Box Set Reviews
> The Look of Love - The Burt Bacharach
Look of Love - The Burt Bacharach Collection (Rhino R2 75339)
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because Burt Bacharach has become a kitschy icon in the cocktail nation, don't
underestimate him. He is one of the greatest songwriters of popular music
body of work is a worthy competition to Lennon & McCartney, Brian Wilson, even George
and Ira Gershwin. Burt Bacharach's little teenaged symphonies are as complicated and
heartfelt as popular music can get. Not only that, he has a way with a tune that is
so complex and yet so simple that it impossible to ignore. Particularly, the songs
he wrote with brilliant lyricist Hal David, are brilliant fusion of sound and imagery.
What's Good About It?
words: Dionne Warwick. The voice behind Bacharach & David's greatest tunes
helped them create some of the most wonderful soul music in history. "Walk On
By," "I Say A Little Prayer," "Do You Know the Way To San Jose,"
the list goes on and on. The box also sheds a light on one of the great forgotten
soul voices — Lou Johnson was a male Warwick who gelled with the writers as perfectly,
creating such classics as "(There's) Always Something There To Remind Me" and
"Kentucky Bluebird (Send a Message to Martha)." Bacharach also has a
formidable history as a pen for hire, writing some of the definitive tunes for artists as
varied as the Shirelles ("Baby It's You"), Gene Pitney ("The Man Who Shot
Liberty Valance"), Bobby Vinton ("Blue on Blue"), Cilla Black
("Alfie"), Herb Alpert ("This Guy's In Love With You"), B.J. Thomas
("Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head"), the Carpenters ("Close To
You"), the Fifth Dimension ("One Less Bell To Answer"), Christopher Cross
("Arthur's Theme") and Patti LaBelle ("On My Own").
What's Bad About It?
silly novelty tunes strewn about like Bobby Goldsboro's "Me Japanese Boy I Love
You," The Five Blobs' "The Blob" and Tom Jones' "What's New
Pussycat?" (a big hit, but the worse song ever by both Bacharach and the brilliant
singer Jones) are needless distractions, but it helps to paint the complete picture.
a long and diverse career, of course you'll miss a few things, but there isn't too much
that didn't make the cut. Personally, I'd like to see Dusty Springfield's version of
"I Don't Know What To Do With Myself" and some more newer songs like Naked Eyes'
version of "(There's) Always Something There To Remind Me" or Peabo Bryson and
Roberta Flack's "Maybe."
final grade: A
This is as perfect as popular music can get. You will be listening in amazement, thinking,
"He wrote that?" on a nearly constant basis. Just look at the list of
songs above. And that is less than half the songs on the box set. It is a
truly inspiring argument to add Burt Bacharach to the ranks of the all-time greats.
Jay S. Jacobs