Friday, December 23, 2011

Dusty Springfield: Some Of Your Lovin'

Consider: "Some Of Your Lovin'" - released August 1965. I can't find my Guinness Book Of British Hit Singles but I know it was a medium sized hit - slightly below par by Dusty's chart standards of the day. But what a perfect record. In every way. Even down to its release date at the absolute high-water mark of English domination of world pop. The Beatles, Stones, Who, Kinks were all pumping them out - Carnaby Street, Mary Quant, David Bailey, The Shrimp, Terence Stamp - pop was never more POP, never more perfect, more unassailably irresistable, and right in the middle of it there was Dusty with this stately majestic confection of Carole King's and Gerry Goffin's. A song about giving and receiving love even when you know it's hopeless - a subject Dusty knew more than a little about. When I hear it I can see the session: A big hangar of a studio, maybe thirty or more musicians in attendance, cigarette smoke like a pall under a high ceiling covered in baffles. Music stands, white shirts, glasses, ties askew, underarm sweat, hot and sticky. And Dusty in the vocal booth, clutching her lyric sheet, smiling shyly and slyly at her should-have-been lover, Madeline Bell, doing back-ups along with Lesley Duncan. Dusty's in civvies too: hipper than the orchestra, of course, but under-dressed - a white blouse, blue jeans, no wig, mascara somewhat the worse for wear, trying not to smoke too much as she has a tough gig in the evening and she must save her voice. But she can't save her voice: the song means too much to her, and there's Madeline grinning at her through the glass of the booth, egging her on. She requests another take. The orchestra are groaning but with good humour: they know it's a good session. Ivor Raymonde, the musical director, calls for silence on the floor. The red light comes on. The tempo is perfect, Dusty soars. Ivor waves his baton at the end of the last bar. "Come and have a listen!" comes a delighted voice over the monitor. Dusty and Ivor pile into the control room. Ivor's trying not to grin too hard and blow his cool. Dusty tickles him. He blows his cool. The engineer runs the take. Dusty always wants to do another take, no matter how good the last one in the can. They listen to the playback. No-one says a word. Everyone waits for Dusty to request another take. But Dust is nodding, she purses her lips: "OK", she says, "that's OK." A huge wave of relief passes through the control room and out onto the studio floor. The musicians start packing up. Dusty's PA is in reception, waiting to take her to the limo waiting to take her to the evening's gig. Just another day's work in the 60s.

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