Private Dancer Tour 1985 • After the World Tour in 1984, which lasted until December, Tina went on the road again in 1985 with her „Private Dancer Tour“. Opening night was in Helsinki (Finland) on February 19 and closing night in Tokyo (Japan) on December 28.
The setlist was different in Europe and the rest of the world, because in the meantime the soundtrack for the movie Mad Max (Beyond Thunderdome) was released and Tina performed also her new hit single We Don’t Need Another Hero and the second new song One Of The Living. Also the tourbooks are very different, because in the European edition there are almost pictures from her World Tour in 1984.
Parts of her two concerts at the N.E.C. in Birmingham (UK) were released on the Private Dancer Tour home video, which includes special appearances by Bryan Adams and David Bowie. Bryan was also the opening act in Europe and performed at most of the concerts It’s Only Love together with Tina. As a special encore song, Tina choose „Dancing In The Dark“ from Bruce Springsteen.
duet with Bryan Adams
duet with David Bowie in Birmingham (NEC) only
duet with David Bowie in Birmingham (NEC) only
September 07, 1985
IT’S EASY TO FORGET just how far Tina Turner has come back, to forget that less than two years ago she was without a label deal and headed for the Vegas showrooms. As far as the phenomonon that saved her from that destiny, it can’t help but look, on the surface, just a little calculated: A rock queen pushing 50 escapes a battering marriage and re-emerges with a lionine coiff and a leather miniskirt, on the arms of Mick Jagger and David Bowie, no less. Were the thousands of fans filling the stadiums and making her "Private Dancer" album multi-platinum enraptured by the "tough broad" image, caught up in the basest form of idol worship? Was Turner just an older version of Madonna?
Not a chance. Turner can sing and shake Madonna (and practically anyone else) to shreds. But even that's not the point, because Turner comes to do more than to sing, to move, to perform. She does something no myth, legend or image can do: She comes to give, and whether she's in a cavernous arena or under the stars at Jones Beach, she removes all distance between the stage and her audience.
Of course it helps that Turner is one of the few non-writing singers left with impeccable taste in material — in both the new songs she solicits and the oldies she selects. At Jones Beach on Aug. 8, she re-circuited „Help" with a simmering gospel feel, while each of the cuts from "Private Dancer" acquired some ripened resonance as Turner played with tempos and meter. "What’s Love Got To Do With It," in particular, with its new emphasis on piano, had an unexpected breeziness to it. Most of the crowd might have been hearing last year’s record and song of the year for the thousandth time, but Turner put it across on sheer attitude: If she wasn't bored with the song, she wasn't going to let anyone else be, either.
Turner’s voice has added a few raw cracks over the years, but she makes this work to her advantage. Her version of "River Deep Mountain High" doesn’t glisten with vibrato the way Darlene Love’s does, so Turner redefines the song in a spare, rough setting that requires her to cut a few sharp edges. On "Let's Stay Together," which drew an even greater response than "What's Love," she hit some scorching high notes, cracks and all, that Al Green simply warmed up to on the original.
If Turner sounds as if she's aged a bit, she doesn't look it, and like her music, her sex appeal isn't cheap. It was halfway through the show before she stripped to her Flintstones costume and revealed (still) the most kinetic legs in the business, and by then she had already proven that she could still leap and bump and grind and work.
In fact, sometimes she worked too much, motoring from one song to the next without saying anything to the audience. With some performers this can be a blessing, but Turner is usually one of rock’s more articulate spokespersons. Her few lines between songs had already been well documented, especially her description of Bruce Springsteen as the "other man I was pursuing, but he got married." A few words about her own "Nutbush City Limits" or the making of "Private Dancer" might have given the crowd even more insight.
Instead she let her music and her body do all the talking, and rolled on toward the undeniable "Proud Mary." Some cranks have suggested that the song is getting tired, and that Turner should give it a rest. That would be like telling Bruce to drop "Born To Run." As Turner said herself, "The more I sing this song, the better it gets." And on this night at the Beach, it wasn’t even the best.
She saved that for a muscular version of Chris Montez’s "Let’s Dance." When Turner exulted the words "We’ll do the twist, the stomp, the mashed potato too," then proceeded to do the jerk, she made her most profound statement: She might be the queen of rock 'n' roll, but that doesn't mean she can’t invite a few friends over to play some 45s.
Ten thousand of her friends stood on their seats to jump and shout along with Turner, and it's likely they’ll stay with her even if she doesn’t have another "four times platinum" album, as she called "Private Dancer." Other than Bruce himself, there just isn't another performer more committed to her music, to herself and her listeners, and to unflagging human spirit.
Jones Beach Theatre, Freeport,N.Y.
Jack Bruno: Drums / Timmy Cappello: Saxophone & Keyboards / Bob Feit: Bass Guitar & Vocals / Jimmy Lyon: Guitar / Kenny Moore: Piano & Vocals / James Ralston: Guitar & Vocals