Tina Turner’s Private Dancer is a good album, but overrated. The singles are terrific, but that’s pretty much all you get, unless you want to hear respectable but won’t-make-you-forget-the-original versions of “Let’s Stay Together” and “Help.”
There is, however, one major exception.
“Steel Claw” was written and originally performed by Irish singer-songwriter Paul Brady, on his 1986 album True for You. (Bonnie Raitt also covers a song from this album, “Not the Only One.”)
“Steel Claw” really is a lost classic. The lyrics are superb:
The politicians have forgotten this place,
Except for a flying visit in a black Mercedes,
At election time
They cross the line
And everybody runs to watch the pantomime.
Tina wisely copies Brady’s arrangement nearly exactly. Why this wasn’t a single, I’ll never know.
I love this song. Love it.
(Sound quality is a bit iffy, but I’m not about to risk the wrath of the copyright police by posting it myself.)
Dave Edmunds also covered this song. His version is a slightly inferior version of Paul Brady’s, which means it’s still pretty great (and it does add some bad-ass guitar). If you’d like to hear it, it’s here.
“It doesn’t really matter when you’re crawling in the gutter.”