Nick Levine recalls how the troubled pop icon experienced a beautiful and unanticipated late-career high after spending years out of the spotlight as her 1990 album Reputation approaches its 30th birthday.
Pop icon Dusty Springfield will undoubtedly go down in music history. Her 1969 album Dusty in Memphis,
which featured her timeless rendition of Son of a Preacher Man as well as other brilliantly rendered songs, is regarded as a pop-R&B classic. She is now hailed as an icon of the Swinging Sixties.
The rebirth she experienced in the late 1980s, after two decades spent mainly out of the spotlight, is another noteworthy chapter of her career, but it is one that is more likely to be forgotten.
She only released one extremely potent album during this time, 1990's Reputation, which celebrated its 30th birthday last week.
For the first time in 20 years, it brought her back to the top of the charts, which is no small accomplishment for a singer whose career was widely believed to be in irreversible decline.
who was labelled a "nightmare" when men-of-the-moment the Pet Shop Boys told their record label they wanted to work with her.
Despite the misogynistic and condescending description of Springfield's character in "Nightmare," she is still regarded as one of pop culture's most fascinating people more than 20 years after her passing.