Long before he was serenading fans with his expressive, distinctively smoky voice as a modern-day crooner, Steve Tyrell was moving and shaking behind the scenes at Scepter Records. When not producing singles for Maxine Brown, The Shirelles, Chuck Jackson, or B.J. Thomas, he was working in A&R and promotions alongside Scepter's superstar "triangle marriage" team of Dionne Warwick, Burt Bacharach, and Hal David. In 2008, with six solo albums then under his belt, Tyrell returned to his roots with Back to Bacharach, a 14-song tribute to his old friends and their timeless discography. Now, to celebrate the album's tenth anniversary, Tyrell has revisited it as an expanded edition.
The original Back to Bacharach welcomed Burt himself on tracks such as "This Guy's in Love with You" (reprised from Tyrell's 2003 Columbia album named after the song and also featuring trumpet by Herb Alpert), "I Just Don't Know What to Do with Myself," and "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head." Patti Austin lent her golden voice to both "Don't Make Me Over" and "I Say a Little Prayer." (The latter also has Bacharach on keyboards.) Tyrell naturally enlisted the cream of the crop to play on the album, including bassists Will Lee, Leland Sklar, and Chuck Berghofer, pianist Kenny Ascher, horn player Lew Soloff, drummer John Guerin, and guitarist/multi-instrumentalist Bob Mann. The latter shared arrangement duties with Bacharach, Alan Broadbent, and Tyrell. The singer brought his subtle, jazz-inflected and romantic style to such favorites as "Reach Out for Me," "Alfie," "A House Is Not a Home," and "One Less Bell to Answer."
Arts Music, a division of Warner Music Group, has reissued Back to Bacharach with seven previously unreleased bonus tracks from the Bacharach songbook. Tyrell has resequenced the album to begin with Bacharach and Carole Bayer Sager's Grammy Award-winning anthem "That's What Friends Are For," most appropriate as the original release featured as its centerpiece an all-star version of "What the World Needs Now is Love" with Bacharach, Dionne Warwick, James Taylor, Rod Stewart, and Martina McBride all joining Tyrell. The additional bonus tracks are all of Scepter vintage including Bacharach and David's "Make It Easy on Yourself," "Message to Martha," "Anyone Who Had a Heart," and "I'll Never Fall in Love Again," plus Bacharach, Mack David and Luther Dixon's "Baby, It's You," and Bacharach and Bob Hilliard's "Any Day Now." Tyrell was accompanied on these tracks by such top-notch musicians and arrangers as Bob Mann, Herb Alpert's band members Bill Cantos and Hussain Jiffry on piano and bass, respectively; guitarist Grant Geissman; and veteran studio drummer John Robinson.
The newly-expanded tenth anniversary edition of Back to Bacharach is housed in a digipak. Its booklet includes new liner notes by Steve Tyrell. The original album has been mastered by Doug Sax, while the bonus tracks have been mastered by Sunny Nam. It's available from Arts Music at the links below!
- That's What Friends Are For (*)
- Walk on By
- The Look of Love
- This Guy's in Love with You - featuring Herb Alpert and Burt Bacharach
- One Less Bell to Answer
- What the World Needs Now Is Love - featuring Burt Bacharach, Martina McBride, Rod Stewart, James Taylor and Dionne Warwick
- Reach Out for Me
- I Say a Little Prayer - with Patti Austin
- I Just Don't Know What to Do with Myself - featuring Burt Bacharach
- Always Something There to Remind Me
- Don't Make Me Over - with Patti Austin
- Close to You
- A House is Not a Home
- Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head
- Baby It's You (*)
- Make It Easy on Yourself (*)
- Any Day Now (*)
- Message to Martha (*)
- Anyone Who Had a Heart (*)
- I'll Never Fall in Love Again (*)
(*) previously unreleased bonus tracks