Superstar producer Phil Spector went to see Ike Turner. He told Ike that he wanted to record a song with Tina that would become a number one smash on the pop charts and break them bigger. However, Ike could have nothing to do with the recording. Ike agreed, provided his name was still on the record label, which led to the awkwardly phrased Ike & Tina Turner featuring Tina. The track, “River Deep—Mountain High,” was recorded over five sessions. At various times during the recordings, studio guests included Mick Jagger, Brian Wilson, and Dennis Hopper. After subjecting Tina to take after take, Spector finally got what he wanted. He knew he had a smash on his hands.
In the US, the single debuted on the Hot 100 at number 98. The following week it was up to number 94. The next week, number 93. Then number 88. And that was that. Its chart run was over. In the UK the record went to number 2, but that wasn’t enough to satisfy Spector, who retreated from music production for the next couple of years.
The late great Tina Turner was born on this date in 1939. Lots of Tina on today’s playlist.
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