Monday, April 23, 2018

"We Don't Need Another Hero (Thunderdome)" by Tina Turner

Top 10 Alert!
Song#:  2382
Date:  07/06/1985
Debut:  52
Peak:  2
Weeks:  18
Genre:  Pop, Rock, Soundtrack

Pop Bits:  After Turner's major comeback with her hit album Private Dancer, other opportunities came flying her way including film roles. One that she was seriously considered for was the part of Shug Avery in The Color Purple. She ended up turning it down as did other singers like Chaka Khan, Patti LaBelle, and Diana Ross. The role went to Margaret Avery, who walked away with an Oscar nod for her work. Although Turner wasn't interested in playing Shug, she did decided to take on the role of Auntie Entity in Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. The character was written with Turner in mind and she ended up signing on to the picture. Of course since she was a huge music star at the time, she was also tapped to provide a couple of songs for the film's soundtrack. This theme song was written by Terry Britten and Graham Lyle, the same team that wrote Turner's #1 comeback hit "What's Love Got to Do with It," and it became the first single released from the soundtrack album. It would be a multi-format smash getting to #2 Pop, #3 AC, #3 R&B, #23 Dance, and #29 Rock. The song earned Turner a Grammy nod for Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female. The movie did well at the box office and Turner was critically praised. However, she didn't parlay it into other roles. She wouldn't be seen on screen again until 1993 in The Last Action Hero, which was her last acting role outside of guest appearances where she played herself, including on the hit TV show Ally McBeal in 2000.

ReduxReview:  Okay, this song gets points for the writers being able to actually include "Thunderdome" in the lyrics! Britten and Lyle gave the song a "What's Love" kind of feel but then amped up the rock and tympani-style percussion for the chorus. It was a perfect fit for Turner and as usual, she sold it like no one else. Frankly, this song was the most memorable part of the film - and it was just played over the end credits! The film was fine, but it was so tame and Hollywood-ish when compared to the previous two films (especially the original, which was quite brutal). This song still stand up well today and I consider it among Turner's best.

ReduxRating:  9/10

TriviaThunderdome is the third film in the Mad Max series that began with the original Mad Max in 1979. Starring the relatively unknown actor Mel Gibson, the film was a worldwide hit that grossed over $100 million. With the cost of making the film estimated at around $400,000, its cost ratio to gross profit got it listed by the Guinness Book of World Records as the most profitable film of all time.  Years later, two horror flicks, The Blair Witch Project and Paranormal Activity, would each take over that distinction. The Road Warrior was the second Mad Max film and it was also a box office hit. Thunderdome did well, but it was the weakest performing of the three. The franchise would get a reboot in 2015 with Mad Max: Fury Road. This time around, the part of Max was played by Tom Hardy. The film was a major hit and ended up receiving ten Academy Award nominations including Best Picture. It would win six awards in the technical categories.


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