Tina Turner was at her peak as a singer and performer when the performances for this double-disc project were recorded. The bulk of the numbers were culled from her "Break Every Rule" tour, but they're interspersed with items from the Private Dancer tour as well as from the 1986 HBO special Tina Turner: Break Every Rule. The set is special for many reasons. Turner's success and personal happiness is reflected in the performances. Turner smartly incorporated a number of soul standards into the set — mostly uptempo, aggressive numbers that allowed her to display the showmanship and sexuality that were big parts of her star appeal. She had a first-rate band behind her, and the choices of rock and pop covers were just as inspired as the R&B pieces.
There's very little disposable or forgettable numbers on either LP. She begins with the most familiar pieces ("What You Get is What You See," "Break Every Rule," "Typical Male"), then shifts into expected favorites ("Private Dancer," What's Love Got To Do With It," "Let's Stay Together"). In the second half, she takes audiences back to the old days, ripping through "Land of a Thousand Dances," "In the Midnight Hour, "Proud Mary" and "River Deep-Mountain High," singing each with great style and flair. The disc also pairs her with tremendous duet partners. Robert Cray contributes a fine instrumental solo on "A Change Is Gonna Come" and a solid vocal on "634-5789," while David Bowie ("Let's Dance," "Tonight"), Eric Clapton ("Tearing Us Apart") and Bryan Adams ("It's Only Love") make valuable contributions. It's not completely like the atmosphere at one of Tina Turner's '80s shows, but Live In Europe comes as close as any recording to accurately conveying the feel and the electricity.