Thursday, January 5, 2012

New: A Brand New Me

Dusty Springfield: A Brand New Me


Released two weeks into a new decade – the 1970s – A Brand New Me was the title of Dusty Springfield’s first and only Philly album, and the title of the hit single from the LP (which would be released in Britain a month later as From Dusty…With Love).

Having previously done the Southern Soul thing with the immortal Dusty In Memphis album, Dusty now turned to Philly soul under the guidance of producers Kevin Gamble and Leon Huff, who together or with others wrote all songs on the album, and arranger Thom Bell.

The single “A Brand New Me”, a cover of Jerry Butler’s 1969 single which had been written by Gamble, Butler and Bell, provided Dusty with her last US hit for 17 years, reaching #24 in 1970. In her native Britain it didn’t even chart. In both countries, she’d not feature in the Top 40 for 17 years, when the Pet Shop Boys revived her career.

The album itself tanked, stalling at #107 in the Billboard charts, and a second set of recordings with Gamble and Huff was shelved.

When the album was made, Gamble and Huff were still relatively unknown and Dusty Springfield was a star. Soon the producers would become soul giants as serial hitmakers for The O’Jays, Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, Billy Paul, The Three Degrees and so on, and would be invited to write the theme for Soul Train (read the story of that here).

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