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Various Artists

The Look of Love: the Burt Bacharach Collection

(Rhino)

You’ve heard dozens of Bacharach songs and may not even know it. From the 1950s to the present, Bacharach has written scores of standards that put him more in the Gershwin and Porter camp than in rock ‘n’ roll. His complex rhythmic structures, inventive melodies, and ingenious chord progressions all contributed to great pop songs that sound deceptively simple on the surface, but always yield more on repeated listenings.


Bacharach’s music is more in the spotlight than ever, following a new album with Elvis Costello, two tribute albums this year, and a television special (One Amazing Night). The Look of Love compiles 75 of Bacharach’s best from 1957 to 1996, as performed in original recordings by a host of well-known Bacharach interpreters, Dionne Warwick chief among them.


A few songs like Bobby Goldsboro’s “Me Japanese Boy I Love You” have not aged well and personify the easy listening kitsch that Bacharach detractors normally cite. However, many of the songs on Love of Love are dead-on classics (“What The World Needs Now Is Love,” “(There’s) Always Something There To Remind Me,” “Trains And Boats And Planes”) that will endure alongside the standards of the Tin Pan Alley greats.

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Sarah Zupko founded PopMatters, one of the largest independent cultural criticism magazines on the web, back in the Internet's early days of 1999. Zupko is a former Executive Producer for Tribune Media Services, the media syndication arm of the Tribune Company, and a 10-year veteran of Tribune. Her other pursuits involve writing historical fiction and research in the fields of Slavic and German history, as well as general European cultural and intellectual history. Zupko studied musicology, film, and drama at the University of Chicago and media theory at the University of Texas, where she received her M.A.


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