August 13, 2003

There are two excellent new Bacharach CDs worth keeping an eye out for. First, Australian label Raven Records has released Rare Bacharach I, an ambitious 53-track two-disc set that collects some of Burt’s more obscure recordings, including a number of songs taken from films.

It’s a welcome addition to the the Bacharach reissue market. Also released this month is What the World Needs Now: Bacharach Classics, a new A&M collection culled primarily from Bacharach’s solo albums of the ’60s and ’70s. There is also a new book about Burt, Bacharach: Maestro! The Life of a Pop Genius by Michael Brocken. Brocken’s biography comes in the wake of two other recent books on Burt, Robin Platts’ Bacharach and David: What the World Needs Now and Serene Dominic’s The Little Red Book of Burt Bacharach.

In some of the most exciting recording news since Painted From Memory, Burt has been in the studio with vocalist Ronald Isley, who is recording a new CD of Bacharach-David material. The plan is to record the tracks live in the studio with no overdubs and Burt promises new soulful arrangements of some of his classic compositions