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Classic Early Sides

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Album Review

While there are numerous Ike Turner compilations and anthologies available tracing his extraordinary career, both with and without Tina Turner, this double-disc set focuses on Ike's crucial early R&B and jump blues sides. Recorded for Sun, King, Chess, and other independent regional labels, these sessions find Ike not only providing guitar, piano, and vocals, but producing and arranging as well; the guy could do it all! Since this set focuses on 1952 to 1957, it's a shame that Jackie Brenston's 1951 single "Rocket 88" didn't make the cut, as it is considered the first rock & roll record. While the Rhino compilation I Like Ike! The Best of Ike Turner may serve the casual fan better, JSP's Classic Early Sides is a comprehensive overview of that period with decent sound.


Born: 05 November 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...
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Classic Early Sides, Ike Turner
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