The Windmills of your Mind
Is a song with music by French composer Michel Legrand and English lyrics written by Americans Alan and Marilyn Bergman. It recorded by Noel Harrison used as the Theme Song for the Movie The Thomas Crown Affair (1968) which is also the Winner of the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1968. To me I really prefer Dusty`s version of the Song, which is slower than the Version from Noel Harrison.
Jerry Wexler, president of Atlantic Records, heard “The Windmills of Your Mind” on the soundtrack of The Thomas Crown Affair and championed having Dusty Springfield record the song for her debut Atlantic album Dusty in Memphis, overcoming the singer’s strong resistance; Springfield’s friend and subsequent manager Vicki Wickham would allege: “Dusty always said she hated it because she couldn’t identify with the words.”During the first sessions for the track at American Sound Studio in Memphis, problems with getting the proper chords down arose, and at Springfield’s suggestion the song was arranged so the first three verses were sung in a slower tempo than the original film version.
In April 1969 the third A-side release from Dusty in Memphis was announced as “I Don’t Want to Hear It Anymore” with “The Windmills of Your Mind” as B-side: however Wexler was prepared to promote “Windmills” as the A-side if it won the Oscar for Best Song, reportedly instructing mail-room clerks at Atlantic Records’ New York City headquarters to listen to the Academy Awards broadcast the night of 14 April 1969; hearing “The Windmills” announced as the Best Song winner was these clerks’ cue to drive a station wagon loaded with 2500 copies of a double-sided promo single of Springfield’s version – identified on the label as “Academy Award Winner” – to the New York City general post office, where the copies of the single were mailed out to key radio stations across the US.
Although its Hot 100 debut was not effected until the 5 May 1969 issue of Billboard and then with a #99 ranking, Springfield’s “The Windmills” made a rapid ascent to the Top 40 being ranked at #40 on the Hot 100 dated 24 May 1969 only to stall over the subsequent three weeks peaking at #31 on the Hot 100 dated 14 June 1969 with only one additional week of Hot 100 tenure, being ranked at #45 on the 21 June 1969 chart. Local hit parades indicate that Springfield’s “Windmills” had Top Ten impact in only select larger markets: Boston, Southern California, and Miami. The track did reach #3 on the Easy Listening chart in Billboard a feat matched by Springfield’s third subsequent single “Brand New Me” which therefore ties with “The Windmills” as having afforded Springfield her best-ever solo showing on a Billboard chart.**
According to Dusty , she didn`t want to record the song but went along with Wexler`s wishes.*
I always knew Dusty`s version of the song. The first time I heard the original I must say, I did not like it. It was too fast for my ears as I was used to Dusty`s version and even after all these years I still prefer Dusty`s version over every other version.
Alan and Marilyn Bergman, told us during an interview that they loved Dusy`s Versions and were happy that her producer decided to let her record the songs.
About the questions how they came up with the idea of the song.
“The director of “The Thomas Crown Affair”, Norman Jewison, wanted a song that would underline the anxiety of the character Steve McQueen played in the glider sequence.”
The Land of make Believe
Recorded by Dionne Warwick for her “make way for Dionne” in 1964 and also the Drifters this song is the final work from Bacharach and David. Vocally I prefer Dusty`s version over any other but., just as “I Don’t Want to Hear It Anymore” it is not reaching me. Dusty wanted to record the song as Tom Dowd stated. And she did great but it is just not my taste.
Idrathernot give 17. April 2020
Great work and wonderful videos of the songs.
I knew her. I was with them IN MEMPHIS at the Rivermont hotel when she was there with Jerry and Tom Dowd And Arif DOING TRACKS. I was there for the party when food ended up all over the room and floor, all started by Dusty.
I was on the fake plastic black leather-like couch in the dark…head resting against the console the board was resting on… mind blown to hell and back hearing her SING LIKE GOD WAS IN HER THROAT to the track Windmills Of Your Mind with NOTHING but bass, click track and castanets and her ethereal disembodied voice… it was an out of body experience. All in that little s—hole American Studios.
SHE DIDN’T SING IN MEMPHIS??? WELL I WAS THERE FOR THAT
AND THAT WAS TRULY ONE OF THE 3 GREATEST THINGS I GOT TO DO IN MY MUSICAL LIFE.
And I have lived a while and done a lot.
Thanks for this. Dusty was and still is the greatest white singer out of anywhere from any time.
YOUKNOWME 27. June 2021
She was standing with Jerry in the parking lot
Her eyes were green and the pavement was hot
She turned around and looked at me
I felt my body freeze
Who is this girl with harlow hair
Sequins in the morning…she didn’t care
Dressed in black head to toe
Omg…what a show
Rob Gallagher 31. December 2020
Do you have a link for the rest of the “Jerry Wexler talking to Alan Smith” article? Thank you.