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What the World Needs Now: Burt Bacharach Classics

Burt Bacharach

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Album Review

What the World Needs Now is a comprehensive single-disc compilation of Burt Bacharach's recordings of his music for Kapp and A&M Records between 1965 and 1974, drawn from his albums Hit Maker, the Man! Burt Bacharach and His Songs, Reach Out, Make It Easy on Yourself, Burt Bacharach, Living Together, and Burt Bacharach in Concert, as well as the soundtrack to Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Bacharach arranges and conducts the performances, using a studio orchestra including strings and electric instruments, usually with a female chorus to sing some portion of the lyrics written for the tunes by Hal David (or, in one instance, Bob Hilliard). The composer himself also handles occasional vocals, humming here and there and even singing whole lyrics on such songs as "A House Is Not a Home" and "Make It Easy on Yourself." The studio trickery of the 21st century no doubt could have made it sound like he could sing competently if he were cutting this material 40 years later than he did; as it is, he has moments in which he sings expressively and on key, but for the most part his voice is poor. While these recordings are a cut above mere easy listening run-throughs, boasting interesting arranging ideas and sections that illuminate Bacharach's melodies in ways the more familiar hit recordings did not, this is still music that depends heavily on the listener's recollection of those hit versions. When the tune is less familiar, such as on "Reach Out" or "Knowing When to Leave," the loss is felt particularly. For those who want to hear Bacharach's own, largely instrumental, take on his most popular songs of the 1960s and '70s, this is an excellent selection from his catalog.

Customer Reviews

Top drawer

Great music. Made even better by some of them sung by the composer. A great writer singing some of his fantastic songs - soul music, really. A must have. Nuff said

Biography

Born: 12 May 1928 in Kansas City, MO

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

With a hit-single track record spanning four decades, Burt Bacharach became one of the most important composers of popular music in the 20th century, almost equal to such classic tunesmiths as George Gershwin or Irving Berlin. His sophisticated yet breezy productions borrowed from cool jazz, soul, Brazilian bossa nova, and traditional...
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What the World Needs Now: Burt Bacharach Classics, Burt Bacharach
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