Dionne Warwick box set reissue, album review

5.00

16 album Dionne Warwick reissue, Edsel

Let’s just get the facts and figures out of the way first. Here, on three double CDs and one three-CD set, are Dionne Warwick’s first 16 albums, recorded for the Scepter and Warner Bros labels from 1962 to 1973, along with 22 bonus tracks, many of which are previously unissued.

Together, they stand as an enduring monument to possibly the greatest  collaboration in pop history. Burt Bacharach wrote the music, lyricist Hal David the words and Ms Warwick  supplied the sublime vocals.

It was a triumvirate made in heaven, turning out  three-minute masterpieces that combined soulfulness and subtlety and set a benchmark that few others could aspire to.

The quality is apparent from the first album, Presenting…, with tracks such as the aching “This Empty Place”,  the powerful “Don’t Make Me Over” and the wistful “Wishin’ and Hopin’”.

By the time of album No 2, she has, with the help of B&D, conquered the market in power ballads with the achingly impressive “Anyone Who Had A Heart”. But it’s in the next album, Make Way For, that she reaches the heights.  Are there any other three consecutive album tracks that match the majesty of  “Reach Out for Me”, “You’ll Never Get to Heaven (If You Break My Heart” and my choice for the finest pop/soul song of the Sixties, “Walk On By”.

Dionne Warwick's 16 album reissue Dionne Warwick's 16 album reissue But it’s not all Bacharach and David. There’s an attractive version of the Disney staple “Zip-A-Dee Doo-Dah” done in Phil Spector-stlye on the first album, while The Sensitive Sound  has  clutch of tracks Dionne cut in London, including a storming version of the Roy Hamilton hit “You Can Have Him” where she gives full vent to her gospel background as one of the Drinkard Singers (another member of the  family-based group was her aunt, Cissy Houston, mother of the troubled Whitney).

By the time we’re on to the second collection, the collaboration is in full throttle with Dionne exploring some of B&D’s greatest songs including “What The World Needs Now is Love”, “I Just Don’t Know What to Do With Myself”, “Trains and Boats and Planes” and "Alfie", with some diversions on the way including a Live in Paris album which was anything but (sadly, its mostly studio tracks with dubbed applause) and the obligatory show tunes album, that includes “Summertime” and “You’ll Never Walk Alone”.

The standard set in the first two sets is maintained in the third with the world-weariness of “I Say A Little Prayer”, the heartache of “Another Night” and  songs such as “(There’s) Always Something there To Remind Me” and “Do You Know The Way to San Jose?” that show Dionne and her writing team at the top of their game.

The final set of four albums takes into the 70s, when the songs were still good – “I’ll Never Fall in Love Again”, “Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head and the under-rated “They Don’t Give Medals (To Yesterday’s Heroes)” – but the cracks were beginning to show in the relationship between Bacharach and his lyricist David. 

Dionne battled on with a new label, Warner Bros, but success was getting harder to come by to and even a collaboration with ex-Motown songwriting stars Holland, Dozier and Holland failed to find a market (although after the timeframe of these albums she would find renewed success with “Then Came You”).

Still, these 16 albums display what can happen when the right singer finds the right songwriters – and there’s a bit of magic in the air.

Beautifully presented in slipcases with excellent sound and exemplary sleevenotes by soul music expert Tony Rounce, these are reissues to cherish.

Click here to buy the Dionne Warwick reissue set
Arts and Entertainment

Filming to begin on two new series due to be aired on Dave from next year

TV

Arts and Entertainment
Kit Harington plays MI5 agent Will Holloway in Spooks: The Greater Good

'You can't count on anyone making it out alive'film
Arts and Entertainment
War veteran and father of Peter and Laust Thoger Jensen played by Lars Mikkelson

TVBBC hopes latest Danish import will spell success

Arts and Entertainment
Carey Mulligan in Far From The Madding Crowd
FilmCarey Mulligan’s Bathsheba would fit in better in The Hunger Games
Arts and Entertainment
Pandas-on-heat: Mary Ramsden's contribution is intended to evoke the compound the beasts smear around their habitat
Iart'm Here But You've Gone exhibition has invited artists to produce perfumes
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

    Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

    Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

    Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
    China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

    China's influence on fashion

    At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
    Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

    The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

    Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
    Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

    Rainbow shades

    It's all bright on the night
    'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

    Bread from heaven

    Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
    Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

    How 'the Axe' helped Labour

    UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
    Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

    The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

    A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
    'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

    Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

    Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

    The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
    Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

    Vince Cable exclusive interview

    Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
    Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

    Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

    Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
    Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

    Everyone is talking about The Trews

    Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
    Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

    It's time for my close-up

    Meet the man who films great whites for a living