Following the sad news of the songwriter’s death this week, Emma Clarendon selects some of her favourite songs that he wrote.
Close to You: throwing it back to my own memories on when the musical Close to You came to the West End a few years ago, I was privileged enough to have been there at press night when the man himself was in attendance – and performed outside the theatre in Piccadilly Circus was a truly memorable evening. This song has always been a favourite due to its gentle romantic nature melody wise and beautifully poetic lyrics.
Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head: for me I love the gentle playfulness of this song that never fails to put a smile on my face. It is just such a simple and lovely song that really captures what But Bacharach and his collaborators did so well. It is little wonder that he and Hal David won an Oscar for this song when it was included in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
Anyone Who Had a Heart : there is such a beautiful and tender sadness to this song which was originally performed by Dionne Warwick and later Cilla Black. While in the US, Warwick’s version was more popular, Cilla Black’s version reached the UK number one spot.
Walk on By: a lot of Burt Bachrach’s songs have a wonderful smooth classiness about them and that really is on display in this gorgeous song that is so instantly recognisable and is actually one of my favourite songs that have been written.
What the World Needs Now is Love: i just love the way in which this song just ebbs and flows so wonderfully well. It is a really touching and emotional song that still provides a lot of comfort when it is played, with the lyrics suggesting we need a lot more compassion and kindness.
I Say a Little Prayer: the lyrics and music just work in perfect harmony in this emotionally filled song which is about a woman who is worried about her partner who is fighting the Vietnam war. A song that continues to resonate today and is a real classic.
By Emma Clarendon