Rhino's The Dionne Warwick Collection: Her All-Time Greatest Hits is the best Warwick collection on the market, culling 24 tracks from her '60s prime. Although it doesn't cover her entire career, it does feature nearly all of her very best material, and it's all in the style that made her famous; top to bottom, it's a stronger, more consistent listen than anything else out there. This was the period when she established herself as the premier interpreter of Burt Bacharach's music, and pulled off the neat trick of appealing to both R&B and easy listening audiences. Warwick was soulful without necessarily singing soul music per se; her smooth, light delivery and polished technique meshed very well with the sophisticated pop of the Bacharach/Hal David team, who co-composed all but one of the songs included here. No other singer navigated Bacharach's deceptively tricky compositions with such effortless grace; the ease she projects on the rhythmically complex "I Say a Little Prayer" and "Promises, Promises" is startling. It's no wonder her versions of Bacharach's songs often became the definitive ones. This compilation doesn't cover Warwick's later hits, like the Spinners' duet "Then Came You," "That's What Friends Are For," or her late-'70s/early-'80s adult contemporary fare; for those, look to Arista's The Definitive Collection, which touches on every phase of her career, or the more specific Greatest Hits (1979-1990). But for a sparkling demonstration of everything that made Warwick great, there's no better buy than The Dionne Warwick Collection.
AllMusic Review by Steve Huey