Burt Bacharach & Tonio K's Original Demos showcases the sublime work of legendary songwriter Burt Bacharach with his partner in crime, celebrated lyricist Tonio K.
Burt Bacharach is one of the most important and influential composers of the 20th century with a songbook that reads like a soundtrack of our lives with timeless melodies including "The Look Of Love," "Alfie," "A House Is Not A Home," "What's New Pussycat," "I Say A Little Prayer," "Wishin' And Hopin," "Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head" and a myriad of others.
Mr. Bacharach's collaboration with Tonio K started in the mid-nineties with "If I Should Lose You" which was recorded by revered American super-group, Chicago. That is also the first demo included on this collection. The album presents a batch of great compositions co-written by Mr. Bacharach and Señor K between 1995 and 2008. Although some of those songs were eventually recorded by important names including Diane Schuur, Ron Isley, Randy Crawford and Dionne Warwick, the real treat is to listen to the original demos crafted by Mr. Bacharach and Señor K with the help of award-winning producers Stephan Oberhoff, Ted Perlman and Steve Deutsch.
Among the included fourteen songs are absolute gems like "Count On Me," a gorgeous ballad with top notch vocals courtesy of the amazing Bill Champlin of Chicago and Sons of Champlin fame. Another showstopper is “Never Take That Chance Again" with guest vocals by the late, extraordinary Warren Wiebe. Take a listen to the demo recording of "Go Ask Shakespeare” that Mr. Bacharach recorded for his Grammy Award winning cd, At This Time. The complex, spectacular melody had guest vocals by Rufus Wainwright, but the demo included on Burt Bacharach and Tonio K Original Demos features a lead vocal by none other than Burt Bacharach himself in a touching performance that will be a must-listen for any Bacharach fan.
A jewel appearing on this special album is "Change My Mind," a soulful ballad sung by Billy Valentine of The Valentine Brothers fame. Mr. Valentine sings several other moments of Burt Bacharach and Tonio K's Original Demos including "Where Does Love Go," another heart-wrenching ballad with guests Dave Boruff on saxophone and Donna Taylor on the haunting harmony vocals. Ms.Taylor is a fixture of Mr. Bacharach's touring band as is John Pagano who beautifully sings "What Love Can Do," co-written by Mr. Bacharach and Señor K with legendary marvel Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys. An added highlight is Mr. Wilson singing the spectacular vocal harmonies on the song. Speaking of highlights, don't forget the superior composition of "Love's Still The Answer." Sung again by Billy Valentine, "Love's Still The Answer" is one of the most successful collaborations between Burt Bacharach and Tonio K with several renditions including those by Ron Isley, Dionne Warwick and Trijntje Oosterhuis.
A special treat is the tune “Do You?” that pairs Mr. Bacharach with the late, renown Jerry Leiber of Leiber & Stoller fame. Leiber, Mike Stoller and Phil Spector co-wrote and/or produced some infamous songs including "Ruby Baby" for The Drifters, "Love Potion No. 9" for The Searchers, "Yakety Yak" for The Coasters, "Jailhouse Rock" and "Hound Dog" for Elvis Presley plus "Stand By Me" and "Spanish Harlem" for Ben E. King. "Do You?" is an ear-candy ditty that bears an infectious rhythm and delicious vocals by actress/singer Brittney Bertier.
If you are looking for great songwriting, immortal melodies, smart tempos, great time changes or are a music lover, Burt Bacharach and Tonio K's Original Demos is the CD for you. The pure love of music can do great things and this collection is the perfect example.
The release also features extensive liner notes from Tonio K. telling the detailed story behind each composition and demo session.