Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Dusty Springfield 'In Private'

Chart Peak: 14

Back to the Pet Shop Boys again since this song was of course written and co-produced by Tennant/Lowe. It's faintly topical now because the Profumo affair is the subject of a forthcoming Andrew Lloyd Webber musical. I'd always assumed this song was from the soundtrack of the film Scandal, an earlier take on those events (as her previous single 'Nothing Has Been Proved' certainly was) although I've never actually seen it. It certainly would fit the story, as it's from the perspective of one party to a relationship that's about to be denied by the other party. That would also fit neatly with the sixties pastiche sound of the track, which has aged better than most such attempts, though you couldn't mistake it for the real thing. Dusty of course really is the real thing, a genuine Sixties pop star who'd struggled to keep her career going in later decades; indeed her PSB-assisted run of success at the end of the Eighties was has longest run of hits in twenty years. Though 'In Private' proved to be her last Top 20 hit (and her penultimate Top 40) she was at least held in higher esteem for the last decade of her life. She was even awarded the unique honour of a posthumous tribute appearance on Now 42.

The Pet Shop Boys later re-recorded the song as a duet with Elton John, which obviously shifts the emphasis from political intrigue to sexuality (though for all I know, it may originally have been written about a gay affair and just repurposed for Dusty). Either way though, her version is the definitive one.

Available on: Reputation & Rarities

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