Favorite Burt Bacharach song, no matter who did it.


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Favorite Burt Bacharach tune? Why, "The Blob", of course (co-written with Mack David, Hal's brother!)

But seriously -
It's "Alfie". As sung by Dionne Warwick, who did inarguably the best version of it - elegant, soulful and dynamic - AFTER just about every other singer under the sun had already recorded it.

This shows off what a marvelous voice she had before her cigarette addiction ruined it.

AM Matt

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Cannot get enough of The Stylistics "You'll Never Get To Heaven (If You Break My Heart)" (1973). That song on "Best Of: Volume 2".

Mr Bill

Gentlemanly Curmudgeon
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The instrumentals "Nikki" and "Pacific Coast Highway" by the man himself are two songs I enjoy and often repeat. As for non-Bacharach versions I like Gene Pitney's versions of nearly a dozen on his LP Pitney Sings Bacharach and then there's Playboy centerfold Bebe Buell's version of "My Little Red Book" released by Rhino back in the early 80s -- the sleeve unfolded into a nice poster of Ms. Buell!

--Mr Bill


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I have 4 or 5 favorite Bacharach tunes, so I'll go with the least known and the least recorded song, "Winter Warm". I can't think of a better tune while sitting in front of the fire on a Winter's day. I only know of 2 versions. The best one is by Kiz Harp, a gorgeous rendition, but the cd is hard to find. Another nice version is by Gale Storm.


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I have a number of Dionne Warwick lp's from the Scepter Years and one of my favorites from that time is Make It Easy On Yourself that is performed live. It was first released on Very Dionne and then again on The Dionne Warwicke Story which was all live concert recordings.


Bright colored pinwheels go 'round in my head.
Oy. I love all of the Bacharach songs that the Carpenters have done, not just on the various Bacharach medleys but including "Wishin' and Hopin'," "A House Is Not a Home," and "Trains and Boats and Planes" on Make Your Own Kind of Music. I really wish there were full-length recordings of those!

I would say, outside of the Carpenters, I was first exposed to Burt Bacharach (unwittingly) through the '80s cover of "Always Something There to Remind Me." That one's a good one, but I don't find the instrumentation to be terribly compelling.

For me, it's so hard because a lot of the "classic" Bacharach songs have a real '60s feel to them, and I'm not so much into the '60s as I am into the '70s... for a time, "I'll Never Fall in Love Again" was one of my favorites from the "Close to You" album (Carpenters).

I'll have to think this one through a little more...

Oh, but I do have to say that I do have a soft spot for "That's What Friends Are For" with Dionne, Gladys, Stevie and Elton. It's cheesy, but to me it represents like a kinder, softer side of the '80s.


¡Que siga la fiesta!
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There's also the "Theme from Arthur" that he was part of, but like "That's What Friends are For," there's not much of his influence there.

After hearing many Bacharach projects over the years, I would say that Dionne Warwick's recordings for Scepter are where you'll find many of the definitive versions of the Bacharach/David songbook, and my own personal recommended starting point for their work. This after growing up with his A&M albums, which are often imaginative rearrangements of the originals, but not by any means definitive (partly because they forgo Hal David's clever wordplay). No label has yet put together a collection of the complete Bacharach/David recordings of Dionne Warwick--I have tried to do this via a playlist, but CD credits are often lacking, and online information frequently flawed, so I'm never certain if I have them all. The Scepter albums at times may have a bit of a 60s vibe to them, but like many of Bacharach's works, some of the arrangements are timeless.

Once I got used to the Elvis Costello/Burt Bacharach album, I realized how Bacharach's arranging and writing style hadn't changed at all, and nothing about that album sounds dated. They were also an excellent pairing, as Costello's incisive lyrics were a good foil to Bacharach's complicated musical compositions. "I Still Have That Other Girl" was a Grammy-winning tune from the album, a brief pop masterpiece that's one of many highlights on the album. I'll freely admit it can be a difficult album to absorb, and it took me a few months of listening to it, warming to one song at a time, until I fully appreciated it.

That's a strange appeal of many of Bacharach's arrangements, whether they're with Dionne, or instrumental recordings on A&M, or recorded with Costello on that 1998 album--they just don't age at all. They could have been recorded 50 years ago, or yesterday.

And that's also why I can't pick a favorite Bacharach song. I can't even pick ten. Or twenty. There are just too many good ones. I could compile a CD's worth of tunes into a playlist, perhaps...and even then, I'd have to cut some favorites. 🙂


¡Que siga la fiesta!
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I'm working on a multi-part Bacharach article and going through some of my favorites to feature.

This is an early favorite by Jay & The Americans--Bacharach's arranging and conducting are strongly in evidence here:

On the same record, it is followed immediately by this one, the tune that doesn't get much love around here:



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Not only is this my favourite, but for my nickel as a song and a performance it's in my pop Top-5.

Enjoy this unique French promotional film.

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