Artist: Dusty Springfield
Label: Real Gone
Release Date: 04/28/2015
The story about Faithful—Springfield’s planned 1971 album ultimately shelved by Atlantic and never released in its entirety until now—is told by her eyes on the front sleeve. She’s inviting you upstairs for a tipple and a tumble, but her eyes reveal the missed opportunities and personal chaos of two women: Springfield and her real self?/alter ego? Mary O’Brien.
It’s hardly heretical to say that Springfield’s heart always burned for American soul. Her Atlantic Records trilogy begins in ’69 with the global masterpiece Dusty in Memphis, produced by Jerry Wexler, Tom Dowd and Arif Mardin. A Brand New Me, 1970’s bitterly overlooked Gamble and Huff affair, wraps her in the stirring orchestral sweeps of early Philly R&B, only to have very few listen, and for Gamble and Springfield to demonstrably second guess Atlantic’s handling of the album.
With Faithful, Real Gone collects the thirteen masters (several appearing as bonus tracks on contemporary deluxe editions), and produces another cracked, near-masterpiece. Even with insistent over-production by Jeff Barry (“Be My Baby,” “Then He Kissed Me,” “Leader of the Pack,” Ellie Greenwich, Phil Spector) and Springfield’s second guessing every note and nuance, tracks like “I’ll Be Faithful,” “Live Here With You,” “All The King’s Horses,” “Haunted,” “Natchez Trace” and “I Found My Way Through The Darkness” leave that indelible and enduring Springfield imprint: that voice that follows you down the ages.