17 April 2013

17th April - Dusty Springfield's A Girl Called Dusty

Artist – Album: Dusty Springfield – A Girl Called Dusty
Released:  17th April 1964
Sounds Like: A tragic cockney’s love affair with Motown (NOT Amy Winehouse...)

Ah Dusty. Dusty, Dusty, Dusty...

Let’s forget about the actual music for a second. With her huge peroxide beehive hairstyle, evening gowns and heavy makeup, Dusty was a true 60’s icon with a style that people still try to emulate today (and I don’t just mean cross dressers...). Just look at her on the cover there, absolutely gorgeous. And so cool. I mean, later on her life tragically descended into alcoholism and drug abuse, but, you know, that’s still pretty rock and roll. And before that she was a highly influential in introducing Motown music to the UK and championing Northern Soul. She was deported from South Africa after performing to an integrated audience in Cape Town during the Apartheid. So cool.

Musically, her love of soul and Motown music was married with her bubbly pop leanings, a mixture well evident here. Performing songs penned by the legendary types of Holland-Dozier-Holland, Burt Bacharach and Hal David, Gerry Goffin and Carole King, and Ray Charles, she woops, hollers and sings-breathily (is there a more elegant way of saying that?) her way through this fun 12 song set. There are a few moments of borderline schmaltz, as in ‘My Colouring Book’ and ‘Mockingbird’, but elsewhere it’s at worst fantastic pop (‘Mama Said’ and ‘Wishin’ and Hopin’’) and at best it’s brilliant blue-eyed soul (‘When the Lovelight Starts Shining Through His Eyes’ and her version of ‘Will You Love Me Tomorrow’). Twenty Four Hours from Tulsa’ showcased her not-as-angellic-as-she-looks side that was harnessed to incredible effect a few years later on ‘Son of a Preacher Man’. She possessed such an effecting and soulful voice (audiences in America originally thought she must have been African American) that even her most asinine lyrics reward the listener.

Not bad for a shy white girl from Camden.

Albumaday... rating: 7/10

1.       Mama Said – 2:14
2.       You Don’t Own Me – 2:30
3.       Do Re Mi (Forget About the Do and Think About Me) – 2:20
4.       When the Lovelight Starts Shining Through His Eyes – 3:07
5.       My Colouring Book – 3:03
6.       Mockingbird – 2:34
7.       Twenty Four Hours From Tulsa – 3:07
8.       Nothing – 2:29
9.       Anyone Who Had a Heart – 3:11
10.   Will You Love Me Tomorrow – 2:40
11.   Wishin’ and Hopin’ – 2:56
12.   Don’t You Know – 2:53

Listen to ‘When the Lovelight Starts Shining Through His Eyes ’: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mGqRbybYi_4 

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