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Forever Dusty: Four New Releases Celebrate Springfield’s Musical Legacy

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Dusty Heard Them Here FirstDusty Springfield’s ebullient first solo single, 1963’s “I Only Want to Be with You,” announced just how far the former Mary Isobel Catherine Bernadette O’Brien had come from her pop-folk trio The Springfields and the likes of “Silver Threads and Golden Needles.”  The thunderous production and joyous vocals augured for a significant new talent, and the song was selected as one of the very first ever to be played on the BBC’s Top of the Pops.  And indeed, Dusty Springfield remained at the top of the pops for the entirety of her too-short life and career.  The “White Queen of Soul,” Springfield could be breathily sensual one moment and achingly vulnerable the next.  Though Dusty struggled with personal demons for most of her life, she channeled her inner turmoil to create some of the most thrilling three-minute nuggets ever put down on record.  Springfield’s love of American R&B helped break down racial barriers, and she brought a deeply soulful sensibility and emotional honesty to so-called pop fare.  Her legendary talent is now the subject of four recent releases from four different labels.

Leading the pack is Ace Records’ Dusty Heard Them Here First, anthologizing many of the songs that were reinterpreted by Springfield in her own inimitable style.  Some of Dusty’s own versions of those songs have, in turn, been featured on Starbucks Entertainment’s new Opus Collection volume.  Analogue Productions has revisited Springfield’s 1969 classic Dusty in Memphis as a hybrid stereo SACD.  And lastly, the U.K. public domain label Jasmine has collected many of Springfield’s pre-solo sides with The Lana Sisters and The Springfields on a new 2-CD set, The Early Years.  (Remember: though this is a legal release in the E.U., no royalties are paid to the artist and/or copyright holders of these recordings.)

Ace’s new Dusty Heard Them Here First, following similar collections for artists including Elvis Presley and Cliff Richard, is a wide-ranging and illuminating tribute to Springfield’s greatest influences.  It’s also a history in miniature of the many strands of American pop music and R&B which Dusty synthesized into a singular style all her own.  Naturally, the sound of Motown plays a major part on this disc.  A staunch crusader for equal rights, Springfield was one of the foremost voices in bringing the music of the Motor City to the United Kingdom.  Her 1965 television special The Sounds of Motown introduced artists like The Supremes, The Miracles and Martha and the Vandellas to U.K. audiences, and songs from Berry Gordy’s empire were a crucial part of her repertoire.  Here, you’ll hear Motown originals by The Velvelettes (“Needle in a Haystack”), Marvin Gaye (“Can I Get a Witness”), The Miracles (“You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me”) and Gladys Knight and the Pips (the rousing “Ain’t No Sun Since You’ve Been Gone”).  Post-Motown R&B from songwriter-producers Holland-Dozier-Holland’s Hot Wax/Invictus label also got attention from Dusty, and this compilation features The Honey Cone’s “Girls It Ain’t Easy” and The Glass House’s “Crumbs Off the Table.”  Dusty didn’t ignore Motown’s southern-soul counterparts at Stax, either, and Dusty Heard Them Here First includes Carla Thomas’ “Every Ounce of Strength,” recorded by Dusty on the flipside of her mega-hit “You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me” in 1966.

After the jump, we have much more on Dusty Heard Them Here First and the other three above-mentioned titles, including full track listings and order links!

Many of Dusty’s most memorable productions were in a sophisticated, orchestrated “uptown soul” vein.  She recorded and performed so many songs by the teams of Carole King and Gerry Goffin and Burt Bacharach and Hal David that an entire CD was dedicated solely to her recordings of the teams’ songs.  Ace has included The Chiffons’ recording of Goffin, Toni Wine and Artie Kornfeld’s “Now That You’re My Baby,” recorded in 1963 but unreleased until 1970.  Dusty likely heard the original demo sung by Wine, which was overdubbed by The Chiffons’ Judy Craig for its commercial release.   Goffin and King’s sensual “Some of Your Lovin’” by The Honey Bees (a.k.a. The Cookies) and soulful “That Old Sweet Roll (Hi-De-Ho)” as performed by Carole and her early band The City are both included here.  Dionne Warwick’s 1966 original of Bacharach and David’s “Another Night” is also featured; Springfield had an affinity for the Warwick/Bacharach/David magic from the very beginning of her solo career and her recording of the trio’s “Wishin’ and Hopin’.”  Jimmy Webb took some inspiration from Bacharach for “The Girls’ Song” from his pop-psych concept opus The Magic Garden, written for and recorded by The 5th Dimension. Dusty’s version of that album’s title song has been selected for inclusion here.

Dusty also paid close attention to the music of her contemporaries.  Ace has found room for a rare track from Lesley Gore’s as-yet-unreleased-on-CD 1976 A&M “comeback” Love Me By Name (the moody, striking title song, with keyboards by co-arranger Herbie Hancock), Evie Sands’ 1979 “You Can Do It” (from the album Suspended Animation, on which Dusty provided background vocals) and Norma Tanega’s intimate “No Stranger Am I.”  Tanega shared a relationship with Springfield, and her close rapport is evident on Dusty’s own 1968 version of the song accompanied by Tanega on guitar.  Other female singer-songwriters represented here include Chi Coltrane with “Turn Me Around” – a song Dusty recorded twice! – and K.T. Oslin with “Where is a Woman to Go?” the final track on Dusty’s final album.

There’s more torrid soul from Garnet Mimms (Chip Taylor’s “Welcome Home”) and Betty Wright (“Girls Can’t Do What the Guys Do” – a title that certainly didn’t apply to Ms. Wright or Ms. Springfield!) and infectious R&B (Barbara Acklin’s “Am I the Same Girl,” a.k.a. “Soulful Strut”), but what all of these songs have in common is the fact that they spoke to Dusty Springfield, one of the greatest interpretive singers of our time.  Ace’s beautifully-designed package arrives with expansive liner notes from Malcolm Baumgart and compilation producer Mick Patrick, both of whom were involved in curating a similar collection back in 2000.  All 24 tracks here have been freshly remastered by Nick Robbins.

Dusty - Opus CollectionAlso available now is Starbucks’ Opus Collection for Springfield.  It follows the series’ usual template, including some but not all of the artist’s key hits along with lesser-known cuts to present a well-rounded portrait of the artist and her musical stylings.  Naturally, there are a number of familiar tracks including three songs each from Springfield’s two favorite songwriting teams.  From Bacharach and David, you’ll hear “Wishin’ and Hopin’,” “The Look of Love” and “24 Hours from Tulsa.”  “Wishin’” is the sweet Springfield, offering tips on keeping a man happy.  “The Look of Love” is Dusty at her most seductive; the drama of “24 Hours” shows off her unparalleled interpretive skills.  From Goffin and King, Springfield brings her stamp to the commanding “Don’t Forget About Me,” the pained “No Easy Way Down” and (once again!) “That Old Sweet Roll (Hi-De-Ho).”  The other selections are up to the same high standard demanded by Springfield: Randy Newman’s stunningly somber “I’ve Been Wrong Before,” Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff’s “Silly Silly Fool,” Van Morrison’s “Tupelo Honey” and, of course, the immortal “Son of a Preacher Man.”  The package includes numerous striking photos of fashion/hairstyle icon Springfield, and is annotated by producer Steven Stolder.

Dusty SACDFour songs on Opus Collection derived from the 1969 Atlantic Records release Dusty in Memphis.  That landmark release, with Dusty surveying songs by Randy Newman, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, Goffin and King, Bacharach and David, and of course John Hurley and Ronnie Wilkins (“Son of a Preacher Man”), arrives anew on Analogue Productions’ new stereo hybrid SACD as remastered by Kevin Gray.  Playable on all CD players (and in high-resolution on those players equipped for SACD playback), this edition of the oft-reissued album includes three bonus tracks: “Willie and Laura Mae Jones,” “What Do You Do When Love Dies” and the ever-popular “That Old Sweet Roll.”  These three previously released tracks were also appended to Rhino Records’ 1992 CD reissue of Dusty in Memphis; the subsequent 1999 edition from Rhino added another eleven bonus tracks.  (A 2002 U.K. edition from Universal took a different approach, adding eight mono versions and new liner notes from Elvis Costello.)

Dusty - Early YearsFinally, Jasmine’s The Early Years is a public domain-sourced release from the U.K. with 65 songs on two compact discs dating between 1958 and 1962.  The first CD includes fourteen tracks from Dusty’s early girl group The Lana Sisters, all of which were most recently reissued in 2011 on RPM’s Chantelly Lace: The Complete Singles.

The balance of the material on The Early Years consists of recordings by The Springfields (a.k.a. Dusty, brother Tom Springfield a.k.a. Dion O’Brien and Tim Feild, the latter of whom was replaced by Mike Pickworth, later Hurst) including the group’s albums Kinda Folksy and Folk Songs from the Hills plus singles and rarities such as recordings in German and French as well as all four tracks from a Christmas EP released through Woman’s Own magazine.  Much, though not all, of this material is available on RPM’s 2007 anthology On an Island of Dreams and Universal’s long out-of-print 1997 set Over the Hills and Far Away.  There’s not much that swings on this set in the style of Dusty’s most famous recordings, but it does offer a glimpse into the development of the singer’s artistry.  Groper Odson has compiled and annotated this collection.

You can order all four releases dedicated to the late Dusty Springfield at the links below!

Various Artists, Dusty Heard Them Here First (Ace CDCHD 1381, 2014) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

  1. Needle in a Haystack – The Velvelettes (VIP 25007, 1964)
  2. Packin’ Up – Margie Hendrix (Mercury 72420, 1965)
  3. Won’t Be Long – Aretha Franklin (Columbia 41923, 1960)
  4. Nothing in the World – Marie Knight (OKeh 7141, 1961)
  5. Can I Get a Witness – Marvin Gaye (Tamla 54087,1963)
  6. Now That You’re My Baby – The Chiffons (BT Puppy LP 1011, 1970)
  7. You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me – The Miracles (Tamla 54073, 1962)
  8. Doodlin’ – Baby Washington (Sue 794, 1963)
  9. Welcome Home – Garnet Mimms (United Artists 868, 1965)
  10. Some of Your Lovin’ – The Honey Bees (Fontana 1505, 1965)
  11. Every Ounce of Strength – Carla Thomas (Stax 172, 1965)
  12. That Old Sweet Roll (Hi-De-Ho) – The City (Ode 119, 1969)
  13. No Stranger Am I – Norma Tanega (New Voice LP 2001, 1966)
  14. Another Night – Dionne Warwick (Scepter 12181, 1966)
  15. The Magic Garden – The 5th Dimension (Soul City LP SCS-92001, 1967)
  16. Girls It Ain’t Easy – The Honey Cone (Hot Wax 6903, 1969)
  17. Girls Can’t Do What the Guys Do – Betty Wright (Alston 4569, 1968)
  18. Ain’t No Sun Since You’ve Been Gone – Gladys Knight and the Pips (Soul LP SS 706, 1967)
  19. Am I the Same Girl – Barbara Acklin (Brunswick 55399, 1969)
  20. Crumbs Off the Table – The Glass House (Invictus 9071, 1969)
  21. You Can Do It – Evie Sands (RCA LP AFL1-2943, 1979)
  22. Love Me By Name – Lesley Gore (A&M LP SP-4564, 1976)
  23. Turn Me Around – Chi Coltrane (Columbia LP KC 31275, 1972)
  24. Where is a Woman to Go? – K.T. Oslin (RCA LP 8369, 1988)

All tracks stereo except Tracks 1-2, 4-5, 7-8, 10-11, 13 in mono

Dusty Springfield, Opus Collection (Starbucks Entertainment OPCD-8779, 2014)

  1. Son of a Preacher Man
  2. Wishin’ and Hopin’
  3. 24 Hours from Tulsa
  4. I’ve Been Wrong Before
  5. The Look of Love
  6. I Think It’s Gonna Rain Today
  7. Don’t Forget About Me
  8. Breakfast in Bed
  9. No Easy Way Down
  10. That Old Sweet Roll (Hi-De-Ho)
  11. What Do You Do When Love Dies
  12. Silly, Silly Fool
  13. Have a Good Life Baby
  14. I Believe in You
  15. Tupelo Honey
  16. Where is a Woman to Go

Tracks 1 & 7-9 from Dusty in Memphis, Atlantic SD 8214, 1969
Tracks 2-3 from A Girl Called Dusty, Philips SBL 7594, 1964
Track 4 from Ev’rything’s Coming Up Dusty, Philips SRBL 1002, 1965
Track 5 from The Look of Love, Philips PHS 600 256, 1967
Track 6 from Dusty…Definitely, Philips SBL 7864, 1968
Tracks 10, 11 & 13 from Dusty in Memphis: Deluxe Edition, Atlantic/Rhino CD R2 75580, 1999
Track 12 from A Brand New Me, Atlantic SD 8249, 1970
Track 14 from Atlantic single 45-2841, 1971
Track 15 from Cameo, Dunhill DSX 50128, 1973
Track 16 from A Very Fine Love, Columbia CK 67053, 1995

Dusty Springfield, Dusty in Memphis (Atlantic LP SD-8214, 1969 – reissued Analogue Productions SACD CAPP 8214 SA, 2014) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

  1. Just a Little Lovin’
  2. So Much Love
  3. Son of a Preacher Man
  4. I Don’t Want to Hear It Anymore
  5. Don’t Forget About Me
  6. Breakfast in Bed
  7. Just One Smile
  8. The Windmills of Your Mind
  9. In the Land of Make Believe
  10. No Easy Way Down
  11. I Can’t Make It Alone
  12. Willie and Laura Mae Jones (from Atlantic single 2647-A, 1969)
  13. That Old Sweet Roll (Hi-De-Ho) (from Atlantic single 2647-B, 1969)
  14. What Do You Do When Love Dies (1968 outtake, released on Atlantic single 2771-B, 1971)

Dusty Springfield, The Early Years (Jasmine JASCD 759, 2014) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

CD 1

  1. Ring-a-My Phone (Fontana H 148-A, 1958)
  2. Chimes of Arcady (Fontana  H 148-B, 1958)
  3. Buzzin’ (Fontana H 176-A, 1959)
  4. Cry, Cry Baby (Fontana H 176-B, 1959)
  5. Tell Him No (Fontana H 190-A, 1959)
  6. Mister Dee-Jay (Fontana H 190-B, 1959)
  7. (Seven Little Girls) Sitting on the Back Seat – with Al Saxon (Fontana H 221-A, 1959)
  8. Sitting on the Sidewalk (Fontana H 221-B, 1959)
  9. You’ve Got What It Takes (Fontana H 235-A, 1960)
  10. My Mother’s Eyes (Fontana H 235-B, 1960)
  11. Someone Loves You, Joe (Fontana H 252-A, 1960)
  12. Tintarella Di Luna (Magic Colour of the Moonlight) (Fontana H 252-B, 1960)
  13. Two-Some (Fontana H 283-A, 1960)
  14. Down South (Fontana H 283-B, 1960)
  15. Dear John (Philips PB 1145-A, 1961)
  16. I Done What They Told Me To (Philips PB 1145-B, 1961)
  17. Breakaway (Philips PB 1168-A, 1961)
  18. Good News (Philips PB 1168-B, 1961)
  19. Bambino (Philips PB 1178-A, 1961)
  20. Star of Hope (Philips PB 1178-B, 1961)
  21. Goodnight Irene (Philips PB 1220-A, 1962)
  22. Far Away Places (Philips PB 1220-B, 1962)
  23. Silver Threads and Golden Needles (Philips PB 1241-A, 1962)
  24. Aunt Rhody (Philips PB 1241-B, 1962)
  25. Swahili Papa (Philips 326 536 BF-A, 1962)
  26. Gotta Travel On (Philips 326 536 BF-B, 1962)
  27. Dear Hearts and Gentle People (Philips U.S. 40072-A, 1962)
  28. Island of Dreams (Philips 326 557 BF-A, 1962)
  29. The Johnson Boys (Philips 326 557 BF-B, 1962)
  30. Little by Little (Philips U.S. 40092-A, 1962)
  31. Waf-Woof (Philips U.S. 40092-B, 1962)
  32. Alles Gold Und Alles Silber (Silver Threads and Golden Needles – German Version) (Philips 433 643 BE, 1963)
  33. Ich Geh’ Ohne  Ruh’ Durch Die Strassen Und Gassen (Island of Dreams – German Version) (Philips 433 643 BE, 1963)

CD 2

  1. Wimoweh Mambo
  2. The Black Hills of Dakota
  3. Row, Row, Row
  4. The Green Leaves of Summer
  5. Silver Dollar
  6. Allentown Jail
  7. Lonesome Traveller
  8. They Took John Away
  9. Eso Es El Amor
  10. Two Brothers
  11. Tzena, Tzena, Tzena
  12. Settle Down
  13. There’s a Big Wheel
  14. Greenback Dollar
  15. Midnight Special
  16. Wabash Cannonball
  17. Alone with You
  18. Cottonfields
  19. Foggy Mountain Top
  20. Maggie
  21. Darling Allalee
  22. Mountain Boy
  23. My Baby’s Gone
  24. Leve Toi (Breakaway) (French Language Version) (rec. 1963, first issued on Continental Dusty, Zone CD X004, 2004)
  25. Petit Enfant Tu Dors (Bambino) (French Language Version) (rec. 1963, first issued on Continental Dusty, Zone CD X004, 2004)
  26. Sag Mir, Wo Die Blumen Sind (Where Have All the Flowers Gone) (German Language Version) (Philips 433 643 BE, 1963)
  27. Das Hostet Heinen Pfennig (Settle Down) (German Language Version) (Philips 433 643 BE, 1963)
  28. The Twelve Days of Christmas
  29. Mary’s Boy-Child
  30. Away in a Manger
  31. We Wish You a Merry Christmas
  32. Jingle Bells

CD 1, Tracks 1-14 performed by The Lana Sisters
CD 1, Tracks 15-33 and all tracks CD 2 performed by The Springfields
CD 1, Track 27 & CD 2, Tracks 1-11 from Kinda Folksy, Philips LP BBL 7551, 1962
CD 1, Track 30 & CD 2, Tracks 12-23 from Folk Songs from the Hills, Philips LP BL 632 304, 1962
CD 2, Tracks 28-31 from Woman’s Own Presents Christmas with the Springfields, Lyntone EP P125E, 1962
CD 2, Track 32 rec. 1961, issued on Christmas with the Springfields, Philips (Holland) 433 651 BE, 1963

Written by Joe Marchese

February 20, 2014 at 10:32

4 Responses

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  1. Thanks for all of this info. Been a Dusty fan on and off for years. I have the “A Love Like Yours” comp from years ago, but Ace’s version will be a nice upgrade.

    I do wonder if the new “Dusty In Memphis” release is different enough to warrant buying it….again?

    Also, regarding the Early Years comp, I’ve seen lots of stuff on the Jasmine label lately. Can somebody please enlighten me as to the quality of the sound and liner notes (if any)?

    Thanks again.


    February 20, 2014 at 12:06

  2. The liner notes (essays) in most of the recent Jasmine titles are excellent, and often written by “experts”.
    Jasmine does not give the type of discographical detail that a jazz record might (exact dates, original record issue, etc). Songlist and some hints, like recording year, and maybe more info in the essay. But it does not give such precise info that some collectors may wish for.

    The sound quality can be good, very good or whatever. Sometimes limited by the source material (rare 45s or 78s). No, they are not Steve Hoffman-type audiophile transfers fromoriginal master tapes on SACD. But what is important is that most Jasmine titles offer material that is otherwise extremely hard to find in any form. Often they mix in more common songs. But these are collector’s issues at a budget price.


    February 21, 2014 at 08:56

    • Good to know. Thanks very much.


      February 21, 2014 at 12:09

  3. The Starbucks compilation doesn’t have anything new on it but the packaging and pictures are lovely.


    February 21, 2014 at 13:40

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