🎵 Classic AOTW LIVING TOGETHER - Burt Bacharach (SP-3527)

What is your favorite track?

  • Something Big

    Votes: 2 33.3%
  • Monterey Peninsula

    Votes: 3 50.0%
  • I Come To You

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Walk The Way You Talk

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • The Balance Of Nature

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Living Together, Growing Together

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Reflections

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Lost Horizon

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Long Ago Tomorrow

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • I Might Frighten Her Away

    Votes: 1 16.7%

  • Total voters
    6

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
Thread Starter
Burt Bacharach
LIVING TOGETHER
A&M SP-3527

c13d55da25de8376500c1439886917a5.300x300x1.jpg

Released 1973

Track listing:

Side 1:
Something Big
Monterey Peninsula
I Come To You
Walk The Way You Talk
The Balance Of Nature

Side 2:
Living Together, Growing Together
Reflections
Lost Horizon
Long Ago Tomorrow
I Might Frighten Her Away


Produced by
Burt Bacharach and Phil Ramone
Arranged and conducted by
Burt Bacharach

Mr. Bacharach plays piano on all selection.
Vocals on "I Come To You"
Cissy Houston (courtesy of Janus Records)
and Tony Middleton

Engineer: Phil Ramone assisted by
Richard Blakin (NewYork)
and David Iveland (Los Angeles)
Mastering Engineer: Bernie Grundman

Recorded at A&R Recording Studios, New York
and A&M Studios, Hollywood.
Design by Chuck Beeson
Photography by Victor Skrebneski
Art Direction by Roland Young
A&M Records, Inc.
P.O. Box 782,
Beverly Hills, Calif. 90213
AMLogoSm.jpg
 
Last edited:

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
Thread Starter
While listening to the new Rumer album with all Bacharach songs, I was taken with "The Balance Of Nature", though I couldn't immediately recall on which Burt Bacharach album that I first heard it. A little research revealed that because this album was issued in the SP-35xx series, it managed to slip through the cracks of our AOTW and Classic AOTW threads. So I thought I'd open one.

I had this one on LP from the start, though I must have picked it up at a radio station as it has an etched PROMOTION NOT FOR SALE legend in the front cover and is a white-label promo. Digging out my CD copy, I find that it appears to be a copy of POCM-2054 from Japan, which made me recall that I'd tried to buy this album as an import, but it was always out of stock. One of our kind members made a CD-R copy for me. It became a moot point when the SOMETHING BIG box set was issued, as that contained all of the A&M output.

"Something Big" is the track that I really fell in love with here. The bulk of Side 2 tracks are from the movie LOST HORIZON and we get to hear Burt's own take on those songs. I also like "Monterey Peninsula" and "Long Ago Tomorrow".
 

Bobberman

Well-Known Member
I got my vinyl copy of this back in 1985 although i voted for monterey peninsula i love every song from start to finish. And i enjoy Burts own take on the songs from Lost Horizon. I heard this long before i ever heard the movie soundtrack. And since i was unable to obtain a CD version of this album i made a very good needledrop CD of my old vinyl copy. I think its one of my favorite Bacharach albums of all time.
 

Rudy

¡Que siga la fiesta!
Staff member
Site Admin
Side one is my favorite here. :thumbsup: Got this as a Xmas gift the year it came out, so my original copy is a little tattered. This one is almost like a swan song to the Bacharach/David team, as Futures was primarily Burt with other lyricists.
 

Mike Blakesley

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Moderator
This (along with the previous, self-titled album) is my favorite Burt Bacharach album. I love all the songs on it, bar none. It's hard to pick a favorite, but I would probably have to go with "Something Big." It just has this exuberant quality that I like, plus the whole production has sort of a casual "unfinished/rehearsal/demo" feel especially in the lead vocals and the trumpets in the second chorus. It's almost as if the singers and the orchestra are "learning" the song as they go along and by the time the final reprises come around, they've got it nailed.

My other favorites are "I Might Frighten Her Away" with its great trumpet solo at the end (Is that Warren Luening?) and "The Balance of Nature " (is that Burt on vocals, or Tony Middleton? They sound a lot alike), along with "Reflections" and "I Come to You."

If I had to pick a least-favorite it would probably be "Walk the Way You Talk," which had already been done previously by Sergio Mendes and Brasil '77, and their version was really nice. Burt's version is sort of bland, kind of like comparing his "Close To You" to the Carpenters' version. But it's still an 8 on a 10 scale to me.

I listened to the LP of this for years, and to this day I still automatically "hear" a slight scratchy sound at one point during the opening of "Something Big." I later got the Japanese CD version, and more recently I got it as part of the Hip-O box set.

EDIT: I just looked up the AllMusic review on this album, and hadn't realized that all but one of the songs from side 2 are on the Lost Horizon soundtrack...whereupon I listened to the sound samples from that soundtrack, since I don't have the album. I think the versions on Living Together are better, generally.
 
Last edited:

Rudy

¡Que siga la fiesta!
Staff member
Site Admin
I have to re-read that portion of the bio again, but I think the Lost Horizon fiasco was the reason Bacharach and David split up. Actually, a three-way split, since Warner had signed Dionne and was assured of getting a stream of Bacharach/David tunes, and that partnership fell apart before she could even record a second album at Warner. And of course, Warner I think sued Dionne, and Dionne sued Burt and Hal...a total mess.

So at least this album was able to rescue some of those tunes from the film...

"Something Big" was used as the title song from a 1971 film of the same name. Sung by Mark Lindsay. You can find it on the Reel Burt Bacharach compilation.
 

Rudy

¡Que siga la fiesta!
Staff member
Site Admin
I have to re-read that portion of the bio again, but I think the Lost Horizon fiasco was the reason Bacharach and David split up.
That is an understatement. :laugh:

It was a combination of things that led Burt to stop composing with Hal, and even stop composing completely for a short amount of time. Essentially, it was almost two years of work, endless frustrations with teaching the actors the singing parts, frustration with the sound quality, Hal's refusal to give up half a point to Burt on royalties, and the fact that the movie was a colossal failure.

Chapter 15: Lost Horizon

Angie and I had bought a beach house down in Del Mar, not far from San Diego, so I could be near the racetrack there during the racing season. That was where I was spending most of my time when the producer Ross Hunter told me he was going to remake Lost Horizon, a film Frank Capra had done in 1937. Hunter had a script by Larry Kramer, who had been nominated for an Academy Award for writing Women in Love, and a $ 12 million budget. Because Hunter was going to remake Lost Horizon as a musical, he asked Hal and me if we would come up with the songs for it and we said yes.

Just like the original, the remake was the story of a group of travelers whose plane crash-lands in a paradise known as ShangriLa, where no one ever gets old. It took Hal and me a long time to write the songs and then Ross Hunter decided to invite the press to a sound stage at Columbia Pictures so I could present the songs to them. He asked me to sit at the piano and sing. It was ludicrous because my voice is quite limited and I should have known I couldn't sing all those songs, but somehow I managed to get through it.

I had to answer questions from the press, and when I was asked about the movie by a reporter from the New York Times, I said, "The idea of the picture is very close to me. Imagine. Somewhere in Tibet in the middle of those mountains is a place called Shangri-La. Where you can live forever—almost. And you can stay healthy! And there is love! And peace! It's exactly what everybody wants today.

As it turned out, Lost Horizon was a movie nobody wanted. Nobody wanted to see it or listen to the songs Hal and I had written for it, and the experience of working on that picture was so bad that it nearly ended my career. To begin with, the movie should never have been remade as a musical. The idea was absurd. Unlike what we had done with Promises, Promises, Hal and I couldn't take what we had written to Boston or Washington to find out which songs worked and which didn't. If a song didn't work in a film, it would cost millions of dollars to rewrite and reshoot the scene.

I saw some of the rushes, and even though they were shooting the picture on the back lot at Warner Bros., some of it looked really beautiful. They used dummy singers while they were filming so I had to coach the actors when it came time for them to do their vocals. Sally Kellerman, Bobby Van, and George Kennedy could sing but we had to use other people's voices for Peter Finch, Liv Ullmann, and Olivia Hussey.

Not only was I writing the songs for Lost Horizon, I was also doing the background score, which was nonstop music. I just couldn't write it all and I was hating the work so I farmed some of it out. I had two top orchestrators come in and they also did some composing. It was the only time in my life I ever-farmed out my music.

Although I still think a lot of the music I did for Lost Horizon was good, there was one scene in the picture where Peter Finch, who played the leader of the travelers, has to make a big decision. He misses his life in London but if he stays in Shangri-La, he can be with the woman he loves forever, so he sings "If I Could Go Back." The song had a lot of heart and I thought it was very powerful.

When I saw the song in the rushes, I thought it was good. But after I watched a rough cut of the entire film for the first time, I knew it was a disaster. It didn't matter that Peter Finch was singing, “How do I know this is part of my real life? / If there's no pain can I be sure I feel life? / And would I go back if I knew how to go back?" Because when you saw it in the movie, you didn't give a f*** if he went back or not. What came before and after the song was so bad that just didn't care.

I knew Lost Horizon was a dog and that the songs in it were not going to fly, but I had signed a contract, so I had to keep working on it. But I started getting into jams. I was in the dubbing room trying to give credibility to this music but it wasn't sounding the way we had recorded it and I would be bitching while they were dubbing.

When we were in postproduction I went to Peter Guber, who had taken over as the head of Columbia Pictures, and I said, "Listen, I hate the way the music is sounding. It really sounded so much better when we recorded it." I enlisted his help because we were sort of friendly and he said, "Okay, listen, go back in the dubbing room."

He got me back in the dubbing room, and I don't know how long that lasted because I was really focused and going for what I wanted 100 percent. I must have been a real pain in the ass because during the last week ofpostproduction, the head of mixing at ToddAO had me banned from the dubbing room because I kept saying, "This sounds like s***," and fighting for what I wanted to hear. It was a lot like when I wasn't allowed into the studio while Brook Benton was cutting "A House Is Not a Home." But all I was trying to do was protect the integrity of the music.

I spent nearly two years working on Lost Horizon, killing myself coaching George Kennedy and Sally Kellerman on how to sing, and working with the kids who were in the picture. The best thing that happened to me in the entire process was when I got to drive Liv Ullmann back to the Beverly Hills Hotel from the set one day.

While I was doing all this, Hal was in Mexico playing tennis because his work was done. My work was far from done and our deal was that Hal and I would split five points on the movie for our songs. So I called him up in Mexico and said, "Hal, listen, I know we're getting five points but we're never going to see anything from this picture. From what I hear, it may even bankrupt Columbia. Still, it would really make me feel better if instead of splitting the five points, I had three and you had two." Hal said, "I can't do that." And I said, "F*** you and f*** the picture."

Gary Smith: We decided to do a television special with Burt in conjunction with the opening of Lost Horizon and I convinced Ross Hunter to let us shoot on the set. Chris Evert had just turned eighteen and Burt was a big tennis player so I booked her and built a big tennis court on the back lot at Warner Bros., where we did this wonderful spot with the two of them. Chrissie was adorable and they played tennis with one another for about three or four minutes.​

I had been doing television specials with Dwight Hemion and Gary Smith in England, but now they wanted us to do one that would be a tie-in to Lost Horizon. In one segment I was going to play tennis with Chrissie Evert. I thought it would be a good idea to get to know her so I went over to the Beverly Hills Hotel to meet her. She said, "You want to play a set or two?" We got on the court and I thought I was a pretty good tennis player but I never got a single point off her. You would have thought maybe she'd miss a shot and give me a point but it was six—love, six—love.

When we were shooting the scene, we were supposed to play this match in what was sort of like a dream sequence. The idea was she would hit the ball into the net and say, "That's it. You win, Burt!" and I would jump over the net. The next day they would have another set built with a tennis net and I would jump over it into a pond and then they would cut the two bits of film together for the show.

We were out there and they were having a little technical difficulty. Dwight Hemion was saying, "Come on, Burtie, we gotta get this in—we're running out of daylight." Chrissie said to me, "Get them to lower the net, Burt. It's too high for you to jump over it." I told them this and Dwight said, "Burt, don't be a pain in the ass. Come on, we're running out of light. Just hit the ball to her, she'll hit the ball into the net, and then you jump over it." I jumped and caught my foot in the net, and came down on my side and broke two ribs. That night I had to prerecord the music for the next scene so I went in the studio with a bottle of Jack Daniel's and two broken ribs. It was agony to cough or laugh or sneeze and I just hated every f***ing human being in the world.

Gary Smith: Ross Hunter found out what we had done and decided we had ruined his set by putting a tennis court on it and he went to court to get an injunction to keep our show off the air while we were editing it. We actually had to reshoot the concert segment in a jungle somewhere. When we finally did go to court, the judge threw out the injunction so the show aired on ABC the way we had shot it. It was called Burt Bacharach in Shangri-La. The movie itself was terrible.​

Two months later, I went to the premiere of Lost Horizon in Westwood with Angie. I had already seen the review in the Los Angeles Times and the movie had gotten killed. After that, it seemed like every critic in America just started piling on. Roger Ebert wrote, "l don't know how much Ross Hunter paid Burt Bacharach and Hal David to write the music for Lost Horizon, but whatever it was, it was too much." Newsweek said, "The songs are so pitifully pedestrian it's doubtful that they'd sound good even if the actors could sing, which they can't."

Columbia had made Lost Horizon their number-one release for 1973 and the studio had put so much money into promoting it that people in Hollywood started calling the picture Lost Investment. The day after it opened, I got in the car and drove down to Del Mar to escape because I thought nobody down there would know me. The movie was so personally embarrassing that it almost destroyed me. Once I got to Del Mar, I didn't want to do anything. I didn't want to play piano, and even though Hal and I had signed a contract to write and produce an album for Dionne at Warner Bros. Records, her new label, I didn't want to write with Hal anymore or even be around him.

My attorney in New York kept telling me I was going to be in major trouble because I had a commitment to Warner Bros. Records but I said, "I don't give a s***." When Dionne flew up to Lake Tahoe, where I was doing a show at Harrah's, to tell me the record company was going to sue us if Hal and I did not honor our commitment, I told her there was no way Hal and I would be getting together to do anything anymore.

What happened next was that Dionne sued me and Hal, and then I sued Hal, and I didn't talk to either of them for the next ten years. It was really stupid, foolish behavior on my part and I take all the blame for it. If it happened now I would cop to it and say, "Hey, it was all my fault." But that wasn't the way I saw it then.

Angie Dickinson: Burt started working on Lost Horizon in 1971 or 1972 and it became the greatest failure in his career. The fact that not all of the songs he had written with Hal had become hits came with the territory, so you can't call them failures. All songwriters go through that. This was a monumental failure. It was a public humiliation and Burt retreated to Del Mar and Palm Springs. He was not impossible to deal with. He was just depressed and that affected everything in his life, including our marriage.

During all the time Burt and Hal had been working together, Burt had been getting almost all the accolades. Hal chose not to give Burt the half point because of his ego, but since Hal had been ignored for years, that was understandable. When they had only been known as songwriters, Hal got almost equal credit. But now it had gone past that.​

As we get older we're supposed to learn and grow, but that only happens if you do some work on yourself. Otherwise, the flaws just get worse. Not long ago, a very wise man I know asked me about the split with Hal and what had caused it. I said, "It would have made me feel better to get the extra half point because I had to be working with George Kennedy and Sally Kellerman and all these kid singers and that was what split us up."

He said, "You know, it's about your ego." I said, "Yeah, maybe. I know I was wrong and I should have never done it because I was told I was going to get my ass sued but I did it anyway." I've owned it since then because it was all my fault, and I can't imagine how many great songs I could have written with Hal in the years we were apart. So I now know that on every level, it was a very bad mistake.

This guy looked at me and said, "You should have called Hal up in Mexico and said, 'I'm giving you five points. You can have them all.' " Instead, I broke up a partnership that had lasted for seventeen years and tried to forget about everything by playing tennis every day with Pancho Segura and hanging out on the beach in Del Mar.

At the time, Angie was still a much more public figure than I was. She was out there and I was hiding behind a sand dune. After Lost Horizon opened, I got into my car and went down to Del Mar and disappeared. I disappeared from Hal, I disappeared from Dionne, and I disappeared from my marriage.
 
Last edited:

Bobberman

Well-Known Member
That is an understatement. :laugh:

It was a combination of things that led Burt to stop composing with Hal, and even stop composing completely for a short amount of time. Essentially, it was almost two years of work, endless frustrations with teaching the actors the singing parts, frustration with the sound quality, Hal's refusal to give up half a point to Burt on royalties, and the fact that the movie was a colossal failure.

Chapter 15: Lost Horizon

Angie and I had bought a beach house down in Del Mar, not far from San Diego, so I could be near the racetrack there during the racing season. That was where I was spending most of my time when the producer Ross Hunter told me he was going to remake Lost Horizon, a film Frank Capra had done in 1937. Hunter had a script by Larry Kramer, who had been nominated for an Academy Award for writing Women in Love, and a $ 12 million budget. Because Hunter was going to remake Lost Horizon as a musical, he asked Hal and me if we would come up with the songs for it and we said yes.

Just like the original, the remake was the story of a group of travelers whose plane crash-lands in a paradise known as ShangriLa, where no one ever gets old. It took Hal and me a long time to write the songs and then Ross Hunter decided to invite the press to a sound stage at Columbia Pictures so I could present the songs to them. He asked me to sit at the piano and sing. It was ludicrous because my voice is quite limited and I should have known I couldn't sing all those songs, but somehow I managed to get through it.

I had to answer questions from the press, and when I was asked about the movie by a reporter from the New York Times, I said, "The idea of the picture is very close to me. Imagine. Somewhere in Tibet in the middle of those mountains is a place called Shangri-La. Where you can live forever—almost. And you can stay healthy! And there is love! And peace! It's exactly what everybody wants today.

As it turned out, Lost Horizon was a movie nobody wanted. Nobody wanted to see it or listen to the songs Hal and I had written for it, and the experience of working on that picture was so bad that it nearly ended my career. To begin with, the movie should never have been remade as a musical. The idea was absurd. Unlike what we had done with Promises, Promises, Hal and I couldn't take what we had written to Boston or Washington to find out which songs worked and which didn't. If a song didn't work in a film, it would cost millions of dollars to rewrite and reshoot the scene.

I saw some of the rushes, and even though they were shooting the picture on the back lot at Warner Bros., some of it looked really beautiful. They used dummy singers while they were filming so I had to coach the actors when it came time for them to do their vocals. Sally Kellerman, Bobby Van, and George Kennedy could sing but we had to use other people's voices for Peter Finch, Liv Ullmann, and Olivia Hussey.

Not only was I writing the songs for Lost Horizon, I was also doing the background score, which was nonstop music. I just couldn't write it all and I was hating the work so I farmed some of it out. I had two top orchestrators come in and they also did some composing. It was the only time in my life I ever-farmed out my music.

Although I still think a lot of the music I did for Lost Horizon was good, there was one scene in the picture where Peter Finch, who played the leader of the travelers, has to make a big decision. He misses his life in London but if he stays in Shangri-La, he can be with the woman he loves forever, so he sings "If I Could Go Back." The song had a lot of heart and I thought it was very powerful.

When I saw the song in the rushes, I thought it was good. But after I watched a rough cut of the entire film for the first time, I knew it was a disaster. It didn't matter that Peter Finch was singing, “How do I know this is part of my real life? / If there's no pain can I be sure I feel life? / And would I go back if I knew how to go back?" Because when you saw it in the movie, you didn't give a f*** if he went back or not. What came before and after the song was so bad that just didn't care.

I knew Lost Horizon was a dog and that the songs in it were not going to fly, but I had signed a contract, so I had to keep working on it. But I started getting into jams. I was in the dubbing room trying to give credibility to this music but it wasn't sounding the way we had recorded it and I would be bitching while they were dubbing.

When we were in postproduction I went to Peter Guber, who had taken over as the head of Columbia Pictures, and I said, "Listen, I hate the way the music is sounding. It really sounded so much better when we recorded it." I enlisted his help because we were sort of friendly and he said, "Okay, listen, go back in the dubbing room."

He got me back in the dubbing room, and I don't know how long that lasted because I was really focused and going for what I wanted 100 percent. I must have been a real pain in the ass because during the last week ofpostproduction, the head of mixing at ToddAO had me banned from the dubbing room because I kept saying, "This sounds like s***," and fighting for what I wanted to hear. It was a lot like when I wasn't allowed into the studio while Brook Benton was cutting "A House Is Not a Home." But all I was trying to do was protect the integrity of the music.

I spent nearly two years working on Lost Horizon, killing myself coaching George Kennedy and Sally Kellerman on how to sing, and working with the kids who were in the picture. The best thing that happened to me in the entire process was when I got to drive Liv Ullmann back to the Beverly Hills Hotel from the set one day.

While I was doing all this, Hal was in Mexico playing tennis because his work was done. My work was far from done and our deal was that Hal and I would split five points on the movie for our songs. So I called him up in Mexico and said, "Hal, listen, I know we're getting five points but we're never going to see anything from this picture. From what I hear, it may even bankrupt Columbia. Still, it would really make me feel better if instead of splitting the five points, I had three and you had two." Hal said, "I can't do that." And I said, "F*** you and f*** the picture."

Gary Smith: We decided to do a television special with Burt in conjunction with the opening of Lost Horizon and I convinced Ross Hunter to let us shoot on the set. Chris Evert had just turned eighteen and Burt was a big tennis player so I booked her and built a big tennis court on the back lot at Warner Bros., where we did this wonderful spot with the two of them. Chrissie was adorable and they played tennis with one another for about three or four minutes.​

I had been doing television specials with Dwight Hemion and Gary Smith in England, but now they wanted us to do one that would be a tie-in to Lost Horizon. In one segment I was going to play tennis with Chrissie Evert. I thought it would be a good idea to get to know her so I went over to the Beverly Hills Hotel to meet her. She said, "You want to play a set or two?" We got on the court and I thought I was a pretty good tennis player but I never got a single point off her. You would have thought maybe she'd miss a shot and give me a point but it was six—love, six—love.

When we were shooting the scene, we were supposed to play this match in what was sort of like a dream sequence. The idea was she would hit the ball into the net and say, "That's it. You win, Burt!" and I would jump over the net. The next day they would have another set built with a tennis net and I would jump over it into a pond and then they would cut the two bits of film together for the show.

We were out there and they were having a little technical difficulty. Dwight Hemion was saying, "Come on, Burtie, we gotta get this in—we're running out of daylight." Chrissie said to me, "Get them to lower the net, Burt. It's too high for you to jump over it." I told them this and Dwight said, "Burt, don't be a pain in the ass. Come on, we're running out of light. Just hit the ball to her, she'll hit the ball into the net, and then you jump over it." I jumped and caught my foot in the net, and came down on my side and broke two ribs. That night I had to prerecord the music for the next scene so I went in the studio with a bottle of Jack Daniel's and two broken ribs. It was agony to cough or laugh or sneeze and I just hated every f***ing human being in the world.

Gary Smith: Ross Hunter found out what we had done and decided we had ruined his set by putting a tennis court on it and he went to court to get an injunction to keep our show off the air while we were editing it. We actually had to reshoot the concert segment in a jungle somewhere. When we finally did go to court, the judge threw out the injunction so the show aired on ABC the way we had shot it. It was called Burt Bacharach in Shangri-La. The movie itself was terrible.​

Two months later, I went to the premiere of Lost Horizon in Westwood with Angie. I had already seen the review in the Los Angeles Times and the movie had gotten killed. After that, it seemed like every critic in America just started piling on. Roger Ebert wrote, "l don't know how much Ross Hunter paid Burt Bacharach and Hal David to write the music for Lost Horizon, but whatever it was, it was too much." Newsweek said, "The songs are so pitifully pedestrian it's doubtful that they'd sound good even if the actors could sing, which they can't."

Columbia had made Lost Horizon their number-one release for 1973 and the studio had put so much money into promoting it that people in Hollywood started calling the picture Lost Investment. The day after it opened, I got in the car and drove down to Del Mar to escape because I thought nobody down there would know me. The movie was so personally embarrassing that it almost destroyed me. Once I got to Del Mar, I didn't want to do anything. I didn't want to play piano, and even though Hal and I had signed a contract to write and produce an album for Dionne at Warner Bros. Records, her new label, I didn't want to write with Hal anymore or even be around him.

My attorney in New York kept telling me I was going to be in major trouble because I had a commitment to Warner Bros. Records but I said, "I don't give a s***." When Dionne flew up to Lake Tahoe, where I was doing a show at Harrah's, to tell me the record company was going to sue us if Hal and I did not honor our commitment, I told her there was no way Hal and I would be getting together to do anything anymore.

What happened next was that Dionne sued me and Hal, and then I sued Hal, and I didn't talk to either of them for the next ten years. It was really stupid, foolish behavior on my part and I take all the blame for it. If it happened now I would cop to it and say, "Hey, it was all my fault." But that wasn't the way I saw it then.

Angie Dickinson: Burt started working on Lost Horizon in 1971 or 1972 and it became the greatest failure in his career. The fact that not all of the songs he had written with Hal had become hits came with the territory, so you can't call them failures. All songwriters go through that. This was a monumental failure. It was a public humiliation and Burt retreated to Del Mar and Palm Springs. He was not impossible to deal with. He was just depressed and that affected everything in his life, including our marriage.

During all the time Burt and Hal had been working together, Burt had been getting almost all the accolades. Hal chose not to give Burt the half point because of his ego, but since Hal had been ignored for years, that was understandable. When they had only been known as songwriters, Hal got almost equal credit. But now it had gone past that.​

As we get older we're supposed to learn and grow, but that only happens if you do some work on yourself. Otherwise, the flaws just get worse. Not long ago, a very wise man I know asked me about the split with Hal and what had caused it. I said, "It would have made me feel better to get the extra half point because I had to be working with George Kennedy and Sally Kellerman and all these kid singers and that was what split us up."

He said, "You know, it's about your ego." I said, "Yeah, maybe. I know I was wrong and I should have never done it because I was told I was going to get my ass sued but I did it anyway." I've owned it since then because it was all my fault, and I can't imagine how many great songs I could have written with Hal in the years we were apart. So I now know that on every level, it was a very bad mistake.

This guy looked at me and said, "You should have called Hal up in Mexico and said, 'I'm giving you five points. You can have them all.' " Instead, I broke up a partnership that had lasted for seventeen years and tried to forget about everything by playing tennis every day with Pancho Segura and hanging out on the beach in Del Mar.

At the time, Angie was still a much more public figure than I was. She was out there and I was hiding behind a sand dune. After Lost Horizon opened, I got into my car and went down to Del Mar and disappeared. I disappeared from Hal, I disappeared from Dionne, and I disappeared from my marriage.
Those were Very Dark times For Mr Bacharach Indeed. But thankfully He And Dionne and Hal David have reconciled and their respective careers have long since recovered and achieved Greater things.
 

Rudy

¡Que siga la fiesta!
Staff member
Site Admin
I have a feeling that the Living Together album was partly an attempt to salvage those few songs that Burt felt like saving from that mess. He has always been a perfectionist, so one can see how he became so frustrated with this entire project. On his own album, at least he could shape the sound to his satisfaction, and didn't have to hear those songs he didn't care for.

For my part, I found a copy of the film and egads, I found it to be as bad as they say. Comically bad, even. I had to fast-forward and skip through a lot of it since it was an embarrassment to watch. And yes, a lot of the music I heard in it was a trainwreck. It's one of those things where you watch it and say, "What were they thinking??" :laugh: And this was a few years ago, before Burt's account of the film came along in his bio. That made me realize the extent of the "damage," so to speak.
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
Thread Starter
There are a few of us here who have an affectionate feeling for the 1973 LOST HORIZON and I'm one of them. I never went to see it in the theater - it probably didn't play all that long - but I recall being at a friend's apartment on the Sunday evening that NBC aired the first half of the movie. It was long enough that they split it into two different evenings.

I'd never seen the Capra original film, so the plot as presented that evening was all new to me. I recall being captivated by the idea of Shangri-la in an almost science-fiction way. Though Bacharach had been a large part of my musical life in those years, I don't recall that the songs were intrusive, nor do I consciously think that I realized that they WERE Bacharach songs. Perhaps I did, but they were mostly new to me then too - I probably had heard the 5th Dimension's take on "Living Together, Growing Together" on the radio, and maybe The Sandpipers' "The World Is A Circle".

I watched the second half at my own house and remained impressed with the movie, enough to go out and pick up the soundtrack album on Bell Records. Since the film didn't do well - and probably bombed on NBC too - it rarely got onto any TV station's movie schedule. It also had the problem of being very long, so it was a long time before I was ever afforded the opportunity to see it again. Sometime in the '80s, I saw a listing in TV Guide that the film was going to air - again on two nights - on the late movie on WABC-TV New York. Being in Philadelphia, we sometimes picked up New York channels well enough to watch through the fuzz, and I tried taping the movie on my VHS recorder. The first part was barely watchable, and the second part had so much interference that the tape was useless.

The next time I saw it was on a weekend afternoon telecast on cable's TBS. I managed to get a copy on VHS of that telecast, but I think it was heavily edited. The movie was never made available on professional VHS that I can recall, and the first time it DID show up on home video was as a LaserDisc. I remember leaving work on my lunch hour at the radio station in Philadelphia on release day and driving all the way out to a LaserDisc store in Paoli, PA. That was a 20 mile journey each way, but there were some fast roads that could get me there in around 20 minutes. I couldn't believe it as I sat in my car, opening up this new widescreen LaserDisc of this old, long sought-after movie and looking at all of the info on the cover and inside the gatefold. It was a Pioneer Special Edition, and it still boggles the mind that it received the deluxe treatment that it did.

That LaserDisc restored some long-discarded footage too. The print of those sections was rough, to say the least, but it was magical to be able to see the way the film was more or less originally conceived. It proved popular around here too as I got a number of requests from members to make them a VHS copy of the LaserDisc. In addition, the LaserDisc had a second audio analog channel with the instrumental underscore on it, so it became like a super-duper soundtrack of the movie.

The LaserDisc was such a rarity that whenever it showed up on eBay, it routinely sold in the hundreds. It was often the subject of internet conversation as to whether or not it would ever see a DVD release. Most figured it wouldn't - but one day in 2011, Sony released it in a made-on-demand DVD format. The picture was all restored and looked great - even those formerly missing sections - but somebody goofed and the supposedly 5.1 surround sound came out in mono. Sony corrected it though and made it good to purchasers. It also featured some extras including audio of original Burt Bacharach song demos, promos and an alternate footage version of "I Come To You".

Just a year later, Twilight Time managed to license the film and released it on Blu-ray with all of the same extras - and they also added the isolated instrumental score track. It doesn't get any better than that.

I'm sophisticated enough to recognize that as art, the movie leaves a lot to be desired. But it's also one of those "guilty pleasures" we often hear about.
 
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