Dusty Springfield

Walk On By: The Greatest Hits

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Another in a long line of Dusty Springfield compilations, Walk on By: The Greatest Hits is a thorough yet scattershot double-disc best-of collection of mostly 1960s output. It rounds up all the greatest hits, from "I Only Want to Be with You" to "Son of a Preacher Man," and it intersperses them with lesser-known songs of similar quality. Springfield's output during the '60s was remarkably consistent. As evidenced on the recently released 41-track compilation Complete A and B Sides 1963-1970 (2006), even her B-sides are first-rate. Boasting 45 tracks spread across two discs, Walk on By: The Greatest Hits is comprised of hits and album tracks from A Girl Called Dusty (1964), Ev'rything's Coming Up Dusty (1965), Where Am I Going? (1967), Dusty... Definitely (1968), and Dusty in Memphis (1969). In addition, there's a bit of material from the lesser-known albums A Brand New Me (1970), recorded in late 1969 at Sigma Sound Studios in Philadelphia with Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff at the helm, and Reputation (1990), Springfield's comeback album released in the wake of her 1987 smash hit Pet Shop Boys collaboration "What Have I Done to Deserve This?" As usual, Springfield's '70s and '80s output is overlooked. The emphasis on her '60s output makes for a more unified compilation, as it's all cut from the same cloth, which the exception of the latter-day hits, which are back-loaded on disc two, and the non-chronological sequencing makes it all the more unified. Nevertheless, it's a bit strange to hear early hits like "I Only Want to Be with You" show up midway through the compilation, rather than at the beginning. Those with a historical mindset might prefer a chronologically sequenced compilation like Gold (2006), which includes much of the same material, albeit in order of release date. Moreover, those who prefer the hits and only the hits should go with a single-disc collection like The Very Best of Dusty Springfield (1998).