River Deep, Mountain High was the first single from the album River Deep, Mountain High. Although the record was credited to Ike & Tina Turner, it was written and produced by Phil Spector and Ike was paid $20,000 to stay away from the studio. The song was recorded using Spector's „Wall of Sound“ production technique with 42 session musicians and background vocalists. The single was very successful in Europe, but flopped in the United States. Spector was so disillusioned about it, that he totally stopped working for two years and released the River Deep, Mountain High album not before 1969 in America. The b-side track „I’ll Keep You Happy“ was written by Phil Spector as well and is only available on this single. Ike & Tina promoted the song at several tv shows and performed it live in their concerts, even if in a very different version, produced from Ike Turner. A live version is available on the album The World of Ike & Tina from 1973.
The single was reissued variously. For the first time in 1969, after Eric Burdon covered the song one year ealier, featuring „Save The Last Dance For Me“ on the b-side. Then in 1971 with the b-side track „Oh Baby“ and once again in 1972 on a three track extended play single. Last but not least, some budget labels released singles with the previously released track A Love Like Yours on the flip side. Beside all of the reissues, a very strange version with lead vocals from Ike Turner was released as a promo in 1971 and an Ike Turner produced version from the album Nutbush City Limits was released as a single in 1974. For Tina’s 1991 greatest hits album Simply The Best, Phil Spector remastered the original version at Tina’s request.
The song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame and the Rolling Stones Magazine put it at #33 on it’s list of the 500 greatest songs of all time.
Producer: Phil Spector
Release: May 1966 / January 1969 (uk) / September 1969 (usa) / 1971 / 1972
Label: Philles (usa) / London (europe) / A&M (usa 1969)
Format: 7“ Vinyl / 7“ Vinyl EP
Charts (1966): UK: #3 / USA: #88 (pop)
Charts: (1969): UK: #33
Grammy: Hall of Fame (1999)