Dionne Warwick is one of America’s top ten greatest singing treasures and her musical style and contributions to the industry, in my opinion, can never be duplicated or imitated. Known as The First Lady Of Ease, Warwick was crowned that title because of her soft and sensitive sound.
10 “Must Have” albums by Dionne Warwick.
10. Presenting Dionne Warwick (1963)
Presenting… is the album that jump started the career of Dionne Warwick, from a session background singer to a sophisticated lead vocalist who would dominate the charts in the 60’s. Riding on the success of her first single “Don’t Make Me Over” an album was quickly put together of demos that Bacharach, David & Warwick were working on for other artist. Even though, Presenting Dionne Warwick isn’t full of hit singles it does however, from a historic perspective gives the listener an opportunity to experience the genesis of the incredible musical marriage between Bacharach, David & Warwick.
9. Here Where There Is Love (1966)
Dionne and the team of Bacharach-Davis are now recording more serious and mature pop themes during the recording of Here Where There Is Love. Even though, they deliver the hits with songs like; What The World Needs Now, I Just Don’t Know To Do With Myself, Trains, Boats and Planes and the epic Alfie; the team during this recording are making a musical shift. On this recording you will also hear Dionne cover standards and music of her peers: Bob Dylan’s Blowing In The Wind.
8. Promises, Promises (1968)
By 1968, Dionne Warwick at her vocal peak, however, her music began to have a more theatrical approach due to Bacharach/David scoring Broadway shows. Listening to Promises, Promises in 2018, this album still sends chills up my spine when I close my eyes and listen to Dionne Warwick vocals cascade effortlessly amidst Burt’s ever challenging arrangements. Music historians are torn when they discuss Promises, Promises; some felt Dionne went too pop, while others felt she was making great strides musically and considered Promises, Promises containing some of her best work up to that point.
7. I’ll Never Fall In Love Again (1970)
Burt Bacharach and Hal David didn’t write for the whole session of I’ll Never Fall In Love Again, somehow a decent album was made with all of Warwick’s themes of heartbreak and loneliness . The Bacharach/David are the standouts on this release: Odds and Ends, I’ll Never Fall In Love Again, Knowing When To Leave and The Wine Is Young. Warwick won her second Grammy for ” I’ll Never Fall In Love Again”.
6. The Dionne Warwicke Story: A Decade Of Gold (1971)
The Dionne Warwicke Story: A Decade Of Gold is a great compilation of live performances highlighting Dionne Warwick at her peak and also the only time the record buyers can hear the Bacharach/David hits in their entirety. A Decade Of Gold also showcases Warwick’s versatility as an vocalist who was celebrating a decade in the business.
5. How Many Times Can We Say Goodbye (1983)
A solid album through and through, How Many Times Can We Say Goodbye is regarded one of Warwick’s stronger effects from the 80’s . Produced and written by Soulster Luther Vandross, who was masterful with how he recorded the Vandross brand to compliment the Warwick brand. Together, Vandross And Warwick would released an adult contemporary classic with How Many Times Can We Say Goodbye.
4. Friends (1985)
Dionne Warwick reunited with Burt Bacharach, and she had become one of the very first artist to stand up and create awareness for the epidemic that was sweeping the nation called Aids. The single “That’s What Friends Are For” was a major hit and helped make the Friends album one of the most successful of 1986, Friends is on the same par excellence as the Vandross produced How Many Time….
3. Here I Am (1966)
Here I Am is Bacharach-David-Warwick’s best concept album with some of their most charming work like; “Here I Am, Don’t Go Breaking My Heart”, “Window Wishing”, and the epic “(Here I Go Again) Looking With My Eyes”. Great pop music.
2. Hot! Live and Otherwise (1981)
A thing that always stood out with Dionne Warwick was her ability to sing other people’s material and make it her own. Hot! Live and Otherwise is great in many ways because by this time Dionne musically had began to sing with a little more church lol and also her voice had began to deepen compared to her higher vocal range of the sixties and early seventies. Hot! Live And Otherwise is a flawless presentation from start to finish. Highlight include Warwick singing a 20 minute medley of her Bacharach/David hits.
1. Make Way For Dionne Warwick (1964)
If you were only able to own one album of Dionne Warwick, I predict that it would be her breakthrough album Make Way For Dionne Warwick because it is filled with early classic Bacharach-David gems like “Walk On By”, “You’ll Never Get To Heaven”, “A House Is Not A Home”, “Reach Out For Me”, and “The Land Of Make Believe”. I wouldn’t consider Make Way For Dionne Warwick a concept album because Bacharach – David were still primarily focused on creating music for the singles market. What is most intriguing about Make Way For Dionne Warwick is the hunger you can hear and feel in the music of Bacharach-David-Warwick
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