Dusty in Memphis – Dusty Springfield (1969)

Album no. 151/1001

Dusty is back! This is her fifth album, five years on from A Girl Called Dusty. This just in: she can still sing.

This was an effort from Dusty to reinvigorate her career, but it didn’t really work. It didn’t crack the UK top 40, and only got to 99 in the US. It has gone on to be regarded as possibly her greatest work and ‘a timeless emotional reference point’, but I suspect that would have been cold comfort at the time.

As the title might suggest the album was recorded in Memphis, with a group of musicians that had previously backed Wilson Pickett, King Curtis and Elvis.

Have you listened to this album before?

NK: I have not.

CL: Nah. I do know that ‘Son Of A Preacher Man’ is on here though, so that’s a winner.

Standout track

NK: Man, this album is saucy! ‘Son of a Preacher Man’ is the obvious pick here, but ‘Just a Little Lovin’ and ‘Breakfast in Bed’ are pretty good too. There are some straight up soul tracks on this, ‘No Easy Way Down’ goes alright.

CL: There were lots of good songs on here. I agree with all the ones you named, but I also really liked ‘I Don’t Want To Hear It Anymore’. I think to pick just one… ‘Breakfast In Bed’. That’s a winner.

When would be the best time to listen to this?

NK: Sunrise or sunset.

CL: Maybe it’s just because there’s a song about breakfast, but I think it’s a good morning album. To have on … while making breakfast. I’m easily influenced. 

Why has this album been included on the list?

NK: It’s got ‘Son of a Preacher Man’ obviously, but apart from that Dusty’s voice is as good as ever and the sound is pretty nailed down. That said, I wished there was a bit more variety in the arrangements. ‘Son of a Preacher Man’ has that spooky little guitar riff at the beginning, and the lyrics really set it apart. Some of the other songs were pretty samey. Sad-ish song about love, Dusty’s voice, some strings, boom. Not that it’s bad, but mixing it up a bit wouldn’t have gone astray. This sounds like I didn’t like it. I did! I really enjoyed it, but it didn’t blow me away.

CL: There’s certainly a sassier sound. I think you’re being a bit harsh about the samey-ness of the songs. That was her whole schtick! I think she sounds top-notch here and has just honed her skills since A Girl Called Dusty.

Will you be listening again?  

NK: I am unsure. I didn’t mind this, but it was a bit of a letdown as well. I had high expectations after A Girl Called Dusty. She didn’t seem to have made all that much progress. I probably will, if only for ‘Son of a Preacher Man’.

CL: I think I probably will, yes. I definitely preferred the other album on this list, but this is still a good one. 

Rating

NK: This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.

CL: This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.

Listen to Dusty in Memphis on Spotify or buy it in iTunes.

2 thoughts on “Dusty in Memphis – Dusty Springfield (1969)

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