Thursday, January 5, 2023

"The Best" by Tina Turner

Song#:  4019
Date:  09/02/1989
Debut:  77
Peak:  15
Weeks:  14
Genre:  Pop, Rock

Pop Bits:  After the highly successful tour supporting her '86 platinum #4 LP Break Every Rule, Tina Turner took a well deserved break before heading back into the studio. Work would commence later in '88 and while a couple of her previous collaborators would contribute a track or two, the majority of Turner's seventh solo album, Foreign Affair, would be produced by Dan Hartman. To kick things off, this rousing track was selected as the first single. As it climbed the chart, it seemed destined to make the Top 10, but it unexpectedly stopped shy at #15. It would also be a minor entry at AC getting to #43. The results would only provide a small boost to the LP, which would stall at #31. It was a disappointment coming off of two Top 10 albums.

ReduxReview:  Here is one of those songs that has had a longer and better life after its somewhat weak showing on the Pop chart. It would eventually become another signature song for Turner and one of her most recognizable hits. It has been used in movies, on TV shows, in commercials, and at a plethora of sporting events. When I first heard it, I thought it was going to be an easy Top 10'er. It was a big anthemic track with a positive message that everyone could relate to in some way. Yet for some reason, it fizzled early in the US. Elsewhere, the song was a Top 10 hit with the album also performing well (it was Turner's first #1 album in the UK). Why US radio and listeners said "meh" to the tune is unknown, but luckily it found a way to keep alive quite well all these years.

ReduxRating:  9/10

Trivia:  This was a cover of a song originally recorded by Bonnie Tyler. Written by the team of Mike Chapman and Holly Knight, the tune was apparently offered to a male artist that Knight was fond of, but it was rejected. The song then found its way to Tyler who recorded it for her '88 album Hide Your Heart (titled Notes from America for the US release). Desmond Child produced the album and "The Best" was issued out as the first single, but it didn't do much of anything except for a #10 showing in Norway. Since it wasn't a hit and hearing potential in the song, Turner decided to give it a go. She asked Chapman and Knight for a couple revisions including a new bridge and got it recorded. Edgar Winter provided a sax solo for Turner's updated version. Oddly, Tyler's Hide Your Heart album included a cover of a song that Turner first recorded. "Don't Turn Around" was a track that Turner recorded during sessions for her Break Every Rule album. It would not make the LP, but would be the b-side to her #2 hit single "Typical Male." Tyler would release her version as a single, but it did not chart. However, two other artists would have hits with the tune. In 1988, Aswad would reach #1 in the UK with his version (#45 US R&B). Then in 1993, Swedish group Ace of Base would get to #4 US Pop/#7 US AC/#5 UK with their version. Also on Tyler's album was the original version of "Save Up All Your Tears." Again, Tyler would release it as a single, but it would not chart. Then in 1991, Cher would cover the tune and would be able to reach #37 on the Pop chart (#16 AC).


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