Album: Acid Queen
. . .
Tina Turner was so chuffed about playing The Acid Queen in Tommy that her next album — her final recordings with Ike — was called Acid Queen, and featured an entire side of rock covers: another version of “Acid Queen,” but also “I Can See For Miles,” “Under My Thumb,” “Let’s Spend The Night Together” and most improbably, a futuristic soul groove version of “Whole Lotta Love,” which showed that Ike Turner had been listening intently to what Norman Whitfield and Isaac Hayes had been doing.
And so while Henry Davis basically lifted the bassline whole from John Paul Jones, the guitars of Spencer Proffer and, yes, that Ray Parker, Jr, stuck to atmosphere mostly, leaving all of the heavy musical lifting to the unhurried groove of drummer Ed Green and the swirling string arrangements.
And as for the vocals? All I can say is that if you come for the king, it’s best to be the queen. And when Tina Turner gets to the chorus, repeating that she wants a “whole lotta love,” you’re like, “well, I ain’t gonna be able to do that,” while shrugging your shoulders.
That said, in the 1970s, nobody really cared about Tina Turner as a solo artist. Acid Queen was the only of her albums to chart, and that was at #155 on the main album chart and #39 on the R&B album charts. The following albums, Rough and Love Explosion, went nowhere, and it really seemed like that was it for Tina Turner as an artist.
But of course, it wasn’t. As everybody knows, she got the success commensurate with her talent by going superstar in 1984 with “What’s Love Gotta Do With It,” the first of a bunch of singles where I liked the singing, but not so much the songs, and especially the production. After she passed away earlier this year, and knowing that I was going to write about her, I listened a best-of that covered the 80s, and found a lot of things to like, but nothing to love. But that’s just me.
“Whole Lotta Love”
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