Dionne Warwick

I Say a Little Prayer: The Bacharach & David Songbook

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British discount reissue label Music Club International's Dionne Warwick Sings the Bacharach & David Songbook is a casually selected and sequenced collection of 22 recordings drawn from the Sceptor Records catalog of the '60s in which, as promised, Dionne Warwick sings songs written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David. The bulk of Warwick's '60s pop hits came from the songwriting team, and she also recorded many more of their songs. Her five Bacharach/David compositions that were U.K. chart entries -- "Do You Know the Way to San José?," "You'll Never Get to Heaven," "Anyone Who Had a Heart," "Walk on By," and "Reach Out for Me" -- are included, along with most of her biggest American hits ("Message to Michael," "I Say a Little Prayer," "I'll Never Fall in Love Again"). Beyond that, the compilers are more interested in Warwick's versions of well-known Bacharach/David songs that were hits for others ("What the World Needs Now Is Love," "The Look of Love," "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head," "Wishin' and Hopin'," "Wives and Lovers") than in the many Top 40 U.S. hits she had that are less well remembered (no "Are You There (With Another Girl)" or "The April Fools"). That doesn't explain the omission of her first hit "Don't Make Me Over" or her Top Ten version of "This Girl's in Love with You," however. Annotator Michael Heatley points out that Warwick scored 33 chart entries with Bacharach/David songs in the U.S. between 1963 and 1971; simple math shows that one-third of them could not be on this album (and in fact, more than that are missing, since songs that did not chart at all for Warwick are also included). What isn't clear is how it was decided which ones would be left off; as is often the case with discount compilations, it looks like somebody just flipped a coin.

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