River Deep - Mountain High
Label: Hip-O Select
Phil Spector's grand experiment with Ike and Tina Turner starts off at the pinnacle with that grandiose opera of a title track. The combo of Tina's balls-to-the-wall voice and Spector's famed Wall of Sound never quite reaches the same heights again: His echoing style softens her voice, along with the grittiness of the Turners' usual sound (plus, Ike was mostly kept out of the studio). But that's only relatively speaking. In terms of the classic R&B sound, it's hard to beat the juicy cuts here, which lean toward funk and are all powered by Tina's inimitable fierceness.