Dusty Heard Them Here First, album review

Various Artists, Ace: An entertaining and inspiring collection

Dusty Springfield’s position as the UK’s most soulful singer has rarely been challenged.

Indeed, if anything, her reputation has strengthened over the years. What was remarkable about her career was her transformation from the petticoat-wearing, wholesome member of the family folk group The Springfields (and the girl goup the Lana Sisters before that) to the bouffant-topped, mascara-eyed soul queen of the Sixties. 

Most of that change was due to the music she began listening to, and which she subsequently covered on her UK and US releases. It won’t surprise you that most of that inspiration came from America, beginning with her love of all things Motown – from Marvin Gaye’s “Can I Get A Witness”, to the Miracles’ sublime “You’ve Really Got A Hold on Me” and Velvelettes’ stomping “Need in a Haystack”.

Lesser-known tracks also caught her eye, such as Baby Washington’s jazzy “Doodlin’” and the plaintive pre-Atlantic track by Aretha Franklin, “Won’t Be Long”. Later inspiration was provided by Dionne Warwick with the sophisticated soulfulness of  “Another Night” and the so-catchy-you-wish-you’d-never-heard-it charms of Chicago singer Barbara Acklin’s “Am I The Same Girl”.

An entertaining and inspiring collection which shows that when it came to music, Dusty had good taste by the bucketload.