Genres: Jazz, Classic R&B, Classic Soul, Brit Pop, R&B/Soul, Adult Contemporary, Dance/Electronic, Funk, Rock, Pop
The first recording of "Nutbush City Limits" was produced by Ike Turner at his Inglewood, California facility, Bolic Sound Studio, in May 1973 and released as a single the following month by the couple under their professional name, Ike & Tina Turner. This version is characterized by inventive guitar sounds, a clavinet, a substantial synthesizer solo, and a funky brass section.
The song later appeared on their album of the same title, released November 1973, and proved to be the duo's final significant chart hit, reaching #11 on Billboard Hot Soul Singles, #22 on the Billboard Hot 100, and #4 on the UK Singles Chart. In Australia, the single peaked at #14, spent 52 weeks in the top 100, and is still a party staple among Generation X and Y where it is accompanied by a dance of the same name. The album also appeared on the Billboard Soul LPs chart, peaking at #21 during its run. Following the couple's split, the song became a staple of Tina's live show where she reworked the funky studio version into a hard-driving rock and roll showstopper.
Typical of the period, none of the session musicians who contributed to "Nutbush City Limits" were given specific mention in the song credits. It has been rumored for years that Marc Bolan, frontman for the glam rock band T. Rex, played guitar on the track. Gloria Jones, his girlfriend at the time—who herself provided backing vocals for Ike & Tina Turner during the 1960s—asserted that this was the case in the 2007 BBC4 documentary Marc Bolan: The Final Word.[verification needed] This claim is bolstered by the fact that Bolan toured the U.S. extensively and resided in the Los Angeles area during the mid-1970s, and is also acknowledged to have played on the Ike & Tina Turner singles "Sexy Ida (Part 2)" and "Baby—Get It On". However, a 2008 Ebony magazine article about Ike Turner's death identified James "Bino" Lewis, then a member of Ike & Tina's backing band Kings of Rhythm, as the guitarist. It has also been suggested that James Lewis is the guitarist on "Baby—Get It On".