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The Complete Atlantic Singles 1968-1971

Dusty Springfield

Real Gone Music

Review by David Bowling

 

Dusty Springfield, 1939-1969, was one of the lead pop songstresses of the last half of the 20th century. After a brilliant music career and tumultuous life, she died just prior to her induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.

While she was known for pop hits such as “You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me” “The Look Of Love,” and “Wishin’ And Hopin,” it was her three years with the Atlantic label the formed the definitive period of her career.  Tom Dowd, Jerry Wexler, and Arif Mardin, (engineer, producer, vice president), transitioned her from pop to a more soulful style.

Now her 12 singles, both A and B sides, released by the Atlantic label, have been issued under the title The Complete Atlantic Singles 1968-1971.

Led by “Son Of A Preacher Man,” one of the best songs of the time period, the bulk of the material should be required listening for any fan of the era or Springfield. Her smooth delivery effortlessly transitions to soul and her voice gives everything a unique sheen.

Songs such as “Just A Little Lovin,'” “Breakfast In Bed,” “Willie And Laura Mae Jones,” and lesser known tracks “Bad Case Of The Blues,” “That Old Sweet Roll,” and “I Don’t Want To Hear It Anymore” are all sublime.

It is some of the lesser known tunes that add luster to the release. “Lost” is a foray in Philadelphia pop/funk, while “Let Me Get In Your Way” finds her vocal following a simple bass line. “In The Land Of Make Believe” uses a sitar to set up her vocal.

The sound is excellent as is most everything recorded for the The Atlantic label, especially when the three above mentioned gentlemen were involved. The instrumental backing is supportive and never gets in the way, which lets her voice be the focal point. She had a wonderful way of annunciating each word clearly, which was unique.

The Complete Atlantic Singles: 1968-1971 catches Dusty Springfield at her best, which given her career, says a lot.

Rating:****