Before he was the most notorious spousal abuser in music history, Ike Turner held a legitimate claim to the invention of rock and roll. Back in March 1951 — three years prior to Elvis’s “That’s All Right” — Ike Turner’s Kings of Rhythm laid down a cut written by Ike and saxophonist Jackie Brenston. Brenston sang lead on the song, “Rocket 88,” which might explain why it was attributed to Jackie Brenston and His Delta Cats. Some consider it the very first rock and roll song:
Ike was only 19 in 1951, and rock and roll wasn’t even rock and roll yet. By 1968 everything was different — everything. Ike was married (or “married”) to sixth wife, Tina, and they were huge. The Ike and Tina Revue was a hot ticket, the band was on its tenth album, and Ike was on his way to a serious coke habit. But the world changed a lot over that 17 year stretch, too: The civil rights movement, the hippies, the Kennedys. MLK was killed in April of that year, and riots broke out at the Democratic National Convention in August.
So that’s the world in which Ike and Tina dropped Outta Season, with its giant fuck you of a cover. But behind that controversial album cover is one of the best albums in the Ike and Tina catalog — heavy on the blues and more soul than a shoe factory. The set opens with a cover of Otis Redding’s “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long,” later featured in the Rolling Stones film Gimme Shelter:
They didn’t stop at Otis, though. They went all the way back to blues godfather Robert Johnson for “Dust My Broom,” though their version is a bit more upbeat:
Thirteen rock solid tracks and a badass album cover? Of course this one is in my stacks.Outta Season is still in print both as a CD and downloads, but come on — you really want the original gatefold cover on Blue Thumb records. Prices are all over the place, but 20-30 bucks is reasonable for one in really good condition. Happy hunting.
Categories: From the Stacks