Sunday, January 17, 2010

Dusty Springfield - Am I The Same Girl?


My experiences of Dusty, like Mine's, go back years. My love of music comes from my parents, who had a wonderful collection of LPs (remember those?) My Dad was also a reel-to-reel tape fanatic and spent many hours recording huge selections of music. He borrowed, bought and begged music from a large array of sources and my musical education began by picking my way through these tapes, song by song.

It was in front of that tape deck, as a pre-teen, that I developed a love of both rock and pop music, a love that continues to this very day.  It also opened my mind to an understanding of the wide variety of music being made and to the idea that I didn't have to restrict myself to a single genre.  In fact, it was here I first learnt to despise the way people would judge others by what they read, listened to or watched.  My parents loved all sorts of music, from contemporary rock to marching bands, from folk to funk and from polka to pop.  Oh sure, they had their favourites, both individually and collectively, but they never restricted themselves.

My mother loved the girl singers like Petula Clark, Connie Francis, Nancy Sinatra and, of course, Dusty.  I distinctly remember songs such as Wishin' and Hopin, I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself, I Only Want To Be With You and You Don't Have To Say You Love Me and more.  Ask anyone born in or before the 60s and they will know these songs. 

The shame of it is none of these appear on this album.  In fact, the only song on here I would consider a classic Dusty track is Son Of A Preacher Man.  The rest of this album is filled with songs you might recognise even if you aren't familiar with the Dusty versions, songs like the Carpenters classic (They Long To Be) Close To You, Bacharch and David's This Guy's In Love With You and Spooky.  It also includes her take on Windmills Of Your Mind, which brings something beautiful and quite sad to the song.  I particularly like the lovely acoustic guitar in this one. 

On the whole, this is a lovely album, particularly if you're a Dusty fan and looking to complete your collection with rare takes of songs.  And with a voice like hers, you really can't go wrong.



Dusty and I go way, waaaay back. My family spent most of 1973 on the road, in a Kombi van driving across Europe, through Iran, Afghanistan, (I know!) Pakistan and India. I spent most of the time either squeezed in next to my mother in a front-seat two-in-one seatbelt situation (that no doubt was just as highly dangerous and illegal then as it is now) or curled up in the back on top of our sleeping bags, listening to a bunch of cassettes my father had picked up in Singapore. They were all cheap knockoffs, mostly with typewritten labels. And while I feel a pang at the thought of the money we did Dusty out of then (among others including the Beatles and the Stones), I kind of feel better at the thought that I've spent a great deal of money on Ms Springfield's output since then. (Did you like the way I avoided the term oeuvre there?  Took a lot of restraint, you know.)

Lying in the back, reading or just watching the scenery go by, I fell in love with the white-soul diva. OK, the cassette also had Petula Clark on it, but Don't Sleep In The Subway will never compare to Son Of A Preacher Man for me. This particular album was purchased purely for the fact that I didn't own the title track on CD after coming to know it well on that cassette, all those years ago. In fact, this CD must contain the fourth or fifth Preacher Man and Breakfast In Bed I own. But it does have a bonus - never-before-heard versions of Spooky and Close To You.

I've previously mentioned my kitchen music - and this CD ordinarily resides on that shelf, for turning up and singing my heart out to while chopping, mixing and baking. I'd swear it makes the food taste better...

VERDICT: TURN IT UP (you know all the words)

For more information:

In our collection we also have The Ultimate Collection and Dusty In Memphis


  1. Aah, Dusty. Like you say, no one born in the 50s (ahem) will fail to know her. Such a tragic life as well. Try and get hold of the DVD 'Dusty live at the BBC', a collection of her 60s TV programmes for some real nostalgia (see my post

    Another great choice!

  2. Heya Musicobsessive, we have a copy of Dusty live at the Royal Albert Hall. It is a recent gift to Mine but we haven't watched it yet. Thanks for the mention, though. It will be one to hunt down. This blog is really going to cost us some dosh but our collection will be that much better for it.

  3. i do know all the words... and will sing 'you don't have to say you love me' at every karaoke opportunity!

  4. Ooooh you came to have a look Daisyfae! Thanks a bunch - you're one of my favourite bloggers.