Dusty Springfield: Piece of My Heart + Love Power
From Dusty…Definitely (Phillips UK, 1968). Songs also found on Dusty In London.

My man Joel (prolific record reviewer for Soulstrut.com) put me up on this Dusty Springfield LP. It has an interesting history insofar as most of these recordings were never released in the U.S. because of a distribution agreement set between Atlantic (who recorded Dusty in the States) and Phillips (who held her UK contract). Though the material on this LP isn’t quite as sublime as her famed Dusty In Memphis album, it does have some strong moments in the R&B/soul vein, especially as she’s working with such noted British arrangers as Keith Mansfield (of KPM fame).

Now…if you know me, you know my favorite version of “Piece of My Heart” is the original by Erma Franklin but all things considered…Dusty’s cover is pretty good as her more laid-back, smoky voice offers a nice contrast to the power vocals of Erma’s. The arrangement is fairly loyal to the OG but it does seem just a touch funkier.

“Love Power” is definitely on a funky tip, a bit of aberration on this album since many of the songs tend to be more conventional ballads. This song is downright aggressive with the strong backbeat and fiery brass section, both of which help push Dusty to charge forward on her vocals.

(You might also want to check out her version of “Crumbs Off the Table,” another UK-only song)