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Dusty In Memphis

January 31, 2012 | Format: MP3

$10.49
Song Title
Time
Popularity  
30
1
2:18
30
2
3:31
30
3
2:29
30
4
3:11
30
5
2:53
30
6
2:57
30
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2:42
30
8
3:51
30
9
2:32
30
10
3:11
30
11
3:57
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By C. Heinrich on January 16, 2001
Format: Audio CD
I rarely use the word "sublime" to describe anything, but it seems a perfect word for this album. In light of today's top 40 radio (which I'm sure leaves so much to be desired), it sounds insulting to label this album as pop music. But knowing that pop culture has the capability of being creative, meaningful, and even powerful (it really hasn't been since Madonna tried to buy it), this album has to be one of the absolute pinnacles of popular music.
The songs on this album are fantastic, and Dusty Springfield had one of the greatest voices to ever grace American pop music. Her voice is so soft and mellow, yet can grab and just galvanize you. She knows exactly when and how to emote, something today's pop singers seem completely clueless about. So warm and loving--wow. When she sings "I've got so much love", well, heck, you can feel it.
But I don't want to overemphasize Dusty, though. The arrangements and song selection on this record are as important as Dusty's gorgeous voice. It's really amazing that this stuff passed as mainstream pop music; it beats the pants off of anything ever put out by Celine, Whitney, etc. etc. etc. This is the kind of record they DREAM of having their names on (and always miss it by a huge longshot). Did we really have to drop horns and real instruments in order to make songs consumable to the general public nowadays??? It's so sad! But I digress...
Don't even think of buying anything less than the "Deluxe Edition" of this album!! A lot of re-releases these days include bonus tracks, but the bonus tracks here are not to be taken lightly.
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Format: Audio CD
There's no need to extol the virtues of "Dusty In Memphis (DIM)". After more than 30 years of languishing in the public domain as a long neglected cult favourite, DIM has finally logged its rightful place in the annals of pop music history as a legendary album. An all-time classic by a female vocalist. It has set a high watermark which other female performers often aspire to but seldom reach.
Assuming I'm preaching to the converted and you're wondering whether you need to own YET ANOTHER CD reissue of DIM, the short answer is "YES", but please read on to know why. Dusty fans would likely already have two versions, Rhino's original 1992 release (with 3 bonus tracks) and the more recent 1999 deluxe reissue which includes multiple bonus tracks from unrelated Atlantic sessions. British diehards will have three versions, the original Philips release from 1990, Mercury's reissue with bonus tracks in 1995 and this, the ultimate and definitive reissue.
Until seven years ago, fans had to make do with the general hissiness of DIM. Sonically, there was little, in my opinion, that differentiated between the two earlier releases from both sides of the pond. Then in 1995, Mercury (UK) released a sonically superior version of DIM which had been subject to 20 bit digital remastering but foolishly played havoc with the track sequencing by flipping the order of "I Don't Want To Hear It Anymore" (originally Track 4 on Side 1) with "In The Land Of Make Believe" (originally Track 3 on Side 2). Insiders claim that this bizarre track sequencing was the exact one Philips had used in the original cassette release of DIM in 1969 to balance out the playing time on both sides of the cassette.....though this simply begs the question "why ?..
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Format: Audio CD
I was 11 years old when the British Invasion brought Dusty Springfield a string of pop hits, and I thought she was just about the coolest thing on earth. I bought every one of her singles. But by the time this album came out in 1969, I was a teenager and thought I'd outgrown her music along with go-go boots and white lipstick. I wasn't even listening to Top 40 radio anymore by that time (preferring "underground" stations that played Joplin and Hendrix), so I didn't hear "Son of a Preacher Man" until it turned up on the oldies stations a couple of decades later.
But this album hung on. I kept hearing musicians I had a lot of respect for cite it as one of the masterpieces of the 60s, and thought I must be hearing wrong. Dusty Springfield? The girl with the big hair and inch-thick eyeliner?
Yeah. Dusty Springfield. I don't know if there's anybody left who still thinks of her as a lightweight pop singer, but if there is, give them this album. Among the 11 tracks that make up the original album are songs with some of the deepest, most soulful singing you've ever heard this side of Aretha Franklin. (Dusty's version of "Son of a Preacher Man" is even BETTER than Aretha's!) Not just "Preacher Man," but "So Much Love," "Don't Forget About Me," "No Easy Way Down" and "I Can't Make It Alone" are just pure, classic Memphis soul. And even when she takes on a song that couldn't really be described as "soul" like Randy Newman's moving ballad, "I Don't Want To Hear It Anymore," or the sly and sexy "Breakfast In Bed" she brings a soulfulness to them that they wouldn't have if anyone else did them.
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