Wipe Off The Dust: Feel Dusty Springfield's 'White Heat'

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

It doesn't take a well-versed, and sometimes bitter, music critic to tell you that Dusty Springfield has one of the most distinctive voices in music history. You just know from the first listen. Defining the over-used term, Blue-Eyed Soul with a string of classic hits such as "Son Of A Preacher Man", "All Cried Out" and "Wishin' and Hopin'" and an album catalog that is worth discovering, Dusty Springfield is essential soul food. Yet, with a massive mosaic of records that scatter throughout the 60's, 70's and 80's, it's easy for some albums to become misbegotten. 1982 was such a great year for music, as classics were released (Thriller, Rio, The Dreaming, The Lexicon of Love...and yes, Vanity 6's debut), and some gems in the obscurities department were also released. Like with Chaka Khan's long lost 1982 effort, Dusty Springfield's White Heat has become some sort of a lost commodity and one that shows the late legendary singer playing the genre hopscotch with the greatest of ease. Springfield fans know of White Heat, and its not out of print, but it seems like it evaporated into the depths of music-dom, only to be picked up for novice and those who wanted a complete Dusty collection. White Heat was Dusty Springfield stepping into the 80's and going the New Wave/New Romantic route with funk, jazz, cabaret, rock elements sprinkled about. Substituting strings for synths, and with a more rock-oriented mindset, Dusty kind of does the Pat Benatar/Debbie Harry thing, but due to her vocal abilities, she quite encapsulates much more. Classic album? It should be. Some highlights...

Donnez Moi (Give It To Me): Oozes with sex appeal and bubbling sinister synths that give this glossy pop number a lot of grit.

I Don't Think We Could Ever Be Friends: My favorite cut on the album. Such a funky rock song with loads of sarcasm and angst. Would've made a great single if this album had been promoted better. Oh, and this song was co-written by Sting, so it's kind of Police like, hence why I like it so much.

Blind Sheep: Classic rock n' roll done Dusty's way. To think that this is the same woman who gave us "The Look of Love". Here she takes the tight beehive she once wore a loose and gives a rousing performance.

Gotta Get Used To You: Love how this song is bookend by the opening of jangling guitars and then thinning out into spacey synths. Great up-tempo pop-rock jam that drives with such earnest and spunk.

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