Archive for May 18th, 2010
May 12, 2012: Happy 84th birthday, Burt Bacharach! The living legend was recently the recipient, with longtime lyricist Hal David, of The Library of Congress’ Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, bestowed upon the team by President Barack Obama. In celebration of the maestro’s birthday and this great honor, we’re republishing this special installment of Back Tracks, exploring Bacharach’s solo career from 1965′s Hit Maker! through 2008′s Live at the Sydney Opera House!
Age hasn’t slowed Burt Bacharach. The composer, who celebrated his 82nd birthday on May 12, has had a rather active 2010. His latest songs, co-written with Steven Sater of Broadway’s Spring Awakening, were premiered by Italian recording artist Karima on her self-titled album. He and Sater announced plans for a stage version of O’Henry’s The Gift of the Magi, and his first musical, 1968’s Promises, Promises, received its first-ever Broadway revival. [The musical premiered in late 2011 at San Diego, California's Old Globe Theatre as Some Lovers.] In addition, his songs have made regular appearances on Fox’s runaway hit Glee, with a highlight of the season being Kristin Chenoweth and Matthew Morrison’s blazing “A House is Not a Home/One Less Bell to Answer” medley. (He was even name-checked this week by none other than Alice Cooper!) Yes, Burt Bacharach remains a busy man.
Mike paid wonderful tribute on Bacharach’s birthday with a Reissue Theory devoted to Naked Eyes, who brought the Bacharach/David song “(There’s) Always Something There To Remind Me” back into the charts in 1983. While best-known for his songwriting, though, Bacharach also has recorded a number of albums as a solo artist. Back Tracks turns the spotlight now onto those often-overlooked solo albums, beginning with 1965’s Hit Maker! and continuing to 2008’s Live at the Sydney Opera House. Read all about the legendary career of Mr. Burt Bacharach after the jump! Read the rest of this entry »
Two newly-announced catalogue titles bring some rare tracks by R&B and soul legends to CD for the first time – and both have a bit of a Motown collection.
First up is Reel Music’s CD debut of Pressure Cookin’, the only LP cut by Labelle for RCA Records. Recorded a year before “Lady Marmalade” shot the group to success, this record features some intriguing highlights, including a medley of Thunderclap Newman’s “Something in the Air” and Gil Scott-Heron’s “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised,” a tune (“Open Up Your Heart”) written by Stevie Wonder and a host of intriguing, Nona Hendryx-penned cuts like “Goin’ on a Holiday” and “(Can I Speak Before You Go to) Hollywoood,” an autobiographical tale of losing touch with other musicians on the road. There’s no bonus cuts, but new liner notes and a fresh remastering (approved by Hendryx and band manager Vicki Wickham) – plus the fact that this album has never been on CD before – should make this a worthy buy.
Hip-o Select has geared up another rare LP for its first CD release. I Am My Brother’s Keeper is the first and only record cut by Jimmy and David Ruffin. David was, of course, the voice behind some of The Temptations’ greatest hits (“My Girl” and “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg” being but two) and Jimmy was the younger brother who’d had a big hit of his own, the delightfully mournful “What Becomes of the Brokenhearted.” I Am My Brother’s Keeper, featuring covers of “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother” and a hit rendition of “Stand by Me,” makes its CD debut with two unreleased tracks from the Motown vault and new artwork and liner notes.
The Ruffin brothers’ effort is a limited edition of 7,000 copies while the Labelle disc is unlimited. Pre-order them here and here and check the track lists after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »