Various Artists: The Hal David and Burt Bacharach Songbook (EMI)

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The Shirelles: Baby It's You
Various Artists: The Hal David and Burt Bacharach Songbook (EMI)

Just a quick notice of this locally compiled double disc set which follows in the Lennon-McCartney and Goffin-King collections in this series.

Some great acts here on David's lyrics wrapped in Bacharach's arrangements: the Shirelles with the Beatles' favourite Baby It's You; Cilla Black peeling the paint on Anyone Who Had a Heart; the songwriters' most importnt mouthpiece Dionne Warwick (Walk on By, Do You Know the Way to San Jose), Dusty Springfield (Wishin' and Hopin', I Just Don't Know What to do With Myself), Gene Pitney in macho mode (The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Twenty Four Hours from Tulsa), Tom Jones (What's New Pussycat), Manfred Mann (the salacious My Little Red Book), Aretha (I Say a Little Prayer) . . .

Not everything has aged well of course: the early tracks include Jack Jones on Wives and Lovers which is cocktail swigging confection warning those with a ring on their finger that they shouldn't think they don't need to try anymore "for wives should always be lovers  . . . day after day there are girls at the office, and men will always be men . . ."

But Gene McDaniels sounds like Scott Walker on the moody and orchestrated Another Tear Falls -- and of course the great Scott himself appears with the Walker Brothers on Make It Easy on Yourself.

Hit writing as it used to be done, by the masters. 

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