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Back to Bacharach

Steve Tyrell

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Album Review

Nearly every jazz or pop singer who grew up between the '60s and the '80s has a Burt Bacharach songbook in them waiting to get out. If Steve Tyrell's Bacharach album was positively screaming to be released, it's understandable; few artists of his caliber were looking on while Bacharach, Hal David, and others created nearly all of the classics that fill the names Bacharach/David with such panache. (While still a teenager, Tyrell landed a job with Scepter Records, and witnessed much of Bacharach's best work.) The genesis of Tyrell's Back to Bacharach came during 2002, when he and Burt Bacharach himself began recording and planning for it, but the illness of his wife forced a temporary postponement. Two Bacharach tracks were included on his 2003 album, This Guy's in Love, and Tyrell later returned to complete the project, including five tracks with arrangements or piano (or both) by Bacharach. Classy and polished to a degree that Bacharach himself would appreciate, Back to Bacharach works well, the smooth arrangements and occasional synth work providing a fine complement to Tyrell's rough-hewn vocals. Granted, no one's going to confuse him with Dionne Warwick in her prime. He has to strain for some notes, but like his friend and fellow Bacharach associate Herb Alpert, he's able to turn those inconsistencies into strengths in the interpretations of each song. Aside from Bacharach, friends appear on several tracks, including the signature trumpet and hum vocal of Alpert on "This Guy's in Love with You" and Patti Austin as a duet partner on two songs, "I Say a Little Prayer for You" and "Don't Make Me Over." Best of all is "What the World Needs Now Is Love," featuring a parade of vocalists — Dionne Warwick, Rod Stewart, James Taylor, Martina McBride — with more combined star power than the performing world has seen since "That's What Friends Are For."

Biography

Born: 19 December 1944 in Palo Pinto County, TX

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Producer, composer, and singer Steve Tyrell was born and raised in Texas, cutting his teeth in local R&B bands before relocating to New York at age 18 and landing a staff position at Scepter Records. As the label's head of A&R and promotion, Tyrell championed the classic Burt Bacharach/Hal David-composed recordings of Dionne Warwick and also recruited singer B.J. Thomas, producing his hits "Hooked on a Feeling" and "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head." In the years to follow, Tyrell additionally...
Full Bio

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Back to Bacharach, Steve Tyrell
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