1969 Dusty Springfield – The Windmills Of Your Mind
Dusty Springfield had a series of hit records in the UK and the US from 1963 through 1968, but she had grown tired of recording in the London studios that belonged to her Phillips record label.
She signed with Atlantic Records in 1968 after being assured that she would record in the US and work with the label’s president and head producer, Jerry Wexler. Dusty worked with Jerry, Tom Dowd, and Arif Mardin in the American Sound Studio in Memphis. Unhappy with her performances in Memphis and always a perfectionist, Dusty later re-recorded her vocals in studios in New York City.
United Artists released the film The Thomas Crown Affair in June 1968. Noel Harrison sang the theme song for the film, The Windmills Of You Mind. Jerry insisted that Dusty in include a cover of the song on her album. She didn’t care for the lyrics of the song, but liked it somewhat better after getting Jerry to slow down the song for the first few verses.
That work led to an album entitled Dusty In Memphis. The label released Son Of A Preacher Man as the lead single from the album, and the single reached the top ten in both the US and the UK in late 1968. It failed to chart on the Adult Contemporary (AC) chart in the US.
In April 1969, The Windmills Of You Mind won the Academy Award for Best Original Song. Noel recorded a longer version of the song that got released in the UK, where the single peaked at #8.
Atlantic had placed Dusty’s version of the song on the B-side of I Don’t Want to Hear It Anymore, her third single from Dusty In Memphis. Jerry had the company produce 2,000 promotional singles with The Windmills Of Your Mind on both sides. The day after the song won the Academy Award, they rushed those copies to radio stations nationwide to promote her recording.
Dusty’s single peaked at a disappointing #31 on the US Hot 100 in 1969 but reached #3 on the AC chart, the highest ranking she ever achieved on that chart.
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