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1951-1954

Ike Turner

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Album Review

Classics' 1951-1954 collects 21 sides from the early days of Ike Turner's long and winding career. The songs were originally released on a variety of top labels like Chess, PRM, Modern, Sun, and Flair and feature Turner in a variety of settings: in Kings of Rhythm with Jackie Brenston on vocals, fronting a big band, backing and duetting with Bonnie Turner, and playing with Lover Boy. The songs are a mix of bluesy ballads and hot-wired jump blues with Turner's piano bopping like soda pop and the beats pretty darn close to rock & roll. The duets with Bonnie Turner are the most fun; her innocent and perky vocals sound like a kitten about to be eaten by Turner's wolf. They also feature him on guitar for the first time, and showcase his primitive and fierce style. The instrumentals cut for Flair in 1954 are also lots of fun, as Turner gets loose on some wild rockers like "Cubano Jump" and "Go to It." Topping it off is 1954's very cool "All Blues, All the Time," which features him soloing in the style of blues masters like Elmore James, Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, and B.B. King. 1951-1954 is just one of many collections that showcase the young Turner's skills; it is also one of the best.

Biography

Born: November 05, 1931 in Clarksdale, MS

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Ike Turner is certainly one of the most dehumanized figures in rock history. Mention his name and the first association that comes to most anyone's mind is "abusive husband," not "soul star" or "rock & roll pioneer." According to legend, Turner was a tyrannical ogre who used physical violence and psychological intimidation to control his infinitely more talented wife Tina, while indulging his own appetites for cocaine and women at every turn. That's not entirely accurate, although by most accounts...
Full bio