"The Bitch is Back" (originally by Elton John)
No notes, this track is just perfect.
Not all of Turner’s covers are radical reinterpretations. Turner’s cover of "The Bitch is Back" hems pretty close to the original, but that’s because there was no way to make the propulsive high-energy glam of the song more suited to Tina Turner’s voice. While The Who’s "Acid Queen" felt like it was written for someone else to record, Elton John’s "The Bitch is Back" sounds like it was written specifically for Tina Turner "The Bitch is Back" is so suited to Tina Turner’s voice, in fact, that her version is now the definitive one, becoming one of her signature songs, while Elton John’s version sounds like an oddly faithful novelty cover.
It does sound like Tina Turner by way of Elton John, though. While Turner had always favored hard and heavy funk rock, "The Bitch is Back," with it’s triumphant horn intro and propulsive piano is the sort of glammy light and fast rock that John specializes in. It’s still got Elton John’s signature all over it, it’s just that she sang it better than he could, which is really saying something.
"The Bitch is Back" was originally on Turner’s third solo album Rough, and was also rerecorded for the Elton John tribute album Two Rooms in 1991. That version earned a Grammy nomination.