Over thirty years after its debut, Tina Turner’s Private Dancer has come sashaying back into our lives. Time has done little to dull the record’s over the top exuberance, and it remains today as sassy, sexy and sincere as it was three decades ago. This lavishly compiled deluxe edition ticks all of the boxes, and though the remastered work doesn’t sound much different to the untrained ear, the fifteen bonus tracks are essential and exciting, feeling as they do like undiscovered gems rather than filler stapled onto the album to loosen some change from some pockets.
Private Dancer is arguably best known for its lead single What’s Love Got To Do With It, and though the song remains today a delirious delight, it is some of the record’s lesser known tracks that most impress. I Can’t Stand The Rain, with its pristine electro beats, and Turner’s soulful voice, represents pop music at its most intelligent and classy. Though certainly melodramatic, both melodically and lyrically, the song works and its brassy blasts are just as exciting today as they were way back when. Similarly, Steel Claw, another one of the record’s unrecognised highlights, drips with delicious 80’s excess, and Turner’s vocal performance on the track is a personal best.
But, does any self-serving Turner devotee really need to fork out the cash for this deluxe edition? The answer is an emphatic yes. Most fans will already own recordings of We Don’t Need Another Hero (Thunderdome) and One Of The Living, the two tracks Turner provided for the soundtrack of Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome, but it’s less likely that they will have their hands on some of this deluxe edition’s lesser known surprises. A brilliant version of David Bowie and Iggy Pop’s Tonight performed live by Turner and the Thin White Duke himself is a fantastic addition to the collection, as is an extended remix of I Can’t Stand The Rain and a live version of Let’s Pretend We’re Married.
In short, though so often deluxe anniversary additions are lazy cash grabs, churned out by record companies to play on a listener’s nostalgia and make an easy buck, this carefully compiled reissue stands apart from the rest. It’s a re-release that has been compiled with care, not only for Turner’s fantastic album, but for the fans themselves. It’s a delight.