September 24, 1997

I’ve had a lot of people ask me whether “Promises, Promises” is available on CD. The answer, unfortunately, is no. Bill Jennings, curator of Better Living through Show Tunes, tells me that Rykodisc is currently negotiating to release several ’60s soundtracks on UA, the label that “Promises” came out on, most notably Frank Zappa’s “200 Motels.” Bill says Ryko isn’t much interested in Broadway, but if they do cut the deal to release UA material, that would be the time to push for a CD re-release of “Promises, Promises.” “In the best of all possible worlds,” Bill adds, “it would include the ultra-rare London cast as bonus tracks.”

CDNow says the release date for UNI/MCA’s “Burt Bacharach Plays His Hits” has been pushed back to Oct. 7.

Courtesy of the New York band P.P.O.C., there are RealAudio recordings of Medeski Martin &Wood performing “What the World Needs Now Is Love” and “Do You Know the Way to San Jose” from the “Back to Bacharach” concert on Sept.

14, 1997. It’s 8:21 long in streaming audio.

The festival was organized by John Zorn’s Tzadik label, with Zorn himself curating. Tzadik recently released “Burt Bacharach: Great Jewish Music.” I finally purchased the CD last week and was blown away. It’s a must have for any fan of Burt who also enjoys new music. The arrangements are sometimes traditional, sometimes radical, but they’re all excellent. The Tzadik site includes two RealAudio samples from the collection, Wayne Horvitz’s arrangement of “Close to You” and Elliott Sharp’s “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.”

Also, Thoughtscape Sounds has an almost complete catalog of Bacharach CDs imported from Japan, most selling for $25.99. “Burt Bacharach Plays His Hits, with three extra tracks not on the original lp, sells for $32.99. I’m pretty sure the domestic release of “BB Plays His Hits” will be the same package, only selling for a more reasonable $9.99.  I’m not endorsing, just informing.

September 9, 1997

My apologies for not updating the pages more frequently and/or not responding to your much appreciated e-mail are becoming old hat by now, but I do mean them sincerely.

In the news department, Bill Jennings reports that the deal calling for Varese Saraband to record the LA cast performance of  “Promises, Promises” has fallen through. Also, Scott Bassin and Rod Lott both informed me that MCA plans to issue Austin Powers’ favorite album, “Burt Bacharach Plays His Hits,” along with three bonus tracks on September 23. Keep an eye out for it!

Also, the enigmatic “Harry Bottom” just sent me two Bacharach lyrics and chords: a better version of “This Guy’s in Love with You” and a rendering of “Anyone Who Had a Heart” with chords. Thanks, Harry.

An article about Burt, “That Bacharach Touch,” appeared in the July 1997 issue of Electronic Musician. The article was written by Rob Shrock, a longtime member of Burt’s touring band.

I finally added Roberto Pinardi’s handy little list of Bacharach recordings available on compact disc. He sent it to me a year ago (sorry!), so I’m sure it’s changed a little, most notably with MCA releasing “Burt Bacharach Plays His Hits” and Razor & Tie reissuing “Lost Horizon,” but if there are any other Burt CD issues that aren’t listed, please let me know.

And finally, the delightful Mary Edwards submitted a photo of she and Burt taken backstage following the August 7 Bacharach/Warwick concert at Westbury Music Fair in Long Island, N.Y.