Burt Bacharach on his Life in Music

Monday, May 06, 2013

Burt Bacharach, award-winning songwriter and composer, talks about his life and music—from his tumultuous marriages and the tragic suicide of his daughter to his collaborations with Hal David, Carole Bayer Sager, Neil Diamond, Elvis Costello, and others. His new memoir is called Anyone Who Had a Heart: My Life and Music.


Burt Bacharach

Comments [12]

Ray from Melbourne Australia from Melbourne Australia.

Burt's music was on the radio when I was a young kid, it was the music my Mum sang along with while driving the car and if dad was there he would sing too. Great thoughts. The book is interesting too, clearly Mr Happy had a great childhood and this shows in his music. But, Burt is Not perfect and as we always seem to find that our hero's are just human with a particular talent. Burt was always looking for perfection and couldn't find it. The many takes in the recording studio and the less than flattering comment from Carol Bayer Sayer about Burt as a husband prove this. Angie Dickinson's comment that she perhaps married Burt for his talent (Music) is very revealing. Burt's music does make you happy and perhaps not see the true picture. Burt has traveled to Australia a number of times, receiving rave reviews. I was fortunate to see him live and was totally enriched after the show. The same thing happened to me when Dionne Warick came to town many years ago.
Thanks Burt for telling us the truth, revealing the real you. It just makes all your work a whole lot better, it didn't come easy, you're an normal guy with an amazing talent that was able to share it with the world. And a special thanks to the guy who looked like a dentist, Hal David(RIP)for matching the perfect words to your tunes.

Jul. 23 2013 08:43 PM
Burnley from Illinois

Of course Dionne Warwick has an important place in the Bacharach story and singers are important, but people are confining their comments here to songwriting. I'm sure there are plenty of people who think of "Do You Know the Way to San Jose" (etc.) as a Dionne Warwick song. Try Google: Warwick gets about 7 million hits, Bacharach only 5 million. I say "only", but that's actually quite a lot for a songwriter. The relatively famous Leiber and Stoller get less than a million hits, while The Coasters (for whom they wrote) get over 16 million.

May. 09 2013 02:50 PM

Burt Bacharach's autobiography, 'Anyone Who Had a Heart' is written in regard to the life and music of the songwriter. Those who contributed to MR. BACHARACH'S life are included in his book. Today's interview featured the author.

May. 06 2013 02:39 PM
The Truth from Becky

"thatgirl", I am aware, I am only talking about Ms Warwick at this moment if that is ok with you....and again, she is NOT mentioned here.

May. 06 2013 01:56 PM

@thatgirl, true but I think Bacharach's association with Dionne Warwick is special.

May. 06 2013 12:57 PM
thatgirl from manhattan

Becky - Dionne Warwick is but one of many singers who brought Bacharach/David songs to life. Look at a list sometime, and understand there were many, many more before and after her:

May. 06 2013 12:50 PM
Amy from Manhattan

I was in my high school's marching band around the turn of the '70s, & for 1 game we played some Burt Bacharach songs. I remember for "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head" we formed an umbrella, & some of the players marched down to "bounce" off the umbrella as raindrops; then the lower layer of the umbrella moved down so it opened out to form an eye, & the drops fell from it as teardrops. I hadn't thought of that in years!

May. 06 2013 12:42 PM
The Truth from Becky

Did I miss it or had NO ONE mention DIONNE WARWICK is the voice that brought these songs to life??!

May. 06 2013 12:42 PM
Jeanne from Wayne, NJ

I have been enjoying Mr. Bacharach's spectacular songs ever since first being introduced to his music at the age of 11 yrs. old, over 40 years ago. His unique music style was like nothing I had ever heard before. Would you please be so kind and extend my best wishes to Mr. Bacharach on the publication of his autiobiography (& a happy birthday wish, too).

'What the World Needs Now' and 'Alfie' are songs with important messages that need to be introduced to the current generation of 11 year olds.

Thank you & kind regards.

May. 06 2013 12:41 PM
thatgirl from manhattan

Fuva - Listen to a few random interviews--and even live stage performances (including his singing)--with Bacharach. He's always had a crackling voice. But today, he does sound like he has a cold.

But yes--everyone should look at the Bacharach and Bacharach/David canon and understand the volume of their genius, shaping popular music in an incredible way. The man is a treasure.

May. 06 2013 12:34 PM
Truth & Beauty from Brooklyn

Mr. Bacharach is correct. Writing a good (memorable) melody and good (poetic) lyrics are uncommon skills. Writing atonal "music" is akin to writing free-verse "poetry,": easy to just plop notes on a page or write a "word salad,"; the skill is in saying what you want to say in an artistic manner, doing the difficult, the way Michelangelo created sculpture. It may be that some of his music is a bit dated, but I challenge anyone listening now to show us how many songs, poems, melodies they've written that exist in the public consciousness.

May. 06 2013 12:31 PM
fuva from harlemworld

Burt Bacharach is a GREAT SONGWRITER; a living legend, really. (But, is it me, or is the sound/crackling here distracting? Think his mic needs a filter.)

May. 06 2013 12:22 PM

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