Dusty Springfield
Dusty in Memphis


4.5
superb

Review

by AmericanFlagAsh USER (5 Reviews)
September 20th, 2016 | 16 replies


Release Date: 1969 | Tracklist

Review Summary: No soulful affectation here, just easy listening.

Signing with Atlantic Records was probably one of the smartest decisions by Dusty Springfield. At least, that's what she had in mind. Heading south and diving into soul music, this UK star decided to give it her all with Dusty in Memphis. With the help of legendary producers (Jerry Wexler, Tom Dowd, and Arif Mardin), backing vocalists (The Sweet Inspirations), bassist Tommy Cogbill, and guitarist Reggie Young, she was able to create a work of art she had always dreamed of. However, the album turned out to be a commercial failure. Dusty had done R&B before, but her previous albums were more pop-oriented. This was the first time she had done an entirely soulful album and although it didn't sell, it became a staple of an amazing blue-eyed soul work over time.

Dusty in Memphis deserves the reputation is has gained over the decades. It is smooth, easy-listening at its finest. This is an album that radiates with class and confidence. Jerry Wexler and company did a great job at picking the songs for Dusty to sing, each written and composed very well. The sweeping strings and gentle percussion on the opener "Just a Little Lovin'" set the vibe of the entire album, but each song brings something fresh. "So Much Love" brings The Sweet Inspirations in for some beautiful background vocals while album highlight "Son of a Preacher Man" turns up the tempo and blasts powerful horns, also prominent in "Breakfast in Bed." Cool, groovy guitar plucking along with more strings and tambourine shaking can be heard on other tracks. "In the Land of Make Believe" even sounds a bit psychedelic at times.

Dusty's voice is one of the greatest highlights. She shows off her range by smoothly opening the album with "just a little lovin' - early in the morning - beats a cup of coffee - for starting off the day" and then two songs later belting out "the only one who could ever reach me - was the son of a preacher man," never losing her classy composure and hitting all the right notes in every song. You'd think the feelings portrayed would sound artificial, because none of the songs were written by her personally, but she sings them with such credence it's hard not to be moved.

Honestly, Dusty in Memphis really needs more attention. It's an embodiment of a pop star doing what she wanted to do, with the right people, and borrowing from her idols such as Aretha Franklin. It's a great and easy listen, perfect for mornings or evenings or anytime you want to feel the passion of some amazing soul music.


user ratings (116)
4.1
excellent


Comments:Add a Comment 
Cygnatti
September 20th 2016


36037 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

classic album

AmericanFlagAsh
September 20th 2016


13335 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

It needed a review



Tell me why if you neg

AlexKzillion
September 21st 2016


17314 Comments


Surprised this didn't already have a view. pos

AmericanFlagAsh
September 21st 2016


13335 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks!



Yeah it's crazy how I come across albums like this that don't have reviews

manosg
Emeritus
September 21st 2016


12709 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Not a big fan of this album but it needed a review.



Good job, pos.

TwigTW
September 21st 2016


3934 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I love this album: the strings, her voice, the songs, everything. Surprised to read it was a commercial failure when released, but it must have made up for it over the years. Nice review--glad to see it finally has one

AmericanFlagAsh
September 21st 2016


13335 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah it sold less than 100k albums the first year. Peaked at like 99 on the charts.

It did gain popularity later on.



Also, thanks!

Anthracks
September 22nd 2016


8031 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Was never too fond of her, but nice review.

AmericanFlagAsh
September 22nd 2016


13335 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Dusty created death metal tho

Anthracks
September 22nd 2016


8031 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

When it comes to vintage pop divas I'm more of a Connie Francis kinda guy.

AmericanFlagAsh
October 5th 2016


13335 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I try and I try but I can't make it alone

brandontaylor
August 26th 2019


1228 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

wow this album has such a classic and timeless feel. absolutely gorgeous top to bottom, wish i'd discovered this earlier

Archelirion
October 8th 2020


6594 Comments


Most of this is kinda 'yeah this is nice' but Son of a Preacher Man just destroys and her version of Windmills of Your Mind is actually pretty damn great too (as much as I 100% prefer Noel Harrison's effort) . The arrangements are the true stars on this overall though.

Cygnatti
October 8th 2020


36037 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Windmills is so damn gud

Ryus
July 14th 2021


36968 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

slapz

AmericanFlagAsh
March 31st 2022


13335 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Fuck I forgot how much I love this and I forgot I reviewed it



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