Category: Dusty Springfield

Dusty Springfield – Dusty in Memphis

ARTIST: Dusty Springfield     Dusty_Springfield,_Dusty_in_Memphis_(1969)

TITLE: Dusty in Memphis

YEAR RELEASED: 1969

CHART ACTION: #99

SINGLES: Son of a Preacher Man (#10 US, #9 UK), Don’t Forget About Me (#64 US), The Windmills of Your Mind (#31 US)

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: I doubt it.

LINEUP: Dusty Springfield. Reggie Young, Tommy Cogbill, Bobby Emmons, Bobby Wood, Gene Chrisman, The Sweet Inspirations.

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Springfield goes to Memphis to boost her career, and while the commercial results weren’t there, the arrangements and production by Jerry Wexler, Arif Martin, and Tom Dowd, along with Springfield’s sublime vocals, made for a classic.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: It’s hard for an artist to realize that they need to move in another direction to kick-start a career, but Springfield took a chance by signing with Atlantic Records and recording this album in the same place where so many Atlantic soul hits were recorded. Dusty_Springfield_-_Dusty_In_Memphis_(UK)

This is string heavy vocal pop with a soul music underpinning. Springfield’s delivery fits right in with the backing from the Sweet Inspirations and the crack session musicians, and the string arrangements add the right amount of depth without going to schmaltz.

The material is from A-listers as well (Goffin / King, Mann / Weil, Randy Newman, Bacharach / David among others). From material to production to performance, this is aces all the way.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: Springfield was nervous about recording in Memphis with these players, and her nerves made for a difficult session. Her vocals were ultimately recorded in NY.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes, packed with B-sides, singles, and other unreleased tracks from Springfield’s Atlantic era, including the fantabulous “Live Here with You” 

GRADE: A+: I was skeptical about giving this my highest grade, since it’s been such a hyped record by critics, but in breaking it down, it’s pert near perfect for any listener.

 

Dusty Springfield – The Very Best of Dusty Springfield

ARTIST: Dusty Springfield      413BN5AZCHL

TITLE:  The Very Best of Dusty Springfield

YEAR RELEASED: Compilation

CHART ACTION: None

SINGLES: Top 20: I Only Want to Be with You (#12 US, #4 UK), Stay Awhile (#38 US, #13 UK), Wishin’ and Hopin’ (#6 US), I Just Don’t Know What to Do with Myself (#3 UK), Losing You (#91 US, #9 UK), In the Middle of Nowhere (#108 US, #8 UK), Some of Your Lovin’ (#8 UK), Little by Little (#17 UK), You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me (#4 US, #1 UK), Goin’ Back (#10 UK), All I See Is You (#20 US, #9 UK), I’ll Try Anything (#40 US, #13 UK), I Close My Eyes and Count to Ten (#122 US, #4 UK)

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: The Look of Love (#22 US)

LINEUP: Dusty Springfield and session players galore.

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: A great compilation of UK’s premiere soul singer of the 60’s up to the classic Dusty in Memphis album.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Dusty Springfield released five albums and many singles in the UK before the Dusty in Memphis album in 1969. Thanks to re-purposing, the US record company somehow got three albums out of the singles and the one album released in 1964 and 1965, but then thanks to a company switch in the US, we missed an entire 1968 album. So, I think the best route for her early stuff is a compilation.

This one seemed to be the most complete, covering most all of the US and UK hits of note during the time frame. The songs at first were definitely UK versions of the Spector Wall of Sound, but then moved to a much more sophisticated soul sound – in the manner of Dionne Warwick.

Springfield’s influence, especially in the UK, cannot be overstated. While some of these songs do sound dated, there are some timeless ones here and a close listen to all of them reveals a great singer and compelling artist.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: “Wishin’ and Hopin’”, the song that may be the most identified with Springfield in the US, was never a UK single – it was an album track. Also, warning – two tracks on the Google Play version of this were misidentified. I had to go pull them from another compilation into this.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No.

GRADE: A-: The downgrade was just because of the sloppy identification of two tracks. If the tracks are right, then it’s an A all the way.