Tuesday, February 11, 2014

DIONNE WARICK 4 ALBUMS IN ONE: WINDOWS OF THE WORLD / IN THE VALLEY OF THE DOLLS / PROMISES, PROMISES / SOULFUL

Four albums on three CDs – with lots of bonus tracks as well! Windows Of The World is seminal later work from Dionne Warwick – an album that perfectly sums up her evolving genius at Scepter Records! Windows continues the very successful Bacharach-led arrangement scheme – but also features Dionne deepening things a bit more vocally, and also hitting some more personal notes on a few tunes arranged by Peter Matz. 11 titles in all – including "The Windows Of The World", "I Say A Little Prayer", "Love", "Taking A Chance On Love", "(There's) Always Something There To Remind Me", "The Beginning Of Loneliness", "What's Good About goodbye", "Taking A Chance On Love", and "Somewhere". 

Valley Of The Dolls is not really the soundtrack for the movie – but a sweet batch of tracks that feature the lovely Dionne Warwick singing the title tune – and stretching out on a host of other great 60s numbers too! The album was recorded in two different sessions, mostly with backings by Burt Bacharach – who always makes his own music sound great – with a bit of extra help from Pat Williams, Manny Albam, and Garry Sherman – who each get a tune to work with. Gone is the dreamy optimism of some of Dionne's earlier albums – and in its place is a more mature, slightly sadder style that's really great. Titles include "Valley Of The Dolls", "For The Rest Of My Life", "Do You Know The Way To San Jose", "Silent Voices", "Let Me Be Lonely", "You're My World", "Where Would I Go", and "Walking Backwards Down The Road". 

Promises Promises is filled with sublime sounds from Dionne Warwick – a classic Scepter Records set produced by Burt Bacharach, who also wrote a good number of the tunes too! Arrangements are by a few different top-shelf studio talents – Don Sebesky, Peter Matz, and Bacharach himself – all in that breathy gentle style that works so well with Dionne's vocals. Titles include "Promises Promises", "This Girl's In Love With You", "Where Is Love", "Who Is Gonna Love Me", "Where Am I Going", "Whoever You Are I Love You", and "Wanting Things". 

On Soulful, Dionne Warwick working with Memphis producer Chips Moman, in a mode that's clearly designed to give her more credibility with the hipper soul scene at the end of the 60s! Burt Bacharach's still in the shadows, but Moman's the real genius on this set – working with Dionne to create a style that's got some of the same touches as Aretha Franklin's work on Atlantic, but a bit smoother overall – in keeping with the Warwick vocal mode. Dionne opens up amazingly in the set – hitting notes never heard on the Bacharach sides, and going for an almost gospel-inspired approach on a few numbers. Tracks includes "I'm Your Puppet", "You've Lost That Loving Feeling", "You're All I Need To Get By", "Do Right Woman", "People Get Ready", "We Can Work It Out", and "People Got To Be Free". CD features 19 bonus tracks that include "Give A Damn", "To Be Young Gifted & Black", "Stand", "Hurt So Bad", "The Weight", "The Love Of My Man", "Slaves", "Odds & Ends", and "The April Fools".  

~ Dusty Groove


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