on 14 January 2009
An extra special album in many, many ways, this generated a lot of excitement when the news spread that Dusty Springfield was back in the recording studio after a five year absence.Many fans must have been on the point of giving up hope of ever seeing or hearing the same Dusty who had so magically set the world on fire back in 1963.
We certainly get to see, and hear her. As if to prove that she was back, and with a difference, we are shown on the cover, a more natural looking Dusty,as you've never seen her before, shoulder length hair-style, and still wearing make-up, but, not half as much as we were accustomed to seeing, we finally get to imagine what Dusty must have looked like without ANY make-up, and, i have to say, incredibly alluring. As if that is not startling enough, we are made to realise that this is her statement album, both visually and vocally.
A diverse mixture of tracks, we have the soft piano and easy beat of "Turn Me Around", this warms up in the second half until it's positively sizzling, another slow and easy song is "I'd Rather Leave While I'm In Love" (written by Peter Allen/Carole Bayer Sager) this brings me out in goose pimples, despite it's rather sad lyrics. On "Checkmate" we have a bubbly, feverish rhythm accompanied by a lusty vocal, another fiery delivery is "Love Me By Name" and the jaunty "A Love Like Yours (Don't Come Knocking Every Day)" which was a minor hit .
"Hollywood Movie Girls" has a feminist feel to it as well as a clear vocal on difficult, jerky lyrics. "I Found Love With You" is a cheerful and very catchy disco piece that sounds as though it wants to gallop away at any minute...which it does eventually, rather like a restrained animal finally untethered. Not a great lover of disco' myself, (or so i once thought!) Dusty has convinced me to change my mind, because the moment the synthesizers and brazilian samba beat kick off "That's The Kind Of Love I've Got For You" we just cannot ignore the fact that, this is a VERY infectious track, quite surprising and i've grown to love this a heck of a lot, perhaps Dusty realised her fans would really love this, because we also have the extended version.
Many people have drawn comparisons between the lyrics to "Sandra"(written by Barry Manilow) and Dusty's own problems with drink and self mutilation, although we did not get to hear of this until many years later, and whether or not they had reached such a critical point prior to this album, is unclear, but it makes listening to this track extremely painful.
For the fans who had found Dusty again back in 1978, this must have felt like losing a pearl, years previously, searching again, and finding a gold nugget.
'It Begins Again' holds a special place in my album collection, and a special place in my heart, Dusty was back, not quite with the same explosion of '63, but quite a bang nevertheless.