This is the story of a girl called Mary Isabel Catherine O’Brien and of a song that was destined to be the standout track in her music career. The girl is none other than Dusty Springfield and the song is “The Look of Love”. She has left her mark in history as one of the greatest British singers of all time, as the queen of pop, haunting a generation with her presence and many others beyond that.
Though she became famous as a solo artist, she owes her name to her first band, the Springfields. “The Look of Love” was the opening track from her fifth album which carried the same title, coming out in 1967 and carrying the muchrespected artistic signature of Burt Bacharach. It started out as a soundtrack for Casino Royal, inspired by a scene in an early cut of the film featuring Ursula Andress and is now forever connected to Springfield, even though countless covers of the song have been floated on the airwaves. It was nominated for an Oscar in 1968 and though it didn’t manage to win the prize, still manages to give you goose bumps every time you hear it. Springfield’s life was a tempestuous one, much like other stars of her era. Her road from Europe to the U.S. and Hollywood in particular is one littered with tales of drugs and booze, a road which ended in 1999, when she died of cancer, silencing a voice that has been classed as one of the most important voice of all time.
Sensuous and dripping with soul and pop charisma, Dusty’s vocal elements make up an ideal lyrical profile through which to express love itself.True, we are talking about a completely different time, but at the end of the day, however one portrays and describes love, everyone searches for it and is ultimately inescapable. Some go for it boldly, others stoically sit in wait of it, some share it willingly and generously, some accept it with their entire being. Ultimately, in matters of love there is no need for second meanings, it’s all about give and take.