Ike & Tina Turner - River Deep, Mountain High - Album

River Deep – Mountain High was released in Europe only in late 1966, in mono and stereo configurations on the London label, with five tracks produced by Phil Spector. Ike Turner produced the remaining seven tracks which are essentially superior re-recordings of the Turners’ earlier hits. It was supposed to be released in the U.S. as Philles PHLP 4011, but cancelled. Sessions began in March 1966 at Gold Star and United Studios in Los Angeles. The stereo masters were sold to A&M Records, but the original monaural LP mix and master by Phil Spector is unique to the 1966 European and Australian LPs. The 1969 A&M version of the album substitutes „You’re So Fine“ with Spector’s 1967 production of I’ll Never Need More Than This. Also the picture on the back cover is different and the liner notes were slightly updated.

George Harrison: „River Deep - Mountain High is a perfect record from start to finish — you couldn’t improve on it“

Ike & Tina Turner - River Deep, Mountain High - Album
Ike & Tina Turner - River Deep, Mountain High - Album
album 1966
A1. RIVER DEEP - MOUNTAIN HIGH 3:38

Written by Phil Spector, Jeff Barry, Ellie Greenwich
★ Single release in 1966

A2. I IDOLIZE YOU 3:46

Written by Ike Turner

A3. A LOVE LIKE YOURS (I Come Knocking Every Day) 3:05

Written by Holland, Dozier, Holland
★ Single release in 1966

A4. A FOOL IN LOVE 3:13

Written by Ike Turner

A5. MAKE EM’ WAIT 2:22

Written by Ike Turner
★ Single release in 1970

A6. HOLD ON BABY 2:59

Written by Phil Spector, Jeff Barry, Ellie Greenwich

B1. SAVE THE LAST DANCE FOR ME 3:02

Written by Doc Pomus, Mort Shuman

B2. OH BABY! (Things Ain’t What They Used To Be) 2:46

Written by Kent Harris
★ Single release in 1966

B3. EVERY DAY I HAVE TO CRY 2:40

Written by Arthur Alexander

B4. SUCH A FOOL FOR YOU 2:48

Written by Ike Turner

B5. IT’S GONNA WORK OUT FINE 3:14

Written by Sylvia McMinney, Rose Marie McCoy

B6. YOU’RE SO FINE 2:20

Written by Finney, West, Shofield

Billboard Magazine
May 14, 1966

PHILLES RECORDS recently added the dynamic duo, lke and Tina Turner, to their roster. The couple's first release, entitled "River Deep-Mountain High," was produced by Philles prexy, Phil Spector. ln addition. the Philles label acquired the Ikettes, whose release will be forthcoming soon. (Advertisement)

Ike & Tina Turner - River Deep, Mountain High - Album
Ike & Tina Turner - River Deep, Mountain High - Album
album 1969
A1. RIVER DEEP - MOUNTAIN HIGH 3:38
A2. I IDOLIZE YOU 3:46
A3. A LOVE LIKE YOURS (I Come Knocking Every Day) 3:05
A4. A FOOL IN LOVE 3:13
A5. MAKE EM’ WAIT 2:22
A6. HOLD ON BABY 2:59
B1. I’LL NEVER NEED MORE THAN THIS 3:30

Written by Phil Spector, Jeff Barry, Ellie Greenwich
★ Single release in 1967

B2. SAVE THE LAST DANCE FOR ME 3:02
B3. OH BABY! (Things Ain’t What They Used To Be) 2:46
B4. EVERY DAY I HAVE TO CRY 2:40
B5. SUCH A FOOL FOR YOU 2:48
B6. IT’S GONNA WORK OUT FINE 3:14

For the following selections: "River Deep-Mountain High", “Save the Last Dance For Me", “A Love Like Yours", “Every Day I Have To Cry“, "I’ll Never Need More Than This" & "Hold On Baby"

PRODUCER: Phil Spector ARRANGERS: Jack Nitzsche, Gene Page. Perry Botkin, Jr. ENGINEER: Larry Levine
STUDIO: Gold Star, Hollywood

All other selections on this album were produced by Ike Turner

PHOTOGRAPHY: Dennis Hopper

This album is dedicated to the beautiful memory of Mac Mashourian

Billboard Magazine
September 13, 1969

"River Deep-Mountain High” is one of Phil Spector's best compositions, and Ike & Tina Turner sing the original 1966 version, since revived by Eric Burdon, Deep Purple and others. A hit album in England, A&M and Phil Spector add this “historic recording” to the Ike & Tina Turner sweepstakes. With the hits “A Fool in Love,” “I Idolize You” and “It's Gonna Work Out Fine,” this one looks like a big winner.

Ike & Tina Turner - River Deep, Mountain High - Recording Session
Ike & Tina Turner - River Deep, Mountain High - Recording Session

Liner Notes

The "Billboard" and "Cashbox" headlines read something like "Spector inks Ike and Tina." And in chilly London, far from the famed California climate, we wondered how this musical marriage would make out. Ike and Tina Turner were very much an acquired "in" taste. Hitherto, most of their records had been on small, specialist labels. They'd been fiery and frantic. Very rhythmic. Very bluesy. Extremely soulful. How would they sound against the famous Phil Spector, almost Wagnerian "wall of sound"?

Phil could be called (colloquially as well as literally) the "long hair" of rock'n' roll. He's been a living legend in Britain for years now. Ever since his earliest production efforts. Like The Teddy Bears' "To Know Him ls To Love Him." Then came the halcyon days of the Crystals, Bob B. Soxx and The Blue Jeans, the highly underrated Darlene Love and, of course, the Ronettes. And, most recently, the greatest artistic achievement of 1965, The Righteous Brothers' "You've Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’."

1966: Now a resident of Beverly Hills, he does all his recording nowadays at Hollywood’s Gold Star Studios.

1969: Now, after two years of retirement and a resident of Beverly Hills, Phil will commence recording activities again in a joint partnership association with Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss, owners of A&M Records, lnc.

He's a perfectionist. He'll spend night after night on his backing tracks. He’ll hear sounds in his mind. And won't rest till he’s recreated them with the Coast's top session men and engineers. These days his releases are few and far between. He'd rather put out one creative masterpiece per year than a dozen "good" records. So, nowadays, a Spector production is even more of an event than of yore. ln '65, as l said, it was "Lovin’ Feelin’."

ln 1966, it was unquestionably "River Deep - Mountain High." In an interview with Tracy Thomas, California correspondent of "New Musical Express," Tina recalled how Phil came over to the house and first sang "River Deep - Mountain High" to Ike and herself. "l was knocked out by the Jeff Barry-Ellie Greenwich-Spector song the first time l heard it. Phil kinda sang it along with a guitar and l loved it. Then he did the instrumental tracks. Wow! Jack Nitzsche’s arrangement was really somethin’ else!" 

She finally went into the studio with Phil to add the voice track on the night of March 7,1966. With simply sensational results. 

When we first heard the test pressings, we flipped. This surely was the most exciting record of the year. But how commercial was it? Frankly, l had no idea. l iust knew that it would be a crime if all the love put into it by Phil and the Turners were to no avail. The record had to be heard. So far, there was no sign of it in the U.S. Top 100 charts. All the greater challenge to us to get it away in Britain. So l sent out personally handwritten letters to almost every deejay in the country, beseeching them to give the public the chance to make up their own minds.

The response was really rewarding. And the reorders started pouring in. lt looked like a certainty for Top Twenty. On the strength of these sales figures, I approached Johnnie Stewart, producer of BBC-TV's high-rating "Top of the Pops" show, to commission his American film unit to video-tape the Turners. Under the guidance of Jim Fitzpatrick in Los Angeles, the Turners were finally tracked down in the middle of a hectic 90-day tour. The film which resulted was the most exciting of its kind ever seen in Britain. The warmth, pace and spirit of Tina’s vital, visual performance, watched over by Ike and backed by the wild dancing of The Ikettes, was really fantastic. We found it almost impossible to believe that the beautiful Tina was really a happily married mother of four!

Up and up rose the record in the charts. Top Twenty. Top Ten. Top Five. Top Three. ln America? Nowhere. Frankly, we were knocked out. As Phil himself was quoted as saying: "We can only assume that England is more appreciative of talent and exciting music than the U.S." And again, more typically: "Benedict Arnold was quite a guy!"

1966: For me personally, it’s been a tremendous honour to be associated with the single record success of "River-Deep". Just as it was with "You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’". And as I hope it will continue to be. As long as a genius like Phil Spector is around to give us, every once in a while, what can only be termed "a truly emotional experience".

1969: For me personally, it’s been a tremendous honour to be associated with the single record success of "River-Deep," as well as this album by Ike and Tina which was a phenomenal hit in England and unfortunately never came out in the states. 

TONY HALL
1966: Promotion Manager, Decca
Record Company Limited,
and "Record Mirror" columnist

1969: Promotion Director
T.H. Enterprises Ltd.
And B.B.C. Disc Jockey, London, England

Ike & Tina Turner - River Deep, Mountain High - Recording Session
Ike & Tina Turner - River Deep, Mountain High - Recording Session
Ike & Tina Turner - River Deep, Mountain High - Promo

Ike & Tina Turner album chronology