Beyond the 130 - Burt Bacharach

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Brother Spoon
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Beyond the 130 - Burt Bacharach

Postby Brother Spoon » 18 Jan 2015, 06:04

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My name is Pieter and I am a Burtoholic. Before these opening posts are over (Christ, I don't know how many I'll need), you'll have an idea just how far down this addiction can lead a man.

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I rarely pass on the opportunity of purchasing more of Burt's work. It all started with Rhino's defining 3CD The Look Of Love set of Burt and Hal's most well-remembered and best songs and productions. Now, for the sake of this thread, I'm going to take it as read that we all know this stuff: 'Baby it's you', 'Make it easy on yourself', 'I just don't know what to do with myself', 'Don't make me over', '24 hours from Tulsa', 'Anyone who had a heart', 'Walk on by', 'What the world needs now is love', 'Trains and boats and planes', 'My little red book', 'Alfie', 'I say a little prayer', 'The look of love', 'Do you know the way to San José', 'This guy's in love with you', 'Raindrops keep fallin' on my head', 'I'll never fall in love again', '(They long to be) Close to you', … You either agree we're talking about the top of Mount Olympus or you're just plain wrong. But there's so much more to it...

A couple years ago the flood of compilations of Bacharach (& David)'s productions and songs really started. Rhino selected some random covers from the Warner & Atlantic labels for What The World Needs Now Is Burt.

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Soon Ace got on the case with a more thought out approach.

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A little later two more rarities compilations appeared: Rare Bacharach. The Early Years 1958-1965 and The Rare Bacharach 1: Elusive Songs And Versions.

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Cherry Red weighed in with The First Book Of Songs 1954-1958, the pre-fame efforts.

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Recently the action is in copyright expiration sets like these:

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There's a lot of overlap here, but both contain plenty of new additions to the canon.

There are ever more and I struggle to keep up.

For the sake of this thread I've organized all this stuff in a year-by-year list. That doesn't make it a complete list of Bacharach versions of course. Where are the Beatles, where's the string of Dusty Springfield covers, Love, Aretha Franklin, the Walker brothers, Elvis Presley, Bobbie Gentry, Isaac Hayes? For starters. (Not to mention more recent versions: where are the Stranglers? The White Stripes? Ronan Keating? Dr Dre? But I digress.) This is just to show what's on those Bacharach compilations and as such constitutes the core of what I think of as Burt's oeuvre in singles.
Cause Rhino's Look Of Love built up an image of Bacharach as the suave, worldwise aesthete, a man who never stumbled, who never failed to get things exactly as he wanted them, a man who used the world as his bachelor pad, with a snap of his fingers he gets the biggest stars into the studio, a composer of superhuman elegance. Not quite, as the rest of this discography makes clear. That's just the tip of the iceberg. Underneath is a world filled with B-movie theme song assignements, end-of-the-pier overly tanned matinee idols, comedy records, louche crooners down on their luck, TV show actor hopefuls looking to break into a singing career... To love Burt, you've got to start loving this cheap neon backroom showbizz world (& I do, lord help me). So follow me on this path. Place your money right and you too can own a version of Buddy Clinton's 'Take me to your ladder (I'll see your leader later)'.



1952
Once in a blue moon – Nat King Cole
1955
Keep me in mind – Patti Page
These desperate hours – Mel Torme
1956
Peggy’s in the pantry – Sherry Parsons
The morning mail – The Gallahads
I cry more – Alan Dale
Beauty isn’t everything – June Valli
1957
The story of my life – Marty Robbins
Uninvited dream – Peggy Lee
Love bank – Bob Manning
Warm and tender – Johnny Mathis
Underneath the overpass – Jo Stafford
Sad sack – Jerry Lewis
Winter warm – Gale Storm
The story of my life – Michael Holliday
Wild honey – Cathy Carr
I looked for you – Charlie Gracie
How about – Della Reese
Miracle of Sainte Marie – Four coins
1958
Magic moments – Perry Como
Hot spell – Margaret Whiting
The night that heaven fell – Tony Bennett
The blob / Saturday night in Tiajuana – The five blobs
Wendy Wendy – The four coins
Sittin’ in the treehouse – Marty Robbins
Humble pie – The four preps
It seemed so right last night – Mary Mayo
Heavenly – Johnny Mathis
Another time, another place – Patti Page
That kind of woman – Joe Williams & the Count Basie orchestra
Searching wind / Rosanne – Burt Bacharach
Hot spell – Ernie Felice
Ooooh my love – Vic Damone
Moon man – Gloria Lambert
The last time I saw my heart – Marty Robbins
Country music holiday – Adam Faith
1959
Faker, faker – The eligibles
Loving is a way of living – Steve Lawrence
Make room for the joy – Jack Jones
The hangman – John Ashley
With open arms – Jane Morgan
Don't, unless you love me – Paul Hampton
Faithfully – Johnny Mathis
Dream big – Sonny James
Write me – Paul Hampton


I've placed all the '50s stuff together, because it's not very good.



From his first recorded composition in 1952 (which I've YouTubed just to show you how far off he was), upto the end of the decade, Burt fumbled around in the dark looking for the light. The surprise success of Marty Robbins' 'The story of my life' in 1957 brought him more assignements in 1958. Apart from Perry Como's 'Magic moments' and the deliciously moronic 'The blob' by the Five Blobs from the movie The Blob, all of these assignements fell flat. By 1959 the first flash of success was over. Back to start.



There are occasional flashes of something good in these '50s records. I quite like Margaret Whiting's 'Hot spell' (from the movie Hot Spell) – also available in a watered down crooner version by Ernie Felice. But all of these records are so far inside the template they may as well not exist. Burt blamed the situation on the producers of these records who simplified the compositions to something they could roll off the assembly line. Knowing what comes later, there may be some truth in that, but it's hard to grasp how small alterations could save this material. When Burt got the chance to release his first single under his own name (instrumental 'Searching wind' b/w 'Rosanne') he offered some romantic orchestral charts which express nothing much at all.
Part of the problem are dreadful lyrics by all sorts of writers who are not fit to tie Hal David's shoelaces ('Love bank' I don't call my baby baby / I don't call my baby sugar / I call my baby love bank – really? The last time I saw my heart / was on my way up to your lips – you get the drift). Such potential gold as 'Peggy's in the pantry', 'Sittin' in the treehouse' or 'Sad sack' never delivers. We can write off all these records as juvenilia, but at the end of the '50s Burt's already in the game for almost a decade, & if he'd decided to trade it in for a sensible career at the end of 1959, few would have disagreed it was for the best. No one would be writing this thread for him now.

1960
Joanie’s forever – Buddy Clinton
Boys were made for girls – Everit Herter
The timeless tide – The freemen
Come completely to me – Steve Rossi
I could make you mine – The wanderers
Long ago last summer – Diana Trask
Your lips are warmer than your heart – Rosemary June
I looked for you – Charlie Gracie
Crazy times – Gene Vincent
A girl like you – Adam Faith
Indoor sport – Jo Stafford
Take me to your ladder (I'll see your leader later) – Buddy Clinton
10.000 years ago – Rusty Draper
A girl like you – Larry Hall
Two hour honeymoon – Paul Hampton
Close – Keely Smith
Creams – Paul Hampton


1960 was still a quiet year, but the first inklings started creeping into some conservative records. My favorite of the year – inching towards the great Bacharach ballads soon to come: 'Joanie's forever' (Buddy Clinton).



More business as usual but a nice melodic sweep to pop b-side 'Boys were made for girls' (Everit Hester) and The Freemen's 'The timeless tide' (no video, sorry).



1961
Please stay – The Drifters
I wake up crying – Chuck Jackson
Tower of strength – Gene McDaniels
Baby it's you – the Shirelles
And this is mine – Connie Stevens
Sinner’s devotion – Tina Robin (unreleased demo)
Along came Joe – Merv Griffin
You’re following me – Jimmy Breedlove
Somebody else’s sweetheart – The wanderers
Moon guitar – The Rangoons
Deeply – The Shephers sisters
The story behind my tears – Vic Dana
The breaking point – Chuck Jackson
Three friends (Two lovers) – The Turbans
I gotta get a girl – Frankie Avalon
Loveliness or happiness – The Drifters
Love in a goldfish bowl – Tommy Sands
I wake up crying – Del Shannon
Move it on the backbeat – Burt & the backbeats
You're telling our secrets – Dee Clark
Sinner's devotion – Tammi Terrell (released 1967)
You're following me – Perry Como
Three wheels on my wagon – Dick van Dyke (Burt's 1st credited production)
I'll bring along my banjo – Johnnie Ray
You don't have to be a tower of strength – Gloria Lynne
Out of my continental mind (live) – Lena Horne
You're only young once (Yeh Yeh Yeh) – Avons


The ball starts rolling with four smashes in 1961: the Drifters with 'Please stay', 'Chuck Jackson's 'I wake up crying', Gene McDaniels' 'Tower of strength' and of course 'Baby it's you' by the Shirelles (covered by the Beatles two years on). Some more favorites:
Connie Stevens – 'And this is mine'



Tina Robin – 'Sinner's devotion' (an unreleased demo)



Merv Griffin – 'Along came Joe'



but most of these records have something cool going on. There's a new groove (I believe it's called soul) and dynamic feeling to the productions. Hal David starts pitching in more. It's all coming together...

1962
Don’t make me over – Dionne Warwick
Make it easy on yourself – Jerry Butler
Only love can break a heart – Gene Pitney
The man who shot Liberty Valance – Gene Pitney
It’s love that really counts (in the long run) – The Shirelles
I just don’t know what to do with myself – Tommy Hunt
Mexican divorce – The Drifters
Any day now ( My wild beautiful bird) – Chuck Jackson
(There goes) the forgotten man – Jimmy Radcliffe
Dreamin’ all the time – Jack Jones
Waitin’ for Charlie to come home – Jane Morgan
Another tear falls – Gene McDaniels
I smiled yesterday – Dionne Warwick
The answer to everything – Del Shannon
Waiting for Charlie (to come home) – Etta James
Don’t envy me – Joey Powers
Wastin’ away for you – The Russells
Manpower – The exotics
Forever my love – Jane Morgan
The hurtin’ kind – Lonnie Sattin (unreleased demo)
The answer to everything – Sam Fletcher
For all time – The Russells
(It’s) Wonderful to be young – Cliff Richard & the Shadows
The love of a boy – Timi Yuro
Third window from the right – Dean Barlow
In times like these – Gene McDaniels
Anonymous phone call – Bobby Vee
30 miles of railroad track – Hammond brothers
The story of my life – Big Al Downing
I wake up crying – Cliff Richard
Don't you believe it – Andy Williams
3 wheels on my wagon – New Christy Minstrels
Pick up the pieces – Jack Jones
Feelin' no pain – Paul Evans


The breakthrough! Hal and Burt start working together exclusively and in 1962 Dionne Warwick releases her debut single 'I smiled yesterday' b/w 'Don't make me over' (soon flipped). The classic Bacharach formula is set. Look at the top of that list of songs: 'Make it easy on yourself', 'Only love can break a heart', '(The man who shot) Liberty Valance', 'It's love that really counts (in the long run)', 'I just don't know what to do with myself', 'Mexican divorce', 'Any day now', '(There goes the) Forgotten man' – all in their definitive versions. And all before the Beatles and as the Beach Boys are just getting started.

There's a rich second tier just below the top:
Jack Jones – 'Dreamin' all the time'



Two wonderful versions of 'Waiting for Charlie to come home': Etta James and Jane Morgan (no Youtube).



Gene McDaniels – 'Another tear falls' (the definitive version before the Walker Brothers got their hands on it).



It's only when you encounter a howler like 'Three wheels on my wagon' by the New Christy Minstrels that you realize how far off the '50s are.

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Brother Spoon
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Re: Beyond the 130 - Burt Bacharach

Postby Brother Spoon » 18 Jan 2015, 06:21

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1963
Let the music play – The Drifters
Blue on blue – Bobby Vinton
True love never runs smooth – Gene Pitney
Blue guitar – Richard Chamberlain
Reach out for me – Lou Johnson
24 hours from Tulsa – Gene Pitney
Anyone who had a heart – Dionne Warwick
Wives and lovers – Jack Jones
Too late to worry – Richard Anthony
Call off the wedding – Babs Tino
Lifetime of loneliness – Steve Alaimo
Rain from the skies – Adam Wade
That's the way I'll come to you – Bobby Vee (unreleased)
True love never runs smooth – Don & Juan
Be true to yourself – Bobby Vee
It's love that really counts – The Exciters
Little Betty falling star – Gene Pitney
Keep away from other girls – Helen Shapiro
Who's been sleeping in my bed? - Linda Scott
Forgive me – Noeleen Batley
Saturday sunshine / And so goodbye, my love – Burt Bacharach


Something of a holding pattern year. The all important follow up for Dionne, 'Anyone who had a heart' is a landmark. '24 hours from Tulsa' a triumph. But some of the other records veer close to schmaltz or formula. And you can't help the impression that part of the increased demand was met with song from a lower shelf. Still, the formula holds up well. Some other favorites:

Steve Alaimo – 'A lifetime of loneliness' (no video)

Adam Wade – 'Rain from the skies'



Very old fashioned but a pleasure: Noeleen Batley – 'Forgive me'.



In 1963 Burt tried out recording under his own name again as well, with the (mostly) instrumental single 'Saturday sunshine' b/w 'And so goodbye, my love'. A small taste of a new career in soundtracks and instrumental albums still to come.



1964
A house is not a home – Brook Benton
Wishin' and hopin' – Dusty Springfield
Walk on by – Dionne Warwick
(There's) Always something there to remind me – Lou Johnson
Me Japanese boy I love you – Bobby Goldsboro
To wait for love – Tony Orlando
Kentucky bluebird (Send a message to Martha) – Lou Johnson
Land of make believe – Dionne Warwick
The last one to be loved – Lou Johnson
Errand of mercy – George Hamilton
Living without love – Art Smalley
Send me no flowers – Doris Day
I cry alone – Maxine Brown
There goes the forgotten man – Gene McDaniels
The love of a boy – Julie Rogers
Look in my eyes, Maria – Jay & the Americans
Forever yours I'll remain – Bobby Vinton
Rome will never leave us – Richard Chamberlain
From rocking horse to rocking chair – Paul Anka


God yes, the year they dropped 'Walk on by'. You think Brian Wilson wasn't listening thinking how he could answer that? No one was going there in 1964. And as if that's not enough they've got 'A house is not a home', 'Always something there to remind me', 'Send a message to Michael/Martha', 'The last one to be loved' and 'Land of make believe' up their sleeves. Not everything that year was up to that level – Richard Chamberlain's 'Rome will never leave us' surprisingly isn't very good. But 'There goes the forgotten man' by Gene McDaniels really should've been better remembered.



Maxine Brown did a fine 'I cry alone' in 1964 too.



1965
Fool killer – Gene Pitney
What the world needs now is love – Jackie DeShannon
What's new pussycat? - Tom Jones
My little red book – Manfred Mann
Here I am – Dionne Warwick
A lifetime of loneliness – Jackie DeShannon
Are you there (with another girl) – Dionne Warwick
Who’s got the action – Phil Colbert
To wait for love – Paul Anka
This empty place – Janie Marden
If I never get to love you – Gene Pitney
More time to be with you – Brook Benton
That's not the answer – Vi Velasco
Promise her anything – Marty Paich
Make it easy on yourself – Frankie Vallie & the Four seasons
Long after tonight is all over – Jimmy Radcliffe
If I never get to love you – Marianne Faithfull
I fell in love with your picture – Freddie & the dreamers
Anonymous phone call - Frank Ifield
What's new, pussycat – Joel Grey
My little red book – Tony Middleton


'What the world needs now is love' is the year's classic. There are more great records, several written for Dionne. On the other hand, I refuse to believe Burt didn't set out to write exactly the sort of song Tom Jones deserved with 'What's new pussycat', one of his worst records.

Some more:
Jane Marden – 'This empty place'



Vi Velasco – 'That's not the answer'



There are still a lot of credits but a lot are covers with little involvement from Burt himself. A new UK market opens. From 1965 on Burt and Hal were setting their sights on longer form musical statements. Remember they were a generation (at least) older than most of their pop rivals, so for them that doesn't necessarily mean LP-length musical statements, but movie soundtracks, orchestral easy listening collections of hits and – greatest of all ambitions- stage musicals. There would still be pop hits/singles but more and more these came from soundtracks or musicals – just like 'What's new pussycat', 'My little red book' and 'Here I am' in fact. I'll discuss all these longer works further down.

1966
Made in Paris – Trini Lopez
Promise her anything – Tom Jones
Come and get me – Jackie DeShannon
Alfie – Cilla Black
In between the heartaches – Dionne Warwick
So long Johnny – Jackie DeShannon
Take a broken heart – Rick Nelson
They don't give medals to yesterday's heroes – Ben E King
Don't go breaking my heart – Sergio Mendes
Trains and boats and planes – Dionne Warwick
Long day, short night – Shirelles (unreleased demo)
Windows and doors – Jackie DeShannon
After the fox – Hollies with Peter Sellers
The story of my life – Herman's hermits
The breaking point – Normie Rowe
Another tear falls – Walker brothers
Try to see it my way – Little Peggy March
After the fox / The fox trot – Burt Bacharach and his orchestra
Nikki / Juanita's place – The Burt Bacharach orchestra & chorus


The trend continues. You could still count on them for an annual 2 or 3 classic singles (and they supplied Dionne with classy, woderful songs all the while), but meanwhile they were otherwise occupied. The numbers are made up by British covers, versions of songs a couple years old by a multitude of artists and 'solo' singles.

Rick Nelson – 'Take a broken heart'



Ben E King – 'They don't give medals to yesterday's heroes'



How great is 'In between the heartaches'?



1967
The windows of the world – Dionne Warwick
I say a little prayer – Dionne Warwick
Casino royale – Herb Alpert & the Tijuana brass
The look of love – Dusty Springfield
Walk on by – Morgana King
Long after tonight is all over – Paris sisters
Don't say I didn't tell you so – Herbie Mann
I say a little prayer – Sergio Mendes
1968
Do you know the way to San José – Dionne Warwick
This guy's in love with you – Herb Alpert
Knowing when to leave – Jill O'Hara
Promises, promises – Dionne Warwick
Are you there (with another boy)? - Buckinghams
Wanting things – Connie Francis
The bell that couldn't jingle – Burt Bacharach
1969
Raindrops keep fallin' on my head – B.J. Thomas
Odds and ends – Dionne Warwick
I'll never fall in love again – Dionne Warwick
Dream sweet dreamer – Dionne Warwick
What the world needs now is love – Sweet inspirations
I'll never fall in love again – Ella Fitzgerald
The look of love – The Meters
Let me be lonely – Sweet inspirations
This guy's in love with you – Roy Ayers
A house is not a home – Mavis Staples
I'm a better man – Engelbert Humperdinck


The last years Burt could still attract a mass audience with new, self-produced material. The songs often derive from movies and musicals: 1967's Casino Royale (title theme and 'The look of love'), 1968's Promises, Promises (title song, 'Knowing when to leave', 'I'll never fall in love again'), 1969's Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid OST ('Raindrops keep fallin' on my head'). In truth, you can wonder how much of this mass audience was still young (and hip). These new songs were from a more mature, you might say world-weary perspective.

Some less familiar nuggets:
Buckinghams - ' Are you there (with another boy)?'



'Dream sweet dreamer' – Dionne Warwick



1970
Everybody's out of town – B.J. Thomas
(They long to be) Close to you – Carpenters
Paper maché – Dionne Warwick
One less bell to answer - 5th dimension
Check out time – Dionne Warwick
Raindrops keep falling on my head – Young-Holt Unlimited
Send my picture to Scranton, PA – B.J. Thomas
1971
Ten times forever more – Johnny Mathis
Something big – Mark Lindsay
Long ago tomorrow – B.J. Thomas
1972
The balance of nature – Dionne Warwicke
Living together, growing together - 5th dimension
(They long to be) Close to you – Carmen McRae
All kinds of people – Jerry Butler
1973
You'll never get to heaven (if you break my heart) – Stylistics
Let me be lonely - 5th dimension


The Carpenters and the Fifth dimension rode some old songs to the top of the charts. Burt & Hal kept to their bubble, writing increasingly disillusioned lush ballads for Dionne, at least until they packed it in after the failure of the second musical, 'Lost horizon'. Some of my out and out favorites are from this period though:
'Paper mache'



BJ Thomas – 'Long ago tomorrow'



Jerry Butler – 'All kinds of people' (no video)

1977
Mexican divorce – Dan Johnson
1978
I took my strength from you - Sylvester
1981
Arthur's theme (best that you can do) – Christopher Cross
1985
That's what friends are for – Dionne & friends
1986
On my own – Patti LaBelle & Michael McDonald
1988
Love theme from Arthur – Burt Bacharach


Let's just pretend the '80s never happened, ok? Deal.

Dan Johnson – 'Mexican divorce'


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Jimbo
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Re: Beyond the 130 - Burt Bacharach

Postby Jimbo » 18 Jan 2015, 06:25

Man, that's a lotta schmaltz! ;)
Gadfly

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Re: Beyond the 130 - Burt Bacharach

Postby Brother Spoon » 18 Jan 2015, 06:41

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The Dionne Warwick albums 1963-1972

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Scepter records wanted to get enough product in the shops. In the decade they worked together (Hal, Burt & Dionne), there were 16 Dionne albums. Most of those carry the legend 'A Burt Bacharach – Hal David production', though it doesn't seem they actually supervised the records as a whole. Just that when they had enough Bacharach-David productions in the can, the label would add some filler tracks by other writers/arrangers and rush another record out. Sometimes they didn't wait that long and just doubled some performances from a previous record. So it's hard to get a handle on these records as separate statements. Nevertheless there is a ton of great Bacharach material spread out over all these records, a lot of it unique to Dionne. I know most of these records, but I'm not very familiar with them. It's nice to have a corner of the Bacharach universe waiting for when the mood hits.

'Presenting Dionne Warwick' ('63): The debut has 9 Bacharach-David songs. Writers and artist testing out the formula. Contains, of course, the debut single 'I smiled yesterday / Don't make me over' but other great songs too: 'This empty place', 'Make the music play' and a tender recording of 'It's love that really counts (in the long run)'.





'Anyone who had a heart' ('64): a rush job to capitalize on the title track's success. 7 Bacharach-David songs, but 3 are doubles from the debut album. Of course it helps that among the 4 new songs is a single as amazing as the title song, and also this less well known song; 'Any old time of the day'.



'Make way for Dionne Warwick' ('64): often referred to as her classic album. 9 Bacharach-David, though 2 are doubles from the debut album (again). Contains 2 singles which surely rank as classics: 'Walk on by' and 'Land of make believe', and a series of classic Bacharach-David songs ('A house is not a home', 'Reach out for me', 'You'll never get to heaven', 'The last one to be loved', a proto- 'Close to you' – later retooled by the Carpenters). But few of these performances feel definitive, compared to the Lou Johnson 'originals' for instance.



By 1965's two albums 'The sensitive sound of...' and 'Here I am' the Bacharach-David songs (7 on the first, 9 on the second) became more subtly refined. The drama of the early singles is turned inwards. You wonder how these impossibly fragile songs could compete in the action packed world of the charts. But much of it is stunning. 'Here I am' has more singles (the title track and 'Are you there (with another girl)') but 'The sensitive sound' has the edge for me, with exquisite songs like 'How many days of sadness' and 'Don't say I didn't tell you so', besides a terrific non-Bacharach 'Unchained melody'.







A 1966 live album is followed by 3 1967 studio albums:
'Here where there is love' has the original 'Alfie' and 'Trains and boats and planes' and holds to a beautiful standard on its first 6 tracks (all Bacharach-David). Check out 'Go with love' or the title track. Loses the plot completely on the remainder, a terrible 'Blowin' in the wind' amongst others.





I've not heard 'On stage and in the movies' – a Bacharach arranged program of stage/movie-classics, supposedly not very inspired.

'The windows of the world': the same strategy as 'Here where there is love': 6 newish Bacharach-David songs followed by 4 fillers. Three great singles in the title track, 'I say a little prayer' and '(There's) Always something there to remind me'. Three less succesful songs sounding like cast-offs from the musical Bacharach & David were working on.

Three more albums in 1968:

'The magic of believing': a gospel album with no Bacharach involvement. Not heard.

'Valley of the dolls': when the title track is a movie single unrelated to Bacharach or David, you know there's a distance growing. As Burt and Hal got deeper into musicals, Dionne was exploring different settings. There are 5 Bacharach-David contributions, but apart from 'Do you know the way to San José', no prime material. The time the Bacharach-David tracks are pushed to the end of the record!

I like 'As long as there's an apple tree' though.



'Promises, promises': includes several songs from the musical of the same name, but I haven't found the record yet to hear.

For 1969's 'Soulful' Dionne cut ties with Hal and Burt completely and recorded a covers set with Chips Moman. Excellent record.

In the following years artist and writers got closer again. 1970's 'Very Dionne' contains 5 Bacharach songs, but apparently Burt had no involvement in the recording. The same year's 'I'll never fall in love again' has 7 songs, arranged by Burt. I've not heard either record yet, though I'd like to.

I have heard 1972's final stand 'Dionne': 4 new Bacharach-Davd songs arranged by Burt, 3 older Bacharach-David songs with outside arrangements and 3 filler tracks. Some of my favorites of their collaborations are here. I love this record very well.

'The balance of nature' – possibly my favorite Bacharach record of all.



Not very far behind: 'I just have to breathe'



'Be aware'.



After that they all started sueing each other.

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Re: Beyond the 130 - Burt Bacharach

Postby Mike Boom » 18 Jan 2015, 06:55

awesome, thanks for this.

Buckinghams - ' Are you there (with another boy)?' - hadn't heard this before, love it.

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Re: Beyond the 130 - Burt Bacharach

Postby Brother Spoon » 18 Jan 2015, 07:19

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The Burt Bacharach albums and soundtracks

If I've not lost you on the way, I'm about to share the deepest secret of my Burtoholism. So far, maybe people might say I'm going a little overboard, but who doesn't like the '60s pop charts or Dionne Warwick? I'm just taking it a little further than most. But 9 times out of 10 when I grab for some Bacharach, I'll grab one of the albums in this last section. The undiluted, full-on Burt experience. Just him and his orchestra. I let the smoothness and lush orchestration roll over me. To me this is what real emotion sounds like, you see. These records are playing at my house all the time, and so I am passing the condition on to my loved ones. We can all sing the Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid soundtrack by heart. We know no other life.

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After a trial solo single in 1963, the mid-60s saw Burt branch out into soundtrack (rather than theme song) work and (mostly) instrumental collections of 'easy' versions of the hits. Two early soundtracks, 1965's What's New Pussycat and 1966's After The Fox have been released, but I've never see them in my pricerange. 1966's Casino Royale is a delightful patchwork of short thems and cues. I suppose there's not much holding it together, but since I appreciate all of the little moments I don't mind.



Meanwhile, 1965's Hit Maker is a routine runthrough of the hits of that moment. Sounds like a quick cash-in. Of all the Bacharach albums, it's the one I'm least likely to turn to. 1967's Reach Out is a great improvement. Highlights are the swinging '60s instrumental 'Bond street' and a heartbreaking performance (Burt singing!) of 'A house is not a home'.





All of 1968's efforts were tied in with the Promises, Promises Broadway musical. Burt returned to the main songs time and again, cutting them as singles for different artists, including a selection on a tie-in Dionne LP that year. Then there was the original cast recording, which is not to be overlooked. Some of the material is a little more narrative than melodic though. I admit I like the versions on the next 'regular' Bacharach album, 1969's Make It Easy On Yourself, best.

Like this one: 'Wanting things'



Of the non-Broadway songs, there's a nice composition 'She's gone away' which doesn't appear anywhere else.



The 1969 soundtrack to Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid is not only my favorite Bacharach album, it's one of my favorite albums of all time. Pure melodic bliss.

'South American getaway'


The early '70s saw more great solo albums. 1971's self-titled album has 'All kinds of people' amidst the familiar songs on side 1, while side 2 has original compositions.


'And the people were with her'


1973's Living Together has another one of my favorite Bacharach moments, 'Something big', and beautiful arrangements of a number of songs from Lost Horizon, the movie musical failure Hal & Burt saw as their last stand.



The soundtrack albums for that movie is another one of my favorites (I know, I've got a lot).

The theme song: 'Lost horizon'


After the split with Hal and Dionne, Burt set out touring. 1974's 'In concert' is a magical live album. Musically he was still on a roll. It's wonderful hearing these amazing musicians bring the material to life. I've not seen Burt in concert, but that's one of the tickets I'd love to ever see in this lifetime.

Afterwards, Burt started to drift. 1977's Futures is one of the most depressing albums I know. I can't take it, though individual songs are good. Forget about the classic breakup albums, this is the staying together for the kids, watching happiness pass you by, midlife crisis album – a very Bacharach theme. Sample titles: 'I took my strength from you (I had none)', 'We should have met sooner' (before mortgages, apparently), 'No one remembers my name', 'The young grow younger every day', (I missed you by) 'Seconds'. 'When you bring your love to me' is Burt doing a great, sleazy Steel Dan. But by 1979's Woman album Burt is on autopilot.



There are more recent albums, but the only one I've investigated is the Costello collaboration, 1998's Painted From Memory. I like it a lot. 'God give me strength' is one of the best songs of the '90s.

Last edited by Brother Spoon on 18 Jan 2015, 09:50, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Beyond the 130 - Burt Bacharach

Postby Brother Spoon » 18 Jan 2015, 07:21

Jimbo wrote:Man, that's a lotta schmaltz! ;)


And I was only halfway there yet! :mrgreen:

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Re: Beyond the 130 - Burt Bacharach

Postby mentalist (slight return) » 18 Jan 2015, 07:35

Wow. Lots of words there. Great post. I'm a card carrying fan as well and have always had a very soft spot for Tommy Hunt's aching reading of I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself.

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Re: Beyond the 130 - Burt Bacharach

Postby Brother Spoon » 18 Jan 2015, 16:05

mentalist (slight return) wrote:Wow. Lots of words there. Great post. I'm a card carrying fan as well and have always had a very soft spot for Tommy Hunt's aching reading of I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself.



Yes!
The dramatic sweep of that record, all the emotional peaks and valleys.

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Re: Beyond the 130 - Burt Bacharach

Postby Brother Spoon » 19 Jan 2015, 18:20



On my way to work this morning, all of a sudden I heard this song.
One of his best, surely.

Dig that fake trumpet playing.

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Re: Beyond the 130 - Burt Bacharach

Postby mentalist (slight return) » 20 Jan 2015, 12:17

Brother Spoon wrote:

On my way to work this morning, all of a sudden I heard this song.
One of his best, surely.

Dig that fake trumpet playing.


This is gold this song, one of the best things ever.

Burt was Marlene Dietrich's musical arranger in the '50s, now that would have been a show to catch.
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Re: Beyond the 130 - Burt Bacharach

Postby Brother Spoon » 20 Jan 2015, 17:03

In the mail today:
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I told you I'm a Burtoholic. :oops:

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Re: Beyond the 130 - Burt Bacharach

Postby toomanyhatz » 20 Jan 2015, 19:05

Great, and very thorough, stuff! I'm all about the Dionne Warwick(e) versions, but it's nice to hear some rarer things. I think he had that weird sense of time and taste for abrupt time-signature changes from the get-go, but he was urged away from it until he'd established himself a bit. I forget which one I was listening to when my wife walked by and said "wow, that's a lot of chord changes!" You know Brian was listening. I mean, the internal logic of the songs only makes sense when you hear them. Break 'em down and they shouldn't work musically.

I think with the wrong people, though, he would've just been too far ahead of his time and missed the boat entirely. Him with Hal David and Dionne is just one of those fortunate accidents. It could have come out totally differently. That's the magic of music though, right?
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Re: Beyond the 130 - Burt Bacharach

Postby Copehead » 20 Jan 2015, 19:29

I had no idea he wrote 3 wheels on my wagon.

a favourite on Ed Stewart's Junior Choice Saturday mornings in the 70s.

By the end of reading that list he has risen in your estimation to being the best song writer of all time, or at least the equal of Lennon or McCartney.

And the best thing about a Bacharach song is trying to work out which version is the best.

I'm a big fan, the more melodramatic the better in my book.

Another Tear Falls by the Walker Brothers is a tower of over dramatic bluster and I love it for that.
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Re: Beyond the 130 - Burt Bacharach

Postby Brother Spoon » 21 Jan 2015, 20:01

Copehead wrote:By the end of reading that list he has risen in your estimation to being the best song writer of all time, or at least the equal of Lennon or McCartney.


At the risk of hyperbole, but yes.

Copehead wrote:Another Tear Falls by the Walker Brothers is a tower of over dramatic bluster and I love it for that.


I like it, but have you heard the Gene McDaniels version?

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Re: Beyond the 130 - Burt Bacharach

Postby Copehead » 21 Jan 2015, 20:22

Brother Spoon wrote:
Copehead wrote:By the end of reading that list he has risen in your estimation to being the best song writer of all time, or at least the equal of Lennon or McCartney.


At the risk of hyperbole, but yes.

Copehead wrote:Another Tear Falls by the Walker Brothers is a tower of over dramatic bluster and I love it for that.


I like it, but have you heard the Gene McDaniels version?

I am travelling at the moment I will have a listen when I get home
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Re: Beyond the 130 - Burt Bacharach

Postby Brother Spoon » 21 Jan 2015, 20:42

Brother Spoon wrote:Cherry Red weighed in with The First Book Of Songs 1954-1958, the pre-fame efforts.

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Meanwhile, it seems Cherry Red are expanding this into an ongoing series.
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Interesting.

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Re: Beyond the 130 - Burt Bacharach

Postby Bent Fabric » 22 Jan 2015, 01:19

What can I say?

This is a wonderful, loving, rich, deep and informative appreciation of a master.

My discovery was gradual. I seem to remember something like "I'll Never Fall In Love Again" being the initial hook, but...once your ears perk up, it's pretty unrelenting.

I DID see him perform in 1998 - fourth row center at Chicago Theater. Elvis Costello was along for the ride, but that wasn't why I was there, and it isn't what I remember nearly 20 years later. There were a couple of medleys - which, as I recall, absolutely worked. I got downright choked during "This Guy's In...". Who wouldn't have?

I feel like the Look Of Love box arrived on my doorstep as a Christmas gift within a month. I went on a long trip within a week or so of THAT, and listened to little else. So many masterpieces to discover - even the minor and unseemly likes of "Me Japanese Boy I Love You" made as much musical sense to me as, say, "Walk On By". The timbre of Jackie De Shannon's voice became massively addictive ("A Lifetime..", "So Long Johnny"...etc.).

For years, I would make Burt comps (Hot Buttered Burt was a popular title) of all of my favorite interpretations.

Thanks to you and this thread...there's gonna be some new ones (the Dionne albums, many of which I own, are so deeply padded with the likes of "Little Green Apples" that I've probably been a bit gun shy)...

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Re: Beyond the 130 - Burt Bacharach

Postby Copehead » 23 Jan 2015, 10:58

Brother Spoon wrote:
Copehead wrote:By the end of reading that list he has risen in your estimation to being the best song writer of all time, or at least the equal of Lennon or McCartney.


At the risk of hyperbole, but yes.

Copehead wrote:Another Tear Falls by the Walker Brothers is a tower of over dramatic bluster and I love it for that.


I like it, but have you heard the Gene McDaniels version?


Not what I was expecting, the production was a little more old fashioned than the Walker Brothers but the lead was probably rather better sung.

But with out Scott Walker's power it turns the over dramatic bluster down several notches, which isn't so good in my view :)
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Re: Beyond the 130 - Burt Bacharach

Postby LeBaron » 23 Jan 2015, 14:19

More sterling work, Spoon!
I've got the Butch Cassidy soundtrack on now ...
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