Various artists - Burt Bacharach: The First Book of Songs 1954-1958

Burt’s early years and first set of hits

Burt Bacharach: The
First Book of Songs 1954-1958

For the first three years of this
time span, it seems that Burt
Bacharach was feeling his way
and learning his melodic craft.
By late 1957, however, he not
only achieved his first two big
hits with The Story Of My Life
and Magic Moments, but he
was also writing songs that
began to sound that little bit
different from the mainstream.
Of these, two stand out: Mary
Mayo’s It Seemed So Right Last
Night, with its gradually
descending notes in the verse,
and Joe Williams’ That Kind Of
Woman, where the writing
almost demanded a more
radical arrangement.

Some of the earlier songs
prior to these breakthroughs
reflect popular music in 50s
America, varying from the
punchy swing on Patti Page’s Keep Me In Mind to The Five
Blobs’ ever-so-strange The Blob,
an incongruous mid-tempo song
from what appears to have been
a horror B-movie. Nowhere are
the songs and performances
less than silkily presented and
competent, with Peggy Lee’s
Uninvited Dream standing out
from the early pack – just don’t
expect to find direct routes into
Burt’s 60s heyday. The man’s
real success came only when he
took control as producer and
arranger of the whole process.

3 stars 3 stars 3 stars

Él ACMEM | 166 CD

Reviewed by Kingsley Abbott
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