What You Hear Is What You Get – Tina & Ike – Live At Carnegie Hall
Well we’re still churnin’ em out down here for ya weekly; in fact, we got a live double album for you that’ll truly take a swing at this cold weather hitting us. Live albums are fun when you get past the audience noise. Studio sessions always make for solid albums, but the liberties one takes with the music when hit with the adrenaline of performing in front a listener, let alone hundreds or thousands of people, is a perfect petri dish of super deadly sounds that when recorded capture moments of uniqueness that are only in the present for an instant.
When you add a pristine act, those that know how to handle both the music and the stage, the results are impeccable. Our album of the week is one such selection; recorded at Carnegie Hall, Ike & Tina Turner‘s ‘What You Hear Is What You Get’ (United Artists, 1971) is a gut buster. Just like Ike and Tina. Their meteoric success and tumultuous relationship fueled the energy of their performance for two decades.
At the beginning of the 1970, the Turners were at the peak of their game. Having had an stellar performance on the Ed Sullivan Show which helped them gain a massive boost in the charts and national name recognition, they then released a string of singles which kept them at the top of the charts. This led headlining festivals, a feature film performance, a platinum single and Grammy, and to a tour of France with the French Jazz Academy Soul award to boot. After all that, they performed for Ghana’s 14th independence day and opened for Johnny Mathis at Caesar’s Palace in Vegas.
While all this was going on, the label that the Turner’s were on, Liberty, was taken over by United Artists. So, to do something special for this happy new merger, Ike and Tina Turner released a live performance from New York City. Another massive success, it hit #25 on the pop charts and all the way up to #7 on the R&B charts. The RIAA certified it gold (over 500,000 copies sold) in 1972. It just happens to be our album of the week this week.
In 1969, the Turners had begun adding their version of ‘Proud Mary‘ by Creedence Clearwater Revival to their act. It went over so well that they decided to record it as a single in 1971. That went over so well, that it hit #4 on The Hot 100 list and #5 on the R&B charts and it is this tune that the album revolves around ending side 2 and starting side 3 on this double album gatefold. The rest of the performance is split between recordings made during the early show of April 1st and the late show of April 1st/2nd 1971. With Fats Domino opening and rambunctious covers of Otis Reading, The Rolling Stones, Sly & The Family Stone this live performance that reached #25 on the Top LPs and #7 on the Billboard Soul charts this is a concert that should be listened to loud! And with several roses, four in fact….