Discussion Board is STale

The Burt Bacharach Forum is a board to discuss the music and career of composer Burt Bacharach and performers associated with his songs.

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Bruce Bernard Williams
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Re: Discussion Board is STale

Post by Bruce Bernard Williams »

In reference to GehVorbei's post about Dionne's original version of "On My Own", what other songs that you know of are still in the vaults and what is the likelihood of their release? As I mentioned in a much earlier post, I would really like to see a compilation of Dionne's lesser-known songs such as the two songs from the Dave Clark (of the Dave Clark 5 fame) double-album "Time", the theme from the movie "The Seduction" (which stars Morgan Fairchild), the theme from the TV show "Love Boat", the theme from "Valley of the Dolls II", and other "collaborations" ala vocalist Jean Carn(e)'s CD release titled "Collaborations" where she is the featured vocalist on other artists' CD's such as Stanley Turrentine, Al Johnson, Starship Orchestra, etc. This type of project would be the icing on the cake for all of us devout fans as she readies to observe 50 years in the business.

nymusicalsguy
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Re: Discussion Board is STale

Post by nymusicalsguy »

I'm much less certain of what resides in the Arista (now Sony) vaults for Dionne, but there is still a great amount of material of the Scepter/Warner Bros. eras waiting to be discovered. David Nathan included most of a terrific live show recorded at NJ's (then-) Garden State Arts Center for Rhino Handmade's release of VERY DIONNE, and the remaining three (?) tracks were promised for the Handmade edition of ON STAGE AND IN THE MOVIES. Of course, that never happened, but I'd love to know what else David excavated for the proposed tracklisting of that disc. In addition, there's my personal Holy Grail of Bacharach recordings: the three Bacharach/Simon songs recorded by Dionne during the period in which they were largely estranged. For the record, those three Burt/Dionne songs recorded in 1974 & still unreleased are "Plastic City" (no relation to Stephanie Mills' "Living On Plastic"!), "And Then You Know What He Did", and "And Then He Walked Through The Door".

If you're reading this, David Nathan, perhaps you could convince Ace over in the UK to consider a Dionne rarities disc that would compile the tracks you intended for the cancelled Handmades? David included some unreleased Aretha Franklin songs on a recent Ace disc he curated of Aretha's Columbia years...stranger things have happened. Fingers crossed.

BachtoBacharach
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Re: Discussion Board is STale

Post by BachtoBacharach »

I also believe that the original Bacharach/David tracks Stephanie Mills recorded were originally intended for Dionne, seem to have heard that somewhere. Burt and Hal were not working together at the time Stephanie recorded those tracks so they were very likely written pre-split which would place the tunes circa 1972. I am wondering if there were also additional recordings culled from Warner Brothers Dionne, the 1972 album? I find it hard to believe that only 10 tracks were cut and used on the album...I have heard rumors that about 13 were cut for the album and three culled leaving 10...perhaps only David Nathan knows the answer. Interesting to note that Dionne has stated she doesn't even remember cutting "(The Very First Person I Met in) California." There are perhaps others she doesn't remember as well. I wish Nathan could locate Dionne's original "Everybody's Out of Town" which was cut in December 1969 and cut before BJ's version...all Nathan found in the vaults was an empty tape box with Dionne's session notations on it.

An Enormous BB Fan
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Re: Discussion Board is STale

Post by An Enormous BB Fan »

Where exactly are these "vaults", does anyone know?

Also, the spamming of our board here is really WAY out of control. Is there a way to stop it? Some discussion boards have a procedure whereby if you wish to post something, you have to type in a box the letters you see in another box, and if I'm not mistaken, this prevents the kind of spam that we are now getting.

BachtoBacharach
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Re: Discussion Board is STale

Post by BachtoBacharach »

Recording master tapes are stored in vaults for safekeeping and Warner has vaults in several locations but the Bacharach/David/Warwick library is stored in California. Warner Music owns the rights to many original master recordings for many artists and these recordings are stored in vaults much as movie masters are...they are in other words massive tape libraries. Many masters are lost to history though, and we are fortunate to have the great body of work that Burt and Hal did with Dionne mostly intact. Scepter Records was known for shoddy handling of its master library and the Bacharach/David/Warwick tapes went through many hands after Scepter went bankrupt in 1975...the master rights were awarded to Burt and Hal in 1976 via a lawsuit against Scepter and the masters were then stored at the Warner vaults in California. In 1979 Dionne Warwick won a 5 million dollar out of court settlement against Burt and Hal for breach of contract and the settlement was a combination of cash and co-ownership of her master recordings with Bacharach/David. She sold her rights in the early 90s back to Warner Music, who had administered them for both her and Bacharach/David from 1979 through 1992. Warner controls the rights for these recordings today which consist of Dionne Warwick recordings on the Scepter and Warner Brothers labels from 1962 through 1977. Some masters of original Warwick recordings on the Scepter label are unable to be located but exist on second generation masters or album masters. An example of this is "If I Ever Make You Cry", the 1965 recording...In compiling the Dionne Warwick From t he Vaults CD in 1994, David Nathan was unable to locate the original master tape of the recording and had to rely on the album master for the album "Here I Am" which contained the cut remastered for the album along with all cuts from the album. Nathan was also able to locate another take of the recording and splice and remaster a version of the recording similar to the original. Scepter also recorded over many master recording tapes to save money. Alternate takes for many of the Warwick/Bacharach/David recordings are also stored in Warner's vaults...Who Is Gonna Love Me, I Say A Little Prayer, A House Is Not A Home, In Between the Heartaches and several others have actually been included in US and foreign compilations. And a little known fact...Dionne Warwick's 1967 hit Alfie with Bacharach arranging, conducting, producing and on piano was done in one take at the tail end of a 1966 recording session.

An Enormous BB Fan
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Re: Discussion Board is STale

Post by An Enormous BB Fan »

Thank you for such a complete answer.

That's very very funny that Dionne did "Alfie" in one take when you consider what Burt put Cilia Black through during her session. Even considering that it was Dionne notwithstanding, knowing Burt's perfectionism, it's still hard for me to believe that Burt would have been totally satisfied with just one take -- from anyone! -- even from the great Dionne Warwick. I'm not saying that it isn't true; I'm just saying that it's hard to believe.

And that's a good next question: I wonder how many songs Burt did with Dionne that only took one take? And don't forget: There was a live orchestra there, too, in those days, which would make the one-take idea even less plausible since someone else could have ruined the take other than Dionne.

I'm wondering about "South American Getaway"... talk about takes! In fact, I wonder if the composition we hear is a splice job of many takes when you consider its complexity.

BachtoBacharach
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Re: Discussion Board is STale

Post by BachtoBacharach »

Steve Tyrell stated that they did Alfie in one take simply because they were running out of time. Sessions were three hours long and Bacharach never went over three and one half hours in his sessions with Warwick. His rule of thumb was to record three tunes per session with only one overtime session allowed which was 30 minutes... remember Bacharach's Blue Jac productions, not Scepter, was footing the bill for those sessions so Burt didn't waste time or his money on excessive takes...he wasn't footing the bill for the Cilla Black Alfie session...the producers of the movie were. Dionne has stated that Bacharach took 10 takes for I Say A Little Prayer but usually he got what he wanted from her in three takes or less. Dionne's original Anyone Who Had A Heart was also done in one take, according to several sources.

An Enormous BB Fan
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Re: Discussion Board is STale

Post by An Enormous BB Fan »

Thanks again BachtoBacharach!

How interesting! .... that, even with Dionne, Burt could be happy with only 3 takes. Don't get me wrong: I'm not surprised that Dionne could nail it one take -- it's Burt who surprises me. And I really find it incredible that "Anyone Who Had A Heart" was done in one take. I mean, the rhythms that are going on in that song alone could give one apoplexy I'm sure. Of course, I do understand that the song was rehearsed before the actual take... but still!!

And 10 takes for I Say A Little Prayer makes sense, of course.

Oh!, to have been a fly on the wall in those days!!

BachtoBacharach
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Re: Discussion Board is STale

Post by BachtoBacharach »

In the Anyone Who Had A Heart session, the other tunes recorded in that November 1963 session were Walk On By and In the Land of Make Believe...which took most of the three hours. Walk on By was done in 8 takes. Anyone Who Had A Heart was probably done as the last tune of the session as well. There is a rumor floating around and attributed to Hal David that they went so long on In the Land of Make Believe that Bacharach flipped a coin to see if they would record Walk On By or Anyone Who Had A Heart in the time left...Walk On By won...thank goodness they had time to do both. Hal said Walk on By took less time than they thought which left time for AWHAH. Even at the age of 22 in November 1963 when these tunes were recorded, Dionne was the consummate pro. Bacharach didn't always get what he wanted in less than three takes from Dionne, but more times than not he did. Remember too, that in those days, Dionne, Burt and Hal all lived in the New York area and reheased these tunes many times...Dionne and Hal were frequently at Burt's Manhattan apartment rehearsing. Those three had a unique working relationship and an unusually close friendship. That's why it was shocking when Bacharach/David split...and that Dionne literally didn't know about the split for weeks after it happened...in the press, rumors were floating around that Bacharach/David had split and Dionne hotly denied those rumors until, she says, she read about the split in the LA Times and Mo Osten of Warner Brothers confirmed that it was true. Little has been written about the split but in recent years Burt acknowledged that it was totally his doing...that Dionne was an innocent bystander caught up in his inability to work with Hal after Lost Horizon. Bacharach blasted Hal for being able to walk away after writing the lyrics but Burt was committed for almost a year for post production on the score and he insinuated that Hal hadn't carried as much of the load as he did. Bacharach was the composer and scored the flick...what did he expect? The film's failure finally finished their relationship. Back in the day, Burt was rather snarky about the whole thing and called Dionne out from a Las Vegas stage in 1976 for suing him and refusing to allow her backstage to visit. In 1979 Bacharach told the AP that he would probably never work with Dionne ever again when she won that out of court settlement...and she went on later that year to enjoy a huge comeback...quite ironic, isn't it. He seemed very bitter and rather vindictive toward her...he even told Dionne that he would not release her from her contract with Blue Jac so that she could meet her contractual obligation with Warners (the Blue Jac contract stated that Dionne had to have Burt's express approval to work with other producers); At the time, Bacharach seemed to care little that he was throwing Dionne under the bus, it seems to me. Burt himself said he was in a fog during that period and was so burned out that he just wanted to disappear for a while. It was right after the split that Burt's marriage to Angie Dickinson began to deteriorate as well. Angie's star was beginning to rise with Police Woman while Burt's was falling. Mo Osten told Dionne to pursuade Burt to release her from her contract with Blue Jac or Warners would have no option but to sue Dionne...Burt finally relented and Dionne scrambled to get her follow-up "Just Being Myself" recorded by calling in a favor from longtime friend Lamont Dozier. But, despite Dionne's pleas to go back into the studio with her, Burt never fulfilled the contract which obligated him to write and produce four additional albums for Dionne...hence her successful settlement of the lawsuit. There were those tunes that Bacharach and Neil Simon did with Dionne in 1973-74 but Bacharach aborted the project...not Simon or Warwick. Bacharach/David had to cough up 5 million in 1979. Bacharach told the press that Dionne would have lost the lawsuit if he hadn't listened to Hal and settled...very doubtful that Burt would have prevailed and I believe his ego wouldn't allow him to admit until many years later that he was wrong...I believe Hal knew Dionne would get the entire 5.5 million she was asking for and pursuaded Burt to cut his losses...I imagine the attorneys advised Burt likewise. Dionne originally sued for $500,000 for the breach and $5,000,000 for punative damages. Burt also said he paid much more in the settlement than Hal did...he finally seemed to resolve his bitterness toward Dionne by 1984 and toward Hal by 1989. We really have Aaron Spelling to thank for getting them together once again.

promisesx2
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Re: Discussion Board is STale

Post by promisesx2 »

This background to the recordings is fascinating. Thank you for posting. I wonder if you would write a little more about the "tunes that Bacharach and Neil Simon did with Dionne in 1973-74." Or perhaps steer me in the direction where I could read about them. Many thanks.

mark
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Re: Discussion Board is STale

Post by mark »

BachtoBacharach wrote:Alternate takes for many of the Warwick/Bacharach/David recordings are also stored in Warner's vaults...Who Is Gonna Love Me, I Say A Little Prayer, A House Is Not A Home, In Between the Heartaches and several others have actually been included in US and foreign compilations. And a little known fact...Dionne Warwick's 1967 hit Alfie with Bacharach arranging, conducting, producing and on piano was done in one take at the tail end of a 1966 recording session.


That's interesting. I thought I'd read elsewhere that Burt and Hal were fairly economical in the recording studio, which is why the Rhino Handmade reissues of Dionne's Scepter albums contained so few alternate takes. If there are alternate takes in the vaults, I can't imagine why Warner hasn't packaged and released them, at the very least digitally. I really enjoyed the Broadway First Take recordings from Promises, Promises with Burt on piano. It would be amazing to have some early takes with just Burt on piano and Dionne on vocals, kind of like the "Loneliness Remembers" session filmed for his TV special.

nymusicalsguy
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Re: Discussion Board is STale

Post by nymusicalsguy »

Promisesx2, little is known about the three Bacharach/Simon songs recorded by Dionne in her short-lived '74 reunion session with Burt: "Plastic City" (no relation to Stephanie Mills' "Living On Plastic"), "And Then You Know What He Did", and "And Then He Walked Through The Door." I've heard over the years that these songs, like "Seconds" (recorded by Gladys Knight), were intended to supplement the score to PROMISES, PROMISES for a film adaptation. The titles would seem to confirm this. Since Hal & Burt were estranged at the time, PROMISES' librettist Neil Simon stepped in and proved himself a more-than-adequate lyricist. I'm afraid I have nothing else to share, although these three songs remain way up top of my list of Bacharach holy grails. Especially with PROMISES receiving its first-ever Broadway revival this May, the time has never been more right for them to see the light of day.

Likewise, I've long hoped someone would rescue and record "Hot Food" and "[Wouldn't That Be] A Stroke of Luck", both cut out-of-town from PROMISES and never heard since. A third cut song, "Loyal, Resourceful and Cooperative", was recorded in demo form. PROMISES' other cut songs, "What Am I Doing Here?", "Tick Tock Goes The Clock" and the pretty dreadful "Let's Pretend We're Grown Up", have all seen release.

BachtoBacharach
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Re: Discussion Board is STale

Post by BachtoBacharach »

According to David Nathan, some alternate takes do exist for several Warwick recordings but it is true that Bacharach seldom ever ran over three regular hours per session and 1/2 hour of overtime for any Warwick session. Warwick recorded for Blue Jac, their production company and in turn those masters were sold to Scepter for release and Burt retained total creative control over those recordings with Warwick. They received a percentage of sales as well. There are some exceptions and alternate takes exist for many tunes but there aren't many Warwick recordings where Bacharach had her do endless takes as with the Alfie session with Cilla Black...that was on the film producers dime. Warwick's Alfie was recorded in one take as was allegedly Anyone Who Had a Heart. Here Where There Is Love has a couple of different takes and mixes and the final mix was sans a bridge that Bacharach had cut out but was unearthed and restored by Nathan as well. Message to Michael was only heard in mono until Nathan unearthed the stereo master in 1988. It had not been released in stereo...the single was a mono mix and the "Live in Paris" album was the mono mix with canned applause added to beginning and end. The mono version was also heard on 1969's DW Golden Hits Part 2. Walk On By was done in 8 takes (whether partial takes or full takes is unknown) and take 8 is the one that made it to vinyl. I Say A Little Prayer was done in 10 takes. I Just Don't Know What to Do With Myself was a multiple take recording. Loneliness Remembers What Happiness Forgets was done in more than one take because the version filmed in March 1970 for the Bacharach/Warwick segment of The Burt Bacharach Special aired in June 1970 was not the take that ended up committed to vinyl. Bacharach could probably do 8 to 10 takes of a tune in an hour...he always recorded three tunes per session.

promisesx2
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Re: Discussion Board is STale

Post by promisesx2 »

mymusicalguy, many thanks for the additional information. I know it may seem perverse, but I've grown rather fond of "Let's Pretend We're Grown Up," after an extremely adverse reaction to it upon first, second, and third hearing. I guess fourth time was the charm---at least for me.

BachtoBacharach
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Post by BachtoBacharach »

Actually, Walk On By took more takes than 8! Howz about 16??? I just listened to the box set "The Scepter Records Story" (WOW is all I can say) and there are several Warwick tunes with chatter and counts-offs. I listened to "Walk On By" from this collection and the engineer (Ed Smith?? at Bell Sound) announces take 16! Wonder what happened to all those other takes of "Walk On By"? Would love to hear them! Maybe David Nathan, who has scoured the Warner Vaults can tell us if they still exist. Which means of course that "Land of Make Believe" and "Walk On By" took up the vast majority of the time in that session according to both Burt and Hal so it is conceivable that "Anyone Who Had A Heart" was done in one take as legend has it.

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