Without a shadow of a doubt Dusty Springfield was the best British female singer ever. Many listeners (like me) can't remember her at her peak of fame in the 60's, but it only highlights her pure brilliance that Dusty has such a following across the age spectrum.
Beautiful Soul is essentially 2 albums in one; Cameo released in 1973 and Longing that was recorded in 1974, but never released in full...until now.
Cameo was not a commercial success, which is a disgrace as, in my opinion, it contains some of Dusty's best songs. Who Gets Your Love is angst written and could easily be from Dusty In Memphis. Easy Evil is a slinky, funky cut and is actually about heroin addiction. Coming And Going is 70's radio friendly and jolly good it is to. Normally I can't stand Van Morrison, but I have to say Tupelo Honey is first class (or at least Dusty makes it so). OH THAT VOICE!
The second half of the album is the aborted Longing. Some of these tracks such as Exclusivly For Me and In The Winter have surfaced on box sets, but now we have it in full. On some of these tracks, you can hear Dusty's personal problems embodied in her voice, but for me, it makes it all the more special.
The most interesting song on the whole album is Beautiful Soul ,a love song sung by a woman to another woman. It is one of the few times that Dusty made any reference to her sexuality. A beautiful and touching song.
All in all Beautiful Soul is an excellent album and any Dusty fans worth their salt should own it.