I am obsessed with Dorothy Squires. She was a British musical star that I’ve listened to all day long for the last couple of years. I don’t know how I found her, but she ended up on the “Fag” playlist on my iTunes that we play around the studio and house.
You can make comparisons between Dorothy Squires and Dusty Springfield, and I used to like a lot of pre-Pet Shop Boys Dusty, but I really over-listened all of that material and burnt out on her.
There’s a song called “Heart of a City” on the Dorothy Squires Live at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane album, recorded in 1973*, that I find very moving. It’s about rebuilding after the war, and making the steeples higher than before: “London now is like a dark and empty shell… soon there will be other streets to take their place, we will build them twice as wide and twice as pretty, there will be houses where now there is only empty space.”
She has that whisky and cigarettes tone to her voice. She really emotes.
My other great British musical obsession is Gary Numan. I think of Gary Numan when I’m working on every collection.
*The same year that Squires was charged with high kicking a taxi driver who tried to throw her out of his cab.