Let The Music Play - Black America Sings Bacharach & David Various Artists (Black America Sings)


Ace Records
Catalogue Id:
CDCHD 1398

Our “Black America Sings…” series has already turned the soulful spotlight on the compositions of Bob Dylan, Lennon & McCartney and Otis Redding. Now it’s the turn of Bacharach and David.

Burt Bacharach’s music and the lyrics of Hal David have been appreciated by black American artists for over 50 years. Dionne Warwick was the first to record many of their songs and by doing so made them visible to others as a source of hits or album tracks. The pair had no finer interpreter than Warwick– with the possible exception of her male counterpart Lou Johnson – but all the acts included here demonstrate the quality of their work.

The song titles here speak for themselves, and the reputations of the artists are enough to guarantee quality performances. Every listener will have their own favourites. I have more than a few, but am especially fond of Dionne Warwick’s original demo of ‘Make It Easy On Yourself’, Ruby & the Romantics’ ‘I Cry Alone’ and Isaac Hayes’ elegant elongation of ‘I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself’. There are many other highlights, but if these three tracks can’t sell you on the project, nothing will.

Plans are underway to extend the “Black America Sings…” series, with the next instalment due later this year. In the meantime, here are two dozen of Bacharach and David’s best-known compositions performed by some of the finest soul artists of the 1960s and 70s.

By Tony Rounce


Track listing


Side 1

  • 01 Preview Make It Easy On Yourself - Dionne Warwick

  • 02 Preview My Little Red Book - Burt Bacharach & His Orchestra featuring Tony Middleton

  • 03 Preview Long After Tonight Is All Over - Irma Thomas

  • 04 Preview Another Tear Falls - Marv Johnson

  • 05 Preview I Say A Little Prayer - Aretha Franklin

  • 06 Preview Message To Martha - Jerry Butler

  • 07 Preview This Empty Place - Cissy Houston

  • 08 Preview In The Land Of Make Believe - The Drifters

  • 09 Preview I Cry Alone - Ruby & The Romantics

  • 10 Preview Let The Music Play - Roy Hamilton

  • 11 Preview Always Something There To Remind Me - Patti LaBelle & The Bluebelles

  • 12 Preview The Last One To Be Loved - Lou Johnson

  • 13 Preview Reach Out For Me - Willie Tee

  • 14 Preview Alfie - The Delfonics

  • 15 Preview (There Goes) The Forgotten Man - Gene McDaniels

  • 16 Preview The Look Of Love - Nina Simone

  • 17 Preview Anyone Who Had A Heart - The Orlons

  • 18 Preview What The World Needs Now Is Love - James Carr

  • 19 Preview Walk On By - Gloria Gaynor

  • 20 Preview (They Long To Be) Close To You - Bobby Womack

  • 21 Preview One Less Bell To Answer - Gladys Knight & The Pips

  • 22 Preview I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself - Isaac Hayes

  • 23 Preview Don't Make Me Over - Brenda & The Tabulations

  • 24 Preview A House Is Not A Home - Mavis Staples

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Press quotes


A finely-wrought procession of timeless classics.


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