Song 57: Dusty Springfield, “I Don’t Want To Hear It Anymore” (1969)Posted: February 26, 2013
I’m not sure I could add anything to the volumes of words already written about Dusty In Memphis, that slow-burning collection of soul and R&B songs sung by the great Dusty Springfield. We all know “Son of a Preacher Man,” and the rest of the record, with its warm horns and lush strings, is just as good.
My favorite song on Dusty In Memphis may be “I Don’t Want To Hear It Anymore,” a ballad about ignorance being bliss. Well, not bliss exactly—the narrator here doesn’t want happiness, she just wants to be able to ignore what people think about her. “The talk is so loud, and the walls are much too thin” is such a succinct description for our more vulnerable moments, those times when we want to drown out what people think about us (or what we think they’re thinking about us). I like this song because it’s not only a little short story, but it’s also an apt metaphor for what we all go through, like the apartment building in the song is a metaphor for our own minds. Does that make me sound like a crazy person? Probably!
This one was written by the great Randy Newman, who will surely reappear on this blog. Besides being a very well-written song, this one doesn’t remind me much of Newman’s work, though maybe that’s indicative of what a malleable, accommodating songwriter he could be in his tunesmith-for-hire days. Either way, this is a great one, and Springfield’s voice, full of desperation and resignation, is a good fit.