Dusty: The Essentials
By Aaron Hicklin
Dusty in Memphis
Unequivocally a masterpiece, this oft-reissued album is the definition of white soul, offering Dusty the best of the American music biz, like songsmiths Gerry Goffin and Carole King (�No Easy Way Down�) and lounge king Burt Bacharach (�In the Land of Make Believe�). Throw in the great producer Jerry Wexler and Aretha Franklin�s rhythm section and you have not just any great album but one of the greatest, period. The 1999 Rhino deluxe reissue includes an additional 14 tracks, including Springfield�s sublime version of �Willie & Laura Mae Jones.�
Initially released as the B-side to her 1970 single �How Can I Be Sure,� �Spooky� was given new life after being included on the soundtrack to the 1998 British movie Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.
�I Just Don�t Know What to Do With Myself�
One of Dusty�s best-known songs (and a hit in the U.K. in 1964), this Bacharach standard found new life in 2003 as a White Stripes single, complete with a Sofia Coppola�directed video of Kate Moss pole-dancing.
�What Have I Done to Deserve This?�
Dusty�s 1987 collaboration with the Pet Shop Boys rose to number 2 on both sides of the Atlantic, making it the biggest U.S. hit of her career. In a 2006 interview Neil Tennant recalled that Dusty had hit rock bottom when they met her -- �living in a pay-per-day motel in West Hollywood and cutting herself� -- but Messrs. Tennant and Lowe gloriously reestablished her in the pantheon.