Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Blue Thumb: I've Been Loving You Too Long

In 1968, Blue Thumb Records signed Ike and Tina Turner for one album – the fifth for the label; however, the initial single release was delayed until spring 1969. Their “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long” was the first single for the label and was appropriately numbered as BLU 101. Ike and Tina’s cover of the Otis Redding tune charted at #68 on the Hot 100 and at #23 on the R&B chart.

Speaking of covers, the album, “Outta Season,” was their only release on the Blue Thumb label and it sported a highly imaginative and possibly controversial cover. Ike and Tina were depicted in “white face” make-up that mocked the prejudicial black-faced make-up used by minstrel performers from the past. Only Ike and Tina could have pulled this off.

Internationally, the album was released on Liberty Records or its subsidiary labels Minit and Sunset. This may have provoked Ike and Tina to switch loyalties to Liberty Records. When Transamerica, who owned United Artists, Liberty, and its family of labels, devalued the Liberty brand in the early 1970s, Ike and Tina (as well as other artists on the Liberty roster) were switched to the United Artists brand.

With the signing of Ike and Tina to Liberty/UA and their greater success with the single “Proud Mary”  and the inclusion of “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long” on the 1971 live album “What You Hear is What You Get,” Blue Thumb re-released the single as BTA 202. It failed to chart the second time around. It may be the only example were a second release of a single had a catalog number that was exactly double of the initial release.

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