Tuesday, February 11, 2014


Four Dionne Warwick classics – all wrapped up in a single set! On Here I Am, Dionne is still head and shoulders above most other female pop singers of her generation, with a style that really sets a whole new standard for the time! Burt Bacharach handled most of the arrangements here – with that heavenly sort of quality that he virtually invented for Dionne – a way of penning charts that are full, but never overbearing – and which have a subtle kind of softness, even though they also manage a sneaky sort of rhythm at the bottom. The balance is a beautiful one, and Dionne's vocals are the beneficiary here – on a batch of mostly Bacharach/David tunes that includes the sublime "Are You There With Another Girl", plus "Don't Go Breaking My Heart", "Window Wishing", "Long Day Short Night", "In Between The Heartaches", and "How Can I Hurt You" – as well as a version of "This Little Light", which features solo piano by Dionne! 

In Paris is a unique concert album from Dionne Warwick – proof that her talents weren't always restricted to Burt Bacharach arrangements in the studio! The setting is the classy Olympia Theater in Paris, and the style is a bit more open than on Dionne's studio albums – with less material by Bacharach & David than before, and a wider range of tunes that not only includes a few songs sung in French, but also a duet with Parisian popper Sacha Distel! Titles include "I Love Paris", "C'Est Si Bon", "Walk On By", "You'll Never Get To Heaven", "O Yeah Yeah Yeah", "The Good Life", "La Vie En Rose", and "What'd I Say". 

Here Where There Is Love is one of Dionne Warwick's biggest albums of the 60s – thanks to a near-classic selection of tunes, and sublime arrangements from the mighty Burt Bacharach! There's a confident, mature approach to the record that's arguably even better than Warwick's first few albums for Scepter – a kind of gelling of the genius she'd discovered with Bacharach & David – cast out over even more adult themes than before, with less of a need to focus on pop-oriented material. The album includes two of Dionne's most compelling cuts ever – "Alfie" and "Trains & Boats & Panes" – both sadder than the usual numbers, and with a good dose of remorseful soul – and other Bacharach numbers include "I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself", "Go With Love", "Here Where There Is Love", and the seminal "What The World Needs Now Is Love". 

For On Stage & In The Movies, Dionne Warwick's making a bit of a break from formula – by singing a batch of tunes from films and shows, none of which were written by Burt Bacharach & Hal David! Yet despite this change from earlier records, the album's still got a sound that's strongly in keeping with Warwick's 60s years at Scepter Records – thanks to arrangements by Burt that help transform these older tunes, and update them with a new sense of maturity for Dionne's singing style. The real appeal of the record is the way that Bacharach changes things up with some of these overdone numbers – finding new corners to explore, and creating a sense of surprise that's quite different than other albums of this nature. Titles include "Something Wonderful", "Summertime", "My Favorite Things", "I Believe In You", "My Ship", "Anything You Can Do", and "He Loves Me".  

~ Dusty Groove

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