The great songwriter Burt Bacharach has died. Let's talk about our favorite Burt Bacharach songs.
The man lived to be 94, so there's nothing to cry about. Let's talk about the beauty of the songs.
WAIT: That Spotify list I embedded can't be right! Be Bop a Lula?! Here's Wikipedia's list of his songs. I'll try to find a better playlist to embed.
AND: To make it all Dionne Warwick:
ALSO: Looking at the Wikipedia list, which is in chronological order, I think the first Burt Bacharach song that got into my head was "Magic Moment," sung by Perry Como and a hit in 1958 (when I was 7). Also big for me: "Baby It's You" (The Shirelles, 1961). And in 1962, 2 Gene Pitney songs: "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" and "Make It Easy on Yourself."
There are some on that list I've never heard of, like "Me Japanese Boy I Love You" (a 1964 Bobby Goldsboro hit with a hilariously politically incorrect headline).
My favorite on that list is the 1965 Jackie DeShannon recording, "What the World Needs Now Is Love," so memorably played in one of my favorite movies, "Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice." Didn't we all leave the theater rededicated to love?
And there's "The Look of Love," the 1967 Dusty Springfield hit.
PLUS: Here's my son John's Facebook post with a long excerpt from the NYT obituary and some personal comments, including something about "What the World Needs Now": "used in an unusual, almost surreal scene in the movie 'Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice,' in a way I find very moving."
AND: I love the original The Shirelles version of "Baby It's You." It embedded itself into my 10-year-old mind. You can hear Burt himself singing in the "sha la la la la" part. But this song has the great distinction of also having been recorded by The Beatles and The Carpenters. And there's a beautiful version by Bette Midler.
ADDED: An hour ago, I wrote "there's nothing to cry about. Let's talk about the beauty of the songs," but I've been playing the music all this time, and I have cried over the beauty of the songs.