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

k.d. lang and the Siss Boom Bang: Sing It Loud (Nonesuch)

k.d. lang and the Siss Boom Bang: Sing It Loud (Nonesuch)

A common complaint amongst those who interpret the lyrics of others is that very few people write good words anymore. Incidentally Sinatra had the same gripe in the late Forties, although some... > Read more

Go Stop Go: Go Stop Go (Luca Discs)

Go Stop Go: Go Stop Go (Luca Discs)

Elsewhere has always had a soft spot for decent pop music of all persuasions, whether it be uplifting power pop, jangly guitars, affecting heartbreak/bedroom mope Pop Frenzy stuff or . . . The... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

PET SOUNDS CONSIDERED (2016): Brian Wilson's gifts on display

PET SOUNDS CONSIDERED (2016): Brian Wilson's gifts on display

There are two reasons to be excited about the 50th anniversary box set of the Beach Boys' classic album Pet Sounds being released next week (June 17). The first is that it exists at all... > Read more

JAKOB DYLAN INTERVIEWED (2002): Out of his father's long shadow

JAKOB DYLAN INTERVIEWED (2002): Out of his father's long shadow

You gotta feel sorry for the guy. He's 32 years of age, is now on his fourth album with his band the Wallflowers, and still people want to talk about what he politely calls "the peripheral... > Read more