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Dusty Springfield

Live at the Royal Albert Hall

Review by Lisa Palmeno

Dusty Springfield's 1979 album was recorded at The Royal Albert Hall "In the presence of her Royal Highness Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon." In it Springfield belts out the melodramatic tones of her pop-vocal style that popularized her radio hits in Britain and America. With ten songs and three bonus tracks, the CD is a nice compilation of covers and Dusty Springfield originals.

Utilizing a 1960s music trademark, the recording boasts two rather lengthy medleys. With zeal, Springfield performs the dramatic, schmaltzy mega-hit love ballads "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me" and "I Only Want to be with You." She has a good band and excellent back-up singers on this one, and the CD will be fun for easy-listening pop music lovers to reminisce and enjoy the nostalgia; and to remember Springfield's contribution to contemporary music.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2006 Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Close My Eyes and Count to Ten
Light and heavy, soft and strong, this song alternates between quiet, smooth and comforting tones to over-the-top melodrama.

Medley: We Are Family/You Can Do It/On Your Knees
This trio of disco favorites is missing the proper oomph and musical direction necessary for an effective medley, but it's still fun in a campy kind of way.

Lose Again
 A tender and sympathetic story about giving in to love. Springfield and the piano work blend well here.
All I See Is You
"All I See Is You" is another of those high-drama ballads for which Dusty is known. Seductive and subdued, yet alive and emotional, the songstress gives meaning to the lyrics.

This Will Be
A feature of the album, Springfield and her band bring this motivational piece to life.
Medley: Going Back/Only Want to Be With You/Stay A While/Just A Little Loving/Some Of Your Lovin'/The Look of Love/Wishin' And Hopin'/I Just Don't Kn
This medley has more different songs than anything I've ever heard. The transitions are relaxed and timed right, and the dynamics are spontaneous.

Son of A Preacher Man
The horns made this tune the powerful gospel-style tale of the thrills of young love.

You Don't Have To Say You Love Me
 Springfield's biggest hit is done in the Tom Jones, Vegas-style of theatrical vocals that was popular at the time of the recording. It's the best song on the album.
Quiet Please (There's A Lady on the Stage)
  Springfield chats with the audience during this hushed, simple melody about women who love too much.

Put Your Hands Together
This song is upbeat and commanding, and Springfield does it justice. The horns are featured here.

Bonus Tracks
Hollywood Movie Girls
Lots of flat notes give this track the sense of waiting and wondering of the "movie girls" waiting to make it in the business.

Baby Blue
"Baby Blue" is an honest attempt at pure discotheque music. Solid bass work gets this one into the groove. Musically, this is the strongest selection.

Brand New Me
  This is a hopeful, happy song about being transformed by love.

 
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