Tina Turner’s “Private Dancer” Lyrics Meaning

On “Private Dancer”, succinctly put, Tina Turner is portraying herself as a stripper. But it isn’t in the way that modern female singers do, in the sense of actually idealizing this type of lifestyle. Rather, she lets it be known that her customers are let’s say faceless drones in her mind. And she has aspirations of one day settling down and starting a family, i.e. living a more-standard life. As such, the presented rationale of why she chose this profession is in the name of generating income. Simply put, to her, it is just a means to an end.

Facts about “Private Dancer”

This is the title track from the album which established Tina Turner as an A-list soloist.  And it was released by Capitol Records as part of said album on 29 May 1984. And interesting to note is that Miss Turner herself chose this as the title song for that project, which produced several hits, including “Better Be Good to Me“.

“Private Dancer” was written by Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits’ fame. In fact he initially wrote it for his band but later concluded that the lyrics were more suitable for a female singer. But ultimately certain members of the Dire Straits still provided instrumentals to the final product.

The music video to this song was recorded in London, at a venue called the Rivoli Ballroom. And the director who handled the task’s name is Brian Grant.

According to Tina Turner, she did not initially realize what this song was actually about.  Indeed it seems she was under the impression that the titular character was actually more along the lines of a musician who did private performances, as opposed to a stripper.

“Private Dancer”, which was produced by John Carter, is of course one of Tina Turner’s signature tunes. The song made it to number 7 on the iconic Hot 100 and was a top 30 hit in Britain. And overall it charted in almost a dozen countries.

Interesting to note is that for the UK promo release, the line in which Tina Turner namedrops “American Express” was altered. And the reason for such was a law in place which prohibited songs from advertising companies.

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