This is the first in a series of releases -- featuring two LPs on one CD -- aimed at reissuing the classic Scepter Records catalog of pop vocalist Dionne Warwick. Presenting Dionne Warwick and Anyone Who Had a Heart are her first and second long-players and almost immediately established the young singer as the perfect vehicle for the noir love songs of Hal David and Burt Bacharach. The songwriting duo's prolific nature is instantaneously evident as two-thirds of the 21 songs that comprise these two long-players bear not only their names, but more importantly their distinct sound. From right out of the box, this artist/composer team began having hits. However, the union was much closer to not occurring than their track record might suggest. The record label's co-founder, Florence Greenberg, despised the first tune that the combo recorded. She hated it so much, legend has it that she became quite upset that the label's money was being spent on such. It wasn't until "Don't Make Me Over" began to outperform the single's A-side, "I Smiled Yesterday," by racing up the pop and R&B charts that Greenberg changed her own tune. In short order, it became Warwick's first national hit as well as one of her signature songs. Although the first, it was far from the only hit that these discs produced. "Wishin' and Hopin'" not only predates Dusty Springfield's version, it was admittedly the blueprint and inspiration behind Springfield choosing to cover it. "Make It Easy on Yourself" and the title track to Warwick's second album, Anyone Who Had a Heart, were also radio hits and became concert performance staples. There are a few non-Bacharach/David tunes that are worthy of mention. Foremost is the upbeat and Latin-tinged Doc Pomus & Mort Shuman tune "Shall I Tell Her" -- which would have made a great Supremes cover. Then there is the oddly hip version of "Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah." The lead electric guitar and Shirelles-like vocal arrangement make this reading a keeper.
AllMusic Review by Lindsay Planer