Better Get Ta Steppin’

I periodically return to Ike & Tina Turner, always expecting to like them more than I did during previous listening sessions.  But with the exception of a few undeniable songs (“I Idolize You,” and Ike’s solo album with his band the Kings of Rhythm, entitled A Black Man’s Soul), I generally find them immensely talented and frustratingly inconsistent.  They were also extraordinarily prolific — according to Allmusic, they released over 35 albums between 1960 and 1979, and that number doesn’t include the various compilations of their singles and unreleased material that’ve been put out over the years — making it even more difficult to figure out where they were good and where they were bad.  Their 1968 album So Fine is erratic, but a song like “I Better Get Ta Steppin,'” makes it worth the trouble.  Ike & Tina could put together powerful and compelling funk with remarkable ease, when they were inclined to do so.

(Bonus footage: of Tina’s remarkable performance opening for the Rolling Stones, captured in the movie Gimme Shelter.)

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