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If you have never walked without a destination nor flown without a sense of marvel
If you have known neither pain nor sorrow nor wept for the joy of release.
If a baby is not a person until it knows your name
If your heart has not leapt nor your senses quivered as the conductor’s baton taps the music stand
If you have not stared at a pretty girl in a vacuum in time across a crowded room and prayed she knew
If you believe that the essence of a man and his music can adequately be caught and conveyed within an album liner note…
Then it is likely that the entrapment of music between these covers is not for you and, though it is sad, you should walk on by.
Burt Bacharach, shy, young, handsome, courteous, New Yorker son of a journalist, married to an actress, is more relevantly, a fiery complex ingredient in the exciting cauldron of the musical sixties.
Put down by no one, whether peers or followers, put on by nothing, whether fame or wealth; put off by neither pressure nor competitor, Bacharach is a very special man.
He bestrides, like Gulliver, the warring worlds of the Establishments’ Academy Award system – from whom he has wrought two Oscar nominations for “Alfie” & “What’s New Pussycat” – and the contemporary Top Forty scene where the buying power lies in the hands of the very young.
It is effortless to praise him because he has done so much, so widely and so well.
Marlene Dietrich doted on him as her arranger and conductor, adores him as a man.
From Hollywood to New York, across to Europe and to the British Isles in military camps and in brutally sophisticated nightclubs, he built upon his formal training as a pianist by adding technique and style and charm.
As a songwriter, he decided to create tunes people could hum, and by now, few singers anywhere in the world haven’t sung them.
On this album, his first for A&M Records with whom he has a close and vastly rewarding relationship, he has written, arranged, assembles all eleven songs, conducted the orchestra and produced the entire album, and because he knows there is nothing you can do that can’t be done, he has played piano on all of the tracks and sung on one of them. This one is called “A House Is Not A Home,” and it is something else.
So is Burt Bacharach.