“What You Get Is What You See” by Tina Turner

The title of this song is actually a play on words of a popular adage that goes what you see is what you get. That basically means what lies before your eyes is what actually is. Now in the song itself, Tina Turner is addressing a romantic interest. Or more to point, she highlights how different types of guys have different attractions and dispositions when it comes to dealing with women. 

And it has been put forth, concerning the song’s title and overall sentiment, that what she is stating to a potential lover, i.e. the addressee, is her unwillingness to change who she is in order to please him. However, the way the lyrics actually read are as if she is saying that perhaps guys who appear superficial – i.e. those who seem to be preoccupied with their looks or seducing women – do in fact tend to be superficial inside. She is therefore appealing to this particular romantic interest to lay his “cards on the table”, i.e. totally reveal who he truly is, before they get deeply involved. Indeed unless she is convinced that he is more than just a pretty face, she isn’t going to take it to that level with him anyway.

Facts about “What You Get Is What You See”

This song was written by Tina Turner’s regular creative partners, Graham Lyle and Terry Britten. And Britten also produced the song.

Capitol Records released this track on March 23rd, 1987. It is the fifth single from Tina’s sixth-solo album, “Break Every Rule”. This album’s first single was Tina’s 1986 hit track, “Typical Male“.

Peter Care handled the directing responsibilities for the song’s music video.

“What You Get Is What You See” proved to be a mild success by Tina Turner’s standard, peaking at number 13 in the U.S.A. (the Hot 100 chart)  and charting in nearly 10 nations overall.

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