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4.7 out of 5 stars124
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 25 October 2005
Ask any musician over a certain age to name the greatest albums of all time and he/she won't rattle off too many titles before he/she gets to "Dusty In Memphis". That's the kind of awe and respect this album inspires in us who make our living in Music; and, we're a pretty musically jaded lot. It is utter perfection - singer; musicians; producers; material - all four come together for an musical experience which is right up there with "Sgt. Pepper" and "Pet Sounds". I do not exaggerate when I say "Dusty In Memphis" is one of the 3 greatest albums of all time!
Sure, many will say "Son Of A Preacher Man" is the centerpiece of this gem. I beg to differ with popular sentiment. The Goffin/King composition "No Easy Way Down" is the one track which takes this album from the great to the sublime. Dusty never sang a song better before or after recording this soul/gospel-tinged treasure. For a woman who aspired to be a soul singer, Dusty realises that goal in this song more than any other song she ever recorded. The close second would be "I Believe In You" from her "Brand New Me" album. The great white girl singer was truly blessed with a black soul.
The production values put into this album by Jerry Wexler and Tom Dowd are the stuff of legends. Not unlike a great director with an actor, Wexler used every trick in the book to extract the very finest singing performance Dusty was ever to record. This is no hype - this album is THAT good. Why it took the world and the record industry another 18 years(thanks to the Pet Shop Boy) to "rediscover" Dusty Springfield just boggles the mind.
If you purchase no other album from the late 1960's, do yourself a favour and add "Dusty In Memphis" to your collection. You will not be disappointed. It's Dusty immortal gift to all music lovers everywhere! Thank you, Ms. O'Brien.
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on 28 February 2000
Dusty in Memphis is already a legend. This import contains many additional tracks from a second set of Atlantic sessions, most sadly not released during Miss Springfield's lifetime. Listening to her now you can only wonder at the soul in her voice and be glad that at least now, 30 years later, you have the chance to hear it.
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on 2 September 2004
If you think soul singing is about wailing up and down the scales (as seems to be the current trend), just listen to this album. Her voice embraces and caresses each song. Just one listen will convince you that Dusty was the best female singer the UK ever produced. Not only that, here she is backed by the cream of 60s Atlantic R&B players. The typically modest Dusty didn't believe she deserved to be in such company. As another great female artist once said, "You don't know what you've got till it's gone". Your collection isn't complete without 'Dusty In Memphis'.
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VINE VOICEon 1 April 2008
I was just listening to `Welcome Home' from Dusty Springfield's `Where am I Going' album. It's a lovely soulful song and you can tell from sides like this, and even the album title, that she had to leave the UK to sing soul (which was all she wanted to do by 1967-8) and try to crack the USA market where she belonged. She was going to Memphis and New York where she recorded this great album while wracked with self-doubt, knowing she was risking her career to do what she loved. It didn't work. `Dusty in Memphis' bombed and helped ruin her confidence. The album was deleted and unavailable for a long time; it became a hard to get connoisseur's classic.

Listen to Dusty laying her heart on the line. Listen to those breathtaking notes, the great music, recording quality and the fantastic Sweet Inspirations. This is a master-class. The first 6 tracks and 10-11 are amazing and sublime. The rest is gorgeous icing. This album should always be available. Whatever you pay, it's an absolute steal for this totally classic album.

Dusty sounds like she's not earthbound any more like Memphis has released her soul and its floating free at last. Dusty totally lives the lyrics and exposes a deeply intelligent, sensual sensibility. She reaches into a deep sadness and vulnerability too. You get a little of this on some of her other albums but its totally realized on 'Memphis'. There's a raw, yet controlled, emotional quality that astonishes at every listen. Listen at night with the lights turned down, relax, just give in and make contact. Everything will disappear and it will just be you, ethereal Dusty, and your emotions in free fall.

On`So Much Love' she takes my breath away every time she sings `You show your love in so many ways, I'm gonna love you for the rest of my days...' I just don't know how she gets those notes; they come from another world. I can just about remember Dusty on TV singing 'Preacher Man'. This is such a groovy song but I sometimes skip this to get to the amazing ' I Don't Want to Hear It Anymore'. `Just a Little Lovin' is so great too. So is `Breakfast in Bed' (with that slow wink at 'You Don't Have to Say You Love Me'). `Don't Forget About Me' (an ultimate favourite of mine). `No Easy Way Down' (oh Wow), `I Can't Make It Alone' (brilliant) and like the alchemist she was she takes `Windmills of Your Mind' and `Just One Smile' and turns them from silver plate into spun gold.

This is the only time musical craftsmanship was truly up to Dusty's high mark of musical artistry, intelligence and ambition and good enough in its own right to push Dusty beyond the safe zone to produce a brave, coherent, consistent, matchless album. It must have cost a lot of money to make because everything here is the absolute best. Other UK artists went to Memphis to get this `sound' but most only exposed their limitations. There wasn't a Memphis `sound'; there were just great artists that were up to Atlantic Records highest production standards (epitomized in Aretha Franklin). I'm hard pressed to think of any other album of any genre that has knocked me out so much and which I can still play today just like the first time. Maybe one track or another can compete but not a whole album.

I've never been without this album since I bought it on vinyl in the early 1980s. The Rhino version is a great package but this version is fine. I don't have any gripes with the quality of the transfer. It's just a shame `Memphis' never came out on SACD or DVD-Audio when those super hi-fi formats were in vogue. There's something in my own soul that leads me back to `Memphis'. I don't know what that is but this album is a perfect response. It just makes me feel good.
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on 30 August 2003
An amazing album which deserves it's accolades as a piece of magical timless music, and this new remaster has a clear edge over the previous Rhino 1990 version. However one star docked in dedication to the eejit (Paul Reidy?) who decided we would rather have eight repeat mono tracks of lower quality sound rather than the three contemporary and tasty additional songs which appeared on the 1990 Rhino edition. Go figure. Those 1990 tracks added to the original collection; these mono mixes just disappoint.
Nonetheless, this is a superb original album, along with engaging sleeve notes and a better sound than ever realised before. If you have the 1990 Rhino version, you may need to keep both editions, courtesy of another careless record company decision.
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on 12 May 2005
Dusty Spingfield is one of the greatest interpretative singers ever and this album is her masterpiece.
The song choices and arrangements are excellent, and unlike the orchestration on her earlier hits which often drowned her out, the instrumentation always puts her unique voice at the forefront. It is that voice, sensual, intimate, vulnerable and technically perfect, that makes this album a classic.
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on 4 July 2003
For those of you who don't have this album already - buy it, because it is one of the best albums ever by any artist. For those of you who have - buy it again, because even if you know all songs, they have never sounded better. The sound quality is improved and is much better than the Rhino issues.
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on 26 January 2003
The late Dusty Springfield is without doubt one of the best female singers Britain ever produced. Dusty in Memphis should reign along with The Beatles:- Revolver, Beach Boys:-Pet Sounds, Deep Purple:-Machine Head as an album everyone must own. Just listen to Just A Little Loving, Don't Forget About Me, I Don't Want To Hear It Anymore, Son of A Preacherman and my favourite Breakfast in Bed the album is nigh perfect. Dusty's voice in achingly beautiful, vunerable, touching and soulful. If you are buying Dusty for the first time purchase this, you won't be disappointed.
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Even in the midst of all the great music Dusty Springfield recorded, there is one album that stands head and shoulders above the rest - the sublime Dusty In Memphis. Recorded in Memphis after a bit of a lull in her career, Dusty worked with the finest producer (Jerry Wexler) and musicians of the time to produce an album of classic soul. Clearly it was music that she loved, and she poured her heart into it. Tracks such as `Son Of A Preacher Man', Windmills Of Your Mind' and `Breakfast In Bed' are out and out classics. With the best material, best co-workers and the finest soul voice England ever produced, it was guaranteed to be good, and it was. I cannot find the correct superlatives to describe this album, it is just classic.

This remastered/extra tracks release is a decent affair. The remastering is sympathetic, and gives Springfield's voice the prominence and clarity it deserves. The extra tracks are all mono versions of the stereo tracks. My ear cannot detect much difference between them, so they seem like unnecessary repeats, but hey, I was going to spin the disc again, so it saves me the effort of getting up and pressing play! All in all 5 stars.
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In and near the ancient city of Memphis, capital of the ancient kingdom of Egypt, the great pyramids of Egypt may be found. These pyramids were built as monuments to the various pharaohs who ruled over Egypt. If I had to pick one album that would serve as a fitting monument to Dusty Springfield's musical career it would have to be her classic "Dusty in Memphis". It was a tremendous, if sadly overlooked, album when it was first released in 1969 (it managed to hit only #99 on the pop charts). It is even better now that a deluxe edition has been issued that contains 14 `bonus tracks' that had not previously been released.

Produced by Atlantic Records' Jerry Wexler and Arif Mardin (who produced a number of Aretha Franklin's early albums), Dusty in Memphis cemented Dusty's reputation as having one of the most powerful, soulful voices of the 60s. Just about every song on this deluxe edition helps cement that reputation.

"Son of a Preacher Man" is probably the best known song on the original album. It is a tremendous performance that highlights Dusty's wonderfully smoky, bluesy voice and her ability to interpret a song. The song starts low and wistful and build to a very powerful conclusion. Dusty covers a number of songs written by the team of Gerry Coffin and Carole King. Carole King has said (according to the liner notes) that Dusty was the definitive performer of her songs. After listening to Dusty's covers of King's songs, included spectacular version of "You've Got a Friend" it is hard to find fault with that assessment. The bonus tracks are as compelling as the original album tracks. "Willie & Laura Mae Jones" makes for a perfect follow up to "Son of a Preacher Man" both as to style and substance. Dusty even turns in an excellent performance of "Make it With You", originally performed by Bread. Springfield extracts all the extra sugar from the original and replaces it with a version in which you can hear the yearning in Dusty's voice.

Dusty in Memphis is a wonderful monument to a wonderful performer.
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