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Promises, Promises

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Album Review

Dionne Warwick's 12th long-player since 1962 was the follow-up to her first Top Ten album, 1968's acclaimed Valley of the Dolls. Similarly, the same year's Promises, Promises was highlighted by its lead composition. In this instance, Promises, Promises was Neil Simon's adaptation of Billy Wilder's screenplay for the film The Apartment. Although Warwick herself was never cast in the co-lead role of Fran Kubelik, she popularized a handful of selections from the Burt Bacharach/Hal David score. In fact, her upbeat rendering of the title track became the LP's highest-charting cut, placing within the Top 20 during November of 1968. The show additionally yielded a pair of ballads, the intimately yearning "Whoever You Are, I Love You" and "Wanting Things," a haunting languid waltz that is arguably one of the most underappreciated collaborations between the vocalist and composers. Interestingly, the latter is arranged and conducted by Don Sebesky rather than Bacharach, who had likewise directed Warwick on her interpretation of the aforementioned pieces from Promises, Promises. Bacharach and David also supplied the definitive "This Girl's in Love With You," which reached number seven in February of 1969, and the midtempo "Who Is Gonna Love Me?" Others worthy of mention are Peter Matz's arrangement of "Little Green Apples" and "Where Am I Going" from the play Sweet Charity. [In 2003, Promises, Promises was issued on a two-fer CD with 1970's I'll Never Fall in Love Again. The latter effort boasted another pair of songs from the stage show, the number six pop hit "I'll Never Fall in Love Again" and "Knowing When to Leave." Plus, the 45-rpm-only "Dream Sweet Dreamer" and "Odds and Ends" are offered up as supplementary material.]


Born: December 12, 1940 in East Orange, NJ

Genre: R&B/Soul

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

It is easier to define Dionne Warwick by what she isn't rather than what she is. Although she grew up singing in church, she is not a gospel singer. Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan are clear influences, but she is not a jazz singer. R&B is also part of her background, but she is not really a soul singer, either, at least not in the sense that Aretha Franklin is. Sophisticated is a word often used to describe her musical approach and the music she sings, but she is not a singer of standards such...
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Promises, Promises, Dionne Warwick
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