Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Tina Turner 'On Silent Wings'

Chart Peak: 13


Ah yes, Tina Turner. It felt a bit weird doing Now 10 without her...

'On Silent Wings' was the third of six singles from the album Wildest Dreams, although the version that became the hit is edited down from the six-minute album cut, apparently with some extra overdubs. Even so, it's not what you'd call a concentrated burst of nervous energy.

It's obviously supposed to be a sort of dry-eyed look at the failure of a relationship. Not the panicked reaction, but a sort of resigned recognition that that's how life goes; "You never see it coming, you just go separate ways..." It's perhaps fitting for a veteran performer like Turner, but the trouble with this sort of approach is that it's inherently undramatic, so you have to come up with something pretty special to make it work. The Beatles managed it on 'For No One', but few others seem to have got there. This one ends up feeling slightly aimless, (and that sense is only exacerbated by the video which eventually resorts to setting off fireworks). It goes downhill in the final minute with the sudden arrival of Sting, who makes his first appearance on this blog, who turns up singing along as if there were some extra lyrics left over that Turner forgot to say. Needless to say, they're a bit of a mistmatched pairing and he sounds like a complete afterthought: there's no space in the arrangement for him so he just seems like a DJ singing over the end of the record.

It's not unpleasant by any means, and it gets some small credit for ambition, but it doesn't make a great impact.

Also appearing on: 1, 4, 6, 16, 17, 18, 21, 25, 26, 32, 44
Available on: The Platinum Collection

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