Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Beautiful Soul: The ABC - Dunhill Collection
Genres: World Music, Pop, R&B, Rock, Classic Rock, Broadway & Vocalists
Similarly Requested CDs
Gloriously Exhumed Classics from the 1970s
Randall E. Adams | Los Angeles, CA United States | 03/17/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Prior to this release, I have never thought of the 1970s as the era when Dusty Springfield cut her best records. Indeed this is the time when her self-doubts and personal struggles overwhelmed her and effectively removed her from the pop music scene. This release consists of her 1972 album "Cameo," a solid effort loosely comparable in quality to her "Brand New Me" album. Certain particularly glorious moments exceed the earlier Gamble-Huff album, such as her classic rendering of Van Morrison's "Tupelo Honey" and her reading of "Who Could Be Loving You?" a fine song by anyone and a true tearjerker by Dusty. On the basis of "Cameo," this release safely rates four stars.However, the rest of the disc consists of nine surviving tracks recorded for her planned 1974 album "Longing." Judging from these tracks, "Longing" was going to be Dusty's finest album since "Dusty in Memphis." The times had changed; instead of going for the cheap and easy (and now unlistenable) option of adopting the emerging disco sound, "Longing" pursued the singer/songwriter approach although Dusty--as always--interpreted material written by others. The songs come from such fine sources as former Zombies singer Colin Blunstone, Janis Ian, Melissa Manchester and Chi Coltrane. Virtually all of the material is top drawer. The arrangements are perfect, with not a note or instrument out of place. With only a few exceptions, Dusty's vocal delivery is as vulnerable and subtle as anything she had ever done. It's a great shame that she lost her confidence in the course of these sessions and abandoned the project--she was unquestionably on the right track. It is no wonder that Bruce Springsteen admired her when watching her on these sessions. It is "Longing" which makes this release a five star item. If you only own a small amount of Dusty Springfield's music, choose "Dusty in Memphis" and "Beautiful Soul.""
S. Sittig | Washington, D.C. | 02/07/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Well, I bought BEAUTIFUL SOUL last night and after a full night of listening all I can say is W-O-W! What a woman! What a singer! What a presence! I am so glad that so many of these tracks are finally where they deserve to be, on CD and easily accessible to all those who want to listen to the wonder that is Dusty Springfield.Of course, all of CAMEO is finally in place, and it sounds fantastic as I expected, since I consider it to be one of Dusty's best albums. Not a bad track on that one at all is there? My favorites..."Breakin' Up A Happy Home", "I Just Wanna Be There" and "Who Could Be Lovin' You Other Than Me" sounding fantastic on CD as I knew they would, and the other tracks like "Easy Evil" also making an impressive CD debut. What a joy to finally hear these songs on CD and with a crisp, albeit digital, sound! There's something about vinyl, that CD can't reproduce and I think albums like CAMEO (and perhaps, god willing, IT BEGINS AGAIN and LWYL in the near future) somehow seem to be made especially for vinyl listening. But hey, I'm not complaining...most of us don't have turntables anymore, so CD is just fine! : )As for the bonus tracks from LONGING. A double W-O-W! I feel like I've encountered a whole new Dusty! Just when I think I know ALL her faces, here she comes and throws something like "Beautiful Soul" and "Angels" at me! And then the sheer desperation of "Make The Man Love Me"...another gem...wow wow wow! I'm hooked all over again!!Of course, those 3 tracks were the only ones I had never heard in some format...or at least I thought, until I heard the totally different original 1974 recordings of "Turn Me Around", "I Am Your Child" and "A Love Like Yours". Could these BE any different than their late 70s counterparts? "Turn Me Around" is a dilemma for me. Dusty's voice overall sounds stronger to me in the 74 version than in the 78 when her voice sounds like it has more air in it and it's softer. And I like some of the things Dusty does vocally in the 74 version better than on the 78 version. But then again, the 78 version has some wonderful vocal soars, that while less stronger in volume, are more exciting emotionally. Ahh! The choices! In any case, it's easy to see why she chose to re-record the 74 vocal. Not sure what I think about the arrangement and production. 78 still sounds a bit overproduced to me, but 74 seems a little too funky as well. There are some strange instruments and backing vocals that don't seem exactly right. And I can see why Dusty chose to cut the 2nd verse when she re-recorded, it just doesn't go anywhere (and this is the fault of the songwriting, not the singer...). Dusty was right to change it! (Surprise! Surprise!)"I Am Your Child", I prefer the 77 version to the one here. I don't know, the 77 version just seems softer, more easy to listen to and more sensitive. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad to have this 74 version, but I can see why Dusty re-recorded it...the 77 one seems more right."A Love Like Yours". I really don't like the tempo (too slow!!) of the 74 version at all and that really kills the whole venture for me. The 78 one has such punch, such attack and this one is just lacking in comparison. Dusty's vocals are neat and sound very funky..soulful, but the 78 version she sounds better I think. The heavier production of the 78 version actually helped this one I think. Of course, these are just my opinions..I'm sure people will differ as they listen and I myself may change my mind as I listen repeatedly. With Dusty, you never know. She creeps up on you...: )The one thing I have been noticing, with this release as well as the release last month of the new tracks from LOVE SONGS..in each and every case, I can see why Dusty chose either not to release a particular take,song or album. She had very exacting and high standards (as do I, which is why I can listen to very few female singers and not cringe, especially in the last 10 years..oy!...) when it came to music. Each of these "previously unreleased" tracks, while wonderful to hear for completists and fans like us, are all lacking something. In most cases, it is not Dusty's vocals that need work, but rather, the arrangement, production, songwriting, back-up singing, etc. In a few cases...most notably "O-o-h Child", "Turn Me Around"(74 version), and "A Love Like Yours" (74 version) I can sense that she wasn't completely "done" with her vocals and probably planned to do more with it with more takes. You can almost hear her working it out on some of these unfinished tracks.All this discovery, this unearthing of lost unfinished tracks just makes me appreciate and love Dusty even more. It didn't come "naturally" to her...she had to WORK for it. Sure, her first take vocals were just wonderful to us, but she wasn't happy and had to give us an even better 2nd,3rd, 4th take..always improving, always striving to be better and produce a better product. I've always been more impressed by talented people who work hard, versus those who just coast on their talents and never push themselves. Go Dusty! Another reason she was a pioneer.She truly, definitely, had a BEAUTIFUL SOUL , we should all feel privileged to be longtime members of the ever-growing group of her loyal fans. Hopefully, these new releases will hook us some new members, and they can finally come to hear and know what we've heard and known for many years....When it comes to emotional, soulful pop singing, with your heart out on your sleeve, with a simultaneous blast of vulnerability and passion, nobody beats Dusty. Nobody."
Longing's the best Dusty album (after Memphis) that got away
S. Sittig | 07/29/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Like Rhino before it, Hip-O is the second American label to have honoured Dusty's legacy with a perfectly conceptualised and mastered release. "Beautiful Soul - The ABC Dunhill Collection" accounts for all the 20 finished tracks Dusty ever recorded with the West Coast label. It has "Cameo" and all but one of the "Longing" tracks running back to back with each other. "Longing" is, in my opinion, possibly the most essential album to have been recorded and heard by Dusty fans in the last 30 years. It provides that last missing piece that finishes an otherwise complete musical portrait of Dusty as a recording artist and presents a new side to Dusty we never heard before. It is Dusty's homage to young up-and-coming popular songwriters of the day (eg, Ian, Manchester, Manilow) and possibly the most personal and intimate collection of songs she has ever recorded for any single recording session. It is also certainly her most quiet and musically restrained album up to that point. In stark contrast with the bright, busy and commercial sound of "Cameo", the musicianship on "Longing" is understated and sublime. Vocally, it is also a transitional album as it marks the first time we hear Dusty use her breathy technique for an entire project. She would later perfect this technique for her 1978 comeback album, "It Begins Again" (IBA). It's a pity Dusty never had the opportunity to complete the project and recut the guide vocals she put down on some of these tracks as she would have delivered ten perfectly executed and consummate performances that would have made "Longing" one of the best albums (possibly only after "Memphis") she has recorded in her career. Yes, it's that good."Exclusively For Me" - Already previewed in "Simply Dusty", this Colin Blunstone gem must rate as one of the three best cuts here and sounds even better in the context of the album. The first song to have been completed for the sessions, Dusty uses her feather light breathiness to perfection on this beautifully evocative and intimate number. One of my favourites."Turn Me Around" - The shorter 1978 version we are familiar with may be more polished vocally but then it suffered from overproduction under Roy Thomas Baker's heavy handed direction. Whereas Dusty's voice positive shimmers on the later effort, this first try out in 1974 is less controlled and sung with more heart. It also includes a second verse which to my ears works as a bridge and improves the flow of the song. The arrangement is fairly similar to the IBA version but I much prefer this slightly raw but more heartfelt take."In The Winter" - Arguably, the most stunning track in the collection. It's Dusty at her dramatic best as she contemplates loneliness away from a lover who's found bliss with somebody else. The haunting piano and soaring string arrangements blend perfectly to deepen the sense of loss conveyed in the lyrics. Dusty's performance is so devastating it hurts just listening to her. Look out for the ever-so-slight croak on that last note of the song. A wonderfully spontaneous touch and an emotional revelation. One of her best recordings ever. "A Love Like Yours" - Despite Dusty's slightly ragged vocals on her first stab at this original Martha Reeves and the Vandellas B-side, this again is a superior version to the one we got four years later on IBA. The musical accompaniment and backing is more imaginative, funkier and far more solid than the wooden/stilted version produced by Roy Thomas Baker on IBA. "I Am Your Child" - Yes, they used the same backing track for the 1977 remake of this Barry Manilow ballad. The vocal arrangement is also identical but this time, Dusty's beautifully controlled and pitch perfect reading on the remake wins hands down. It's a nice enough song but not one of Manilow's best compositions. He went on to write better things."Home To Myself" - One of the loveliest songs Melissa Manchester has ever written. Dusty turned on the wattage to transform this gentle ballad into an emotionally overwrought confession. Great performance, though I still prefer the composer's more plaintively sung singer-songwriter version. "Make The Man Love Me" - This relatively unknown Mann & Weil number doesn't have the free flowing magic of "Just A Little Lovin", but could Dusty have recorded it because she recognized its dramatic potential ? Cher recorded it for an early 70s album. It's got a nice verse with a hook and a chorus that's eminently singable, spoiled only by a cliched melody line in there. Still, Dusty gives all she's got and delivers a performance far more compelling than the material deserves."Angels" - This sounds like one of those left field choices Dusty used to make that drove her producers and record companies crazy. After a dreamy intro (shades of "Mixed Up Girl"), Dusty wanders in on vocals that quickly rise to an impassioned shout above a rousing rhythm track that just as suddenly subsides before picking up again. "Angels"' is a complex and difficult song to sing, but it's undoubtedly one of the strongest cuts on the album. It's a sleeper and one for the long haul. I love it."Beautiful Soul" - Ahhh.....finally a song to die for. This Margie Adams original has a gorgeous melody and lyrics so intimate and personal they melt your heart. The instrumentation, in particular, the softly flowing guitar accompaniment transforms this little gem into a great thing of beauty. Some fans hear a love song from Dusty to a woman. Others suggest it's Dusty singing to Mary. Whichever, it's a tour de force of a performance, appropriately placed to close the album and what's important is that we get to hear this ethereal beauty finally. "Beautiful Soul - The ABC-Dunhill Collection" is a real class set. Insightful liner notes by Jim Pierson, heartwarming personal tributes from distinguished songwriters, detailed production credits, great choice of rare or period relevant photos, and an overall product design that seeks to preserve the integrity of the two albums Dusty recorded for the label. Thanks, Hip-O, you outdid our collective expectations."