Dusty Heard Them Here First
A great series this, I love the Cliff Heard Them Here First volume and now I have Dusty Heard Them Here First rivalling that one. Ace Records does the job right, including thoughtful liners, contextualising the choices – and with Dusty Springfield you of course had one of the great interpretive singers. So, the plan here, as with other volumes in this series, is to highlight the original versions of songs then performed by the title-star.
That means The Miracles and The Chiffons, Marvin Gaye, Aretha Franklin, The Velvelettes, Carla Thomas, Dionne Warwick, The 5th Dimension, Gladys Knight, Babara Acklin and Betty Wright, among others. You’d sign up for this sort of compilation even if there wasn’t a thread – but the idea that these songs all went on to be part of Dusty Springfield’s repertoire, her versions, in some cases, definitive should appeal to any collector-nerd. That you get to have songs like Marvin’s Can I Get A Witness and The Miracles’ You’ve Really Got A Hold On Me, The Honey Bees’ Some of Your Lovin’ and Lesley Gore’s Love Me By Name should be reason enough at any rate. Particularly since, the way they’re arranged here, it’s a seamless blend between rock’n’roll, R’n’B and (sometimes blue-eyed) soul.
Springfield was one of the greats. She had something special – that rare ability to make the song her own. You might think it’s the singer, not the song. But this reminds that she – and those around her – were expert at picking the right things to cover.