Various Artists: Black America Sings Bacharach and David (Ace/Border)

 |   |  <1 min read

Marv Johnson: Another Tear Falls
Various Artists: Black America Sings Bacharach and David (Ace/Border)

It's one the great ironies that Hal David's name is less familiar today than that of his most famous writing partner Burt Bacharach.

It sometimes seems that the shorthand of pop speaks about Bacharach's songs . . . but that rather ignores that Hal David provided all those memorable words which people sing.

David -- who died in September 2012, aged 91 -- was a poet of pop who could economically encapsulate an idea, emotion or the zeitgeist": "What the world needs now is love . . ." captured the spirit of the mid Sixties and especially later after the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Robery Kennedy in '68.

David puts the words into the mouths of Dionne Warwick, Aretha Franklin, NIna Simone, Mavis Staples, Gladys Night, Gene McDaniels, Cissy Houston and the many other black artists on this well annotated 24 song collection.

Consider this partial lost of classic pop songs included here: Make It Easy on Yourself (here by Warwick), I Say a Little Prayer (Aretha), Message to Martha (Jerry Butler), This Empty Place (Cissy Houston), Always Something There to Remind me (Patti LaBelle); The Look of Love (Simone), Walk on By (Gloria Gaynor) . . .

Hal David -- with or without Burt Bacharach -- was one of the greatest lyricists of the past century. 

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Various Artists: Sweet Dreams; Where Country Meets Soul Vol 2 (Kent/Border)

Various Artists: Sweet Dreams; Where Country Meets Soul Vol 2 (Kent/Border)

As the second volume to the excellent Behind Closed Doors collection, this one of black artists digging deep into country-soul should find favour easily. Many of these artists bring a sad... > Read more

John Matthias: Stories From the Watercooler (Counter)

John Matthias: Stories From the Watercooler (Counter)

No one sang stuff like this at any watercooler of my acquaintance, but maybe that's because socio-political folktronica is hard to pull off without accompaniment -- and edgy violin solos just don't... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Terakaft: Aratan N Azawad (World Village)

Terakaft: Aratan N Azawad (World Village)

Just as John Mayall's bands spawned others when players left the ranks, so it seems the desert blues out of the sub-Sahara is an ever-flowering plant: this group -- which formed in 2001 -- contains... > Read more

THE BARGAIN BUY: Mi-Sex; Original Album Classics

THE BARGAIN BUY: Mi-Sex; Original Album Classics

Given just how much synth-pop is around these days, maybe it's timely to note this cheap reissue of three albums by a New Zealand band that bridged post-punk New Wave and synth-pop, and garnered... > Read more