The Kent Years is a sampler album with many previously unreleased tracks, some single only releases and songs from the 1966 Kent album The Soul of Ike & Tina. It includes also a never before released studio version of the song All I Can Do Is Cry (aka The Wedding), previously only available live on the album Festival of Live PerformancesThe Kent Years was released in 2000 from Kent Records in Europe on compact disc with comprehensive liner notes. Some songs are also available on the album The Ike & Tina Turner Sessions from 1987.

Ike & Tina Turner - The Kent Years - Sampler

CD (Europe) - Front Cover

Ike & Tina Turner - The Kent Years - Sampler

CD (Europe) - Booklet

1. I Can’t Believe What You Say 2:04

Written by Ike Turner / From Kent single 402

2. My Baby Now 2:51

Written by Ike Turner / From Kent single 402

3. What Do You Think I Am 2:17

Written by Ike Turner / Previously unissued

4. Baby, Don’t Do It 1:59

Written by Ike Turner / Previously unissued but also available on CDKEN 065

5. I Don’t Need 2:19

Written by Ike Turner / From Modern single 1012

6. Goodbye, So Long 2:12

Written by Ike Turner / From Modern single 1007

7. Hurt Is All You Gave Me 2:33

Written by Ike Turner / From Modern single 1007

8. Gonna Have Fun 2:08

Written by Ike Turner / From Modern single 1012

9. You Can’t Miss Nothing (That You Never Had) 2:07

Written by Ike Turner / From Sonja single 2005

10. All I Could Do Was Cry (aka Stop The Wedding) 4:57

Written by Berry Gordy, Gwen Fuqua, Roquel Davis / Previously unissued studio version

11. I Need A Man 3:04

Written by Ike Turner / Previously unissued but also available on CDKEN 065

12. You Can’t Have Your Cake And Eat It Too 2:56

Written by Ike Turner / Previously unissued / Lead vocals by Ike Turner

13. Lose My Cool 2:23

Written by Ike Turner / Previously unissued but also available on CDKEN 065

14. He’s The One 2:04

Written by Hank Ballard, James Brown / From Kent single 418

15. Chicken Shack 1:53

Written by Ike Turner / From Kent single 418

16. Five Long Years (Live) 2:26

Written by Eddie Boyd / Previously unissued

17. Flee Flee Fla 2:33

Written by Ike Turner / From Kent single 457

18. I Wish My Dreams Would Come True 1:53

Written by Ike Turner / From Kent single 457

19. Over You 2:01

Written by Ike Turner / Previously unissued but also available on CDKEN 065

20. Makin’ Plans Together 2:13

Written by Ike Turner / Previously unissued but also available on CDKEN 065

21. Shake It Baby 1:51

Copyright Control / Previously unissued

22. Don’t You Blame It On Me 1:50

Written by Ike Turner / From the album "The Soul of Ike & Tina" (Kent KST 519)

23. Hard Times 2:22

Written by Ike Turner / From the album "The Soul of Ike & Tina" (Kent KST 519)

24. Give Me Your Love 2:13

Written by Ike Turner / Previously unissued but also available on CDKEN 065

25. It’s Crazy Baby 3:00

Written by Ike Turner / From the album "The Soul of Ike & Tina" (Kent KST 519)

26. Something Came Over Me 2:48

Written by Ike Turner / From the album "The Soul of Ike & Tina" (Kent KST 519)

Compiled and archive research by Peter Gibbon
Notes by John Ridley
Package design by Dave Carne
Front cover photograph courtesy of Ace Records Ltd
Transfered from original analogue master tapes
Mastered by Sound Mastering Ltd

Ike & Tina Turner - The Kent Years - Sampler

CD (Europe) - Booklet

Ike & Tina Turner - The Kent Years - Sampler

Over the last few years there has been more media hype about Ike and Tina than any other R&B artists. The salacious details of their relationship have been the subject of articles galore - not to mention books or the movie. These have covered their marriage and life together from every angle - the feminist one, legal, moral and so forth, but not the one that should concern us here, the musical perspective. For it is undoubtedly the case that whatever really went on behind closed doors, and there have been as many versions as the number of participants and keyhole peepers, what seems to have been completely overlooked is just how good the music they produced together in the 60s really was.
This CD shows this quite clearly as it contains many of their strongest numbers from 1964-67, their most prolific and exciting period. These were sold to Kent and Modern, labels owned and run by the Bihari brothers on the West Coast. The Biharis were old sparring partners of Ike Turner with whom he had worked in the 50s. In addition to 45s and album tracks that came out at the time, we have included several cuts that are seeing the light of day for the first time - a real treat. In many ways this is a companion set to CDKEN 102 which features live recordings from the duo.
lke Turner ran the partnership, with Tina as Ike’s strongest card - and he vvas quite shrewd enough to realise it. Sexy, energetic and uninhibited enough to be the focus of an unashamedly raunchy stage shovv, she also had the benefit of an excellent pair of lungs. l don’t think you could ever call her a subtle vocalist, but she could project enough power and commitment to take paint off a wall. ln an era when most vocalists were using church-based techniques, Tina harked back to an earlier age.
Not for her the melismatic cadences of Aretha Franklin or Gladys Knight vocally she came from a line that included Big Mama Thornton and Big Maybelle and, going much further back, to Bessie Smith and Clara Green. Of her contemporaries, perhaps only Etta James showed the same bluesy intensity and, like James, Tina vvas best when letting it rip. And Ike made sure there vvas material that suited her style - not just belting it out in a tiny club over the din of a Saturday night crowd, but on disc as well. The first release on Kent under this new arrangement coupled the uptempo handclap-led "I Can’t Believe What You Say" with the excellent blues "My Baby Now".
The catchy topside just made the Top 100 R&B charts, but for my money Tina’s hard lead on the flip, together with lke’s gutsy guitar and the horn figures borrowed from Lowell Fulson’s "Reconsider Baby" give it the clear edge.
The frantic "Goodbye So Long" on Modern did rather better the following year - love lke’s barrelhouse piano solo - but again the strolling R&B flip "Hurt Is All You Gave Me" seems to have fared better over the decades since its recording. Neither "l Don’t Need" nor "Gonna Have Fun" dented the charts, and a reverse back to the Kent logo for "He’s The One" / "Chicken Shack" didn’t impress singles buyers, despite' the latter’s excellent slinky approach. The final 45 for the duo from the Biharis’ stable in 1966 was the Latin-tinged "Flee Flee Fla" with its "Watch Your Step" riff and the almost rock’n’roll of "I Wish My Dreams Would Come True" - a throwback sound from an era dominated by the smoother sides of Motown.
Many of these were collected onto an LP "The Soul Of Ike And Tina Tumer" which also included the driving R&B of tracks like "Don’t You Blame It On Me". The Turners came to Kent/Modern on the back of a run of hits on Sue and it was no vvonder that several cuts in this collection hark back to the "Fool In Love" era. It’s likely that "Something Came Over Me" and "Hard Times" had been in the can some time before they saw the light of day on this album. One of the best cuts was the late night jazzy blues, "It’s Crazy Baby", with the horns and congas bringing a welcome change of tonal colour.
Of the unissued cuts, several, such as "Over You", "I Need A Man" and "Shake It Baby" were the kind of hybrid soul/blues dancers that Ike felt clearly suited Tina’s voice. But others like the teen-beat "Makin’ Plans Together", with Tina’s vocal well throttled back, or the super blues ballad "Give Me Your Love" attempted to ring the changes. The most interesting though is "All I Could Do Was Cry" aka "Stop The Wedding". It is a studio version of one of their live showstoppers with a lengthy "rap" in the middle.

Are some of the live sets that the duo recorded simply studio performances with overdubbed audience, or are these cuts rehearsals? Comparing the version of "Wedding“ here with an actual live version CDKEND 102, my money is on Ike taking the band through their paces in preparation for another gruelling slog on the road.
At this time, record releases were not the main source of income - an incessant, punishing touring, schedule was. Ike developed one of the hardest working stage acts in the R&B world and the Ike and Tina Turner Revue was a very big draw indeed on the chitlin’ circuit. The package was modelled on James Brown’s and, like his, featured warm-up acts, a really tight band and a heavily choreographed show with three stunning backing vocalists, the Ikettes. Ike had the routines down to the last shimmy and pelvic twitch, and an eleven month booking programm provided enough cash for many of life’s pleasures.
Records, however, remained important as a means of generating interest in the Revue and the chance - if a hit appeared - of allowing Ike to demand a bigger upfront payment for feature releases. With the talent he had at his disposal from the Revue, he had more opportunities to record more artists, and the formed labels to that end. Bobby John and Venetta Fields were put on Sony, Robbie Montgomery and Vernon Guy on Teena, the Turnabouts, Fontella Bass and Little Bones on Prann and he used Innis and Sonja for Tina and himself. The Ikettes, one of his real money spinning names, appeared on most of this logos. These releases were often no more than demos to be hawked round bigger concerns in the never ending round of looking for that big buck. But the quality of the singers was such that several of this poorly produced and rushed 45s stand up well to this day.
But this vvas all part of Ike’s big problem. The real money came from breaking into the pop/white market and his short-term approach to the business did not mesh at all with the demands of that section of the music world. Their discs appeared on a bewildering variety of labels as Ike only vvanted a day-to-day deal for this vveek’s product. His insistence on cash upfront, rather than a percentage deal, put many people off. Ironically the Revue’s success in the black market tended to typecast Tina as an R&B act.
This difficulty is perhaps best illustrated by the "River Deep Mountain High" saga in 1966, where Ike met Phil Spector. The $20,000 fee Spector paid Ike to record Tina was, in 1965, a really very large sum indeed. As one of the conditions to the deal, Ike was banned from the studio during Spector’s production process and the contrast between his approach and Ike’s "time is money" style of studio production could not have been more stark.
This was the first really serious attempt to break Tina into the pop market by someone who knew what that entailed - and the resulting sales fiasco the 45 endured had predictably different results on the participants. Ike carried on much as before, travelling the US, cutting deals, while Spector retired from the music business for a couple of years. Unfortunately Ike still didn’t value the idea of an exclusive contract - in fact his whole business ethic revolted against such a concept.
So the recordings on this CD were punctuated by releases on many other labels - not just Philles or ones owned by Ike but also much larger concerns. Ike produced cuts and then tried to hustle a deal as best he could. So live LPs and 45s came out on both Loma and Warner Brothers in 1964/5. There vvas also a strange stay with Ray Charles’ Tangerine concern in 1966 that produced a couple of strong 45s and an odd LP shared with Charles’ own Raelets.
The rarest material from this period is the Cenco LP and 45 "Get It Get It" / "You Weren’t Ready" from the latter part of 1964. Building a recognisable product image wasn’t in it.
After these recordings Ike & Tina continued much as before: releasing records for Blue Thumb, Pompeii, Minit and others before the big break into the white market came at last. Typically it was more by luck than judgement. Courtesy of a supporting role on a Rolling Stones tour, their stage act took an unsuspecting audience by storm - although little different to that which had been acclaimed by black audiences for years.
But once the entree had been made there was no looking back. "Nutbush City Limits" and other hits followed and then, after their acrimonious and messy separation, by Tina’s relaunch as a feminist rock icon and superstar, although the music that she made in the 80s doesn’t bear any comparison to her earlier bluesy classics.

JOHN RIDLEY
February 2000

1993

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2000

Ike & Tina Turner - The Kent Years - Sampler

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2004

Ike & Tina Turner - Live In '71 - Album

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