Ace’s Songwriter Series continues to come on in leaps and bounds – and this month, it welcomes one of the most important composers of the 20th century into its ranks.
No matter how much of a Burt Bacharach completist you may consider yourself, “Always Something There” is a fascinating treasure trove of Bacaharachanalia that offers delight upon delight for even the most obsessive collector. Mick Patrick and I have left no stone unturned in our quest to satisfy, bringing many of these tracks into the digital realm for the first time since their original release (legally, at least!). Our package spans almost 20 years of Burt and his various collaborators, ranging from his first recorded composition, Nat “King” Cole’s ‘Once In A Blue Moon’, to an obscure Dionne Warwick flipside from 1969 that somehow managed to avoid being included in any of her Scepter albums.
Along the way you’ll meet such little known (and in many cases highly unlikely) interpreters of Burt’s repertoire as Gene Vincent, Frankie Avalon and Big Al Downing, whose stomping version of ‘The Story Of My Life’ is one of the CD’s real hidden highlights. There are sublime gems from doo woppers the Turbans and former doo wopper Dean Barlow, whose ‘Third Window From The Right’ might be the set’s most valuable 45 at a cool £600+ per copy on the Northern Soul collector scene, plus a great song that has only recently revaled itself to be a Bacharach-Hilliard copyright, the Hammond Brothers’ Sam Cookeish ‘Thirty Miles Of Railroad Track’.
Dionne Warwick fans are doubly served with the inclusion of the result of her first-ever lead vocal for him, the ultra-rare Burt And The Backbeats single ‘Move It On The Backbeat’. And if you’ve heard the selections by Gene Pitney and Lou Johnson before you’ll relish the opportunity to hear them again in such exemplary surroundings.
Of course, this is not the first CD to chronicle the works of Burt Bacharach, but it is the first to cover such a vast timespan and that feature tunes he composed with partners other than his most famous collaborator, Hal David. Catch yourself up with a wonderfully diverse selection of early Burt in the form of “Always Something There”.
By Tony Rounce