Album Reviews

Burt Bacharach: Make it Easy On Yourself 1962 (El Records)

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Make It Easy On Yourself 1962 is the third album in El Records‘ ongoing series documenting the writing and recording career of legendary pop composer Burt Bacharach. This series, however, focuses on the more obscure recordings and songs from the man’s vast catalogue, with the occasional more well-known number, when omission would be conspicuous. Many people–this writer included–instantly connect Burt Bacharach with high-quality pop music, and this collection proves the point. Of course, Bacharach was a writer of love songs of all sorts. You’ll find songs about the joys of being in love, the pains of being in love, and every possible emotion in between. Many of the songs written this year would become bigger hits years later, after Bacharach’s reputation had been sealed, yet it’s the more obscure numbers, such as Babs Tino‘s jaunty, innocent “Forgive Me (For Giving You Such A Bad Time),” The Four Coins‘ baroque harmonies on “The Window of Heaven,” and Bobby Vee‘s disturbing “Anonymous Phone Call.” The only two non-Bacharach songs are two songs by Marlene Dietrich, which date from Bacharach’s time as Dietrich’s orchestra leader. The two biggest highlights are Jack Jones‘ two offerings, “Dreamin’ All The Time” and “Pick Up The Pieces.” “Dreamin'” is as dreamy as the title suggests, whilst “Pick Up The Pieces” is the tale of a man recovering from heartbreak. 1962 was the upstart of Bacharach’s career, and these twenty-seven songs are proof that great things were around the corner. An essential collection, this; it will tide you over nicely until volume four.

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