Song of the Day #1,447: ‘Just One Smile’ – Dusty Springfield

Best Albums of the 60s – #12
Dusty in Memphis – Dusty Springfield (1969)

My standard line is that when I’m listening to Dusty Springfield’s Dusty in Memphis I feel like I’ll never need to listen to anything else. It so perfectly captures a mood and a sound that I want to say, “OK, everybody else, put down your instruments… we have our winner.”

There’s just something about this particular brand of British soul by way of the American south that works for me.

I wonder how many Adele lovers (particularly young ones) are familiar with this album, because it’s safe to say that 21 would not exist without Dusty in Memphis. To Adele’s credit, she writes her own material while Springfield was an interpreter of other’s songwriting.

But what songwriters she chose! Four of this album’s eleven tracks were penned by Carole King and partner Gerry Goffin and two more (including today’s SOTD) by the brilliant Randy Newman. Burt Bacharach contributed another. And that’s leaving out the album’s standout track and biggest hit, ‘Son of a Preacher Man,’ which earned Springfield a whole new generation of fans after its inclusion in Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction.

Can’t I cry a little bit?
There’s nobody to notice it
Can’t I cry if I want to?
No-one cares

Why can’t I pretend
That you’ll love me again?
All I had has been taken from me
Now I cry tears that never become me

Just one smile means forgiving
Just one kiss, the hurt’s all gone
Just one smile to make my life worth living
A little dream to build my world upon

How I wish I could say
All the things I want to say
If some way, you could see what’s in my heart
Oh, baby

I don’t ask for much
A look, a smile, a touch
Try to forget
Lord knows, I’m trying
It’s so hard to forget
When your whole world you know is dying

Just one smile means forgiving
Just one kiss, the hurt’s all gone
Just one smile to make my life worth living
A little dream to build my world upon

Just one smile please forgiving
Just one kiss, hurt’s all gone
Just one smile to make my life worth living
A little dream to build my world upon
Just one smile

One thought on “Song of the Day #1,447: ‘Just One Smile’ – Dusty Springfield

  1. Dana says:

    GIven your high praise, this is clearly an album I should have on my radar. And it’s even more enticing given the people who wrote the songs, including most particularly King and Newman.

    I’m not familiar with today’s song, but am really intrigued by the fact that this was written by Newman. I did a search to see if I could find Newman doing the song, but no such luck. I found, however, that it was originally written for and recorded by someone called Gene Pitney who I’ve never heard of, and also recorded by Blood, Sweat and Tears. Here’s the version by Blood, Sweat and Tears, which is rather different….

    Here is Pitney’s version, which apparently reached 64 on the charts in 1967:)

    Can we all agree that Dusty’s version is far better than the other two?

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