Not Much of a Tribute for Tina Turner

by Chris McGinty

I’m not sure that I really have a whole lot to say about Tina Turner. I think that the only reason I’m writing this blog post is because Nathan texted me about something earlier. I thought to myself, “I haven’t written about Tina Turner’s passing yet.” Then I wondered what hell I would even say, especially since my favourite song by her needs to be in a different blog post, because of the thing Nathan texted me. I’m probably over thinking this.

I’m not going to go with the Wikipedia version of Tina Turner’s life, because you can go to Wikipedia for that. I first became aware of Tina Turner the way that most people born around the time I was, but are now nine years older than me, discovered her. It was the song, “What’s Love Got to Do with It.”

Tina Turner – What’s Love Got to Do with It

“What’s Love Got to Do with It” is a song that is maybe only good because Tina Turner sang it. It’s a well written song, but she lends understated power to the track. She sings the chorus with full strength without belting it out. It’s not “Proud Mary” energy and yet it’s pretty damn amazing. I’m just not sure it would have been as big of a hit in the wrong hands. Let me illustrate this by diverting completely away from Tina Turner for a moment.

Let’s talk about I-10. I-10 is an Interstate Highway that runs from… oops. I’m having flashbacks to that time I was in a trivia competition… that I should have already written about so I could link back. Let me just say when I answered “Rio” correctly it was a geography question not a music question. It was dumb. i–Ten is a songwriting duo that you’ve never heard of. If you have heard of them there is a high likelihood that it’s because you found out the following song was actually a cover when performed by Heart.

i-Ten – Alone

This version of the song would never have been the hit that Heart made it, because once again there was a powerhouse singer behind the Heart version. It’s why I groaned every time someone tried to perform “Alone” on American Idol. It’s harder to sing than you think. Many of Tina Turner’s vocals were like that, deceptively difficult and complex while easy to sing poorly along with, at least the later years. You’re just not going to try to sing her version of “Proud Mary” at karaoke, but you might think you can pull off “We Don’t Need Another Hero.” You probably can’t.

Tina Turner – Proud Mary

By the way, I always wanted to announce an engagement in the newspaper for the happy couple Roland Ondariva and Mary Proud. I’m just dumb that way.

Unfortunately, Tina Turner died on May 24, 2023. I looked it up and she wasn’t really doing much as a musician since 2009. It’s fine. She showed that she still had it and introduced herself to my generation and that what matters to me. I’ve never done a real deep dive on her work. My favourite song by her is “We Don’t Need Another Hero.” I like pretty much everything else I’ve heard with some emphasis on “Better Be Good to Me” and “The Best.” This is probably not much of a tribute.

Roland Ondariva… oops. Chris McGinty (not pictured here) is a blogger who always feels less than knowledgeable whenever he should be more familiar with an artist and isn’t. There’s just so much damn music out there to get to.

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