Dusty Springfield’s hit song “I Only Want to Be With You” launched her solo career and became the first hit by a British artist since The Beatles. The song was written by Mike Hawker and Ivor Raymonde, who also wrote Springfield’s song “Stay Awhile.” Hawker also wrote “Walking Back to Happiness” for Helen Shapiro. “I Only Want to Be With You” is about a girl who has finally found the guy of her dreams, and it is very much a teenage crush song in the same vein as many of the girl group songs Springfield loved. When she came to America and began her solo career, Dusty took more of a pop/R&B direction inspired by groups like The Shirelles and The Crystals.
Released in 1963, the song reached #4 on the UK Singles Chart, #6 on the Australian Charts, #7 on the New Zealand Charts, #12 on the US Billboard Hot 100, and #14 on the US Cash Box Top 100. Springfield was 24 when the song was released, and it was her first single as a solo artist. She was previously a member of The Springfields with her brother Tom. That group had five Top 10 hits in the UK and one in the US (“Silver Threads and Golden Needles”) before Dusty’s departure.
The YouTube comments for the song reveal its enduring appeal across the globe, with viewers sharing their favorite versions, praising Dusty’s vocals, and appreciating the song’s timeless qualities. One viewer noted that the all-acoustic instrumentation contributes to the unique sound of older music, which sets it apart from contemporary music. Others praised Dusty’s status as an icon, calling her the greatest blues/soul singer the UK ever had. Another commenter shared that the song was popularized in the Latin world by the singer Luis Miguel, showcasing the song’s global reach and influence.
The song’s upbeat and catchy melody and relatable lyrics made it a chart-topping hit in the 1960s, and it continues to resonate with audiences today. The song’s popularity is a testament to Dusty Springfield’s enduring legacy as a trailblazing artist who paved the way for future musicians.
Take a trip down memory lane and listen to Dusty Springfield’s iconic hit song “I Only Want to Be With You.” Then, share it with friends and family and enjoy its timeless appeal because great music never goes out of style.