||Dusty Springfield's DUSTY IN MEMPHIS the inaugural volume in the excellent 33 1/3 series, in which writers explore notable albums and their multiple levels of meaning. Here, musician Warren Zanes journeys inside perhaps the most important album in Dusty Springfield's career. With this classic 1968 recording, the singer made the leap from performing classy soul-influenced pop to becoming one of the first bona-fide white soul singers, recording deep inside geographical and artistic territory previously the almost exclusive province of black American R&B artists. With interviews with major figures involved in its recording, and an expanded meditation on the album's wider significance that is a hallmark of this admirable series, Zanes illuminates DUSTY IN MEMPHIS with the insights of a true believer.
||Dusty in Memphis, Dusty Springfield's beautiful and bizarre magnum opus, remains as fine a hybrid of pop and rhythm and blues as has ever been made. In this remarkable book, Warren Zanes explores his own love affair with the record. He digs deep into the album's Memphis roots and talks to several of the key characters who were involved in its creation; many of whom were - like Zanes - outsiders drawn to the American South and mesmerized by its hold over the imagination. EXCERPTThe love that is the subject of 'Dusty in Memphis' is different from the love of her earlier songs: it is a love that is all at once diffuse, dark, unpredictable, ecstatic, and a terrible deal. It is a love too big for the lyrical (and for that matter musical) framework of Dusty's earlier pop productions, no matter the breadth of that work. Like Memphis itself, the love that is the subject of 'Dusty in Memphis' is indeed bursting with the contrary: it happens not simply when you yearn for it, as in some adolescent dream, but when you're not prepared for it; it reveals itself not simply under the star-filled skies where a moon hangs low--in fact, as the first and last tracks on side one attest, it might be at its best when the sun's just arriving at work.