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Flashback Video: 'What's Love Got to Do With It' by Tina Turner

Ever since the dawn of MTV and Friday Night Videos, the music video has significantly  impacted musical tastes and pop culture. It might not be as extreme as when the Buggles declared that "Video Killed the Radio Star", but there is no arguing  that the music video certainly could make or break a song's popularity. So this regular Flashback Video feature will serve to remember some of the music videos  from the great '80s decade that made an impact on me in one way or another.


This issue we will cover "What's Love Got to Do With It" by Tina Turner.  Released as a single from her Private Dancer in May of 1984, it eventually became Turner's biggest-selling single and spent three weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in September. This was Turner's only single to ever reach the top of the U.S. pop charts. The following year, "What's Love Got to Do with It" received three awards at the 1985 Grammy Awards including Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. Turner was already 44 years old when she had this hit and it introduced her to a whole new generation. The music video received steady airplay on MTV which likely helped the song's popularity.


The music video for "What's Love Got to Do With It" was directed by Mark Robinson. He was well experienced in early-80s music videos including The Pretenders "Brass in Pocket", The Ramones "Rock n Roll High School", Bob Marley "Redemption Song", Tommy Tutone "867-5309/Jenny", Eddie Money "Think I'm In Love", Pat Benatar "Shadows of the Night" and several more before working with Turner on "What's Love Got to Do With It" in 1984.


The music video was shot in New York City during the spring of 1984. It features Turner with her trademark hair style walking down the street in a jean jacket and leather miniskirt intercut with scenes where she is singing directly to the camera. Here is the music video for "What's Love Got to Do With It" by Tina Turner...




Tina Turner performed the song at the first-ever MTV Video Music Awards in 1984 though the video itself would not be eligible until the next year. At the 1985 MTV VMAs, Turner beat out Madonna, Cyndi Lauper, Sade and Sheila E. to win Best Female Video.


“What’s Love Got to Do With It” was produced and co-written by Terry Britten. I had the chance to interview Britten and I asked him at what point did he realize this song was something special:

"The first time I knew it was special was right after Tina did her vocal. I took a cassette home and couldn't stop playing it. My feeling after I heard it was that it can never get better than this!"


Hope you enjoyed another trip back to the '80s thanks to Flashback Video!

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