Private Dancer

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Private Dancer
Tina Turner Private Dancer US CD cover art 1984 original.jpg
Standard cover art (original CD edition pictured)
Studio album by
ReleasedMay 29, 1984 (1984-05-29)
Recorded1983–1984
StudioFarmyard Studios, Mayfair Studios, Wessex Sound Studios, Good Earth Studios, Abbey Road Studios & CBS Studios (London, England).
Genre
Length44:02
LabelCapitol
Producer
Tina Turner chronology
Love Explosion
(1979)
Private Dancer
(1984)
Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome
(1985)
Singles from Private Dancer
  1. "Let's Stay Together"
    Released: November 7, 1983
  2. "Help!"
    Released: February 25, 1984 (Europe-only)
  3. "What's Love Got to Do with It"
    Released: June 4, 1984
  4. "Better Be Good to Me"
    Released: September 12, 1984
  5. "Private Dancer"
    Released: October 28, 1984 (US)
  6. "I Can't Stand the Rain"
    Released: March 1, 1985
  7. "Show Some Respect"
    Released: May 4, 1985

Private Dancer is the fifth solo studio album by Tina Turner. It was released on May 29, 1984 through Capitol Records and was her first album released through the label. Recording sessions for the album took place at several studios in England and was overseen by four different production teams, including Rupert Hine, and Martyn Ware and Ian Craig Marsh of Heaven 17. A radical departure from the rhythm and blues sound Turner had performed with her former husband and performing partner Ike Turner, the tracks in the album are a mixture of uptempos and ballads, inspired by pop and rock genres; it also features elements of smooth jazz and R&B.

After several challenging years of going solo after divorcing Ike, Private Dancer propelled Turner into becoming a viable solo star, as well as one of the most marketable crossover singers in the recording industry. It became a worldwide commercial success, earning multi-platinum certifications in Australia, Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States. To date, it remains her best-selling album in North America. Private Dancer produced seven singles, including "What's Love Got to Do with It", "Better Be Good to Me", "Private Dancer", and "Let's Stay Together". Positively received by critics on release for Turner's ability to give energy and raw emotion to slickly-produced professional pop/rock songs, its long term legacy is that the softening of her raw Southern soul style produced a "landmark" in the "evolution of pop-soul music".[1] The album was promoted throughout 1985 in a 177-date worldwide tour entitled the Private Dancer Tour.

In 2020, the album was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Recording Registry for being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".[2]

Background and production[edit]

A&R man John Carter of Capitol Records is credited with relaunching the career of Tina Turner in the 1980s.[3] In 1983, despite opposition from within Capitol, he signed her and managed her first album for the label, Private Dancer. The album itself was produced in England using several different producers.[1]

"Let's Stay Together" was produced by Martyn Ware and Ian Craig Marsh of British band Heaven 17. Terry Britten produced the reggae-tinged "What's Love Got to Do with It". Rupert Hine produced "Better Be Good to Me", which had been written by Holly Knight, Mike Chapman, and Nicky Chinn, and most of the other songs.[4] John Carter produced "Private Dancer", which was written by Mark Knopfler and has a guitar solo by Jeff Beck. "Ball of Confusion", a cover of The Temptations song which was Turner's first collaboration with the B.E.F. (British Electric Foundation)/Heaven 17 production team and part of their collaborative 1982 album Music of Quality and Distinction Volume One was not included on the Private Dancer album. A recording of Sam Cooke's "A Change Is Gonna Come" from the same sessions would re-appear in remixed form on B.E.F.'s Music of Quality and Distinction Volume Two in 1991. "Help!" was recorded with The Crusaders.

Release[edit]

The album was released on May 29, 1984 and became an outstanding commercial success,[5][6][7] peaking at number three on the Billboard 200 chart for ten consecutive weeks[8] and being certified 5× Platinum in the United States.[9] Worldwide, the album has been estimated to have sold over 11 million copies.[10][11]

The album produced a number of highly successful singles including "What's Love Got to Do with It" which went to number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 and stayed there for three weeks. At the 1985 Grammy Awards, Private Dancer won four of the six awards for which it was nominated. No less than seven of the album's ten tracks (nine in the U.S.) were released as singles: "Let's Stay Together", which was a UK Top 10 hit and a US Top 30 hit; "Help!"; "Better Be Good to Me"; "Private Dancer"; "I Can't Stand the Rain" and "Show Some Respect" (1985).

In 1997, EMI, the parent label of Capitol Records, released a digitally remastered Centenary Edition of the Private Dancer album on CD, then including four additional demo tracks recorded in late 1983 and early 1984 with the producer John Carter, first released as B-sides to some of the Private Dancer singles, as well as three extended 12" remixes. The album remains the only Tina Turner studio album to have been re-issued in digitally remastered form.

In 2015, the 30th Anniversary edition of this album was released by the Parlophone Records unit of Warner Music Group which now controls this album.[12]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[13]
American Songwriter5/5 stars[14]
Christgau's Record GuideA−[15]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music4/5 stars[16]
Q4/5 stars[17]
Rolling Stone4/5 stars[4]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide4/5 stars[18]

The album received a positive reception from critics. The Los Angeles Times wrote that Turner's voice "melts vinyl".[19] Debby Miller, in a July 1984 Rolling Stone review, felt that the album was a powerful comeback, with Turner's voice "rasping but strong", and a range of songs that were all good in a "modern rock setting" that was "neither detached nor very fussy".[4] Robert Christgau felt that she was able to deliver with honesty the "middlebrow angst of contemporary professional songwriting" and remain in control of an album with four different production teams to give it a "seamless authority".[20]

Tour[edit]

A 177 date tour to promote the album took place from February 8, 1985 to December 28, 1985. Called the Private Dancer Tour, there were 60 shows in Europe, 105 in North America, 10 in Australia, and 2 in Japan. Opening acts in North America included Glenn Frey and Mr. Mister. As well as songs from the album, Turner performed hits from her time with Ike & Tina, such as "River Deep – Mountain High", "Nutbush City Limits", and "Proud Mary".

Legacy[edit]

Alex Henderson, in a retrospective AllMusic review, says that the album was slicker than her R&B classics recorded with Ike & Tina, but she was still able to sing with a throaty passion to deliver her finest solo production.[21] Stephen Holden has written in The New York Times that by using her English producers to soften her raw Southern soul style, discarding the "blaring horns, frenzied percussion and gospel calls and responses", the album became a "landmark" in the "evolution of pop-soul music".[1]

Michael Lydon, in Robert Dimery's 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die, says that the album's lyrical themes embodied her persona of a "tough, sexy woman schooled in a tough world", and that her vocal delivery overcomes the slick production, with her "indomitable soul" unifying the multiple producers.[22] In 1989, the album was ranked number 46 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of The 100 Greatest Albums of the '80s. In 2003, the TV network VH1 named Private Dancer the 95th greatest album of all time. Slant Magazine listed the album at number 63 on its list of "Best Albums of the 1980s" saying "Both a personal liberation and sonic redemption, Private Dancer established Turner not only as a genuine diva, but a bona fide force of nature".[23]

Track listing[edit]

Original US vinyl/cassette edition[edit]

Side one

  1. "I Might Have Been Queen" (Hine, Obstoj, West-Oram) – 4:10
  2. "What's Love Got to Do with It" (Britten, Lyle) – 3:49
  3. "Show Some Respect" (Britten, Shifrin) – 3:18
  4. "I Can't Stand the Rain" (Bryant, Miller, Peebles) – 3:41
  5. "Better Be Good to Me" (Chapman, Chinn, Knight) – 5:10

Side two

  1. "Let's Stay Together" (Green, Jackson, Mitchell) – 5:16
  2. "1984" (Bowie) – 3:09
  3. "Steel Claw" (Brady) – 3:48
  4. "Private Dancer" (Knopfler) – 7:11

Original international edition[edit]

No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."I Might Have Been Queen"Jeanette Obstoj, Rupert Hine, Jamie West-Oram4:10
2."What's Love Got to Do with It"Terry Britten, Graham Lyle3:48
3."Show Some Respect"Britten, Sue Shifrin3:18
4."I Can't Stand the Rain"Ann Peebles, Don Bryant, Bernard Miller3:41
5."Private Dancer"Mark Knopfler7:11
6."Let's Stay Together"Willie Mitchell, Al Green, Al Jackson, Jr.5:16
7."Better Be Good to Me"Holly Knight, Nicky Chinn, Mike Chapman5:11
8."Steel Claw"Paul Brady3:48
9."Help!"John Lennon, Paul McCartney4:30
10."1984"David Bowie3:09

Remastered editions[edit]

1997 Centenary Edition bonus tracks
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
11."I Wrote a Letter" ("Let's Stay Together" B-side)Inga Rumpf3:24
12."Rock 'n Roll Widow" ("Help" B-side)Tom Snow4:45
13."Don't Rush the Good Things" ("What's Love Got to Do with It" B-side)Neil Gammack3:46
14."When I Was Young" ("Better Be Good to Me" B-side)Eric Burdon, Victor Briggs, John Weider, Danny McCulloch3:11
15."What's Love Got to Do with It" (Extended 12" Remix)Britten, Lyle5:48
16."Better Be Good to Me" (Extended 12" Remix) (edit)Knight, Chinn, Chapman7:03
17."I Can't Stand the Rain" (Extended 12" Remix)Peebles, Bryant, Miller5:45
2015 30th Anniversary Edition bonus disc
No.TitleLength
1."Ball of Confusion (That's What the World is Today)" (with B.E.F.) 
2."I Wrote a Letter" ("Let's Stay Together" B-side) 
3."Rock 'n Roll Widow" ("Help" B-side) 
4."Don't Rush the Good Things" ("What's Love Got to Do with It" B-side) 
5."When I Was Young" ("Better Be Good to Me" B-side) 
6."Keep Your Hands Off My Baby" ("Private Dancer" B-side) 
7."Tonight" (Live with David Bowie) (Live at The NEC, Birmingham) 
8."Let's Pretend We're Married" (Live) 
9."What's Love Got to Do with It" (Extended 12" Remix) 
10."Better Be Good to Me" (Extended 12" Remix) (edit) 
11."I Can't Stand the Rain" (Extended 12" Remix) 
12."Show Some Respect" (Extended Mix) 
13."We Don't Need Another Hero (Thunderdome)" (Single Edit) 
14."One of the Living" (Single Remix) 
15."It's Only Love" (with Bryan Adams) 

Personnel[edit]

Production

Charts[edit]

Certifications and sales[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[59] 2× Platinum 200,000^
Austria (IFPI Austria)[60] Platinum 50,000*
Austria (IFPI Austria)[60] 3× Gold 75,000*
Austria (IFPI Austria)[61] 2× Platinum 100,000*
Belgium (BEA)[62] Gold 25,000*
Canada (Music Canada)[63] 7× Platinum 700,000^
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[64] Platinum 80,000^
Finland (Musiikkituottajat)[65] Gold 33,464[65]
France (SNEP)[66] Gold 108,400[67]
Germany (BVMI)[68] 5× Gold 1,250,000^
Ireland (IRMA)[69] Platinum 15,000^
Latvia (LaMPA)[70][unreliable source?] 3× Platinum 24,000*
Netherlands (NVPI)[71] 2× Platinum 200,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[72] Platinum 15,000^
Norway (IFPI Norway)[73] Gold 25,000*
Portugal (AFP)[74] Gold 20,000^
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[75] Platinum 100,000^
Sweden (GLF)[76] Platinum 100,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[77] 2× Platinum 100,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[78] 3× Platinum 900,000^
United States (RIAA)[79] 5× Platinum 5,000,000^
Summaries
Worldwide 11,000,000[10][11]

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

Grammy Awards[edit]

Year Winner Category
1985 "Better Be Good to Me" Best Female Rock Vocal Performance
1985 "What's Love Got to Do with It?" Best Female Pop Vocal Performance
1985 "What's Love Got to Do with It?" Record of the Year
1985 "What's Love Got to Do with It?" Song of the Year

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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  78. ^ "British album certifications – Tina Turner – Private Dancer". British Phonographic Industry. Select albums in the Format field. Select Platinum in the Certification field. Type Private Dancer in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
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External links[edit]