Like many of you, I was sad to hear about Tina Turner leaving us. She was a staple for me growing up, and has stayed there ever since.
My first real (as opposed to uninterested) contact with music came from borrowing my father's Walkman when he was on a business trip. There was a Bryan Adams mixtape in there. This was 1986, I think, which is two years after the release of one of my most played albums ever.
Tina Turner's Private dancer never gets old. It'll live on forever, for as long as there are people listening to music, some will play this album. An artist like Tina Turner created so many wonderful songs, but, much like Warren Zevon, it's surprising how many of them can end up on the same album.
So, here's my take on Private dancer. Do listen along.
I might have been queen This might be the perfect first song on an album. The beat, the oh so 80s guitar, and Tina's voice. It's upbeat, it's enticing, it's a wonderful groove. And then, as it gets ready to wind down, it bridges over. I mean, this is just great.
What's love got to do with it If I might have been queen is an upbeat starting song, she brings us down again with What's love got to do it. It's a powerful ballad that everyone knows, and I can't think of anyone who'd deliver it better. I love the small blip-blop sounds in the background, like electric water-drops.
Show some respect Show some respect is a bit of a filler, but it's still a great song. Listening to it, you can almost see Tina dancing across the stage during the chorus.
I can't stand the rain This ballad drips (pun sort of intended) of Tina. It's a wonderful ballad, stronger than What's love got to do with it if you ask me, with a lovely blues vibe. And who doesn't love that NA-DA-DAH synth?
Private dancer Well yeah, the titular song is Tina's best ballad ever, I think. It's the highlight of the album, it paints so many pictures, and boils down the moment in time, the early 80s, in a way I doubt any other song has. This is a masterpiece, I never grow tired of it.
Let's stay together If Show some respect feels like a filler, then Let's stay together certainly is one. It's the only poor song on the album, the only one I'd gladly do without. I find the sound of the song boring, it's a snooze-fest. Maybe I would't say that if it was on another album than Private dancer, but that's how I feel.
Better be good to me Well, sorry Tina, I have to be honest after all, and Let's stay together isn't a particularly good song. Luckily you pick things up with Better be good to me, starting small but building up to a catchy chorus. This almost plays like a mid-80s Bryan Adams song, and although he never did write a song for the Private dancer albums as the producers wanted, you got the sound anyway. And the two of you did It's only love for his hit album Reckless, so that's fine.
Steel claw Oh, here we go! Listening to Steel claw, I always picture Vega from Street Fighter 2. Yeah, I used to work with video games, remember? It's a lovely snotty rock song, something Tina easily pulled off. "That's what you get for messing with the Steel Claw!" Listening to this makes her role in Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome feel so much better.
Help! After Steel claw, it makes sense to tone it down a bit, so why not with a cover of the Beatles song, Help!, right? It's a beautiful song, Tina does it well enough, but to me, it's a bridge to 1984, albeit one with some great sax tunes.
1984 Orwellian? A bit. Catchy? For sure. It's almost raw, Tina's raspy voice in 1984. She's wrapping up the album in a way I certainly wouldn't have guessed had this album dropped today. It's a lot harder, darker, faster than you'd expect, and I love it. I bet David Bowie as happy with it.
Thank you, Tina. 🖤
💃 I liked New Yorker's obituary of Tina Turner.
🚗 Scary Tesla leak, but perhaps not surprising giving the culture Elon Musk apparently creates.
🎨 Arc is a new web browser with a new take on how to experience the web. They just rolled out a new feature that let's you easily reskin websites, and even remove annoying aspects. It's called Boosts and I like it.
📇 You can reserve your handle on Substack now because everyone wants a piece of Twitter dying. I'm @tdhftw there, although I'm not sure if I'll ever do anything on Substack again, we'll see.
Got something I should read? Send it to me, either by replying to this letter, or tweeting to @tdh. Thanks!
📚 It's been a few hectic weeks, culminating in a big launch this past Friday. I've been leafing through The Enemy by Lee Child. It's a pretty standard Jack Reacher novel that I think I've actually read. Popcorn books, got to love them, right?
🎵 Well, I'm clearly listening to Tina Turner's album Private dancer, aren't I?
📺 I finally got around to watching the Dragons Dogma anime on Netflix. I’d dropped it twice due to the animation style, but I must say, it was worth it in the end. Fitting, since the game it's based on is getting a sequel.
🎮 It's endgame time in Breath of the Wild, but I have to wait for the kid to get back before I wrap it up. It's been sitting for so many years already, it can sit for a week or so more.
Spring is always the worst when it comes to workload. Everything needs to get done before Midsummer here in Sweden because after that we literally log off for 3-6 weeks. No new business, no replies from clients, no nothing at all. If you don't have your ducks in a row before Midsummer, you're in trouble.
I know, it's weird, but it's the reason for May and June being such stressful months. It's under control, I think we're through the worst of it, but it has left me exhausted. Why am I telling you this? Is it because I'm going to pause this letter? On the contrary, I'm thinking of ways to further it. A proper site (again) would be a start. It's a couple of weeks off, but if you have thoughts, feel free to hit reply and tell me.
Thank you, and have a great Sunday. I'll see you again in a week.
— Thord D. Hedengren ⚡
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