Monday, July 25, 2005

Ike and Tina Turner and the Ikettes: I Want To Take You Higher/Contact High (Liberty 56177)

This is Ike and Tina, circa 1970, singin' and playin' about gettin' high and gettin' higher! You already know "I Want To Take You Higher" as the Sly and the Family Stone classic, but Ike and Tina's version rates pretty high on the funk meter, too. And how could it not? Because as Tina purred at the beginning of their hit version of "Proud Mary" (which would follow the next year), "We never, ever, ever do anything nice... and easy. We always do it nice.....and rough." They do it nice, rough and proud here and it did indeed make some chart noise in '70 (#34 pop/#25 r&b - Billboard), but it's the flip side that soars into the ranks of the unbelievable. Granted, both sides are, according to the label, taken from Ike and Tina's then-current album "Come Together," but what was Liberty Records thinking when they decided to put a song like "Contact High" on the B-side of this single? Let's put it like this: on side A, they want to take you higher. On side B, they're all too high to leave for home!
Over a fast rhythm and Ike's scratchy guitar work, Tina tells the story of a time she was at a party behind locked doors. First, they were passing around a joint, but Tina turns it down because she's already high from the contact. But then someone pulls out a bag of coke and well, that does it! By the end of the song, everyone in the place is too wasted to leave and there's no coming down..and the room gets quieter.....and quieter...and quieter...while Ike just keeps on scratchin' away at that guitar as we fade out. This one's quickly become a major fave around these parts because it's such a cool song with Tina's usual vocal workout...and of course Ike's great guitar. But imagine some mother getting a hold of this 45 in her kid's collection and listening to this......That mother's hairs would've stood on end for months! Unless, of course, she was smokin' some of that grass herself. How times change.............

1 comment:

Todd Lucas said...

This is an incredible record that should be around for pretty cheap. Both sides are great!