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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars

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on 6 March 2017
This wonderfull set is in a word "PERFECT". I have owned it before but each person I played it too has begged me to sell it to them. OK I did but this one is for me and it's not going any where except on my CD player. She was and is unique and she demanded perfection, not only from the musicials but from herself. This upset some people who backed her but they admitted in the end she was right. In the same way as Elvis she could sing everything from the rock and roll to the wonderful ballards with terrific backing.

Just to prove a point a good friend that goes back to my youth 60 years ago-yes I am old- he said I don't want anymore Dusty "I have a load and don't want anymore. We meet every fortnight and I said ok but I will just show you the set and book and although you don't want anymore once you see it I bet you will change your mind. He said ok I will look but I have enough already and that's it. I carried it to where we meet and after 1/2 hour took it out and that was it he wanted it and paid me the cost there and then!!!
I have a fair amount of CDS but this is the gem of my collection and takes pride of place above all the rest.

As I said one word "PERFECT". You don't get any better than this. I agree with the others 5* all the way. Just buy it and see, it's a masterpiece and all involved deserve congratulations and thanks.
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VINE VOICEon 23 April 2008
This is a superb collection which includes tracks from all of Dusty's recordings (because of contractual difficulties you can't get this breadth on any other collection). Dusty authorised this box-set so presumably these tracks are her choices. That's totally fine by me. The 4 CDs make for an excellent and representative collection of hits and tracks from all of Dusty's albums. The fact that listeners like me can be disappointed by omissions is a testament to Dusty's excellent catalogue - the result of her hard work, perfectionism and disciplined professionalism. Dusty's 1970's albums are deleted although you can buy them at high prices from Amazon sellers. You'll find many of these great tracks here including the first outing of 3 tracks (19-21 CD 3) from the lost album 'Elements/Longing' which was finally released on the US CD 'Beautiful Soul'.

The first track is a sweet little tribute by Blossom Dearie (1970) followed by some precious Mary/Dusty teen-age home recordings - all in ragtime. Then we get to the Lana Sisters. The Springfields which included her gifted and successful brother Dion/Tom come next. I guess their parents did something right. Tom would re-create this kind of sound with 'The Seekers'. What is so great about these tracks, for me anyway, is the backdrop they provide for Dusty's fantastic pop transformation that is the brilliant rush of 'I Only Want To Be With You' and a little later 'Stay Awhile'. She'd come back changed from New York with a magic carpet woven with soul; the rest of the collection is a magic carpet ride around a magic garden with it's gates wide open...

What I like about Dusty is her humility. She doesn't re-work songs to make them her own. She always has respect for the original versions. On the lovely 'Some of Your Lovin' she doesn't stray much from the The Honeybees' original take. If you can listen to The Honeybees' track you'll hear a young singer doing a very good job. Dusty's husky timbre always adds gravitas and dignity to her songs but it's the combination of her intelligent interpretation, raw emotion (deep soul) and technical ability that always adds winning edge as she does here. Because of these qualities she could out compete her best competitors who were in the USA, not the UK. Dusty Springfield is in the canon of greatest modern artist singers. And, in her quiet unassuming way, she was also a radical and progressive fusion of her rainbow times; before her time and of this time and the future.

'Your Hurtin' Kinda Love' is one of my favourite earlier than 'Memphis' tracks (along with the lighter weight pop song 'I'll Try Anything'). I don't think she liked this as much as I do maybe because it wasn't a hit. This is a track that impressed me so much I played it to friends and made them listen to it all the way through and focus on the last repeated words 'Come on Baby, take this hurt off me'. Her voice cracks throughout the recording because she's singing so hard (and must have recorded many takes). It's a big gorgeous Phil Spectorish production. I'd never heard such intensity from a white singer before; on hearing 'Memphis' I gave up separating Dusty in such a stupid way.

I don't know why Dusty didn't put 'Live it Up' on this collection because that's such a great track but you can get that easily enough nowadays. Instead she includes rarer tracks like Madeline Bell's super groovy 'Go Ahead On', the northern soul hit 'What's it Gonna Be' ('Baby, believe me!') and the previously un-released 7 minutes plus 12" mix of 'That's the Kind of Love I've Got For You'. Many of these box-set tracks were deleted at the time of compilation (and are again now) and taking that into account this is a fantastic and generous collection. It's also in chronological order so it's an important historical record too.

At the very end we get Dusty's last recording. Just Dusty with piano. It's the lovely, now very poignant 'Someone to Watch Over Me'. This box-set is a beautiful gift from Dusty with love. It's worth far more than 5 stars. It's a treasure box.
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on 4 October 2000
OH MY GOD! It's beautiful! Yes, I think they finally got it right this time! What a stunning Box Set! Finally, something worthy of the work of our dear Dusty. Beautiful book like format with a stunning full length photo of our Dusty on the cover! A fantastic booklet with wonderful photos (this time, I found no bad ones)...and some wonderful words and homages to our great lady.
The track selections are great and excellently sequenced in my mind. All the big hits are there, but there are also enough new tidbits to keep all of us old time fans happy.
The 3 previously unreleased tracks are breathtaking. I am still reeling from hearing "In The Winter". I will never be the same. The 2 new live tracks sound great also, and only make me wonder why they can't release ALL of the Royal Albert Hall concert? ..especially if they can get such a great sound mix from "Quiet Please..." and "Lose Again."
The other tracks I was glad to finally see on CD were "But It's A Nice Dream" and "Turn Me Around". They sound great and as crisp as if Dusty were sitting right next to me singing them. (chills! ) This version of "But It's A Nice Dream" sounds like a different take than the ones I heard over the opening and closing credits of KISS ME GOODBYE. Is this a 3rd version?
I also love the inclusion of the complete "Ragtime Selections" and the Lana Sisters track...gives a full idea of the growth of Dusty's voice and skill and how she changed throughout her career and how she stayed the same.
Last night, while listening to the Box set, among all my feelings of joy and excitement about this wonderful 4 CD set, I also couldn't help but feel a little sad.
I miss Dusty.
I miss having her pop up every few years and do something outrageous/different/fun/on the edge. I miss her voice in interviews, on television and in specials...and most of all, the release of any new material. I'm pretty sure we won't see another Dusty in our lifetime. Such a unique individual/performer/singer....nope. The mold was broken when she was made, I'm afraid.
But having this 4 CD set brings me a little bit of relief. The voice was silenced way too soon and the woman was taken from us way too young, but at least we have over 90 songs to enjoy and remember her by. Right? Right? (I'm trying to keep this upbeat guys!)
Hopefully, there is more that has still not been unearthed. I hope so. Listening to "Someone To Watch Over Me" my heart aches at the thought of what an album of jazz standards, with just Dusty and a piano, would have sounded like? Even though it never happened, I'm sure we all know it would have sounded like everything else Dusty sang...unique, stunning and as close to perfection as music can get. Let's hope there's more where these great forgotten tracks came from...
Until then, "Roll Away...it's only time and the river....Roll Away, to the endless sea..."
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on 18 April 2008
This beautifully presented set should be in every fan's collection. It comes in the form of a hardcover book, with 4 CDs inlaid in the inside cover. The book is not only full of glorious photos of Dusty, but more importantly, it contains detailed notes on the recording circumstances, writers, chart-placings etc of the 98 tracks included [one sung by Blossom Dearie]. Dusty's whole career is covered, from the early Lana Sisters' and Springfields' recordings at the beginning of the 60s through to her collaboration with the Pet Shop Boys in the late 80s and successful album "Reputation" in the early 90s, and the songs are arranged chronologically.
There's the odd factual error - Dusty had 11 Top 10 hits in the UK, not 16, and many of the references to chart placings appear to have been made up. A number of the tracks have been remastered presumably to "clean them up", but for the most part ruining the mood of the originals in the process. The main thing I would take issue with though is what's been left off. I would have thought that, in compiling a set like this, the compilers would have the US and UK charts in front of them and start off by including every record that charted, without making value judgments. The Springfields' "Silver Threads and Golden Needles", a U.S. number 20 is not there, nor is "Reputation" or "Heart and Soul" [a duet with Cilla Black] from the 90s. Then we get onto the very subjective question of personal favourites. I would have dropped a number of the 70s and 80s album tracks in favour of some great 60s B-sides like, "I'm Gonna Leave You", "Small Town Girl" and "The Corrupt Ones". "24 Hours From Tulsa", and "Just One Smile" are missing, so Dusty fans would need to supplement this with one or two other CDs such as "Something Special". A great number of these "missing" tracks are referred to in the book, which makes their absence even more frustrating. However, all of the big hits are there, and if this is your first brush with Dusty, don't hesitate. "Goin' Back" and "Some of Your Lovin'" remain two of the most sublime performances ever committed to disc, but the set is jam-packed with wonderful things.

So, a couple of minor gripes, but given the price [I paid £15 at HMV online!] and the superb book, this is unmissable.
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VINE VOICEon 24 September 2003
This is just about perfect. If you're not satisfied with The Hits and you're not a hard core Must Have Absolutely Everything, this is the one. She had the perfect voice for me - she could do quiet and moving (I think it's going to rain today) and loud and moving (Give Me Time). Unlike her life she was always in perfect control of the songs. She could surf great orchestral crescendos with ease (check out all those great Italian ballads - memo - why don't those Italians write ballads anymore?). She should have recorded at least half of the Randy Newman songbook, and maybe had a go at some older standards (Round Midnight, that kind of thing) - but hey, who's complaining? Not me. I'm finding all sorts of gems I didn't know about.
So, Christmas is coming up - stick it in your letter to Santa.
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on 23 October 2000
'Simply Dusty' is not a collector's item but a magnificent musical biography of one of the very best singers to ever record a song. The project's executive producer, Mr. Mike Gill, with his first rate team of collaborators, presented the world with a masterpiece. The selected repertoire could not have been more representative of Dusty's recording career, the beautiful case which comprises a booklet containing plenty of information on her career and the songs included in the compilation is really 'de luxe', not to mention the excellent sound quality in all tracks. Also, of a tremendous good taste are the photographs that illustrate the booklet as well as the one chosen for the front cover. Dusty is not singing here for her fans only, she is singing for anyone who has got a good musical taste. The boxset is the best means to introduce Dusty's music to those who have been missing, so far, the opportunity of hearing her unique voice. I have already played the CDs for everyone who came to see me, since I've received them. I tend to believe that Amazon will be receiving extra orders from delighted new fans, some of them being young people. I wish to thank Mr. Gill and his team for having granted Dusty the eternity she deserved.
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on 4 October 2000
Just when you thought you heard it all, here is another enormous and tremendous career retrospective of the late great Dusty Springfield. The chronology of the 4 discs is incredibly moving and passionate -- you can hear her evolution as one of the greatest pop singers of the 20th century. She was an original who could make even the most mundane arrangement sound vital. The revelations of the latter 2 discs -- which cover her '70s/'80s/'90s material -- is just how many incredible tracks she continued to record after her commercial peak of the '60s, and how great her voice continued to sound. There is a healthy dose of "first on CD" tracks to make this essential for all completists, and to crave even more. Also, the packaging and artwork and testemonials are beautiful and dynamic -- just like Dusty herself. Be sure to look for the lovely poem by Annie Lennox hidden behind the tray for Disc 4. I hope Dusty's spirit is smiling somewhere -- it certainly lives on in her music.
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on 4 October 2000
What can you say? Nearly one hundred tracks, all the hits, some tracks released for the first time on cd, some lesser known gems....this box has got them all, an impressive collection of songs from the past forty years displaying the variety and quality of Dusty. Personally, I feel sentimental when I hear some of the beautiful songs she recorded. And the voice...there's hardly any words to describe the sound of this great voice. This compilation has been made with a touch of class and elegance, and I think Dusty would have appreciated it. Of course you might miss some songs and wonder why this or that is included, but you can't satisfy everybody. Yet I think most of her fans will be pleased with so much variety. This is what memories are made of..Just sit down, close your eyes and listen....
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on 13 October 2000
This is a tried and true delight! Such evident care was given to this set, that right down to the last line in the SPECTACULAR attached booklet this is an act of LOVE, not just commercialism. Associate producer Paul Howes special touches, respect, and once again, LOVE for Dusty shines through loud and clear. The remastering and remixing of some tracks is nothing short of magnificent. Even the most hard-core Dusty fans can find no fault in this set.
Dusty Springfield is an artist who will continue to find new legions of fans as time passes on. Her body of work is enormous, and this set truly sets the scene for one of the greatest voices of our time.
An enormous thanks goes out to the people who saw this project through to reality. For some of us fans, this is a dream come true. EVERYONE who loves popular song should invest in this box set!
Sincerely, Richard B
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on 19 February 2015
Though there is an alternative box set in The Magic of Dusty Springfield, the best one for anyone wanting a true summary of Dusty's career is this one. The first 2 CDs cover the glory years of the 1960s, covering all the solo hits and some great B sides and album tracks, though surprisingly the Springfields selections seem a bit random. Why not include their first UK hit Breakaway or their US hit Silver Threads and Golden Needles? The 3rd CD covers the 1970s and is a delight. Though they were difficult years for Springfield, she made some great music, and the whole CD proves that. Again, it is slightly strange not to include some of the great singles from this period - Who Gets Your Love was a gem, as was A Love Like Yours - but the selections chosen and are all first rate anyhow! Finally, the last disc covers the end of the 1970s, the 1980s and 1990s, so we come through to the revival with the Pet Shop Boys. Again, it is a shame that Baby Blue and Your Love Still Brings Me To My Knees are not included, but - again - the standard is great! To really appreciate the wonderful talent that was Ms. Springfield, this really is a great place to start. Highly recommended!
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