Review #83: Dusty In Memphis, Dusty Springfield

Karla Clifton
3 min readMay 17, 2021

#83: Dusty In Memphis, Dusty Springfield

1. Dusty Springfield was BRITISH? Who knew!

2. Dusty Springfield’s real name was Mary Isobel Catherine Bernadette O’Brien and I think it could have been fun if she stuck with that.

3. According to the RS blurb, this album was mostly recorded in Memphis, but Springfield herself didn’t actually do the vocals until several months later in New York, because she was too nervous. That’s crazy to me! So this isn’t really Dusty in Memphis, it’s Dusty’s Backing Band in Memphis. To be fair, she was working with Aretha Franklin’s backing vocalists, The Sweet Inspirations & Whitney Houston’s mom. I might be too nervous to sing, too.

4. According to this album’s Wikipedia page, Dusty Springfield is kind of the reason that Atlantic Records signed Led Zeppelin, after she advocated for them during the Memphis sessions. Thanks, Dusty Springfield!

5. A bunch of famous songwriters had their hands on some of these songs, like Carole King and Randy Newman.

FAVORITE SONGS:

“Just A Little Lovin’” — Wow, she has such a great voice.

“Son of a Preacher Man” — This is NOT a Janis Joplin song, no matter how many lyrics websites say it is! This song was actually written for Aretha Franklin. Then Atlantic Records’ Jerry Wexler basically snapped it up for Springfield. Aretha has a killer cover of this too.

“I Don’t Want To Hear It Anymore” — This was another one of my favorites (by Randy Newman!). It’s about living in a cheap apartment and hearing your neighbors talk bad about you. Very relatable.

“Don’t Forget About Me” — Oh this one is COOL. Love this guitar part.

“Just One Smile” — Pretty acoustic guitar, pretty heartbreaking lyrics.

“The Windmills of Your Mind” — Lol. I thought this one might have the prettiest lyrics, so I looked it up and turns out it’s a cover of a song that Dusty Springfield hated and didn’t want to record. There you go.

“In The Land of Make Believe” — Is that a sitar?! This album gets much trippier as it goes on.

“No Easy Way Down” — She sounds just like Aretha here.

LEAST FAVORITE SONGS:

“So Much Love” — I can’t decide if I don’t like this song because it’s too slow, or because I hate happy love songs. But Carole King wrote it, so I must be wrong.

“Breakfast In Bed” — Now this one I’m just morally opposed to. Dusty Springfield, it’s WRONG to steal someone else’s man! Don’t be a Jolene!

IS RS FULL OF IT?

The best thing about this whole experiment is that it’s forcing me to listen to all these iconic women singers that I wasn’t paying attention to in high school because I was so hypnotized by punk rock music. It’s good for my longevity, probably.

Review #82: There’s A Riot Goin’ On, Sly and the Family Stone

Review #84: Back In Black, AC/DC

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