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  1. #1

    Ike & Tina Turner - I Am A Motherless Child



    I wonder if I&TT ever did this song live? Probably not. Their shows were always uptempo rock and roll for the most part lol

    Tina was credited with writing this song and it would make sense knowing her background, which no child should ever have to live under.

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by midnightman View Post


    I wonder if I&TT ever did this song live? Probably not. Their shows were always uptempo rock and roll for the most part lol

    Tina was credited with writing this song and it would make sense knowing her background, which no child should ever have to live under.
    This is a great song. I don't believe Tina wrote often, but she did write some great stuff. This is one of them.
    It's from their "Outta Season" album, a great blues album, but was WILDLY controversial for the cover art...

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  3. #3
    In one interview, Tina said there was a point she was writing five or six songs a night, trying to please Ike. She laughed as if to say they weren't very good. But she was really proud of NUTBUSH CITY LIMITS.

    Besides their live albums, I don't think there's an Ike and Tina album that I can play all the way through. But all of them have their great moments. This is one of them. I also like Tina's WALK WITH ME LORD from their gospel album.

  4. #4
    Nah, there are a few albums of theirs I can listen fully.

    Mainly the River Deep Mountain High album, Come Together and Workin' Together, both of those albums never had any filler tracks. Not surprisingly these are the albums that made them superstars in the early '70s.

    But I would say that Tina was better when someone was at the helm than Ike. Ike was good but he wasn't that great as a songwriter and composer. No surprise that after River Deep became an overseas hit and something of a cult hit in the U.S. (as opposed to it being a commercial hit which it wasn't), they relied on outside help to give them bigger hits.

    Outta Season and The Hunter are actually great albums as well. Ike and Tina were best at rearranging songs (which was also Aretha's genius), like I've Been Loving You Too Long and The Hunter (which Tina actually won a solo Grammy nod; I'm guessing Ike had nothing to do with that track; Tina sounded like she was having a ball recording it!).

    Bold Soul Sister was basically a disguised cover of Sly's Sing a Simple Song but Tina added her own charm. I don't know why Ike took credit for most of that song, that song is TINA! LOL BSS imho is a funk classic.

    Nutbush City Limits was destined to be a classic when it came out.

    I mean I&TT were always a singles act but they did have a few studio albums that are worth checking out imho

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by midnightman View Post
    Nah, there are a few albums of theirs I can listen fully.

    Mainly the River Deep Mountain High album, Come Together and Workin' Together, both of those albums never had any filler tracks. Not surprisingly these are the albums that made them superstars in the early '70s.

    But I would say that Tina was better when someone was at the helm than Ike. Ike was good but he wasn't that great as a songwriter and composer. No surprise that after River Deep became an overseas hit and something of a cult hit in the U.S. (as opposed to it being a commercial hit which it wasn't), they relied on outside help to give them bigger hits.

    Outta Season and The Hunter are actually great albums as well. Ike and Tina were best at rearranging songs (which was also Aretha's genius), like I've Been Loving You Too Long and The Hunter (which Tina actually won a solo Grammy nod; I'm guessing Ike had nothing to do with that track; Tina sounded like she was having a ball recording it!).

    Bold Soul Sister was basically a disguised cover of Sly's Sing a Simple Song but Tina added her own charm. I don't know why Ike took credit for most of that song, that song is TINA! LOL BSS imho is a funk classic.

    Nutbush City Limits was destined to be a classic when it came out.

    I mean I&TT were always a singles act but they did have a few studio albums that are worth checking out imho
    Outta Season and The Hunter are I think their best collective works. I love their early stuff on Sue probably the most, but the two albums they did on Blue Thumb are killer. "The Hunter" and "Bold Soul Sister" are just delicious.

    "Nutbush" is a bona fide classic. Completely forgot Tina wrote that one. And while neither Ike nor Tina wrote "Proud Mary," I do believe it was on Tina's insistence that they record it and include it in their act.

  6. #6
    ^ Yep. That was all Tina. Ike wasn't a big fan of white rockers but I guess in Tina's view, she wanted them to not only record "white rock" but make it back to black in a sense. I definitely believe it was Tina that also convinced Ike to have her narrate the beginning and set it up because they were always criticized for being "too rough" (think an early headline of Tina said she was the "queen of rough, raw R&B" or something like that) and Tina always wanted to sing softer so a compromise was made: the beginning would have Tina soulfully singing it with Ike on baritone-bass, and then build it up. When I&TT first performed the song on Ed Sullivan, it was all at a breakneck pace but the studio arrangement changed everything... definitely think Tina deserves credit for that (something she never gets).

  7. #7
    LOL, I remember one time in about 1967 or '68 after a James Brown Show, Mr. Brown was asking us kids what other singers we liked & when I said Ike & Tina Turner he looked at me and said "Tina & them girls are just too wild onstage, they need to just sing". You know that Tina was the only one that came close to creating the LIVE excitement of JB.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by midnightman View Post
    ^ Yep. That was all Tina. Ike wasn't a big fan of white rockers but I guess in Tina's view, she wanted them to not only record "white rock" but make it back to black in a sense. I definitely believe it was Tina that also convinced Ike to have her narrate the beginning and set it up because they were always criticized for being "too rough" (think an early headline of Tina said she was the "queen of rough, raw R&B" or something like that) and Tina always wanted to sing softer so a compromise was made: the beginning would have Tina soulfully singing it with Ike on baritone-bass, and then build it up. When I&TT first performed the song on Ed Sullivan, it was all at a breakneck pace but the studio arrangement changed everything... definitely think Tina deserves credit for that (something she never gets).
    Thanks for that info. I had no idea about the narration piece of it, although thinking about it it IS a very tongue-and-cheek reference to their own "raw" style. I remember that original performance before it was released and thought it was interesting how different the arrangement was from the studio version. I also find it fascinating how Sullivan had I&TT on his show.

  9. #9
    ^ Right. I mean, we're talking about an act that had a reputation of being one of the greatest live acts of all time but it never quite translated to record. Besides A Fool in Love, which was only done as a demo and was never intended to be a release, accidentally starting one of the greatest careers in music history, and It's Gonna Work Out Fine, and some R&B hits like Poor Fool and I Idolize You (I love Tina's screams in that one), and then later River Deep Mountain High, Bold Soul Sister, I've Been Loving You, Come Together, I Wanna Take You Higher, Proud Mary, Funkier than a Mosquito's Tweeter, Get Back and Nutbush City Limits, Ike and Tina could never find the sound that would make them as a hit-making machine like Motown. BUT because of their live reputation, that made them a household name with the mainstream. The Rolling Stones connection definitely didn't hurt.

  10. #10
    Am I the only one who finds it strange Tina wrote all these excellent songs, while she was with Ike, and absolutely nothing after she left him?

    A more cynical guy than me could get the impression Tina's name was on the songs as a tax dodge, much like James Brown did when I believe he had his daughters down as writing some of his songs, around the Bodyheat period.

    I read an interview once by one of the musicians who played on Ike and Tina's songs, and he said Tina wasn't allowed in the studio when they were recording. Isn't it unusual that this creative genius, who wrote all these great songs, was banned from the studio, when she could have been giving advice on how she wanted the songs she wrote to be performed? That seems very strange to me, even knowing that Ike was a control freak.

    In the movie What's Love Got To Do With It, after she leaves Ike, Tina meets a music executive, and he asks her what kind of music she plans on singing, and Tina says something along the lines of "Rock and Roll. I don't want to do that old sad sax stuff I did with Ike"

    If all those the songs were sad, why did she write them? Why didn't she write some new rock tracks when she went solo? I know people have a period when they're at their creative peak, but not one single song after she left Ike? I'm just not buying it.

    I believe when she left, Tina didn't even want the royalties to these songs she allegedly wrote? If she did write them, that was a very magnanimous gesture on her part, but could it be that she knew she didn't really deserve any, as they had all been written by Ike?
    Last edited by Cosmic Truth; 10-11-2018 at 02:19 AM.

  11. #11
    She was gonna fight for royalties but she felt the legal battle would drag on so she deaded that quick... I do believe she did write a few songs. And also, Tina felt it was better interpreting other songs than writing her own. It's quite possible.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Cosmic Truth View Post
    Am I the only one who finds it strange Tina wrote all these excellent songs, while she was with Ike, and absolutely nothing after she left him?

    A more cynical guy than me could get the impression Tina's name was on the songs as a tax dodge, much like James Brown did when I believe he had his daughters down as writing some of his songs, around the Bodyheat period.

    I read an interview once by one of the musicians who played on Ike and Tina's songs, and he said Tina wasn't allowed in the studio when they were recording. Isn't it unusual that this creative genius, who wrote all these great songs, was banned from the studio, when she could have been giving advice on how she wanted the songs she wrote to be performed? That seems very strange to me, even knowing that Ike was a control freak.

    In the movie What's Love Got To Do With It, after she leaves Ike, Tina meets a music executive, and he asks her what kind of music she plans on singing, and Tina says something along the lines of "Rock and Roll. I don't want to do that old sad sax stuff I did with Ike"

    If all those the songs were sad, why did she write them? Why didn't she write some new rock tracks when she went solo? I know people have a period when they're at their creative peak, but not one single song after she left Ike? I'm just not buying it.

    I believe when she left, Tina didn't even want the royalties to these songs she allegedly wrote? If she did write them, that was a very magnanimous gesture on her part, but could it be that she knew she didn't really deserve any, as they had all been written by Ike?
    Early during her comeback success, Tina was asked why didn't compose any of her material. She said something along the lines of if she did write, it would be depressing stuff because that was a lot of what she experienced. She hadn't yet had enough fun experiences. I also think during that hectic 80s and early 90s, she was probably too busy to just sit down and write.

    Re her compositions during the Ike and Tina era, from what I've read, Ike would come up with a track and have Tina write the lyrics.

    Re her not going into the studio, in her first book, Tina said that she was actually glad when Ike was in the studio, especially after he built Bolic Sound. It was his presence at home that she dreaded. But then she would get calls at all hours summoning her to the studio anyway.

    I'm sure she will share more in her upcoming book.

  13. #13
    Yeah, Ike composed the music. And see, this is why it made sense for her to say she rather do upbeat rock and pop because she lived such a wild life that what would come out would be depressing. Makes complete sense!

  14. #14
    I finally got the opportunity to listen to this. It’s a fantastic vocal from Tina. As to questions of authorship, this is heavily based on the spiritual “Talk About a Child,” so, no, Tina (nor anyone else, for that matter) cannot claim sole authorship. To wit:

    Last edited by sansradio; 10-13-2018 at 08:25 PM.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by sansradio View Post
    I finally got the opportunity to listen to this. It’s a fantastic vocal from Tina. As to questions of authorship, this is heavily based on the spiritual “Talk About a Child,” so, no, Tina (nor anyone else, for that matter) cannot claim sole authorship. To wit:

    Outta Season's liner notes credit just Tina. I'm surprised no one sued Blue Thumb and the Turner camp... but most R&B/blues/soul artists would write songs heavily influenced by gospel/folk songs.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by midnightman View Post
    Outta Season's liner notes credit just Tina. I'm surprised no one sued Blue Thumb and the Turner camp... but most R&B/blues/soul artists would write songs heavily influenced by gospel/folk songs.
    I figured TALK ABOUT A CHILD was in the public domain so anyone could put their spin on it. Sort of how Aretha sometimes gets credit for her arrangement of NEVER GROW OLD, even though she didn't compose it. They actually gave her credit for it on Motown's IN LOVING MEMORY album.

    But back to Ike and Tina. I was more surprised that there wasn't any type of lawsuit over BOLD SOUL SISTER since the melody borrows heavily from Sly Stone's SING A SIMPLE SONG. I also recall reading that even BSS wasn't written by Ike and Tina, but stolen from one of the Ikettes.

  17. #17
    Ike got credited for the song on the liner notes of The Hunter. Hmm... makes you wonder.

    I did notice Ike or someone in his camp was always "writing" songs that they obviously got from someone else. Even James Brown and the JB's did it with "The Grunt", which obviously stole from "Keep On Doin'" from The Isley Brothers.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by reese View Post
    I figured TALK ABOUT A CHILD was in the public domain so anyone could put their spin on it. Sort of how Aretha sometimes gets credit for her arrangement of NEVER GROW OLD, even though she didn't compose it. They actually gave her credit for it on Motown's IN LOVING MEMORY album.

    But back to Ike and Tina. I was more surprised that there wasn't any type of lawsuit over BOLD SOUL SISTER since the melody borrows heavily from Sly Stone's SING A SIMPLE SONG. I also recall reading that even BSS wasn't written by Ike and Tina, but stolen from one of the Ikettes.
    Yes, Claudia Lennear...

  19. #19
    Oh! Didn't know Claudia was credited. I'm gonna have to google this!

  20. #20
    Judging on the 45, Ike was credited with writing it. What's telling here is that Bob Krasnow, not Ike, is credited with producing Bold Soul Sister:



    It's possible Claudia wrote the lyrics and Ike refused to give her credit.

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by midnightman View Post
    Judging on the 45, Ike was credited with writing it. What's telling here is that Bob Krasnow, not Ike, is credited with producing Bold Soul Sister:



    It's possible Claudia wrote the lyrics and Ike refused to give her credit.
    Its parent album, THE HUNTER, is also credited as "Produced by Bob Krasnow and Friends." But on the album, BOLD SOUL SISTER lists both Ike and Tina as writers.

  22. #22
    ^ I see...

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