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Prisoner in Love (No Bail in This Jail)

Well, I’m back, thanks to two key purchases:  1) I found a copy of What You Hear Is What You Get: Live at Carnegie Hall at Nice Price — so exciting! and 2) finally got that Ike Turner: The Bad Man CD, which includes some Ikettes cuts worth talking about.

So, to begin: my first Ikettes post. I chose a 1962 single called “Prisoner in Love (No Bail in This Jail).” You can hear it here.

Robbie Montgomery sings lead on this one, a fairly standard man-done-me-wrong single, but Robbie and the Ikettes elevate the material with a bit of attitude when they can.  Robbie lucks out and gets one of the most fun lines I’ve heard on an Ike single: “I get the fibble-gibble-skibble-dibble-libbles,” which she takes up and down the scale playfully.  I also really love the Ikette’s delivery of the first chorus when they sound so put out on “I believe he’s lost his key, ’cause he never really cared about me.”

Robbie and the Ikettes trade lines back and forth during a borderline-alarming revenge fantasy section of the song:

“I wish I had the strength of  a man / I would grab him in his collar and let a left hook follow, mmm hmm! / and that ain’t ALL I’d do! / I would knock him to his knees and make him beg me to please / he would never wanna hurt me again / then I’d be satisfied ’cause I’d know I’d hurt his pride, mmm hmm!”

Readers of this blog know that I don’t fantasize about beating up men, but instead dream of ’60s Tina Turner covering Screamin’ Jay Hawkins songs.  So imagine my delight: Tina does not sing on this single but she does contribute big crazy-lady cackles throughout! Very Screamin’ Jay style. These demented laughs make “Prisoner in Love” a memorable single but don’t make all that much sense within the song–it’s not like the lyrics lead you to believe the woman has gone completely around the bend. Tina sounds like she’s in a straight jacket, which makes the listener wonder what exactly the fibble-gibble-skibble-dibble-libbles are.

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