Dusty Springfield wasn't known as a songwriter -- she didn't write more than a handful -- so the logic behind Dusty Heard Them Here First is tidy: collect 24 songs Springfield would later cover. As some of Dusty's biggest hits were Bacharach/David songs originally sung by American singers -- "I Just Don't Know What to Do with Myself" was first released by Dionne Warwick, for instance -- it would seem that Ace's 2014 compilation would heavily favor familiar tunes or hit singles, but that's not the case. To be sure, this has songs that are quite well-known -- usually songs originally released on Tamla/Motown, including the Velvettes' "Needle in a Haystack," Marvin Gaye's "Can I Get a Witness," the Miracles' You've Really Got a Hold on Me" -- but there are also relative rarities from stars (Aretha Franklin's "Won't Be Long," Dionne Warwick's "Every Ounce of Strength") and, niftily enough, there's a nice emphasis on feminist '70s soul and it concludes with K.T. Oslin's "Where Is a Woman to Go?," a selection from an '80s lady that hints at the depth and breadth of Springfield's catalog. If Dusty Heard Them Here First has neither the surprises nor thematic weight of the best entries in Ace's Heard Them Here First series, it nevertheless has an abundance of great music and says quite a bit about Dusty's deep and varied soul roots.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine