- The Washington Times - Saturday, May 11, 2013

Musician and composer Burt Bacharach celebrates his 85th birthday on May 12. Best known for his partnership with lyricist Hal David, the duo produced many hits from the 1950s onward, particularly with singer Dionne Warwick. The List this week looks at the top 10 tunes composed by Mr. Bacharach.

  • 10. “Walk On By” — This was Dionne Warwick’s third Top 40 hit reaching No. 6 in May 1964. The song was ranked No. 70 on the Rolling Stone list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
  • 9. On My Own — Written by Burt Bacharach and Carole Bayer Sager, this song was made a No. 1 hit in 1986 on the Billboard charts by Patti LaBelle and Michael McDonald. It was the biggest single for both performers.
  • 8. “What the World Needs Now Is Love” — After Dionne Warwick turned it down, Kentucky-born Jackie DeShannon recorded the song and it reached No. 7 on the U.S. charts in 1965. Coldplay has performed the song. Miss DeShannon later had a bigger hit with her 1969 song “Put a Little Love in Your Heart”.
  • 7. That’s What Friends Are For — Carole Bayer Sager wrote the lyrics for this song, which Rod Stewart sang for the “Night Shift” soundtrack. The song is best known for the version Dionne Warwick and Friends (Elton John, Gladys Knight and Stevie Wonder) recorded and reached No. 1 in the U.S. in 1985 to raise funds for AIDS research.
  • 6. “This Guy’s in Love With You” — Primarily known for his trumpet playing, Herb Alpert sang the lead vocals on this excellent 1968 song and scored his first top hit. It was also the first No. 1 hit for the record label A&M that Mr. Alpert founded with Jerry Moss in 1962.
  • 5. “Anyone Who Had a Heart” —Dionne Warwick had a No. 8 hit and her first Top 10 single with this song in the U.S. in 1964. Cilla Black, a friend of the Beatles in Liverpool, scored a No. 1 hit in the U.K. with her version of the tune. Her cover became the biggest female hit of the 1960s in the U.K. Petula Clark had a No. 1 hit with the song in Spain.
  • 4. “Do You Know the Way to San Jose” — The song became one of Dionne Warwick’s biggest international hits peaking at No. 8 in the U.K., Ireland, and Canada in 1968. It reached No. 10 on the Billboard charts and Miss Warwick won her first Grammy with the song. Hal David, who wrote the lyrics, had a special interest in San Jose, Calif., having been stationed there while in the Navy.
  • 3. “I Say A Little Prayer” —Dionne Warwick had a No. 4 hit with the song in 1967. Aretha Franklin also recorded the song, reaching No. 10 in August 1968.
  • 2. “Arthur’s Theme” (The Best That You Can Do) — Performed by Christopher Cross, the song was the theme song for the Dudley Moore and Liza Minnelli film “Arthur,” for which it won an Academy Award. It reached No. 1 on the Billboard charts. The song was a collaboration between Mr. Bacharach, Mr. Cross, Carole Bayer Sager and Peter Allen.
  • 1. “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head” — Ray Stevens was first offered the opportunity to record this song for the film “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford, but turned it down. B.J. Thomas recorded the song for the film and it became a No. 1 hit in 1969. The song won an Academy Award for best original song and became a No 1 hit on the Billboard charts.

Bonus tracks: “Wishin’ and Hopin’ Dusty Springfield” (Dusty Springfield recorded “Wishin’ and Hopin’” in January 1964. It reached No. 6 on the charts in the U.S.), “Lost Horizon” (This was the theme song from the 1973 film “Lost Horizon” sung by folk-rock musician Shawn Phillips.) “Make It Easy on Yourself” (Jerry Butler reached No. 20 in the U.S. with the song in 1962.), “(The Man Who Shot) Liberty Valance” (Sung by Gene Pitney, this tune was recorded for the film of the same name starring John Wayne and Jimmy Stewart.), ” (They Long to Be) Close to You” (This version of Burt Bacharach’s song was the Carpenters’ breakthrough record, reaching No. 1 on the Billboard charts in 1970 and earning a Grammy Award.)

Compiled by John Haydon
Source: Wikipedia, songfacts.com, bacharachonline.com