For several years in the late 1960s and early 1970s, Dusty Springfield was romantically linked to singer-songwriter Norma Tanega. On February 5, 2021, the late, talented duo will be linked once more with a pair of new releases from our friends at Real Gone Music.
Real Gone has previously surveyed Springfield’s remarkable career on releases including Faithful (premiering her complete, lost album with producer-songwriter Jeff Barry in standalone form), A Brand New Me: The Complete Philadelphia Sessions (collecting in full her work with Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff, and Thom Bell), and Come for a Dream: The U.K. Sessions 1970-1971. Now, Real Gone has assembled The Complete Atlantic Singles 1968-1971 bringing together Dusty’s 24 U.S. single sides released during her tenure at Atlantic. These tracks have been remastered from the original mono tapes by Mike Milchner at Sonic Vision, and all but the eight singles pulled from Dusty in Memphis have never before appeared on CD in these original mixes. (A 2006 Universal/Eclipse release collected Springfield’s 1963-1970 sides, but not all were in their proper original mixes, and this set goes beyond its purview.)
Dusty moved to Atlantic to focus on R&B under the aegis of the label’s top trio of Jerry Wexler, Tom Dowd, and Arif Mardin. She scored success right out of the gate with the immortal “Son-of-a Preacher Man,” a top ten hit in ten countries around the world. The Complete Atlantic Singles 1968-1971 presents Springfield in powerfully sensual voice on recordings helmed by the Wexler/Dowd/Mardin team as well as by Gamble and Huff, Jeff Barry, and Ellie Greenwich and Mike Rashkow.
Such all-time songwriting titans as Carole King and Gerry Goffin (“Don’t Forget About Me,” “That Old Sweet Roll (Hi-De-Ho),” “So Much Love”), Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil (“Just a Little Lovin’ (Early in the Morning)”), Burt Bacharach and Hal David (“In the Land of Make Believe”), Randy Newman (“I Don’t Want to Hear It Anymore”), Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff (“Silly, Silly, Fool,” “A Brand New Me,” and “Lost,” the latter two written with Jerry Butler), Thom Bell and Linda Creed (“I Wanna Be a Free Girl,” co-written with Gamble and Huff), and Jeff Barry (“I Believe in You,” “Nothing Is Forever,” and “Haunted,” the latter two with Bobby Bloom) are all represented. With the classiest elements of pop and the deepest elements of soul, Springfield’s Atlantic sides were high watermarks in an extraordinary, varied discography.
Dusty Springfield’s The Complete Atlantic Singles 1968-1971 features a 16-page booklet beautifully designed by Bill Pitzonka with new liner notes by The Second Disc’s Joe Marchese drawing on interviews with Jeff Barry, Thom Bell, and Kenny Gamble.
Back in 1966, while Dusty Springfield was still primarily recording in the U.K., singer-songwriter Norma Tanega was making music in the States with legendary hitmaker Bob Crewe. First discovered while singing at a summer camp in the Catskills of New York, Tanega won the attention of Herb Bernstein (arranger and producer for The Happenings and Laura Nyro). Bernstein told producer Bob Crewe about Tanega and she was quickly signed to his New Voice Records label which was also the home of Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels. Walkin’ My Cat Named Dog introduced listeners everywhere to Tanega’s offbeat musical world, with her alternate-tuned guitars and odd-metered time signatures.
It just takes one listen to the album’s opener “You’re Dead” to see that Tanega was unlike her contemporaries. Yet, American listeners seemed to dig her idiosyncrasies, as the album’s title track climbed to No. 22 on the Billboard chart, hit the top ten in Canada, and received attention across the pond, too. In no time, the likes of Barry McGuire, The Jazz Crusaders, Art Blakey, and The T-Bones had cut versions of her hit. With appearances on American Bandstand and Where The Action Is, it seemed that Tanega was primed for stardom. After visiting England for some television spots, she chose to move to London where she started writing songs for others. Her music was recorded by Tom Springfield (formerly of The Springfields, and co-author of The Seekers’ “Georgy Girl”), and she began a relationship with his sister, Dusty, who also covered her work. In 1971, Tanega released I Don’t Think It Will Hurt If You Smile but it wasn’t received as well as her debut and she soon moved back to the States where she taught music and recorded a number of experimental works. Tracks from her debut continues to reach listeners even more than a half-century on. In fact, “You’re Dead” is currently the theme to the FX program What We Do in the Shadows.
Now, after Real Gone’s prior vinyl reissues, Walkin’ My Cat Named Dog will reach even wider audiences with its first CD reissue in over two decades. Whereas that version featured new, inferior cover artwork and merely decent sound, Real Gone’s new reissue restores the original cover and boasts a rich new mastering by Mike Milchner from high-resolution digital files of the original stereo masters. Richie Unterberger has written the notes, and two mono non-LP singles, “Bread” and “Run, On the Run,” have been appended as bonus tracks.
Both Dusty Springfield’s The Complete Atlantic Singles 1968-1971 and the expanded edition of Norma Tanega’s Walkin’ My Cat Named Dog are due from Real Gone Music on February 5, 2021 and can be pre-ordered at the links below.
- Son-of-a Preacher Man (Atlantic 45-2580, 1968)
- Just A Little Lovin’ (Early in the Morning) (Atlantic 45-2580, 1968)
- Don’t Forget About Me (Atlantic 45-2606, 1969)
- Breakfast in Bed (Atlantic 45-2606, 1969)
- The Windmills of Your Mind (Atlantic 45-2623, 1969)
- I Don’t Want to Hear It Anymore (Atlantic 45-2623, 1969)
- Willie and Laura Mae Jones (Atlantic 45-2647, 1969)
- That Old Sweet Roll (Hi-De-Ho) (Atlantic 45-2647, 1969)
- In the Land of Make Believe (Atlantic 45-2673, 1969)
- So Much Love (Atlantic 45-2673, 1969)
- A Brand New Me (Atlantic 45-2685, 1969)
- Bad Case of the Blues (Atlantic 45-2685, 1969)
- Silly, Silly Fool (Atlantic 45-2705, 1970)
- Joe (Atlantic 45-2705, 1970)
- I Wanna Be a Free Girl (Atlantic 45-2729, 1970)
- Let Me Get In Your Way (Atlantic 45-2729, 1970)
- Lost (Atlantic 45-2739, 1970)
- Never Love Again (Atlantic 45-2739, 1970)
- What Good Is I Love You (Atlantic 45-2771, 1970)
- What Do You Do When Love Dies (Atlantic 45-2771, 1970)
- Haunted (Atlantic 45-2825, 1971)
- Nothing Is Forever (Atlantic 45-2825, 1971)
- I Believe In You (Atlantic 45-2841, 1971)
- Someone Who Cares (Atlantic 45-2841, 1971)
- You’re Dead
- Treat Me Right
- Don’t Touch
- Walkin’ My Cat Named Dog
- A Street That Rhymes at 6 A.M.
- I’m Dreamin’ a Dream
- What Are We Craving?
- No Stranger Am I
- Hey Girl
- I’m the Sky
- Bread (New Voice 815, 1966)
- Run, On the Run (New Voice 821, 1967)