Burt Bacharach

Plays His Hits

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Basically, this is a retitled reissue of his 1965 Kapp album Hit Maker!, with the addition of his 1965 "What's New Pussycat?"/"My Little Red Book" single, the 1963 single "And So Goodbye, My Love," and the previously unreleased alternate take "Saturday Sunshine." An orchestra and chorus directed by Burt himself run through most of his popular early and mid-'60s hits, including "Don't Make Me Over," "Walk On By," "Wives and Lovers," "Anyone Who Had a Heart," "(There's) Always Something There to Remind Me," "24 Hours from Tulsa," and "Trains and Boats and Planes." It's hard to determine why anyone would want these, rather than the original hit versions recorded by Dionne Warwick, Sandie Shaw, Gene Pitney, and others. Burt himself doesn't sing at all, although Joel Grey and Tony Middleton take lead vocals on "What's New Pussycat?" and "My Little Red Book," respectively. It's smooth, easy listening fare, largely instrumental, with occasional interjections by female backup vocalists. For that reason it may find favor with current lounge revivalists, and indeed, if you want one early Burt Bacharach record, this may be the one to get, if for no reason other than that it contains his own interpretations (bland as they are) of his best early work. And the approach wasn't without commercial reward: the version of "Trains and Boats and Planes" included here actually reached number four on the British charts, outperforming Billy J. Kramer's cover.

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