Album Reviews

Hazell Dean: The Sound of Bacharach & David (2014)

dean

We here at The Recoup will always make time for anything that says “Burt Bacharach & Hal David” on it–even crappy remixes. Bacharach is that special, and considering his vast catalog of hit songs, even his lesser material–and lesser interpretations–will always retain a certain sense of quality. The Sound of Bacharach & David is a collection of covers by British pop singer Hazell Dean, recorded in the mid-1970s at the behest of the songwriting duo’s British publishers, Carlin Music.

As Dean says in her notes, this was never meant to be an album proper, and one should take that into consideration when listening to the album. The songs themselves are fine, and are mainly the duo’s greatest hits. Dean tackles “Close To You,” “Walk On By,” “I Just Don’t Know What Do To With Myself,” and others you could probably accurately name blindly. Dean’s voice is fine, but the one drawback of this collection is that the arrangements feel rushed, hurried. The duo’s songs were known for being a masterful mixture of lyrics and arrangement, but these recordings feel like they were recorded quickly–as they probably were–with few takes and with a live band.

The Sound of Bacharach and David is an interesting record, and it’s obvious that Dean loves these songs. That said, this collection functions more as a historical curiosity for Dean and for Bacharach/David fans than as definitive recordings.

 

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