Dionne Warwick

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An anthology of 24 fairly obscure tracks, drawn from Warwick's 1963-1966 albums and B-sides. Although it has the look of something that would appeal primarily to serious fans and collectors, this is hardly any less satisfying than the greatest hits collections covering the same era. It's also just as good as Rhino's Hidden Gems, another anthology of little-known Warwick recordings from the '60s; what's more, it doesn't repeat any selections from that previous compilation. The first half of the CD (covering 1962-1964) shows Dionne at her most girl group-ish and soulful, with arrangements that often recall those of her labelmates, the Shirelles (who in fact recorded their own versions of a few of these songs). "It's Love That Really Counts" and "Get Rid of Him" are highlights; "Mr. Heartbreak" is a wrenching, stately ballad, easily up to the standard of her hits of the period. The last half of the program covers material from 1965 and 1966, all of which (like most of the songs she sang in the late '60s) was penned by Bacharach/David. These show her going in a smoother, adult pop-oriented direction, and while the somewhat gutsier earlier sides are preferred, there are some good tunes that are impossible to come by otherwise, except on long out-of-print LPs.

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