Archive for the 'Dusty Springfield' Category

24
Jun
11

Day Seven – Dusty Springfield – Reputation

Ah, Dusty. The world’s greatest singer ever and that’s not just my (ever so humble) opinion. Dusty had this talent of inhabiting a song and making it her own. She didn’t just sing a song, she interpreted it.

“Reputation” was the first Dusty album I bought back in 1990 and I used to play it to death, even though I haven’t listened to it for a couple of years. Yes, I was a late Dusty convert, thanks to the Pet Shop Boys. They had brought Dusty back into the public eye and to my attention by asking her to duet with them on the classic “What Have I Done To Deserve This” which was a big world-wide hit.

And then came two new hit singles from Dusty, both written and produced by the Pet Shop Boys. “Nothing Has Been Proved” was the haunting but wordy hit from the movie “Scandal”. “In Private” was 80s disco with a 60s retro feel. Fabulous stuff.

Both these singles were included on “Reputation”, an album produced by the Pet Shop Boys (five songs), Dan Hartman (three songs), Andy Richard (one song) and Paul O’Duffy (one song). Despite the mixture of producers, the album does have a consistent flow to it, probably because Neil Tennant was an executive producer for the project.

Possibly my favourite song on the album, is “Daydreaming”, written by the Pet Shop Boys. It really should have been a single. Dusty gets to rap which is remarkable in itself.

The trancy “Occupy My Mind” is another favourite on an album full of favourites.

Two of the non-Pet Shop Boys songs were also singles – “Reputation” and the lush ballad “Arrested By You”.

The high energy “Born This Way” got a run recently when it was touted as a leaked version of the Lady Gaga song of the same name (totally different song though) – and people fell for it!

Here is the camp clip for “In Private”. Dusty is looking fabulous.

The arty clip for “Arrested By You”.

The clip for “Nothing Has Been Proved” featured clips from the movie “Scandal” as well as cameos by Neil and Chris.

The title track “Reputation” is well worth an inclusion.

Finally, here is the 12″ version of “Daydreaming”. Sadly no video or TV performance exists.

I wish that EMI would consider releasing a deluxe package of this album – 2 CDs and a DVD. The second CD could contain all the remixes and the DVD would contain the video “Reputation – The Videos”. Not too much to ask, surely. 🙂

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21
Jun
11

Day Five – Pet Shop Boys – Actually

There had to be one from my favourite group and I can’t believe that it has been so long since I played the Pet Shop Boys’ second album “Actually”. Along with their debut “Please”, these albums were a major part of my personal soundtrack during my coming out years.

“Actually” had some stunning singles which most people would be familiar with – “It’s A Sin”, “What Have I Done To Deserve This”, “Heart” and “Rent”. But this album had much more than a string of hit singles. Check out classics like “Shopping”, “One More Chance”, “Hit Music” and “Kings Cross”.

One thing I will always be grateful for was my introduction to the greatest singer of all time, Dusty Springfield. Her duet with the Boys was a real eye and ear opener.

Here are the Pet Shop Boys and Dusty Springfield performing “What Have I Done To Deserve This” at the 1988 Brit Awards. I wish they could have performed it live but that wasn’t the done thing on TV back then. Still it’s fun to see Dusty having a ball on stage.

“Rent” was surely an homage to rent boys. This is a 2006 live concert clip of the song.

And here is “Kings Cross” as performed in 1994.

Finally, here is a good live vserion of “Shopping”.

08
May
11

Whatever happened to Taylor Dayne?

Taylor Dayne was (and as it turns out, still is) one of those singers with a big, powerful voice who can make your toes tingle when she hits the money note. She was around in the 80s and 90s and had such mega hits as “Tell It To My Heart” and “I’ll Be Your Shelter”.

In Australia, Taylor seemed to disappear around 1993. She recorded my favourite song of hers. “Original Sin”, the theme song for the movie “The Shadow” starring Alec Baldwin as a shadowy super hero. The movie was OK, I guess, but the thing that I really loved was the song.

“Original Sin” was written and produced by none other than Jim Steinman, an obvious choice to work with Taylor. It’s big, bombastic and dramatic. Another obvious choice for the clip was the director, Russell Mulcahy (also directed the movie). Typical Mulcahy with billowing capes, billowing hair, attractive bare chested male dancers and more billowing, interspersed with clips from the movie. The song actually wouldn’t be out of place in a James Bond movie. One of the lines even refers to a “license to thrill”.

Anyway, here’s the clip in all its glory. I’m sure you’ll see why I love it so much on a number of levels.

Getting back to my question that forms the title of this post – whatever did happen to Taylor Dayne?

A quick visit to Wikipedia shows that although Australia turned their collective back on her in around 1993, Taylor has continued to record and have hits up until today. I was surprised to discover that she even recorded her version of the Dusty Springfield classic, “You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me” – and it’s not too shabby at all.

It appears that there is work on a new greatest hits album underway which will include a new song called “Right Time”. This should be out later this year. In the meantime maybe we should start a petition to have Taylor Dayne and Jim Steinman record the theme for the next James Bond movie.

11
Feb
11

The real (and best) Born This Way

There has been a lot of hype about the new Lady Gaga song “Born This Way” which was finally released tonight (Australian time). When I first heard the song title, I immediately thought of the Dusty Springfield song from 1990 with the same name. It was included on her “Reputation” album and a rather good remix was a bonus track on the “Arrested By You” single.

It amused me to discover that a supposed leaked snippet of the Lady Gaga song was in actual fact Dusty Springfield.

I don’t mind the Lady Gaga song but it is nowhere near as good as Dusty IMHO.

Here is the Dusty song for your edification.

11
Apr
10

White Heat – Dusty Springfield

When most people think “classic album” and “Dusty Springfield”, it’s usually “Dusty In Memphis” that comes to mind and rightfully so. But Dusty was not a one-album wonder as such outings as “Everything’s Comin’ Up Dusty”, “Cameo” and even “Reputation” prove.

And then there’s “White Heat”, the 1982 album that divides Dusty’s fan base (although most agree that the cover art pictured above is quite magnificent).

Back when I was in the early stages of being a Dusty fan in the late 80s, I was desperately trying to collect all the music she had ever released. Judge G had given me a biography that included a detailed discography from which I had drawn up a list that I carried with me everywhere, crossing off songs/albums as I found them.

The one album that was proving elusive was “White Heat”, her supposedly disco album released on the Casablanca label (home to Donna Summer, Giorgio Moroder, Village People and many other disco acts). The idea of a Dusty disco album was especially appealing to this little gay boy so I just had to have the album. It was hard to find since it was only ever released in North America and there were never that many copies in the first place.

The Judge and I did a big world trip in 1993 and I traipsed around second hand record stores with my trusty list, managing to find “Cameo”, “Sometimes Like Butterflies” (both 7″ and 12″), the Richard Carpenter album with his Dusty song and many other goodies – except for “White Heat” despite looking in record shops across Europe and the US.

One of our last stops was in LA and we had been on the Paramount studio tour. Not far from the studio was a record shop called Record Hunter or Record Locator or something like that. We went in and were amazed at shelves upon shelves of LPs as far as you could see. It was all quite daunting so we asked the guy behind the counter. He just went up to a shelf and pulled out a copy (one of several). I almost passed out since I had more or less given up by this stage so to find not one but several in the one place was all a bit too much. The Judge was worried that I was going to go all gaga, making the guy up the price. But I kept it together surprisingly well even when he said it was only $20 (I would have gladly paid much more). I didn’t let out a girly scream until after we had left the store. Hows that for self control?

The album rapidly became one of my favourites, made even more special by how I had come by it. I was exceptionally proud of this jewel in my collection.

Of course, it’s not really a disco album. The only out-and-out disco song is the single and opening track “Donnez-Moi”, described by Dusty herself as “sort of funky ABBA”. This could have been huge on dance floors if only it got a proper distribution and promotion. There is also a disco influence in mid-tempo numbers like “I Don’t Think We Could Ever Be Friends” (co-written by Sting), “Don’t Call It Love” (also recorded by Kim Carnes and Dolly Parton) and “Gotta Get Used To You”.

Dusty also dabbles in rock. “Blind Sheep” (with a lyrical contribution from Dusty) is one of Dusty’s more bizarre song choices but it really works.  “I Am Curious” is also rock. Being Dusty, there are also some stirring ballads to be found.

Dusty recorded a stirring version of the Elvis Costello song “Just A Memory” and is one of my favourite tracks. For some reason, it was decided to call the song “Losing You”, strange because she had already had a hit single in the 60s with the same name.

Another gem is the song that closes the album, “Soft Core” although that phrase is nowhere to be found in the lyrics. It is an intimate, cabaret-style number which is beautifully sung. The song was co-written by Carole Pope (as was “I Am Curious”), Dusty’s one time lover. I can’t help but feel that Carole was a big influence on Dusty at the time and encouraged her to be more herself and more daring at the same time. The result was an eclectic album, more synth pop than disco. There is even a vocoder effect on Dusty’s vocals at times, long before that became fashionable.

“White Heat” is well worth checking out. It was finally released on CD in 2002 and is available on iTunes. It’s time that this album got the recognition that it deserves.

Here is a special clip of Dusty performing “Soft Core” live. Dusty made a guest appearance at Rough Trade’s farewell concert in 1986. Rough Trade was Carole Pope’s band and it’s Carole who introduces Dusty at the beginning of the clip.

06
Mar
10

My Inspiration

I love these two posters of Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe (aka Pet Shop Boys) and they would look fabulous on my wall. They were produced as part of a campaign for HMV UK a couple of years ago and are part of a bigger series. They are currently being offered through HMV’s reward scheme but the catch is that you have to be a UK resident. Grrr. And I couldn’t find them on eBay either. Double grrr. A hex on HMV.

Not only are the photos themselves stunning but they each reference a song and an artist that has inspired them. Coincidentally, the artists referenced are big inspirations to me too which makes the posters even more special. Needless to say, Neil and Chris are also personal inspirations.

Dusty Springfield is the best bar none. The song chosen is a favourite of Dusty fans, the soulful and moody “Goin’ Back”. This clip features candid footage, some of it filmed in Australia back in the 60s. I got a bit teary while watching.

Billie Ray Martin is a German soul dance diva who had a worldwide dance hit some years back with “Your Loving Arms”. Here is the promo clip for this infectious dance number.

17
Jan
10

Ten of my favourite (lesser known) Dusty Springfield songs

Just been surfing YouTube for Dusty Springfield. There is some classic stuff to be found so I thought I would share some of my favourites from Dusty’s lesser known songs.

First up, Dusty in a box. I have no idea what the significance of the box is but I do love the song, “Spooky”.

Forgive the quality of this one but it is priceless even if the sound is out of sync. Dusty suspended in mid air and being whipped by Kenny Everett. Don’t believe it? It’s true. The song is “Your Love Still Brings Me To Your Knees” made famous in Australia by Marcia Hines. Watch out for Dusty falling off the stairs at the end. 🙂

Classic foot tapping soul with “What’s It Gonna Be”.

This single from 1979 deserved to be a big hit but distribution problems and a lack of promotion sealed its fate. “Baby Blue”.

“The Corrupt Ones” was the title song to an old movie. Here is the song over the opening credits. Very 60s.

“Blind Sheep” would have to be one of the oddest songs in Dusty’s catalogue. It’s from her classic but under-rated “White Heat” album.

“Your Hurtin’ Kind Of Love” was a single in the UK but for some reason it wasn’t much of a hit. I love it.

“Doodlin'” is a song about being in a mental health institution! Funky!

“I’m Coming Home Again” is a beautiful song and was released at the time Dusty came back to the UK in the late 70s.

Dusty joined Cilla on this fun duet “Heart And Soul” released to commemorate Cilla’s 30th anniversary in show business. Both look like they’re having fun.

“Where Is A Woman To Go” was Dusty’s last live performance. A wonderful song from her last ever album. Okay, I know this is number 11 but Dusty always was 11 out of 10.  I can’t believe that she’s no longer with us.




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