Friday, May 5, 2023

"Steamy Windows" by Tina Turner

Song#:  4119
Date:  11/25/1989
Debut:  83
Peak:  39
Weeks:  11
Genre:  Pop, Rock

Pop Bits:  Although it would go on to be one of her signature songs, the first single from Turner's album Foreign Affair, "The Best," would stop shy of the Pop Top 10 at #15. With the song not becoming a bigger hit, album sales were sluggish and it would stall at #31. Hoping to boost sales, this second single would be pushed out. It wouldn't do all that well peaking just inside the Pop Top 40 while getting to #33 Dance. A third single, "Look Me in the Heart," would be a hit at AC getting to #7, but would fail to make the Pop chart. With those results, Foreign Affair would only obtain gold status.

ReduxReview:  This swamp rock tune was a good fit for Turner. She gave the groovy, sexy tune a hot, sensual reading and as an album track it worked. As a single, not so much. There was just no way this was going to be a hit. I was even surprised it cracked the Top 40. Dan Hartman served as producer on the majority of the album and while he did a nice job, the main issue was material. Besides "The Best," which didn't do all that great in the US, there were no surefire hits. Guided by manager Roger Davies, several of the folks who participated in her Private Dancer comeback album were along for Foreign Affair and that probably wasn't the best move. After the lackluster Break Every Rule, Turner needed an update and perhaps they thought bringing Hartman aboard would do the trick. It didn't. Turner had such a rock edge and loved rock 'n' roll, so it would have been the coolest had she been hooked up with hot songwriter/producers of the time like Desmond Child or Robert John "Mutt" Lange. They would have taken her to a new level and the tunes would have been ripe for chart action. Instead, we got bluesy tracks from Tony Joe White, a lackluster pop tune from the Steinberg/Kelly team, a bland Graham Lyle track, stuff from Holly Knight, and another Rupert Hine production. The album wasn't bad, it just wasn't all that good, which was disappointing considering all the names involved. Maybe a matter to too many cooks and it didn't gel into a solid work. "The Best" would end up surviving over the years, but the rest, including this track, have pretty much gone the way of the dodo.

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) This song was written by singer/songwriter Tony Joe White. He would supply this song and three other compositions for Turner's album. The connection most likely came via White's friend Mark Knopfler, who had previously worked with Turner. White began his career as a solo artist in the late 60s. He would have his lone major hit in 1969 with "Polk Salad Annie" (#8), a song that would famously be covered by Elvis Presley. White would have another major hit as a songwriter in 1970 when Brook Benton took White's song "Rainy Night in Georgia" to #4 Pop/#2AC/#1 R&B. White would record albums for a few different labels over the years, but nothing really advanced his solo career. In the early 80s, he would basically set aside solo aspirations and work behind the scenes as a writer and musician. After getting paired with Turner for her LP, Turner's manager Roger Davies decided to take White on as a client. White would record his first solo studio album in eight years, '91's Closer to the Truth. For the LP, White would do his own version of "Steamy Windows" along with another track he supplied to Turner. Although the album sold well in Europe, it didn't get much attention in the US. White would still continue to record over the years and would give Turner another song for her '95 album Wildest Dreams. The song "On Silent Wings," which featured an appearance by Sting, would be issued out as a single and would get to #24 AC.  2) Turner would grab one last Pop Top 10 in 1993. "I Don't Wanna Fight" would get to #9 Pop/#1 AC/#51 R&B. Turner recorded it for the soundtrack to her own autobiographical film What's Love Got to Do with It, which featured Angela Bassett as Turner in an Oscar nominated performance. Turner would record one more album in 1999, Twenty Four Seven (#21, gold). Although she would do a couple of tours and appearances, Turner would basically retire from music. She would write books, work on a Broadway musical titled Tina, receive a Lifetime Grammy, and be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.


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