Vocalist Dionne Warwick had already begun her ascent of the pop and R&B charts by the time of Windows of the World (1967) and Valley of the Dolls (1968). In fact, they would respectively continue the trend, yielding a handful of her best-known and loved works. These LPs are augmented by a trio of unissued and hard-to-find cuts on the Windows of the World/Valley of the Dolls (2004) two-fer. Both outings find Warwick building upon her eight previous long-players of prime material from the considerable team of Burt Bacharach and Hal David, adding signature songs such as "I Say a Little Prayer," "Do You Know the Way to San José" and "Windows of the World"." Although they wouldn't score sizable hits for her, Warwick also pulls off impressive readings of "(There's) Always Something There to Remind Me," "The Beginning of Loneliness" and "Let Me Be Lonely"." Tucked in amongst the Middle of the Road (MOR) pop standards are a few soul stirrers proving that Warwick's gospel roots have begun to significantly influence her performance style. Nowhere is that more evident than her jazzy interpretation of show tunes, such as the Peter Matz arrangements of "Somewhere" from West Side Story or the gutsy and full-bodied delivery of "You're Gonna Hear from Me," taken from Inside Daisy Clover. In this context, the fact that Warwick's biggest cinematic selection was the André Previn penned "(Theme From) Valley of the Dolls" doesn't seem that unusual. Interestingly, due to contractual loopholes, the version used for the single (and heard here) is not the same as the one in the film Valley of the Dolls (1967). The supplementary sides on this CD feature a cover of "Taking a Chance on Love," a title that was referred to on the original album jacket, but inexplicably nowhere to be found within the grooves. The Italian-sung "Dedicato All Amore" -- recorded in English as "For the Rest of My Life" -- was presented by Warwick at the 1967 San Remo Song Festival, while "Lo Volce di Silenzio" is translated as "Silent Voices."
Windows of the World/Valley of the Dolls Review
by Lindsay Planer