Do we need yet another Dusty compilation when the market is already flooded with them ? Well, the short answer is a resounding YES because Mercury finally gets it right by putting out a truly essential compilation with a theme - her Complete A & B sides released in the UK between 1963 and 1970 and the result is simply smashing. Strictly no messing about. The singles are in strict chronological order with the A sides on one disc and the B sides on another. They are also in rare mono - the original singles mix - unless the tapes are unavailable, in which case the familiar stereo mixes are used (eg, Losing You and Little By Little). Some of the hits (eg. Goin' Back) are aurally very different in mono and a special treat. Some of the fades also run on longer than usual (eg, In The Middle Of Nowhere and Some Of Your Lovin').
The non-stop run of hits (plus a couple of unconscionable misses like the funky Northern Soul classic What's It Gonna Be and Clive Westlake's excellent I Will Come To You) on Disc 1 simply leaves you breathless and giddy with joy and admiration at how in the 60s Dusty was faultless in her selection of original material for singles. Songs tucked away on the B sides were almost as good. Four were even written or co-written by her (eg, Once Upon A Time, Something Special, I'm Gonna Leave You and Go Ahead On). My own personal favourite is the little known Goffin & King girl group beat song I'll Love You For Awhile, given a real punchy treatment here.
And you can't ask for more in terms of packaging. Eclipse has used a gorgeous photo of a sooty-eyed Dusty circa 1965 for the front cover and it's just fab ! Complete A & B Sides is truly an essential buy. Hurry, grab yourself a copy.