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Dusty in Memphis (33⅓ #1)

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3.33  ·  Rating Details ·  233 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
'Dusty in Memphis', Dusty Springfield's beautiful and bizarre magnum opus, remains as fine a hybrid of pop and rhythm and blues as has ever been made. In this remarkable book, Warren Zanes explores his own love affair with the record.
Paperback, 121 pages
Published September 1st 2003 by Continuum International Publishing Group
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 776)
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Bill
Sep 19, 2014 Bill rated it it was ok
Shelves: music
A disappointment. I'm a fan of Warren Zanes and was really looking forward to finally picking this up.

It's great and all that he starts the book by saying that it's not about the album "Dusty in Memphis" but (a) that's a typical literary conceit that means just the opposite and (b) why the fuck did he write a book about the album "Dusty in Memphis" called "Dusty in Memphis" if it wasn't about the album "Dusty in Memphis"?

This has literally nothing do with the album, offering perhaps dozen senten
...more
Nathalie
Mar 01, 2009 Nathalie added it
Shelves: music, 2009, man
I give up. As unfair as it may seems for the author I'd rather listen to the music than to read about it.
John Spillane
Oct 10, 2014 John Spillane rated it it was ok
Shelves: audiobooked
I don't need to know the brands and number cigarettes smoked in each day's recording session, but Warren just goes on about the South in general and a certain woman from Tennessee who moved to his N.H. childhood home for way longer than he seems to talk about Dusty, except to say that she wore a ton of makeup.

This is one of if not my fav album ever so yeah I was disappointed.

Good Things I Found Out:
Randy Newman wrote the genius "I Don't Want To Hear It Anymore"
Carole King wrote "I Can't Make It
...more
Katie
Apr 10, 2008 Katie rated it liked it
I am a huge fan of the 33 1/3 series and Dusty in Memphis is one of my fav albums of all time. That being said I was pretty disappointed in this book. Although I liked how the author personalized his experience with the record, I think he spent too much time on academic theorizing of the ides of the "south" and how other cultures and outsiders fetishize it. I was looking forward to hearing more about Dusty and how this record was made then an academic analysis of the use of black musicians in th ...more
Tina
Jun 11, 2015 Tina rated it it was ok
The author said he wasn't going to write specifically about the album, and he didn't lie. His ruminations about the mythology of the South were interesting up to a point--but I don't care a book's worth about that, and that's pretty much all you get here. Also, much of the writing is in an academic style--perhaps to give him some distance from what he admits is a very personal response to the album? Whatever the reason, it gets a little repetitive, not to mention (my pet peeve) there is egregiou ...more
Dusty Henry
Jul 12, 2016 Dusty Henry rated it it was ok
While binge-reading 33 1/3 books, I figured it was about time to go to the beginning. Having read quite a few at this point, I'm not startled when books take unconventional turns. This makes Dusty In Memphis a curious book. It's both a suitable and odd choice to start the series on. For those looking for a book on the creation of the record, you'll find little here. In fact, there's actually very little on Dusty herself. Like other books in the series, there's a bit of personal reflection from t ...more
Nathan
Nov 01, 2008 Nathan rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Southerners
Shelves: 33-1-3-series
I had hoped that there would be some discussion on an album that I know very little about, but in my reading I discovered I had opened a treatise on the existence of the mythology of Southern music in the American folk music lexicon. While interesting as a cultural study, offered very little on the album...other than the interview of four pages with Stanley Booth at the very end.
Andy Troyanos
Jul 29, 2011 Andy Troyanos rated it it was ok
Yawn, I would have loved to hear about the making of this album, but this is the author blabbing on and on about the south. He talked to some of the main participants but it really about his love affair with the south. I love the 33 1/3 books but this was not enlightening and didn't let me look at this wonderful recording in a new light.

Eric
Dec 17, 2011 Eric rated it did not like it
Entirely too solipsistic and full of typically lame "poetic" musings on Southern culture. Only someone with an incredibly huge ego would be unembarrassed to let such sophomoric journal scribblings be published as a book.
Carol Kowalski
Sep 05, 2016 Carol Kowalski rated it it was amazing
I was looking for my misplaced, beloved Burt Bacharach and Hal David Songbook, so retrieved 6 boxes of books from my garden shed (it wasn't there). If theses books are just boxed in the garden shed, I thought to myself, I had better give them away. I did what you're not supposed to do under these circumstances: I started to browse each book. Warren Zanes' 331/3 Dusty in Memphis was there next to Dusty's biography, "Dancing with Demons". I couldn't recall having read this edition of the 331/3 ser ...more
Monica
Apr 26, 2012 Monica rated it it was ok
Pretty disappointing. Zanes writes about everything but Dusty and the album itself.
Jessica
Sep 27, 2015 Jessica rated it liked it
If you've read a bunch of other 2 or 3 star reviews of this book, you've probably already gathered what I'm about to say, but...

This is the second 33 1/3 book I've read (the first was about *Paul's Boutique*), and I'm not sure what to make of the series. This book had a smooth narrative, but the narrative didn't even come close to being what it was purported to be: a book about an album. Zanes' writing verges over into academic-speak a bit too often, and it's a bit off-putting.

It was short so I
...more
Guy
Jan 29, 2008 Guy rated it liked it
Het eerste deel uit de 33 1/3-reeks van Continuum (2003) werd geschreven door Warren Zanes, in de jaren tachtig mede-oprichter van rootsrockband The Del Fuegos (hun debuut The Longest Day kan ik iedereen die het wil horen aanbevelen) en intussen professor in de culturele studies. Goed volk dus om een nieuwe, veelbelovende serie op gang te brengen, en dat gebeurt meteen met een niet echt voor de hand liggende plaat. Niet dat ik Dusty In Memphis geen goed album vind, verre van: terwijl ik het vroe ...more
Chazzbot
Mar 17, 2008 Chazzbot rated it really liked it
This is the first in a wonderful series of small volumes devoted to classic albums. This volume, written by Warren Zanes, offers a kind of mini-travelogue of the American South and some of the stereotypes that surround it. Zanes relates a peeping-tom experience from his youth that brilliantly encapsulates cultural attitudes toward Southern women and their sexuality. What does all of this have to do with Dusty Springfield? Zanes shows how as a white British woman, Springfield's approach to the so ...more
Billy
Nov 11, 2014 Billy rated it did not like it
There is very little here about the album itself. It seems like a missed opportunity, as Jerry Wexler was interviewed for the project.

If you want to read a thesis about Oedipus complexes and Norman Mailer quotations, this is the book for you.

What a disappointment. I think I'll go and read the liner notes from the Deluxe Edition again.
Sean
Jul 10, 2015 Sean rated it it was ok
Shelves: music
Warren has a PhD from the University of Rochester in Visual and Cultural Studies. Unfortunately, this book is more about the culture of the South than the record.
HBalikov
Oct 10, 2008 HBalikov rated it it was amazing
I was introduced to the Thirty Three and a Third series by Eric Mandelbaum. Each of these short reads is a very personal reflection by its author on a particular album (in most cases) by a musical artist or group during the past several decades. I give the highest rating to Dusty in Memphis because I was captivated by the wide-ranging discussion, not just for the few insights into Dusty Springfield or how the album was put together. Zanes grapels with:
the mystique of the South
the significance o
...more
Chris
Oct 04, 2013 Chris rated it it was ok
The 33 1/3 series is such a swell idea, and such a disappointment in the execution (of the ones I've read, anyway). Instead of being about the record it purportedly addresses, this one is maybe 20 percent about "Dusty in Memphis" and the rest is the writer's memoir of growing up in New Hampshire, an essay about outsider views of the South and a deeply stupid interview with a writer of liner notes. I mean, would it be too much to include a tracklist? (One compelling nugget: Title notwithstanding, ...more
Tony
Dec 31, 2012 Tony rated it liked it
Just finished this today. Interesting reading, this volume in the 33-1/3 series isn't strictly about "Dusty in Springfield," but is, rather, the author's personal effort to put this classic album in the context of the collective American effort to understand and explore the South, whatever that may mean. As such, it broadened my own perspective and appreciation for the album.
Ashli
Apr 15, 2009 Ashli rated it really liked it
I was expecting to read this book like the David Bowie book, but it was different. Less text book and more personal experience. It also gave me a glimpse into the Brit's fascination with American Rock-and-Roll in the south as well as Motown. Great album interesting book.
Ruth
Sep 03, 2012 Ruth rated it really liked it
It's not a solid 4, more like a 3.5 b/c the author seemed to be maybe just a little bit too full of himself. I liked reading about how the record industry used to work back then from some of the old characters he interviewed- that was definitely the best part.
Jay
Mar 16, 2013 Jay rated it did not like it
Recommended to Jay by: Goodreads
Shelves: music
Not much to do with Dusty in Memphis. The very few music business anecdotes were interesting, but the writing felt like poetry slam writing, lots of $20 words that don't add anything but would sound good read out loud. And boy, does this guy drop names.
Chris
May 29, 2012 Chris rated it really liked it
The Jerry Wexler insights, as well as Zanes' own, more than
make up for the fact that I'm not familiar with the album.
It's a good rumination on music/ personal histories.
Jaz
Jul 31, 2016 Jaz rated it did not like it
How this got published as part of the 33 1/3 series (or at all, in fact) I have no idea, as the album is barely mentioned.

Absolutely pointless.
Jason Mock
Oct 14, 2013 Jason Mock rated it it was ok
Too much author (and Jerry Wexler) biography and social theory, and not album biography.
miss beasley
Sep 01, 2007 miss beasley rated it liked it
Recommends it for: vinyl lovers
the look of love...
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Zanes holds a PhD in visual and cultural studies from the University of Rochester. He was a member of the Del Fuegos and is set to release his fourth solo recording. He has worked on films including Twenty Feet from Stardom and Martin Scorsese's George Harrison: Living in the Material World and his writing has appeared in The Oxford American, Rolling Stone, and the Los Angeles Times. Zanes served ...more
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