Nationality: United States
Military service: US Army (1950-52)
Frequent collaborator with lyricist Hal David.
Father: Bert Bacharach
Mother: Irma Freeman
Wife: Paula Stewart (singer, m. 22-Dec-1953, div. 1958)
Wife: Angie Dickinson (actress, m. 16-May-1965, div. 1980, one child)
Daughter: Lea Nikki Bacharach (b. 1966, d. 4-Jan-2007 suicide)
Wife: Carole Bayer Sager (lyricist, m. 1982, div. 1990, one son)
Son: Christopher Elton (b. circa 1986, adopted)
Wife: Jane Hansen (m. 1993, one son, one daughter)
Son: Oliver (b. 1992)
Daughter: Raleigh (b. 1995)
FILMOGRAPHY AS ACTOR
Austin Powers in Goldmember (22-Jul-2002) Himself
Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (8-Jun-1999) Himself
Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (2-May-1997) Himself
Burt F. Bacharach (born May 12, 1928) is an American pianist, composer and music producer. He is known for his popular hit songs and compositions from the early 1960s through the 1980s, with lyrics written by Hal David. Many of their hits were produced specifically for, and performed by, Dionne Warwick. Following on with the initial success of this collaboration, Bacharach went on to produce hits with Dusty Springfield, Bobbie Gentry and others.
Burt Bacharach was born in Kansas City, Missouri, the son of Irma (née Freeman) and Bert Bacharach, a syndicated newspaper columnist. He is of German-Jewish descent. Bacharach studied music at McGill University where he studied under Helmut Blume, the Mannes School of Music, and the Music Academy of the West in Montecito, California. His composition teachers included Darius Milhaud, Bohuslav Martinů, and Henry Cowell. After leaving the Army, Bacharach worked as a pianist, sometimes playing solo and sometimes accompanying singers such as Vic Damone, Polly Bergen, Steve Lawrence, the Ames Brothers and Paula Stewart (who became his first wife). For some years he was musical arranger for Marlene Dietrich as well as touring with her.
Barabara Steisand and Burt Bacharach in 1973 -“One Less Bell To Answer”
In 1957, Bacharach and lyricist Hal David were introduced while at the Brill Building in New York City, and began their writing partnership. Almost a year later, they received a significant career break when their song “The Story of My Life” was recorded by Marty Robbins for Columbia Records, becoming a No. 1 hit on the U.S. Country charts in late 1957. Soon after, “Magic Moments” was recorded by Perry Como for RCA Records, and became a No. 4 U.S. hit in February of that year. These two songs hit No. 1 in the UK back-to-back (“The Story of My Life” in a version by Michael Holiday), giving Burt and lyricist Hal David the honor of being the first songwriters in UK history to have written consecutive No. 1 hits. In 1959, their song “Make Room for the Joy” was featured in Columbia’s film musical “Jukebox Rhythm,” sung by Jack Jones.
Streisand at a live performance, in the year 2000 singing “Alfie”
In the early 1960s, Bacharach wrote well over a hundred songs with David. Bacharach and David were associated throughout the sixties with Dionne Warwick, a conservatory-trained vocalist whom the duo met in 1961. Bacharach and David started writing a portion of their work specifically with Warwick in mind, which led to one of the most successful teams in music history.
Over a 20-year period, beginning in the early 1960s, Warwick charted 38 singles co-written or produced by Bacharach, including 22 Top-40, 12 Top-20, and nine Top-10 hits on the American Billboard Hot 100 charts. During the early ’60s, Bacharach also collaborated with Bob Hilliard on a number of songs such as “Mexican Divorce” for The Drifters, “Any Day Now” for Chuck Jackson, and “Dreamin’ All the Time” and “Pick Up the Pieces” for Jack Jones.
Burt at the piano with Dionne Warwick performing, “What The World Needs Now.”
Other singers of his songs in the 60s and 70s included Dusty Springfield (“The Look of Love” from Casino Royale), (a cover of Dionne Warwick’s “Wishin’ and Hopin”), Cilla Black (a cover of Dionne Warwick‘s “Anyone Who Had A Heart“), (“Alfie“), The Shirelles, The Beatles (“Baby, It’s You“), The Carpenters (“(They Long to Be) Close to You“), Aretha Franklin, Isaac Hayes (“Walk On By” on the Hot Buttered Soul album), B.J. Thomas (“Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head”), Tom Jones (“What’s New, Pussycat”), Engelbert Humperdinck (“I’m A Better Man”), The Stranglers, The Drifters, Jack Jones (“Wives and Lovers”), Jackie DeShannon (“What the World Needs Now is Love”), Gene Pitney, Herb Alpert, Jerry Butler and Luther Vandross in the 1980s and 1990s.
Bacharach songs were adapted by jazz artists of the time, such as Stan Getz, Cal Tjader and Wes Montgomery. The Bacharach/David composition, “My Little Red Book”, originally recorded by Manfred Mann for the film What’s New, Pussycat?, and promptly covered by Love in 1966, has become a rock music standard; however, according to Robin Platts‘ book “Burt Bacharach and Hal David”, the composer did not like this version.
Bacharach composed and arranged the soundtrack of the 1967 film Casino Royale which was “The Look of Love“, performed by Dusty Springfield. Bacharach and David also collaborated with Broadway producer David Merrick on the 1968 musical production of Promises, Promises, which yielded hit songs (including the title tune). The year 1969 featured, perhaps, the most successful Bacharach-David collaboration, with the song “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head”, which was written for and prominently featured in the acclaimed film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
Bacharach’s music is characterized by unusual chord progressions, striking syncopated rhythmic patterns, irregular phrasing, frequent modulation, and odd, changing meters. It tends toward a greater climactic effect than most popular music, especially greater than most popular music of the period with which he is most associated. Bacharach has arranged, conducted, and co-produced much of his recorded output.
An example of his distinctive use of changing meter is found in “Promises, Promises” (from his score for the musical of the same name). His style is sometimes also associated with particular instrumental combinations he is assumed to favor or to have favored, including the prominent use of the flugelhorn in such works as “Walk on By”, “Nikki”, and “Toledo”.
In 1970, Johnny Mathis issued a double-LP album set, “Sings the Music of Bacharach & Kaempfert,” for Columbia. It consisted of 21 tracks in a heavyweight gatefold picture sleeve. The Bert Kaempfert tracks were done in the arrangement style of the German composer and orchestra leader, and the Bacharach tracks were in the American’s upbeat style.
In 1973, Bacharach and David were commissioned to score the Ross Hunter-produced revival of the 1937 film, Lost Horizon for Columbia Pictures. The result was a critical and commercial disaster, and resulted in a flurry of lawsuits between the composer and the lyricist, as well as from Warwick. She reportedly felt abandoned when Bacharach and David refused to work together. Bacharach tried several solo projects (including the 1977 album Futures), but the projects failed to yield hits.
By the early 1980s, Bacharach’s marriage to Angie Dickinson had ended, but a new partnership with lyricist Carole Bayer Sager proved rewarding, both commercially and personally. The two married and collaborated on several major hits during the decade, including “Arthur’s Theme (Best That You Can Do)” (Christopher Cross), “Heartlight” (Neil Diamond), “Making Love” (Roberta Flack), “On My Own” (Michael McDonald with Patti Labelle), and perhaps most memorably, “That’s What Friends Are For” in 1985, actually the second single which reunited Bacharach and singer Warwick. The profits for the latter song were given to AIDS research. Bacharach’s 1980s tunes showed a new sound.
Other artists continued to revive Bacharach’s earlier hits, giving them a new audience in the 1980s and 1990s. Examples included Naked Eyes‘ 1983 pop hit version of “(There’s) Always Something There to Remind Me“, Ronnie Milsap‘s 1982 country version of “Any Day Now“, and others. Bacharach continued a concert career, appearing at auditoriums throughout the world, often featuring large orchestras as accompaniment. He occasionally joined with Warwick, appearing in sold-out concerts in New York, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles.
In 1996, jazz pianist McCoy Tyner recorded an album of nine Bacharach standards that featured Tyner’s trio with an orchestra arranged and conducted by John Clayton. In 1998, Bacharach co-wrote and recorded a Grammy-winning album with Elvis Costello, Painted from Memory, on which the compositions began to take on the sound of his earlier work. In 2006, he recorded a jazz album with Trijntje Oosterhuis and the Metropole Orchestra called The Look of Love (Burt Bacharach Songbook) which was released in November that year. Bacharach collaborated with Cathy Dennis in 2002 to write an original song for the Pop Idol winner Will Young. This was “What’s In Goodbye“, and it appears on Young’s debut album From Now On. During July 2002, Young was a guest vocalist at two of Bacharach’s concerts, one at the Hammersmith Apollo and the other at Liverpool Pops.
The Fifth Dimension singing, “One Less Bell To Answer” -My favorite rendition of the song.
Another star treatment of his compositions was the 2003 album Here I Am featuring Ronald Isley, revisiting a number of his 1960s compositions, and also the Vandross arrangement of A House Is Not a Home.
Bacharach’s 2005 solo album At This Time saw a departure from past works in that Bacharach penned his own lyrics, some of which dealt with political themes. Guest stars on some tracks included Elvis Costello and Rufus Wainwright.
On October 24, 2008, Bacharach opened the BBC Electric Proms at The Roundhouse in London, performing with the BBC Concert Orchestra accompanied by guest vocalists Adele, Beth Rowley and Jamie Cullum. The concert was a retrospective look back at his unparalleled six-decade career, including classics such as “Walk On By“, “The Look of Love“, “I Say a Little Prayer“, “What The World Needs Now“, “Anyone Who Had A Heart“, “24 Hours from Tulsa” and “Make It Easy On Yourself“, featuring Jamie Cullum.
In early 2009 Bacharach worked with Italian soul singer Karima Ammar and produced her debut single Come In Ogni Ora. The song has been heard during the 59th Sanremo Music Festival and also features him playing piano.
Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Bacharach was featured in a dozen TV musical and variety specials videotaped in the UK for ITC, several were nominated for Emmy awards for direction (by Dwight Hemion). The guests included artists such as Joel Grey, Dusty Springfield, Dionne Warwick, and Barbra Streisand. Bacharach and David did the score for a short-lived ABC-TV series, ABC Stage 67, for a show titled On the Flip Side, starring Rick Nelson as a faded pop star trying for a comeback. While the series’ ratings were dismal, the soundtrack showcased Bacharach’s abilities to try different kinds of musical styles, ranging from (almost) 1960s rock, to pop, ballads, and Latin-tinged dance numbers.
Burt and Dusty Springfield performing, “A House Is Not A Home”
In 1969, Harry Betts arranged Bacharach’s instrumental composition “Nikki” (named for Bacharach’s daughter) into a new theme for the ABC Movie of the Week, a TV series which ran on the U.S. network until 1976. The arrangement by Betts is published by MCA Duchess Music Corporation (BMI).
During the 1970s, Bacharach and then-wife Angie Dickinson appeared in several TV commercials for Martini & Rossi beverages, and even penned a short jingle (“Say Yes”) for the spots. Bacharach also occasionally appeared on TV/variety shows, such as The Merv Griffin Show, The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, and many others.
In the 1990s and 2000s, Bacharach had cameo roles in Hollywood movies including all three Austin Powers movies. His music is credited as providing inspiration for these movies, partially stemming from Bacharach’s score for the 1967 James Bond film Casino Royale. During subsequent Bacharach concert tours, each show would open with a very brief video clip from the movie Austin Powers: International Man Of Mystery, with Mike Myers (as Austin Powers) uttering “Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr. Burt Bacharach.”
Bacharach appeared as a celebrity performer and guest vocal coach for contestants on the television show, “American Idol” during the 2006 season, during which an entire episode was dedicated to his music. In late 2006, Bacharach appeared as the celebrity in a Geico auto insurance commercial, where he sings and plays the piano. He translates the customer’s story through song (“I was hit…in the rear!”)
In 2008, Bacharach featured in the BBC Electric Proms at The Roundhouse with the BBC Concert Orchestra. He performed similar shows in the same year at the Walt Disney Concert Hall and with the Sydney Symphony.
Source: Wikipedia.com, YouTube.com imdb.com
Burt Bacharach is, quite simply, one of the most accomplished composers of the 20th Century. In the ’60s and ’70s, Bacharach was a dominant figure in popular music, writing a remarkable 52 Top 40 hits. In terms of musical sophistication, Bacharach’s compositions differed from much of the pop music of the era. Bacharach songs typically boasted memorable melodies, unconventional and shifting time signatures, and unique chord changes. Combining elements of jazz, pop, Brazilian music and rock, Bacharach created a unique new sound that was as contemporary as it was popular. Lyricist Hal David, Bacharach’s primary collaborator, infused Bacharach’s music with tart, melodramatic lyrics worthy of the best Tin Pan Alley composers. David’s bittersweet, unsentimental lyrics were often in striking contrast to Bacharach’s soaring melodies. While in the late 1970s Bacharach’s name became synonymous with elevator music (due in great part to its sheer familiarity), a closer listening suggests that his meticulously crafted, technically sophisticated compositions are anything but easy listening.
The son of nationally syndicated columnist Bert Bacharach, Burt Freeman Bacharach was born in Kansas City, Mo., on May 12, 1928. In 1932, Bacharach’s family moved to Kew Gardens in Queens, New York. At his mother’s insistance, he studied cello, drums and then piano beginning at the age of 12. As a youth, Burt hated taking piano lessons. His dream was to play professional football, but his size, or lack thereof, kept him out of that field.
As a teenager, Bacharach fell in love with jazz and sometimes used a fake ID to sneek into 52nd Street nightclubs to see bebop legends like Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker. Bebop’s unconventional harmonies and melodies were a major influence on the young composer.
When he was 15, Bacharach started a 10-piece band with high school classmates. With Burt on piano, the group gained exposure playing parties and dances. After graduating from Forest Hills High School, Bacharach enrolled in the music studies program at McGill University in Montreal. It was there that Burt says he wrote his first song, “The Night Plane to Heaven.”
Bacharach went on to study theory and composition at the Mannes School of Music in New York City; at the Berkshire Music Center; and at the New School for Social Research, where he studied under composers Bohuslav Martinu, Henry Cowell and Darius Milhaud (whose influence on Bacharach’s style is apparent in his work). He was also awarded a scholarship to the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, Calif.
From 1950-52 Bacharach served in the Army, playing piano at the officer’s club on Governor Island and in concerts at Fort Dix. His perfomances then consisted primarily of improvisations and pop medleys of the day, although he was billed as a concert pianist.
While serving as a dance-band arranger with the Army in Germany, Bacharach met vocalist Vic Damone. After their discharge, at the age of 24, Bacharach became Damone’s piano accompanist. He also worked nightclubs and restaurants and accompanied performers including the Ames Brothers, Imogene Coca, Polly Bergen, Joel Grey, Georgia Gibbs, Steve Lawrence and a young singer named Paula Stewart. Bacharach and Stewart were married in 1953 (they divorced in 1958).
“Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head”
In 1957, Bacharach collaborated for the first time with lyricist Hal David (b. May 25, 1921), whom he had met while both worked at the Famous Paramount Music Company in New York’s legendary Brill Building. The pair struck gold almost immediately with hits for Marty Robbins (“The Story of My Life,” which reached No. 15 in 1957) and Perry Como (“Magic Moments,” which reached No. 8 in 1958), but their greatest success together wouldn’t begin until a few years later. Also in 1958, Burt also scored a novelty hit with “(Theme From) The Blob,” which reached No. 33.
From 1958-61 Burt toured Europe and America as musical director for Marlene Dietrich. During this period, three Bacharach-composed songs became big hits: “Please Stay” by the Drifters, “Tower of Strength” by Gene McDaniel (with lyrics by Bob Hilliard) and “Baby It’s You” by the Shirelles (lyrics by Hal’s brother Mack David and Barney Williams). All three were recorded in 1961.
In 1962, Bacharach collaborated with lyricist Bob Hilliard on “Any Day Now,” which reached No. 23 for Chuck Jackson, but his greatest success was achieved in collaboration with Hal David, who co-wrote the No. 4 hit “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance,” inspired by the John Wayne/James Stewart movie, and the No. 2 hit “Only Love Can Break a Heart.” Both were recorded by Gene Pitney. Bacharach & David also scored a hit that year with Jerry Butler’s “Make It Easy On Yourself,” which reached No. 20.
Bacharach worked extensively with the Drifters during this period, arranging horns and strings and writing (with Bob Hilliard) the group’s 1961 singles “Mexican Divorce” and “Please Stay.” It was at a Drifters session that Bacharach met Marie Dionne Warwick (born Dec. 12, 1940, in East Orange, N.J.), a member of backup vocal group the Gospelaires and niece of vocalist Cissy Houston. It soon becamse apparent that Warwick possess a remarkable ability to navigate even the most difficult of Bacharach’s melodies and tempos. She began cutting demo records for Bacharach & David, one of which was for “Make It Easy On Yourself.” Warwick mistakenly believed “Make It Easy On Yourself” would be her commercial debut, and when the songwriters revealed that the song had been given to Jerry Butler, she angrily shot back, “Don’t make me over, man!” (slang for don’t lie to me). Warwick’s angry response became the seed of her first Top 40 hit, 1962’s “Don’t Make Me Over,” which reached No. 21. Bacharach & David went on to write and produce 20 Top 40 hits for Warwick over the next 10 years, seven of which went Top Ten: “Anyone Who Had a Heart” (1963), “Walk On By” (1964), “Message to Michael” (1966), “I Say a Little Prayer” (1967), “Do You Know the Way to San Jose” (1968), “This Girl’s in Love with You” (1969) and “I’ll Never Fall in Love Again” (1969).
Besides their work writing and producing albums for Warwick, the team of Bacharach & David was also responsible for hits with other performers, including Jackie DeShannon (“What the World Needs Now”), the Fifth Dimension (“One Less Bell to Answer”), Manfred Mann (“My Little Red Book”), Bobby Vinton (“Blue on Blue”), Herb Alpert (“This Guy’s in Love With You”), Tom Jones (“What’s New, Pussycat?” “Promise Her Anything”), Jack Jones (“Wives and Lovers”), Dusty Springfield (“The Look of Love”) and B.J. Thomas (“Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head”). Other performers covered Bacharach composition to chart-topping effect, including the Walker Brothers (whose version of “Make It Easy on Yourself” hit No. 16 in 1965), the Carpenters (whose version of “[They Long to Be] Close to You” hit No. 1 in 1970), and Sergio Mendes & Brasil 66 (whose version of “The Look of Love” hit No. 4 in 1968).
Through his wife, screen star Angie Dickinson (whom he married in 1966 and divorced in 1980), Bacharach moved into film scores. His credits include the tile song to Alfie, a hit for Cilla Black and Dionne Warwick, and film scores for What’s New, Pussycat?, (its title song was a Top 5 hit for Tom Jones in 1965), After The Fox, Casino Royale (which introduced “The Look of Love”) and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, which spawned the No. 1 hit “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head” and earned Bacharach a pair of Oscars (Best Score and Best Theme Song) as well as a Grammy for best score. A less-well-known theatrical project of Bacharach & David is the television musical On the Flip Side (1966), which starred Rick Nelson as a pop star whose luster had faded.
In 1968, producer David Marrick recruited Bacharach & David to work with playwright Neil Simon on a musical version of the 1960 Billy Wilder film The Apartment. The result was the Broadway musical Promises, Promises, which ran for three years and 1,281 performances and won two Tonys and a Grammy for best cast recording.
In 1966, the songwriter became a recording artist in his own right. His album Hit Maker! Burt Bacharach Plays the Burt Bacharach Hits, which featured mostly instrumental re-recordings of some of his best-known songs, became a hit in the U.K. The album was reissued in America as Burt Bacharach Plays His Hits. Bacharach went on to release several more collections of his own recordings of his hits, including Reach Out (1967), Make It Easy On Yourself (1969), Burt Bacharach (1971), Living Together (1973), Futures (1977) and Woman (1979), an ambitious song cycle recorded live in the studio with the Houston Philharmonic Orchestra.
In 1973, Bacharach & David collaborated on a high-profile musical version of the 1937 film Lost Horizon. Producer Ross Hunter’s Lost Horizon was a resounding flop with both critics and the public. The soundtrack failed to generate a significant hit (although the 5th Dimension’s cover of “Living Together, Growing Together” reached No. 32) and Bacharach privately complained about the difficulty working with actors who were not trained singers. In the wake of Lost Horizon, Bacharach, David and Warwick went through a bitter professional divorce, with Warwick suing Bacharach and David, David suing Bacharach and Bacharach countersuing David.
In 1975, Bacharach & David wrote and produced Stephanie Mills’ album “For the First Time,” but the new partnership failed to match their previous success with Warwick.
In 1977, Bacharach released his sixth solo album, Futures, and in 1979 he released Woman, an ambitious song cycle recorded in a single four-hour session with the Houston Symphony.
In 1979, Bacharach collaborated with Paul Anka for the soundtrack to the Italian film Together?. The soundtrack garnered a minor hit for Burt with Jackie DeShannon’s “I Don’t Need You Anymore,” which reached No. 86 in 1980. In 1981, Bacharach returned to the top of the charts with Christopher Cross’ “Arthur’s Theme (The Best That You Can Do),” from the film Arthur, which Bacharach also scored. “Arthur’s Theme” earned Bacharach his third Oscar and also united him professionally with lyricist Carol Bayer Sager. The partnership would prove fruitful. Bacharach and Sager, who married in 1982 (Sager gave birth to their only child, Christopher, in 1986), collaborated on hits for Sager (“Stronger Than Before,” 1981), Roberta Flack (“Making Love,” 1982), Dionne Warwick and Friends (“That’s What Friends Are For,” 1985), Patty Labelle and Michael McDonald (“On My Own,” 1986), and Dionne Warwick and Jeffrey Osborne (“Love Power,” 1987) among others. “Arthur’s Theme,” “That’s What Friends Are For” and “On My Own” each were No. 1 hits. Bacharach also scored a major hit around this time with a collaboration with Neil Diamond (“Heartlight” hit No. 5 in 1982), and British synth pop group Naked Eyes put an old Bacharach song back on the charts with their cover of “(There’s) Always Something There To Remind Me,” which reached No. 8 in 1983.
In 1982, Bacharach composed the music for Ron Howard’s Night Shift, which first introduced “That’s What Friends Are For” (performed on the soundtrack by Rod Stewart), and, in 1988, the music for the sequel to Arthur, Arthur 2: On the Rocks.
In 1985, Bacharach and Sager composed the title theme to the TV series Finder of Lost Loves, which was a minor hit for Dionne Warwick. Bacharach and Sager divorced in 1991.
Bacharach has been involved in thoroughbred racing as an owner and breeder for more than 30 years, and his horses have competed in some of the sport’s most prestigious events. Burt’s Heartlight No. One, a three-year old filly named for his hit collaboration with Neil Diamond, was a thoroughbred champion in 1983, and his horse Soul of the Matter was a Breeder’s Cup starter in 1994 and 1995.
In 1993, Bacharach emerged from a relatively quiet period in his career with a number of new projects, most notably a reunion with Hal David and Dionne Warwick for the song “Sunny Weather Lover” from Warwick’s Friends Can Be Lovers album. He also wrote two songs for James Ingram’s Always You album: “This Is The Night” (Bacharach, Ingram, Bettis) and “Sing for the Children” (Bacharach, Ingram, Bettis). Both were produced by Thom Bell. That same year he wrote “Two Hearts” (White, Bacharach, Bailey) for Earth, Wind and Fire’s album Milennium. He also wrote “Don’t Say Goodbye Girl (Walden, Bacharach, Dakota) for Tevin Campbell’s album I’m Ready in 1993.
During this period, Bacharach also worked with lyricist B.A. Robertson, of Mike + the Mechanics, on a modern musical retelling of Snow White that apparently was shelved.
By all indications, Bacharach has undergone a remarkable resurgence in popularity in recent years, with alternative acts such as Pizzicato Five, Oasis, REM, Stereolab, Faith No More, Yo La Tengo, Ben Folds Five, the White Stripes and John Zorn each paying homage to Bacharach in interviews and through recordings.
While it had slowly been building for a few years, Burt’s “comeback” began in earnest in 1995 when he began a collabortion with Elvis Costello on a song for Allison Anders’ film “Grace of My Heart.” Working from different continents via telephone and fax machine, the pair wrote “God Give Me Strength,” a striking ballad that recalled Bacharach’s classic work with David and Warwick without resorting to nostalgia. The composition served notice that Bacharach’s talents had not diminished over time. The song was nominated for a Grammy and sparked a partnership between Costello and Bacharach that would result in 1998’s Painted From Memory, which comprised 11 new Bacharach-Costello songs in addition to “God Give Me Strength.” The duo embarked on a well-received mini-tour and in February 1999 won a Grammy in the Pop Collaboration with Vocals category for Painted From Memory’s “I Still Have That Other Girl.”
In January 1996, Burt was the subject of a BBC documentary, Burt Bacharach–This Is Now, which was later broadcast in America on “Great Performances.” For an appearance in London at the Royal Festival Hall in June 1996, Oasis’ Noel Gallagher joined Burt onstage to croon “This Guy’s In Love With You.” (A photograph of Bacharach appears on the cover of the band’s 1994 record Definitely Maybe). On Dec. 31, 1996, Burt and Dionne Warwick performed a special concert, “Live from the Rainbow Room,” which was broadcast on the American Move Classics cable television network.
In 1997, Bacharach made a memorable cameo appearance in Mike Myers’ film Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, further cementing his reputation among a new generation of fans.
In November 1997, Burt hosted a tribute concert at New York’s Hammerstein Ballroom. The concert, taped by TNT and recorded for the CD and video Burt Bacharach: One Amazing Night, featured Bacharach songs sung by stars including Sheryl Crow, Chrissie Hynde, Mike Myers, Barenaked Ladies, Luther Vandross, David Sanborn and George Duke, All Saints, Wynonna, Elvis Costello, Ben Folds Five, Dionne Warwick and Bacharach himself. “Burt Bacharach: One Amazing Night” aired on TNT in April 1998.
In November 1998, Rhino Records issued The Look of Love: The Burt Bacharach Collection, a three-disc anthology of Bacharach’s work spanning his entire career, from “The Story of My Life” (Bacharach’s first Top 40 hit) to 1998’s “God Give Me Strength.”
In 1998, he and Elvis Costello collaborated on a rendition of “I’ll Never Fall in Love Again” for the soundtrack to the Austin Powers sequel “The Spy Who Shagged Me,” and the duo makes a cameo appearance in the film as well.
In 2000, Burt composed the score and reunited with Hal David and Dionne Warwick for two songs for Isn’t She Great, a film based on the life of novelist Jacqueline Susann.
A Tribute to Burt Bacharach and Hal David, a July 2000 concert at Royal Albert Hall featuring Bacharach along with Dionne Warwick, Elvis Costello, Petula Clark and others was released on CD and DVD in 2001. Jazz vocalist Diana Krall recorded “The Look of Love” as the title track to her 2001 CD.
A musical based on Bacharach and David’s music, What the World Needs Now, opened in Sydney, Australia, in August 2002.
In 2002, Bacharach appeared for the third time in an Austin Powers movie, turning up as the credits rolled on “Austin Powers in Goldmember” (which also included a rendition of “Alfie”–recast as “Austin”–sung by Susanna Hoffs). Burt also reportedly began a collaboration with rapper Dr. Dre, composing melodies over drum loops supplied to him by Dre.
In May 2003, The Look of Love, a musical built around the songs of Bacharach & David, opened at the Brooks Atkinson Theater, bringing the music of Bacharach back to Broadway for the first time in 35 years. The show, which Burt had no personal involvement with, got mostly poor reviews and closed on June 29.
In July 2003, Bacharach went into Capitol’s legendary Studio A and B, the site of classic sessions by Nat King Cole and Frank Sinatra, to record a CD with vocalist Ron Isley. The result is the DreamWorks Records release Here I Am, which features Isley’s soulful vocals on 11 classic Bacharach compositions along with two new songs. Produced by Bacharach and featuring new arrangments, Here I Am proves that, after 50 years in the business, Bacharach’s talents as a composer, producer, conductor and arranger are undiminished.
In December 2003, a television special, McCormick Present Burt Bacharach: Tribute On Ice, aired on NBC. The special featured world-class skaters including Brian Boitano, Ilia Kulik and Nicole Bobek performing live accompanied by Bacharach and vocalists James Ingram and Michael McDonald.
In November 2005, Bacharach released At This Time, the first solo album to be released under Bacharach’s name in 26 years. The record–which included contributions from Dr. Dre, Chris Botti, Elvis Costello and Rufus Wainwright–was the first of his career to feature lyrics written by Bacharach himself. Those lyrics–and Burt’s public comments on the political and social situation that inspired the lyrics–generated a great deal of controversy and led to At This Time being labeled Burt’s most political record. The controversy apparently didn’t affect members of the Recording Academy, which in February 2006 awarded At This Time the Grammy for Best Pop Instrumental Album. Bacharach was also nominated in the Best Pop Instrumental Performance category for the track “In Our Time,” a collaboration with Chris Botti.
In April 2007, Bacharach contributed several songs to New Music From An Old Friend, a CD on 180 Music that features new compositions and collaborations between legendary songwriters including Brian Wilson, Kris Kristofferson, Carole King, Paul Williams and Willie Nelson.
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