“A Fool in Love” by Ike & Tina Turner

Ike & Tina Turner’s “A Fool in Love” is a classic love song. The singer presents herself as someone who is committed to her partner for two reasons. One is that she does not actually want to be single, as in living life without a man. But more to the point is that she is in fact very much in love with him. And it is revealed that he does have his flaws – a split personality if you will. So that’s what it seems she means when she refers to “a fool in love”, i.e. someone who is powerless to resist a romantic interest despite said individual’s obvious flaws.

And for the record, Ike and Tina did get married a couple of years after this song was released. And those who are familiar with how their relationship went down know that the sentiment expressed in this song, from Tina’s perspective, was actually a bit prophetic.

Release Date of “A Fool in Love”

This is the first song Ike & Tina Turner ever dropped. Accordingly it is the lead single from their debut album, which is entitled “The Soul of Ike & Tina Turner”. And it was released as such by Sue Records during July of 1960. And whereas Ike and Tina were not married at the time, they did begin dating earlier that year.

Track’s Success

“A Fool in Love” is recognized as one of the earliest R&B songs in music history to ever actually blow up in the mainstream (i.e. pop) market – and in the process sell a million copies. And in terms of its chart history, it actually appeared on four Billboard lists, peaking at number 27 in America (i.e. the Hot 100). It also flew to number 2 on the Hot R&B Sides (which in more recent times is known as the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart). It has also been classified as “an instant hit”, i.e. a song that blew up as soon as it hit the airwaves.

History of “A Fool in Love”

This track has a very-interesting history, as it ended up launching Tina Turner’s legendary career by force. It was in fact written exclusively by the late Ike Turner (1931-2007). However, he did so for it to be performed by another artist he was managing at the time. Said singer, one Art Lassiter (1928-1994), basically took an advance from Ike and bailed on him. 

So when it came to the time to record “A Fool in Love”, Ike reluctantly let Tina (who back then was known by the stage name Little Ann) perform the lead vocals since Lassiter did not show up. In fact it does not appear that Tina was even supposed to be a backup singer on the song.  And even then, he intended for Tina’s vocals to just be a placeholder until Art did hopefully show up some time in the future to record his part. Well by the time all was said and done, Tina’s version caught the ear of music execs who paid Ike a handsome sum to release the tune. And he changed her stage name from Little Ann to Tina Turner because Tina rhymes with Sheena, a superheroine who was popularly back in those days.

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