Ike & Tina Turner — “Workin’ Together”: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — May 25, 2023


837) Ike & Tina Turner — “Workin’ Together”

Tina, you’ve been through a lot and achieved even more. RIP.

“Workin’” is the transcendent title track of Ike & Tina’s (see #212, 329) best and most successful LP, but when it had been released as an A-side, it only reached #105 (#41 R&B) in November 1970. The song is “a mid-tempo groover (written by Eki Renrut, Ike’s brilliant inverted alias) powered by a soulful chorus and a guitar line that plays like a mutated version of Dylan’s ‘I Want You’ riff.” (Stephen Thomas Erlewine, https://www.allmusic.com/album/workin-together-mw0000588125) It is “fantastic” and “[i]mprobably enough, given that the violently abusive Ike wrote it, it’s a plea for universal brotherhood and unity, given a rasping urgency by [Tina’s] voice.” (Alexis Petridis, https://www.irishtimes.com/culture/music/2023/05/24/tina-turner-her-20-greatest-songs-and-performances-in-order/)

As to the album, Stephen Thomas Erlewine writes:

Workin’ Together was the first genuine hit album Ike & Tina had in years; actually, it was their biggest ever, working its way into Billboard’s Top 25 and spending 38 weeks on the charts. . . . Workin’ Together feels like a proper album, where many of the buried album tracks are as strong as the singles. . . . [It] relies a bit too much on contemporary covers, which isn’t bad when it’s the perennial “Proud Mary,” since it deftly reinterprets the original, but readings of the Beatles’ “Get Back” and “Let It Be,” while not bad, are a little bit too pedestrian. Fortunately, they’re . . . outweighed by songs that crackle with style and passion. Nowhere is this truer than on the opening title track . . . . Then, there’s the terrific Stax/Volt stomper ” (Long As I Can) Get You When I Want You,” possibly the highlight on the record. . . . [T]he duo never topped this, possibly the best proper album they ever cut.


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