Stephen Chapman

The second incarnation of my blog

Rolling Stone top 100 albums: #89 Dusty Springfield – Dusty in Memphis

Based on the top 100 albums in Rolling Stone magazine’s top 500, I have set myself the challenge of hearing and appraising each album. I hope to be surprised and educated along the way.

At number 89 is Dusty Springfield with Dusty in Memphis.  As a gay man, I believe that there is a law that I like Dusty. I dispute such stupid stereotypes, but I do like her voice.

The album was recorded at a time when her career was considered to be fading and despite considered a classic by many, this album wasn’t that well received. It was recorded in Memphis by the top team at Atlantic Records including producers Jerry Wexler, Tom Dowd and Arif Mardin, the back-up singers Sweet Inspirations and the instrumental band Memphis Cats. Songs were written by, among others, Gerry Goffin and Carole King, Randy Newman, and Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil.

The album opens with two songs that just define the style we will be hearing: Just a little lovin’ and So much love.  These songs are actually a little too bland for me, but you soon get a true classic with Son of a preacher man and then the much covered Breakfast in bed.

Two excellent tracks; Just one smile and The Windmills of Your Mind start side two of the album. But the rest are just much of the same.

It was said that Dusty’s aim for constant perfection mean that the recording was drawn out and hard work for those involved.  That being said, the production is lush with complex orchestrations and superb lead and background vocals. However, I found it beautiful and bland in equal measures. Many of the tracks do nothing for me, despite their flawless performance.

My rating: 6/10

Standout track: Son of a preacher man

Listen to the album via Spotify here.

See the Top 100 here.

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This entry was posted on December 29, 2013 by in music and tagged , , .

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