Dusty Springfield was undeniably an gifted and emotive interpreter of songs. While best known for her early "Girl Group" era pop
hits, Dusty was also something of a novelty for being a British female vocalist who could convincingly deliver R&B and Soul styled
The DUSTY IN MEMPHIS project looked great on paper, but Springfield herself was quite dissatisfied with the song selections offered
to her by the producers. In fact, she really only approved two of the songs ("Just A Little Lovin'" and "Son Of A Preacher Man"),
with the majority of the selections being penned by Brill Building song factory teams like Goffin & King and Weil & Mann.
In retrospect, Springfield was dead on with her assessment of this project. DUSTY IN MEMPHIS was not a commercial success at the time,
but was hailed later on by many music critics as one of the best albums ever. As much as I love Dusty's voice and performances here,
many of these songs seem ill chosen or unmemorable to me. There's no doubt that she sells even the lesser tracks with the warmth of
The hit single "Son Of A Preacher Man" deserves all of the glory it has reaped and is an example of what this album could have been.
The mood throughout is fairly sedate and Dusty's delivery is silky smooth. I'm not a big fan of strings, which could be some of the
reason that some tracks come off as a bit too sappy for my taste. It's a nice record for what it is, but seems to be enjoying a good
dose of hype in some critics circles.
Highlights: "Just A Little Lovin'" and "Son Of A Preacher Man".