Was it Dionne or was it Burt/Hal?

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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Was it Dionne or was it Burt/Hal?

Postby Librother66 » Sun Nov 18, 2018 7:28 pm

Good evening everyone!
I have really been bathing in the Dionne/Burt/Hal ouevre. I’ve even made playlist of different artists, instrumental and vocal, who remade their famous catalog. Such as Aretha Franklin, Luther Vandross, Ramsey Lewis, Herb Albert, etc. But, particularly singers. I know that they had a sound totally unique. From Aretha’s 1964‘s remake of ‘Walk On By’, I’ve often wondered who was the real queen. Dionne’s catalogue seemed more influential. Further, I wondered was it Dionne’s magnificent, unique vocal gift that inspired people to try to outdo her renditions, or was it the compositions of Burt and words of Hal David that was so inspiring. I know they were all friendly, but do you think it’s possible that Aretha Franklin, even her aunt Cissy Houston, as the Sweet Inspirations one stated in a video, tried to outdo Dionne out of envy? Example: Aretha calling Dionne in ‘68, asking to speak to the “Millionairess” to let her hear how ‘I Say a Little Prayer’ was supposed to sound like? I’m not writing this post to start anything malicious or shady, but sincerely, out of musical influencial curiousity.
Your thoughts?

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Re: Was it Dionne or was it Burt/Hal?

Postby hereiam » Mon Nov 19, 2018 10:19 am

My personal opinion is Aretha and Dionne are totally different in style and genre. Dionne sings "white" music
and Aretha belongs to the "black" (soul music) music market... Isn't Aretha being called Queen of Soul..

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Re: Was it Dionne or was it Burt/Hal?

Postby JohnnyD » Sat Nov 24, 2018 10:08 pm

I think it was the combination of Dionne, Burt and Hal.

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Re: Was it Dionne or was it Burt/Hal?

Postby geoff85 » Sun Dec 09, 2018 1:38 pm

This was a symbiotic relationship where the divorce of any of parties could have caused the magic to suffer. History itself showed this. Bacharach's music fell flat or often times seemed indulgent or even corny without Hal's witty lyrics riding those unique and ever shifting time signatures. Dionne while still having still possessed her amazing vocal ability never sounded quite as angelic as she did when they were a trio. I really can't divorce them from each other. Bacharach himself said Dionne was his muse and he had his pick of singers who were even more noteworthy than she was at the time.

For the record I dont know if its fair to say Dionne sang white music. Some African Americans might have felt like that at the time but she was still well renowned even within the African American community at the time(and outside of it). She simply restrained on the heavy gospel inflections and Ba/ charach supplied more of an easy listening sound vs a heavy thumping soul sound. Bacharach= (classical training/ jewish traditional/ cool jazz/ latin(Caribbean/ South American)). Alot of Bacharach jazz and latin influence are actually African American/ African influenced it is not palpable to the masses but if you know your stuff you know it.

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