this song just works as-is.

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Tue Aug 24 2021
2

An interesting and cool album. I’m not sure how much Tina Turner you’re supposed to consume at one time, but by the end of it I was feeling overwhelmed. Very aggressive. I can’t stand the rain is phenomenal.

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Sat Feb 26 2022
1

Thanks a lot, Ike Turner. I blame this on you. And don’t take my word for it, either. YouTube the Ike and Tina Turner Revue’s performance of just two songs: ‘Nutbush City Limits’ and ‘Proud Mary.’ Then, listen to 'Private Dancer,' and on the mega hit ‘What’s Love Got to Do with It’ when Tina sings, ‘Who needs a heart when a heart can be broken,’ that’s my heart she’s breaking with this awful, awful LP. Sure, it contains two other smash hits- ‘Better Be Good to Me,’ and ‘I Can’t Stand the Rain,’ as well as, I believe, a minor hit with the final title track. Sure, it was her big comeback following some lean years after her breakup with Ike. Sure it features one song written by David Bowie and another by Mark Knopfler, not to mention two guitar solos by Jeff Beck. Sure, it was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Recording Registry. But they’re all wrong. They’ve all made a terrible mistake. Bowie’s song, ‘1984,’ no doubt works when Bowie does it. At least I hope so, because Tina’s version was painful to listen to. Knopfler’s song, ‘Private Dancer,’ was more tolerable. At last until the interruption of a horrendously bizarre guitar solo, squealing like a cat with his tail pinched under a rocking chair; likewise on the song before, ‘Steel Claw.’ Two of the worst guitar solos I’ve ever heard. And then to discover they were played by Jeff Beck!!! Ohhh, who needs a heart when a heart can be broken? In spite of the fact that I do enjoy some of the 1980’s bands and their LPs, for the most part I hate with a burning hatred one general thing about 80s music: the drum sound. Following an upbringing in and adoration for the full, rich sound of acoustic drumming in the 60s and 70s (John Bonham is a great example) I simply cannot tolerate that tinny, trebly, crashing sound of the electronic drums of the 80s. Like the drums on 'Private Dancer.' I don’t really have much more to add, except for my own theory that the wounds she incurred from Ike seem to run like an underground current on the the entire first side! You listen and tell me if I’m wrong. On second thought, reverse my suggestion at the beginning of this review, and listen to 'Private Dancer' first. Relive whatever good memories you have from the year 1984. Then, YouTube the Ike and Tina Turner Revue and lament over what was and what could have been. '1001 LPs' personnel- you ‘better be good to me’ when you send me the next recording to review. My heart just can’t take another experience like this. ‘Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’ on a river. Do do do do dup do do do…’ (sigh)

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Fri May 21 2021
2

The musical instruments on this album are meaningless background noise. Tina’s voice is the main instrument and oh man is it powerful. Unfortunately the album is more than just her voice.

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Mon Sep 27 2021
1

Okay, Aunty Entity. Aunty Entity, okay. This record is painfully 80s. It's so 80s, it goes to work with a Lisa Frank trapper keeper tucked under its arm. It's a plastic imitation of real music with a rough coat of paint slapped over top to give it the impression of edginess. Not good.

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Mon Jan 25 2021
5

Love Anna Mae Bullock. Feisty, exciting, unique voice. Such energy and passion. Reminded me of the days when I could really dance the night away! Only wish I had had the chance to see her live back then. Her version of Help very evocative what it feels like to be getting older. Nice bit of sax too.

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Sun Mar 07 2021
5

I've heard the big hits, but never sit down and listened to Tina Turner. Not sure what to expect at all. Holy cow, this is good. Her voice is great and the songs allow her to showcase a full range of emotional power. The music is brashly 1980s with schmaltzy sax and synth. But it works really well, and the whole album rocks out, with little touches of funk, soul, R&B, etc. Even the cover songs (Beatles, Al Green, David Bowie) cohere with the album as a whole. 5/5, glad I gave this a chance!

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Mon May 24 2021
4

Great album overall. Some songs seem to blend together, but the standouts are great songs with so much replay value. The pop and rock genre are perfectly molded with Turner's vocals, creating a fresh and sweet sound that is sonically pleasing. The change of sound from her past songs is welcomed and at some points in the album, invited. Her raspy vocals still provide a strong and seamless album that is enjoyable to listen to.

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Wed Jun 16 2021
3

An incredilbe voice with identity and power... cruelly unwind by that horrible 80's production... the title song sucks and that guitar on steel claw sounds like a chihuahua in distress.

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Wed Feb 24 2021
2

It’s fine. Private Dancer and What’s Love Got To Do With It are the best songs. Tina’s voice is amazing, but the sound/music doesn’t really seem to age well.

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Tue Nov 01 2022
2

This album may be the 80s-ist album to ever 80s. At first, I thought I Might Have Been Queen was possibly the most 80s song I had ever heard, but then Show Some Respect came on to challenge it. Then I Can't Stand the Rain came on, and then Private Dancer...who will win the 80s crown? If you're a fan of every 80s music cliche, then YOU are the winner. Then again, with those covers of Help! and 1984 we all lose. The only saving grace is that at least Tina Turner has a great voice (but even she managed to sound bad on Help!).

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Fri Jun 25 2021
5

Never thought twice about Tina Turner. This album is a masterpiece.

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Sat Dec 11 2021
5

For me, this album is like Thriller - I'd never heard the album as a whole before, but I'd heard almost all the tracks as singles. It's fire! This is how you make a comeback. Tina mixes up new tracks that capture her newfound cougar status with well-picked covers. As well, the music is on trend with 80s synthpop but also lets her completely rock out. So many good tracks and such a solid album!

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Mon Mar 25 2024
4

Tina Turner - Private Dancer Tina's solo breakthrough. It has the hits on here but for me it falls victim of the 80s machine in regards to production. I get the love for this album, but it's not something I'll revisit. 4/5

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Fri Apr 19 2024
4

I think it's mostly good. That cover of Help brought out something ugly in me though.

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Mon Jun 21 2021
3

A great voice, but other than the hits, the rest is sort of forgettable. Tina is a fantastic singer, but I was kind of bored, especially with the bland music. Normally a 2 star from me, but her talent carries it to a 3.5/5.

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Tue Feb 08 2022
2

I love Tina Turner. Love her. I own many Tina Turner records. But it's the r'n'b and funk output of the 60s and 70s that really do it for me. I do not in any way begrudge her the massive success she found in the 80s as a solo artist. She wanted to make it as big as Bowie and the Stones, and she did. Because she is awesome. She really wrote the book on female rock performance, and is is one of the rock and roll greats of any gender. Full stop. And this is the album that really did it for her, pushing her into success in a way she never had before. But... what is required for mainstream success buffs off many of the edges that made her a really compelling force of nature. Many reviews refer to the slick production (Which it sure is, and terribly 80s, and not all of it has dated well) and her raspy voice. But I am familiar with her earlier material, and the rasp is downplayed quite a lot. She never really tears it up (although she gets closer on some of the b-sides). Seven hit singles from one album is a pretty amazing strike-rate, and she makes some otherwise middle-of-the-road material compelling. I love you, Tina, and I play your records all the time. Just not this one. (As a side note, I am getting a bit tired of 1001 albums throwing out albums because they are the commercial breakthrough, or big selling (particularly in the UK), but not necessarily the albums that was influential, ground-breaking or representative of what that artist really had to offer. This is a good case in point.)

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Tue Mar 15 2022
2

This album is a little too commercial for my liking. 1984 was prime time for Prince, The Smiths, Talking Heads, The Police, Eurythmics and others so there were lots of quality influences for someone looking to make a crossover. I'm glad that she was able to make some money at an age when breakthroughs aren't typical and I guess making a formula album was the ticket. If you don’t write your own music you need to take direction from whoever steps up to manage and fund the LP. She certainly knows how to sing. I'm impressed with her vocals on Let's Stay Together. Given how amazing Al Green sings the original very few will be brave enough to try to cover it. She pulls it off no problem. The vocals on Private Dancer start flat but come around by the end. The cover of Help is an interesting take and the sax solo is a neat touch. Aside from the fact Private Dancer was released in 1984, I can’t understand why she covered Bowie's song 1984. It’s not a good take and she didn't add anything interesting to it. I guess this was around the time she recorded her duet with him on Tonight. Her vocals on Tonight were quite good although they were mixed into the background in his studio album. Check out the version on Tina Live which is true co-lead vocals with HIM. The Beatles and Al Green cover are good but otherwise the album is lame probably because the programmed percussion and synths are kinda cheesy.

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Tue May 17 2022
2

I didn’t love it. The covers felt a bit uninspired and the whole album just didn’t feel like it was pushing any boundaries. Tina turner does have a great voice though. Maybe it’s just the instrumentation that felt a bit dated

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Mon Jul 18 2022
2

The album is a mix of pop rock and typical 80's synth. Tina Turner's voice is excellent but I think many of the songs fell flat. I'm surprised on how many songs are covers. Some individual songs like "What's Love Got to Do with It" and "Private Dancer" are 5/5 but others like the cover song of 1984 originally by David Bowie pales by comparison. The album as a whole is not that great.

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Thu May 20 2021
2

Out of the slot, down and dirty with a little kink in the gravel vocals that pop way higher than the drum machine or the syncopation of the brassy guitar. I mean when this dropped in '84, I was 8. So some of this is seminal, emotional music that still hits me so deep. When I hear her voice, I am right back there on the edge of my seat watching Mad Max or waiting for Mom's aerobics class to end. These early tracks are etched deep into the silicon of my motherboard. Her cover of Al Green is one that put me of two minds. The drum machine is not enough for this song. The synth falters. But her voice. It does carry. The Beatles cover on Help is sort of awful. Ball of confusion earns its name and hmm there are a bunch of songs in the middle that aren't good at all. I feel that all the way through the most of the end. This is one I want to fall in love with again, but just can't.

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Sat Dec 03 2022
2

This album is fraught with the bloat of 80’s production, bad arrangements and songwriting. Not all of the songs are bad, “I Might Have Been Queen” and “What’s Love Got to Do With It” in particular are favorites, I don’t mind the 80’s sound here. They kept it clean and simple. The extended version of “Private Dancer” was long winded for no reason, and this version of “Let’s Stay Together” seems like a weird ‘about face’ to the attitude of “I Might Have Been Queen”. Tina is a specific voice, a strong voice, but not a large voice like an Aretha (who had their own issues production wise at this time as well). Tina’s biggest strength is in live performance, this should have been a live album with all the greats, and far better originals and cover arrangements, and it would have been killer.

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Mon Jan 16 2023
1

So annoying. She’s got a powerful voice but I don’t enjoy this music in the slightest.

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Tue Jun 08 2021

I love her raw raspy voice and I'm curious how she would sound singing other genres or more contemporary music. I like her version of Al Greene's "Let's Stay Together" - such a great song; I could still do without the cheesy synthesizer sounds. It's hard to get past some of these 80's synthesizer and keyboard sounds - they make me start dancing really weird and jerky, and I feel cheesiness. However, I do love some 80's songs, like by The Cure or The Smiths, so sometimes I like those sounds. Maybe it's nostalgic? I didn't know that Missy Elliot had sampled her song, "I can't stand the rain" - that's such a good line/tune. Ooh we got some elevator music now. And "1984" sounds like it's from a musical and it's kinda chaotic - nope, don't like it.

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Wed Jul 21 2021
5

I always miss my Dad when I hear this album. The transformative power of music.

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Fri Jan 22 2021
5

A fantastic pop album that stands to this day with career defining songs from her well known comeback.

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Wed Feb 17 2021
5

Good ol Tina Turner stuff to get the body moving

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Mon Feb 08 2021
5

LOVED IT back in the day and today. < > Not the best running music though ;-)

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Tue May 18 2021
5

9/10. A couple of really good songs, and some other pretty good ones. My one complaint is that I really would have like "I Can't Stand the Rain" way more were it not for the weird sounds that reminded me of the Ghostbusters theme and really killed the mood.

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Wed Jan 27 2021
5

Numerous great songs and even the ones I didn't love were still good! No bad songs.

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Fri Jan 29 2021
5

Wasn’t in the mood, still great though

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Wed Mar 24 2021
5

Every one of these songs are incredible!

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Sat Feb 20 2021
5

An incredible album by an incredible woman! A perfect first challenge choice!

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Thu Apr 01 2021
5

She's incredible. Awesome songs, great Marvin cover!

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Fri May 21 2021
5

I forgot how much I like Tina’s voice. I wouldn’t skip any song on this album with the exception of 1984, which just made me laugh with how 80s it was (so maybe I wouldn’t skip that one either).

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Mon May 10 2021
5

proper boss mix of disco, soul, funk and rock. top album

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Tue Aug 17 2021
5

This album is pure energy in your ears for an all too short 50 minutes. Turner brings everything to a series of upbeat jams that are absolutely electric. Powerhouse ballad after powerhouse ballad. Her cover of Bowie's 1984 might... even... be better than Bowie's? That might be sacrilege but that's what I'm feeling right now. Days like this are when I am SO happy I found this website, and SO happy I have discovered so many all time great works of art.

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Wed Dec 08 2021
5

Pop-infused R&B with the likes of record powerhouse 'What's Love Got to Do with It', 'Private Dancer' (album) is soulful, profound, and tasteful. Tina Turner's commendable vocals is full-bodied and flavorful, geared for many genres - the uptempo rock records are upheld by Turner's stamina, while the smooth jazz and ballads retain her radiance. Casual listening promises an extremely effortless and gratifying listen; critical listening reveals a guaranteed above-average production and delivery.

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Tue Dec 14 2021
5

It's always amazing to hear Tina sing. What a legend. It's also always shocking to hear how much 'What's Love Got To Do With It' is an abuse song. 1984 really hits home about how not much has changed for being black in America. Sigh. Not sure if you all listened to the remastered version, but it includes a version of the Beatles 'Help' and a duet with David Bowie that are just beautiful.

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Mon Dec 27 2021
5

Proud Mary will come some day

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Mon Apr 11 2022
5

Wow. Full of hits on this and the sound was sometimes SO 1984 that it was wild. I loved this album and the covers were all great.

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Sun Apr 24 2022
5

In late 1984 on a long school trip I forgot to pack any extra cassettes for my Walkman knock-off. At a truck stop I perused the limited selection and saw a single copy of this album. On impulse I bought PRIVATE DANCER despite knowing very little about Tina Turner. This was not something I would have ever imagined adding my my collection. By the end of side one, the universe had assigned me my diva and I had met the musical love of my life. PRIVATE DANCER overflows with fire and passion. Every song on this album is a monster. The cover songs feel like completely new tracks as Tina works them into her style. The polished 80s production serves to highlight Tina’s raw, primal energy that still makes me stop what I’m doing to listen. PRIVATE DANCER is my musical cornerstone and likely the greatest album I will ever hear.

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Sun Apr 24 2022
5

A spectacular album that hits me right in the nostalgia bone.

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Sun Apr 24 2022
5

Simply the best! Oh wait, that’s a different album. But still…

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Sun Apr 24 2022
5

This is a masterpiece. Tina Turner reigns supreme. I am in awe.

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Mon Jun 20 2022
5

That was a pleasant surprise. Even the singles sounded better, not as produced. That cover of 1984 was excellent, paying homage to Bowie's version by going a little further than he did.

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Fri Aug 05 2022
5

Such an amazing album. Theres all kinds of history and reasons why this is an incredibly empowering album and a triumph for an artist as well, but the short version is that its just a fantastic album. 5/5

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Sat Aug 27 2022
5

Not many examples of rock and soul being fused so seamlessly, and the special sauce of course is Turner's truly one of a kind vocals. Pop masterpiece.

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Thu Sep 01 2022
5

My apologies Tina, I was not familiar with your game. I’m a slag for a poorly produced 80s Disco album. Best song: Let’s stay together Worst song: 1984

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Thu Sep 01 2022
5

Tina Turner is a great artist with such unique voice!

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Fri Sep 02 2022
5

Fuck it. Five stars. Masterpiece. Powerhouse.

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Fri Sep 02 2022
5

Tina!! Una artista de lujo, excelente album

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Sun Sep 11 2022
5

I was really surprised. Expected this to be cheesy 80s schlock and it wasn’t. Don’t get me wrong. It was 80s sounds, but not total cheese. I’m the right setting this is a really good listen.

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Thu Sep 15 2022
5

This album really grew on my with every listen. First 6 songs are all bangers and the others songs are quite good as well. Really liked Show some respect and I can't stand the rain. Funny to hear the Dire Straits influences on Private Dancer as well!

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Fri Sep 30 2022
5

Amazing - I'd forgotten how good this album is.

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Sat Oct 15 2022
5

It's one o already have. It is really good. The original songs are by and large all classics - 20 years into her career, she decided that somewhere between Prince and The Human League was a cool move. Could you imagine Oasis pivoting to post punk and PC music in 2010? It's a baller move, and it mostly works - only time and advances in electronic music have aged it a little. And all 4 covers are great choices. Help stripped back to become an accusation to those who did nothing to help her, Ann Peebles jazzed up with bleeps, and not the most obvious Bowie track. Should be a four because of the over quantised production, but my enjoyment of it gets it top marks!

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Mon Oct 24 2022
5

I've never heard this album in full, but I've heard the hits... hory shet what a lesson in 80s pop/rock. It's big, loud, confident, well produced and what a great performance. This is an easy 4, maybe even a 5.

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Thu Nov 10 2022
5

Another one of these perfect 80s albums that only got better over time. I like everything about it: TT's vocals, the strong song writing, the slick production, it is all simply perfect. Standout song is of course Better Be Good To Me. Best song of the 80s? It has these Miami Vice vibes - it is even better placed on that first classic MV soundtrack album (as with every song on that soundtrack).

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Fri Dec 16 2022
5

The production on these songs is so 80's, and I mean that in the best possible sense.

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Sat Jan 07 2023
5

Är väl nästan oförskämt om jag inte ger den här en femma. Vilken hitparad.

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Mon Jan 09 2023
5

Super 80's Vibes. Stellar voice.

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Thu Jan 26 2023
5

Never realized 1984 was a Bowie track written in the 70s for a George Orwell-themed musical. I'm surprised to say I think it's the weakest track on an excellent album.

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Sat Feb 25 2023
5

5/5 for tina’s vocals throughout. good songs mostly especially the singles. I recalled just how good What’s love got to do with it is. great sound on that track. Private dancer also great song.

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Tue Mar 14 2023
5

I love it but what’s live got to do with it?

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Thu Mar 30 2023
5

Very good, never listened to more than one song

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Tue Apr 11 2023
5

Great album.Not too long,almost every track is great and really shows off Tina tuners amazing vocals.The only track that felt a bit dated was 1984.

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Sun Apr 16 2023
5

Amazing powerhouse of an album from Tina Turner.

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Thu Apr 27 2023
5

YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES

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Wed May 03 2023
5

Never before have I intentionally listened to Tina Turner, she just happen to sing the background music of my youth. No wonder she is sampled by countless artists, no wonder this album is in the Library of Congress. This album contains elation, pride, hurt.... though she may not sing with the warmth of Whitney Houston, she sings with an emotion that is palpable and clearly inspired generations.

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Fri Jul 14 2023
5

Really solid album. A lot of great songs that I had totally forgotten about, but knew them as soon as the first notes played. Probably a 92-93, but I’ll give it a 5. 1984 is the only song that seems out of place. It isn’t very good. But it’s the last song.

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Fri Sep 15 2023
5

An electrifying come back album with great accompiament.

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Mon Nov 06 2023
5

I don’t know anything about Tina Turner but I think I love her now — 10/10

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Tue Nov 14 2023
5

Very 80s. I would put "What's Love Got To Do With It" at the top of the list of "most 80s songs ever". Lots of people might think that is a pejorative but I thought it was amazing. Tina's voice shines, but everything was fun, even when the songs were sad. Didn't much care for the "Help!" cover, but it was original and inventive.

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Wed Nov 22 2023
5

biased cause i grew up w/ tina turner but idc this is heat

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Wed Dec 20 2023
5

Tina is one of the all time greats. I remember when this album came out. It was a smash hit. Classic.

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Wed Dec 27 2023
5

This was great, Tina’s amazing.

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Wed Jan 10 2024
5

Excellent album with some great songs

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Mon Jan 15 2024
5

Tina is a legend. Unique person, unique voice. Great songs!

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Thu Jan 18 2024
5

Álbum bom demais, parecia que eu estava no carro dos meus pais a 15 anos atrás ouvindo 101.7

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