Dusty Springfield "Faithful" (Real Gone Music, 2015)
The tracks on this collection have seen light on Rhino releases, but this is the first time 12 of them are being presented as the album they were intended to yield. In 1971 Dusty Springfield teamed up with songwriter/producer Jeff Barry and completed sessions that were meant to make up her third album for Atlantic, following Dusty in Memphis and A Brand New Me. Four of the songs were issued at the time, via two 45s that didn’t do much chart-wise, but the album idea got dropped and Dusty moved on to making records for other labels.
The feel of the songs (there are 13, including one track that’s in addition to the dozen that were meant to make up the ill-fated long player) is about what you’d expect of Dusty from this era: it’s a sultry soul-pop hybrid that creates dreamy, heartfelt ballads sung by one of the more evocative voices ever captured on tape. Barry, who produced the sessions, co-wrote three of the songs. Other writers include Carole King (You’ve Got a Friend), David Gates (“Make it with You), and Alex Harvey (“Someone Who Cares’). Neil Goldberg wrote or co-wrote four of the selections.
This is an album you enjoy more for its overall essence than for individual songs. Anyone who appreciates Dusty’s singing, particularly from this period, will be pleased to hear her reel off these cuts. There’s nothing here that I would include on an 80-minute Best of Dusty disc, but I could play Faithful any time and enjoy it, plus I appreciate being able to hear it while thinking in terms of it being an album that was meant to appear in ’71. The booklet to Real Gone’s release includes quality photos of Dusty, and informative liners by Joe Marchese.
Review made by Brian Greene/2015
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