Burt Bacharach Once Again.

Burt_Bacharach_1972Last Friday evening I saw Burt Bacharach in concert in Red Bank, NJ at the Count Basie Theater (a great venue if you’ve never been). Bacharach will be 87 in May and though he has 25 years on me, I was clearly in the “demo” of the average attendee. However, music lovers of all ages would be smart to see him and hear his music while you can, though his music will last forever.

Creating memorable music that touches a listener’s soul is an impossible task. Many do it for years, strike gold only once (See Top 10 One Hit Wonders) but then fade. Bacharach is the antithesis of a “one hit wonder”.

He’s a 76-hit wonder. Bacharach has had 76 top 40 songs, 46 of which hit the top 10!

Said another way, it would have been impossible for him to have played the full version of every one of his top 40 songs in concert since playing these songs alone would have made for a 5 hour show!

Bacharach’s concerts are “led” by him on keyboards with an excellent band and great vocalists. Bacharach sings very little and his voice is no longer strong. Truth of the matter, his voice was never his strength, and his songs have been always been sung by others.

If you’ve been sleeping under a rock for the past 50 years here’s just a small sampling of his hits and the artists who sang them:

Close to You—The Carpenters
Wives & Lovers—Jack Jones
Walk on By—Dionne Warwick
What the World Needs Now Is Love—Jackie DeShannon
The Look of Love—Dusty Springfield
Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head—B.J. Thomas
One Less Bell to Answer—5th Dimension
This Guy’s In Love With You—Herb Alpert

Bacharach worked with several lyricists but his primary partner was the late Hal David whose words were as powerful as the melodies, for example:

“If you see me walking down the street and I start to cry each time we meet. Walk on by. Walk on by”.

“What’s it all about Alfie? Is it just for the moment we live?”

“Why do birds suddenly appear, every time you are near?”

I was happy to have seen Bacharach once again with the reality that it’s probably the last time I will do so. But it won’t be the last time I hear his music and smile.

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