Friday, 9 March 2012

The 20 greatest Burt Bacharach/Hal David songs

According to me, obviously.

[20] - This Empty Place (The Searchers)

A minor song, really, but I love the melody and rhythm. I don't care for Hal's lyrics all that much in this one. I mean, they're not bad, just not classic, that's all. I'm not having a go at him or anything. By the way, Blue On Blue (Bobby Vinton) nearly made it into twentieth place.

[19] - Alfie (Cilla Black)

Not a favourite of mine, but a very well-written song, so it deserves to be here.

[18] - Twenty Four Hours From Tulsa (Gene Pitney)

I love American songs with place names in the title. By The Time I Get To Phoenix by Jimmy Webb is another great one. I'm thinking of writing My Dinner Will Be Cold By The Time I Get Home From ... Hammersmith. Or maybe I shouldn't bother.

[17] - Close To You (Carpenters)

This one is a bit cheesy. So I've put it quite low on the list. Nice melody though.

[16] - I'll Never Fall In Love Again (Dionne Warwick)

It's classics all the way now. This is a cool pop song with brilliant lyrics. I love the way the strings come in at 0.36 and louder at 0.58. It's hard to judge a lot of these songs without also considering the quality of the arrangements/recordings.

[15] - You'll Never Get To Heaven If You Break My Heart (The Stylistics)

Very smooth. And I know an angel who will never get (back?) to heaven if she breaks my heart.

[14] - Don't Make Me Over (Dionne Warwick)

An emotional song. I love the backing singers. And the saxophone. And the strings. And Whitney's cousin, of course.

[13] - I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself (Dusty Springfield)

This is much better than the Tommy Hunt version. Oh, I'm being too harsh. But who the hell is Tommy Hunt when he's at home?!

[12] - What The World Needs Now Is Love (Jackie DeShannon)

Lovely song about love and world peace or something.

[11] - Make It Easy On Yourself (Jackie Trent)

I prefer this to The Walker Brothers' version. I think maybe women are better at the melodramatic stuff. That's not sexist, is it?

[10] - There's Always Something There To Remind Me (Sandie Shaw)

A great and exciting pop song. My favourite bit is from 1.45 to 2.00. Totally sublime!

[9] - Do You Know The Way To San Jose? (Dionne Warwick)

Beautiful atmosphere to this song. It makes me want to live in California. In fact, I would like to live in the reality of the song. However, I could do without the gas pumping. I'd rather be a star.

[8] - To Wait For Love (Tony Orlando)

I suppose most people wouldn't put it in the top ten because it's a minor song, but it's my second favourite. For me, the most emotional song/recording of theirs. I love the strings from 1.30 to 1.39. They get me so down that I get high.

[7] - Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head (B.J. Thomas)

A simple and perfect song. It actually sounds like sunshine with a light shower going on. I always wait for the trumpet to come in. And I'm sure there's a story about how the singer got his name.

[6] - The Look Of Love (Dusty Springfield)

A very sophisticated song, and recording. It's hard to separate this song from its recording. And who would want to try, anyway? These last six songs almost leave me lost for words.

[5] - I Say A Little Prayer (Aretha Franklin)

Amazing mood, melody, rhythm, and that. I don't know what else to say about it.

[4] - This Guy's In Love With You (Herb Alpert)

I used to love Petula Clark's version, then I discovered this, the original. The melody is beautiful. I love the pace of the song. And that trumpet! Off the hook!

[3] - A House Is Not A Home (Brook Benton)

It took me a long time to appreciate this song. Now it's my favourite song/recording of theirs.

[2] - Anyone Who Had A Heart (Dionne Warwick)

A very powerful and dramatic song. Cool piano part, and strings, and saxophone.

[1] - Walk On By (Dionne Warwick)

A grand pop/R&B masterpiece. It is absolutely flawless. The recording as well as the writing.


What about, Magic Moments? I don't like Perry Como, sorry.

I forgot Dusty Springfield's Wishin' And Hopin' - !