Dusty Springfield's "Dusty in Memphis"
Dusty in Memphis, Dusty Springfield's beautiful and bizarre magnum opus, remains as fine a hybrid of pop and rhythm and blues as has ever been made. In this remarkable book, Warren Zanes explores his own love affair with the record. He digs deep into the album's Memphis roots and talks to several of the key characters who were involved in its creation; many of whom were - like Zanes - outsiders drawn to the American South and mesmerized by its hold over the imagination.
The love that is the subject of 'Dusty in Memphis' is different from the love of her earlier songs: it is a love that is all at once diffuse, dark, unpredictable, ecstatic, and a terrible deal. It is a love too big for the lyrical (and for that matter musical) framework of Dusty's earlier pop productions, no matter the breadth of that work. Like Memphis itself, the love that is the subject of 'Dusty in Memphis' is indeed bursting with the contrary: it happens not simply when you yearn for it, as in some adolescent dream, but when you're not prepared for it; it reveals itself not simply under the star-filled skies where a moon hangs low--in fact, as the first and last tracks on side one attest, it might be at its best when the sun's just arriving at work.
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What Reviewers Are Saying
Sure, there are informative interviews with producer Jerry Wexler, and of course Zanes parses songs like Son of a Preacher Man and Breakfast in Bed. But it s the twists and turns, the oddly illuminating vagaries in between, that make the book such a compulsive read. Zane s approach is apropos for a record that was something of a masquerade but was no less authentic or affecting for it. - The Boston Phoenix, 7/8/04--Mike Miliard "Warren Zanes was the lead guitarist of the Del Fuegos, a band praised by, among others, the inventor of rock & roll, Sam Phillips. After the Fuegos self-immolated, Warren entered into an academic career and is now Dr. Zanes. Never mind-he still knows what counts. What counts? Genuine feeling, which this shapely small volume is full of...Warren is a greatly gifted good heart, and I love him. Read his book, listen to his record, and you will too." -Stanley Booth, author of The True Adventures of the Rolling Stones Title mentioned by Aaron Hicklin, in an article in Out, Saturday 1st March 2008. "A heartfelt dive into the world of 60s R&B dazzling." Pop Culture Press "Zanes' dry analysis of Dusty Springfield's classic white soul album is coupled with revealing interviews with Jerry Wexler, the man behind the song selection, and Stanley Booth, the album's original liner notes writer." Uncutf "The inaugural volume, "Dusty in Memphis "by Warren Zanes, sets the template for the series beautifully."- Joe Pettit, "Ugly Things, "Issue 25--Sanford Lakoff