Dionne Warwick produced by Burt Bacharach and Hal David? And she covers one of my favorite songs, George Harrison’s “Something?” Sign me up.
This might be the first crackly record to which I’ve listened during this column’s run, which might explain why it was in a separate box, away from the near pristine vinyl of my inherited collection. My copy of Dionne Warwick’s I’ll Never Fall in Love Again has a fair number of scratches, but it still plays without skipping.
Though I was quite aware of Burt Bacharach songs before knowing his name, it wasn’t until (my one true musical love) Noel Gallagher talked about him as an influence that I began to properly investigate. Bacharach is known for his often light pop songs that are full of French horn and longing. Dionne Warwick sings one of his most famous tunes on this album, “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head.”
But there’s one thing I know
The blues they send to meet me
Won’t defeat me
It won’t be long ’til happiness
Comes up to greet me
Warwick’s bright voice is lovely here, but as someone who grew up in the ’90s, perhaps I can be forgiven for preferring the Ben Folds Five version.
Now, when it comes to her cover of “Something,” she performs it slightly up-tempo, and with the horns, I like it quite a bit. It might be a bit shorter than the original, but it’s a good closer to Side One. Somewhat predictably, she changes the gender mentions from “she” to “he.” I understand why people do this, even if I usually think people should leave the genders as written.
YouTube is less than forthcoming with her version of the song, but you can find it on Spotify.
The song I enjoy most on the album is “Loneliness Remembers What Happiness Forgets.” It’s a breakup song that’s not a ballad, which is often interesting, and Warwick belts it out:
We were the talk of the town
Ask anybody around they’ll let you know
We were the fire that lit the stars
No other love was as bright as ours
Everything’s turning around, gone is the love that I found
You went away, now I’m alone
It’s too short, but I know songs were recorded differently at the time. They had to be two or two and a half minutes long for radio, and a performer was constrained by the time available on one record. I dig the above embedded video, since it shows her and Bacharach working on the song.
Released in 1970, I’ll Never Fall in Love Again is not only produced by Burt Bacharach and Hal David, but the duo wrote most of the songs on the album (though she does also cover Sinatra’s “My Way”). Warwick worked with them throughout much of her early career, until the two terminated their working relationship after their panned Lost Horizon musical. She later had to sue them for breach of contract, since as her primary songwriters, she had no one with whom she could fulfill her contract at Warner Brothers. The suit was settled out of court in 1979 for five million dollars, and she was able to retain the rights to her recordings produced by the duo. Good on her.
The Wine is Young
I’ll Never Fall in Love Again
Raindrops Keeps Falling on My Head
Loneliness Remembers What Happiness Forgets
Knowing When To Leave
Let Me Go To Him