Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

The Dusty Springfield Anthology

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

The Dusty Springfield Anthology

Article excerpt

Maybe it's the sultriness. The urgency in the gentlest whisper, the subtlety in her boldest proclamations of love, loss, heartache, and ascendancy. Maybe it's the way she can capture both the ecstasy of the afterglow and the despair of a breakup's aftershock. But there is something about Dusty Springfield that makes her contribution to pop music--hell, to life--particular, peerless. There are plenty of divas, plenty of blue-eyed soul sisters, but there is only one Dusty, and when I think about it there is no other singer who reaches me in so many ways so deeply as Dusty.

I'm not the only homosexual who feels this way. Although she's regarded in England as a national treasure with connections to both lesbian and gay culture that go beyond even Madonna's, her status in America is much like Laura Nyro's: Everyone of a certain age knows "I Only Want to Be With You," "The Look of Love," and "Son of a Preacher Man," yet those who go beyond the hits are rewarded with a body of work that spans decades, moods, musical eras. When she connects with material and musicians of her caliber--whether it's Burt Bacharach, R&B studio gi ants like, Arif Mardin and Thom Bell, or the Pet Shop Boys--the result is pop music with all the complexity and timelessness of high art. The fact that Aretha first turned down "Son of a Preacher Man," reconsidered when she heard what the English girl did with her Memphis crew, and still couldn't top Dusty's delirious delivery says it all.

In case you think I'm laying it on a little too thick, consider the splendors of this three-CD boxed set. …

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