Tuesday, February 14, 2006
Ike & Tina Turner - "I'm Gonna Do All I Can (To Do Right By My Man)"
Those who have read many of my previous posts to this blog, know that I tend strongly towards up-tempo, dance around the room material. Maybe you got that from the name of this blog, alone. But, what the heck, it is Valentine's Day after all and there are at least a couple of slow ballads that do it for me. Today, one of my all-time favorites from Ike & Tina Turner, "I'm Gonna Do All I Can" from 1969.
Ike & Tina, of course, recorded a slew of greats for the Sue label, before moving on to a host of other imprints by the late 1960's, including Liberty, Blue Thumb and Minit. Most of my favorites by them are rockers, including a couple of things from the same era that produced today's record, namely "Bold Soul Sister" and "Contact High". The pair were simply capable of producing some of the wildest soul music ever waxed.
What exactly is it then that makes today's record so great for me? I suppose that it's a combination of things. Dropping the needle, the record starts off slow and easy, with a drumbeat and what I assume is Ike's guitar. My first impression is that the song could have been written for Gladys Knight & the Pips, as it resembles some of their classic ballads. I can definitely imagine Knight doing her vocal magic with this tune. The thing is, as good as she is, there's no way that she bests the performance turned in by Ms. Turner here.
Tina's voice is gritty and full of emotion, as if her very future is hanging on every word she sings. She doesn't care if her man is important or rich, just so long as he's hers. "All the money in the world can't make me feel the way he do", she sings. Her impassioned vocal grows, as she really belts out each chorus and makes the song completely her own. The instrumentation remains fairly sparse, with some added strings and a bit of organ. There's a backing chorus that comes in with the appropriate oohs, ahhs and otherwise. But for all intents and purposes, this record is all Tina. If you can track down a copy, I can't imagine that you'll be disappointed.