Album Review: Tina – The Tina Turner Musical Original Cast Recording

The Original Cast Recording of Tina – The Tina Turner Musical captures much of what makes the show work so well, not least Adrienne Warren’s sensational lead performance

“Hot whispers in the night
I’m captured by your spell”

As Tina – The Tina Turner Musical opens on Broadway, what better time to take a look at the Original Cast Recording, which is now available worldwide – to stream, download or order the CD, then visit Ghostlight Records here. The show opened in the West End last year and while I may not have loved the book unconditionally, there is no denying the 24 carat gold quality of the score with its selection from Turner’s frankly amazing back catalogue which spans rock’n’roll to rhythm’n’blues to pop to straight up soul.

Rather cannily, the Broadway production has retained the lead from the West End production as Adrienne Warren deservedly took the lion’s share of the plaudits. And it is her personality, allied to that rip-roaring voice, that shines through this cast recording, elevating it from the mere karaoke of way too many other jukebox show cast recordings. Listen to the passion of the moan that opens ‘A Fool in Love’, the hunger of ‘Better Be Good to Me’, the aching tenderness of ‘I Don’t Wanna Fight’ – this is a star-making performance.

There’s real skill too from Music Supervisor Nicholas Skilbeck in the way that songs have been (re-)arranged to seamlessly meet the storytelling demands of musical theatre. The duet version of ‘Don’t Turn Around’ between Warren and Lorna Gayle is a case in point, so too Tina coming together with Ike on the emotional tension of ‘I Can’t Stand the Rain’. And that’s all before we’ve even mentioned the big hits – ‘River Deep, Mountain High’, ‘Proud Mary’, ‘Disco Inferno’, ‘Nutbush City Limits’, nothing disappoints here, at all.

For me, it is the fierceness of ‘What’s Love Got To Do With It’ that really encapsulates the power of this cast recording, Warren’s vocal on absolute fire in an all-time classic song, with the slight intervention of the musical just heightening how special it is. An album to treasure right alongside Tina’s greatest hits.

Photo: Adrienne Warren in the London production of Tina – The Tina Turner Musical, credit to Manuel Harlan

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