BURT BACHARACH - FUTURES
The maestro never fails to let us down – and even on this late 70s album, Burt Bacharach still sounds great – stepping out in a swirling mix of strings, jazz, and studio arrangements that are still far beyond the work of most of his contemporaries! There's a sophisticated, adult quality to this record that really stands out – one that's not as catchy pop as some of Burt's 60s work, and which features some even more serious lyrics on the album's vocal tunes – numbers that still have him leaning towards the soul side of the spectrum at times, thanks to lead work by Joshie Armstead on a number of the best tracks – who joins a vocal cast that also includes Peter Yarrow, Jamie Anders, and Mellisa Mackay. At times, the sound is more personal and contemplative than even on other late Bacharach records – but that's also a great change too, and opens up into that warm world of Hasbrook Heights that Burt first started showing us as he grew. Titles include "I Took My Strength From You", "The Young Grow Younger Every Day", "When You Bring Your Sweet Love To Me", "Another Spring Will Rise", "Us", "We Should Have Met Sooner", and "No One Remembers My Name".
A great batch of early work from Burt Bacharach – one of the first albums to be issued under his own name, and proof that Mr B was head and shoulders above most of the other arrangers and composers of his time! At some level, the style here is a bit more traditional than some of Burt's later work – with strings and vocal chorus used on many numbers – but the tight, focused, syncopated Bacharach groove is already very firmly on place – on a set of all original numbers, done as instrumentals with some really incredible production! Voices float next to tinkling piano, sweeping strings, and stepping rhythms that show that even when things are mellow, they can still be a bit funky – and the record easily takes 60s easy to a whole new level of maturity and sophistication. Titles include "Wives & Lovers", "Trains & Boats & Planes", "What's New Pussycat?", "The Last One To Be Loved", "Saturday Sunshine", "24 Hours From Tulsa", and "A House Is Not A Home". CD features 4 bonus tracks that include "And So Goodbye My Love", "My Little Red Book", "What's New Pussycat", and an alternate version of "Saturday Sunshine.
BURT BACHARACH - LIVE IN JAPAN
BURT BACHARACH - LIVING TOGETHER
Quite possibly the greatest moment ever for Burt Bacharach – and that's saying a heck of a lot, considering the greatness of all of his work! The record's a slightly-overlooked gem from Burt's 70s years – a record that steps off the compressed sophistication of his best 60s work for A&M, but pushes things slightly into even more adult territory – a space that's beyond simple instrumental pop, and which features complicated rhythms, amazing songwriting, and a batch of tunes so great, you'll be coming back to this one for years to come! The record leads off with the sublime "Something Big", a building vocal number that always sends chills down our spine – then follows with the skittish rhythm of "Monterey Peninsula", almost drum and bass at times! Even the mellower tracks are great – somewhat soulful, and always touched with unusual phrasings, timings, or jazzy changes that are simply mindblowing. Other tracks include "The Balance of Nature", "Lost Horizon", "Walk The Way You Talk", "Reflections", "Long Ago Tomorrow", and "I Might Frighten Her Away".
BURT BACHARACH - MAKE IT EASY ON YOURSELF
Fantastic work by maestro Burt Bacharach – subtle genius, and an album that offers more to us every time we listen to it! Burt's work has been recorded by many – but few ever gave it the kind of treatment that he did – as you'll hear in this brilliant array of sweeping strings, sly syncopation, and well-placed instrumental solos! The sound is breathtaking throughout – a new level of maturity and majesty for 60s instrumental pop – and the record's an enduring classic that deserves a place in every sensitive record collection. Includes the amazing cut "Pacific Coast Highway", plus great versions of other classics, like "Wanting Things", "She's Gone Away", "Knowing When To Leave", and "This Guy's In Love With You".
BURT BACHARACH - ON THE FLIP SIDE
An obscure and wonderful chapter in the career of Burt Bacharach – material penned for a 1967 TV musical starring Rick Nelson and Joanie Sommers – all of it perfect 60s Bacharach pop all the way through! The plot of the musical is a bit silly, but the performance isn't – tightly-crafted vocal numbers that often mix Burt's older Brill Building style with a bit more of a Sunshine Pop kind of approach. Although penned by Bacharach, the music is actually conducted by Peter Matz – who does a great job of retaining the maestro's sense of space and timing, but also unlocks some bolder flourishes in the tunes, and manages to get some really amazing vocal performances out of both Sommers and Nelson! There's a sophistication here that goes beyond the roots of both singers – and the record's filld with lesser-known tracks that still sparkle with plenty of Bacharach brilliance – including "It Doesn't Matter Anymore", "They're Gonna Love It", "Juanita's Place Montage", "Try To See It My Way", "They Don't Give Medals", "Fender Mender", and "Juanita's Place".
BURT BACHARACH - REACH OUT
Fantastic! We love Burt Bacharach in so many ways that it's easy to forget the genius of these early A&M sides – but going back to them is always a treat, and it's wonderful to hear the way that Burt lays down his own work when given the chance! You know the tracks – "House Is Not A Home", "Bond Street", "Reach Out For Me", "Are You There", "Windows Of The World" – but you may not know the arrangements, which are superb – quite different than the more famous vocal versions you've probably heard ad infinitum, and recorded at a level that brings a whole new magic and majesty to 60s pop! An essential record for any fan of all things groovy – and an album of new pleasures each time we hear it!
BURT BACHARACH AND THE HOUSTON SYMPHONY - WOMAN
An ambitious album by Burt Bacharach – recorded with the Houston Symphony Orchestra, but done in one 4 hour session – so that there's a sense of liveness and spontaneity that's quite fresh, and which escapes some of the 70s studio overindulgence of the time! Most tracks are instrumental, and although orchestral, they're done with a good sense of rhythm – and a wonderful feel that really hearkens back to the Bacharach charm of the late 60s A&M years, while also offering a few soundtracky twists. Titles include "Magdalena", "Riverboat", "Summer Of 77", "New York Lady", "There Is Time", "The Dancing Fool", and "Woman".
~ Dusty Groove