Dusty Springfield's 10 greatest songs, ranked

18 March 2022, 16:15 | Updated: 16 August 2023, 16:40

Dusty Springfield in 1966
Dusty Springfield in 1966. Picture: Getty

By Tom Eames

Dusty Springfield was one of the most influential and successful female singers of the 1960s and beyond.

Often described as 'The Queen of Blue-Eyed Soul', Dusty Springfield passed away in 1999 at the age of 59.

She was arguably Britain's greatest female singer, and was among the biggest female pop stars of the 1960s.

With her distinctive voice, style, and repertoire, she left a lasting legacy in the world of pop and soul music. Here, we will explore some of her greatest songs, whether you are a fan of Dusty or just curious about her music, you will find something to enjoy in this selection of her best tracks:

  1. 'Nothing Has Been Proved'

    Dusty Springfield & Pet Shop Boys - Nothing has been proved (Video)

    This song was the second collaboration between Dusty and the Pet Shop Boys, and was a hit in early 1989.

    Written by the Pet Shop Boys for the film Scandal about the Profumo affair, the song describes in chronological order the actual events of the story, and mention, by first name only, the main characters involved including Christine Keeler and Stephen Ward.

  2. 'Wishin' and Hopin''

    Dusty Springfield ~ Wishin' and hopin'

    Dionne Warwick first recorded this Burt Bacharach and Hal David tune, and they later convinced Dusty to record her own hit version of it.

    Despite not being a particularly big UK hit, it has since gone on to be one of her most well-known songs.

    A cover by Ani DiFranco was famously used in the intro for the 1995 Julia Roberts romcom My Best Friend's Wedding.

  3. 'Spooky'

    Dusty Springfield - Spooky

    This Halloween favourite was originally an instrumental song performed by saxophonist Mike Sharpe, and was later a hit for the group Classics IV.

    Many people have covered it since, with Dusty's 1970 version being one of the most famous.

  4. 'I Only Want to Be With You'

    Dusty (True Stereo) I Only Want To Be With You HD

    Dusty's debut solo single was a top five hit in the UK in 1964, and became one of her signature songs.

    It was later a hit for artists as diverse as the Bay City Rollers, the Tourists (featuring Annie Lennox) and Samantha Fox.

  5. 'The Look of Love'

    Dusty Springfield -Look of Love-live and rare!

    Another Bacharach/David track, this song was used in the 1967 James Bond spoof Casino Royale.

    According to Bacharach, the melody of the song was inspired by watching Ursula Andress in an early cut of the film. The song was later nominated for an Oscar.

  6. 'I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself'

    Dusty Springfield - I Just Don't Know What To Do

    Tommy Hunt first recorded this Bacharach/David song, before Dusty scored the biggest hit with it in 1964.

    It has been recorded by many artists since, including Dionne Warwick and a hard rock version by The White Stripes.

  7. 'You Don't Have to Say You Love Me'

    Dusty Springfield You Don't Have To Say You Love

    Originally an Italian song, Dusty scored the first English-language hit version in 1965, and it became her biggest ever hit, reaching number one in the UK and four in the US.

    Dusty was apparently unhappy with the acoustics in the recording booth on the day, and she eventually moved into a stairwell to record. She was not satisfied with her vocal until she had recorded 47 takes.

  8. 'Goin' Back'

    Dusty Springfield - Goin' Back Live from the BBC 1966

    Written by the songwriting duo of Carole King and Gerry Goffin, this song describes the loss of innocence that comes with adulthood along with an attempt to recapture that youthful innocence.

    Goldie of Goldie & the Gingerbreads was the first to record it, but her version was withdrawn due to lyric disagreements. King decided to record it herself, but then offered it to Dusty Springfield.

    The Byrds covered it in 1967, leading to tensions within the group, as David Crosby was not pleased with the song, and was eventually forced out.

  9. 'What Have I Done To Deserve This?' (with Pet Shop Boys)

    Pet Shop Boys - What Have I Done To Deserve This

    This song had been written by Pet Shop Boys' Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe with Allee Willis. Tennant had wanted to collaborate with Dusty Springfield, who had been one of his childhood heroes.

    However, Dusty's management only became interested after the worldwide success of their debut album Please.

    The song's success - it reached number two in both the UK and US - revived the singer's career after years in the wilderness.

  10. 'Son of a Preacher Man'

    Dusty Springfield - Son of a preacher man

    Dusty's most iconic track was recorded for her seminal album Dusty in Memphis in 1968.

    Songwriters John Hurley and Ronnie Wilkins were asked by Jerry Wexler to write a song for Aretha Franklin, and remembering that Aretha's father was a preacher, they quickly came up with this song.

    Originally recording it with Aretha, they decided it did not fit with her other songs and gave the song to Dusty instead. Aretha later released her own version two years later.

    The song found a new lease of life in 1994, after its famous use in Pulp Fiction.