Dionne Warwicke’s first album for Warner Brothers in 1972, sadly, was her last with masterful songwriting duo, Burt Bacharach and Hal David, their partnership in the process of dissolution. How perplexing that Warner Brothers would lure Dionne with a 5-million dollar contract (big money in 1971) but then only release one single from 1972 album, Dionne – and not even include “If You Never Say Goodbye” as the B-side:
Such an obvious radio contender, the song would appear to be one that got away from them.
I was about to write that the Crystal Corporation (based out of “Nashville-New York”) was a Ronco/K-Tel predecessor who put out a fairly decent repackaging of hits in 1969 entitled, 20 Solid Gold Hits:
But then I noticed that the Peter Max-inspired album design was done by Ely Besalel – the same guy who did the rainbow-and-doves-coming-out-of-a-big-detergent-box cover for Ronco’s Do It Now. Could there be a connection? I’m not sure if that mystery will ever be solved.
Anyway, there are a few decent tunes on this hits mix amidst the usual suspects: “Ain’t Gonna Eat Out My Heart Anymore” by The Young Rascals; the aforementioned Johnny Nash – accompanied by Lyn Taitt & the Jets – with his top 40 rocksteady hit, “Hold Me Tight”; and the great Bee Gees single, “To Love Somebody,” which was originally written at the request of their manager, Robert Stigwood, for Otis Redding who, alas, never had a chance to record it.
Interestingly, this album also includes a live track: a rousing version of Dionne Warwick’s big hit from 1964, “Walk On By” – check out how appreciative this audience is:
Walk on By – Dionne Warwicke
[Pssst: Click on the triangle above to hear a live performance of “Walk On By” by Dionne Warwick.]