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Reach Out For Them: New 2-CD Comps Coming In September For Dionne, Chicago

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Following collections devoted to Foreigner, Christopher Cross, Otis Redding and Yes, the U.K.’s Music Club Deluxe label (a member of the Demon Music Group family) continues its exploration of the Warner Music Group catalogue with new compilations focusing on the long, diverse careers of Dionne Warwick and Chicago.  Either of these esteemed acts would be solid candidates for our Greater Hits feature, in which we compare an artist’s “greatest hits” output.  Both certainly have been the subjects of countless compilations over the years.  Music Club’s The Essential Dionne Warwick and Chicago – The Ultimate Collection are both due in U.K. stores on September 5, and while they may not be the finest introductions to these legendary artists, nor are they to be completely dismissed.

The Essential Dionne Warwick is unique in that it includes ten songs (nearly a quarter of the total material) from Warwick’s Warner Bros. Records period between 1972 and 1978.  Warwick entered the Warner Bros. family with high hopes.  She had just completed a nearly unprecedented seven-year streak as the hitmaking queen of Scepter Records, one-third of the “triangle marriage” with producers and songwriters Burt Bacharach and Hal David.  (Many of the team’s Scepter hits are present on the new set, which begins with a 1-2-3 punch of “Walk On By,” “Do You Know the Way to San Jose” and “Alfie.”)  On the advice of astrologer-to-the-stars Linda Goodman, Dionne became Warwicke, adding an “e” to the end of her surname, and signed a deal with the Burbank label that was reported to be the biggest ever for a female recording artist.  Bacharach and David were also signed to continue working with Dionne and the result was 1972’s Dionne, a low-key, soulful record that went largely unnoticed on its release. The Essential includes that album’s “Hasbrook Heights,” written by Bacharach and David but arranged and conducted by jazz great Bob James.  Not only did the LP fail to make an impression, but things quickly turned sour for the team whose sound had helped define an era of popular music.  Bacharach and David fell out after the failure of their film musical Lost Horizon, and lawsuits flew.  Warwick remained at Warner Bros., working with a succession of producers.  From the 1973 Holland/Dozier/Holland effort Just Being Myself comes “I Think You Need Love” and the title song.  Four tracks are drawn from 1974’s Jerry Ragovoy-helmed Then Came You, including its title cut which was, of course, produced and arranged by Philadelphia’s Thom Bell.  Bell took the reins for the entirety of 1975’s Track of the Cat, three delicious songs from which are included here.  Only the 1977 Steve Barri/Michael Omartian production Love at First Sight is ignored, which is too bad; the album has some fine performances including “Early Morning Strangers,” written by Hal David and Barry Manilow!

While the golden Scepter period makes up the lion’s share of the 2 CDs, the Arista period is only represented by two songs, both of which were licensed by Music Club from Sony: “Heartbreaker” and “All the Love in the World,” both written and produced by the Brothers Gibb for the album Heartbreaker.  That means that “I’ll Never Love This Way Again,” “Déjà vu,” “That’s What Friends Are For,” “No Night So Long,” and Warwick’s other late-period hits are missing entirely.  (Warwick’s Arista tenure has already been compiled by Music Club on another 2-disc set, All in the Love in the World, MCDLX044.  The non-chronologically-sequenced set does, however, include some buried treasures from Scepter as well as the Warner Bros. years.  While those rarely-heard Warner cuts may make this an attractive set for Warwick fans who don’t own those individual albums, the often-overlooked Scepter material is also choice, gems like “Odds and Ends,” “Who Is Gonna Love Me,” “Any Old Time of Day” and “Let Me Go to Him.”

Hit the jump and we’ll take you back to Chicago!

Though the band got its start some years after Dionne Warwick, the one-time Chicago Transit Authority has had a similarly lengthy career. Peter Cetera, Terry Kath, Danny Seraphine, Robert Lamm, Walter Parazaider, Lee Loughnane and James Pankow burst onto the charts in 1969 as Chicago Transit Authority with an album of the same title.  The band dominated the charts in the early days of the 1970s before struggling in the face of disco and then performing a controversial, astonishing act of reinvention as purveyors of romantic eighties power ballads, largely sans the horn section that made the group so unique in the first place.  Any non-chronological Chicago compilation is by nature somewhat schizophrenic, and this is no exception.  That said, The Ultimate Collection is well-curated and compiled from all of Chicago’s studio albums except  XIV (1980), Stone of Sisyphus (22/32, 1993/2008), Night and Day (1995), 25: The Christmas Album/What’s It Gonna Be, Santa? (1998/2003), 26 (partially-live, 1999) and XXX (2006).

Like the Warwick set, Chicago – The Ultimate Collection has a number of songs not usually anthologized, among them “Critic’s Choice,” “Loneliness is Just a Word” and “Memories of Love.”  The compilation producers have gone a little deeper with the prime seventies material, covering the eighties and nineties primarily via the big hit singles.  While Rhino’s The Very Best of Chicago: Only the Beginning (R2 76170, 2002, 39 tracks) is nearly definitive and the same label’s The Best of Chicago: 40th Anniversary Edition (R2 309116, 30 tracks) features rare single edits making their first appearances on disc, The Ultimate Collection’s 36 tracks is generous and a bargain at £6 or so on Amazon U.K., roughly 10 U.S. dollars.

Well, these just might make good gifts for your discerning but still casual catalogue fans.   You’ll find pre-order links for both titles and complete track listings below!

Dionne Warwick, The Essential Dionne Warwick (Music Club MCDLX522, 2011)

CD 1

  1. Walk On By
  2. Do You Know The Way To San Jose
  3. Alfie
  4. Heartbreaker
  5. Always Something There To Remind Me
  6. A House Is Not A Home
  7. Don’t Make Me Over
  8. (They Long To Be) Close To You
  9. Anyone Who Had A Heart
  10. This Girl’s In Love With You
  11. You’ll Never Get To Heaven If You Break My Heart
  12. This Empty Place
  13. Are You There (With Another Girl)
  14. Message To Michael
  15. Trains and Boats and Planes
  16. I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself
  17. The Look Of Love
  18. You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling
  19. Odds and Ends
  20. The Windows of the World
  21. The April Fools
  22. Promises, Promises
  23. (Theme From) Valley Of The Dolls

CD 2

  1. Then Came You – With The Detroit Spinners
  2. All The Love In The World
  3. I Say a Little Prayer
  4. Hasbrook Heights
  5. Once You Hit The Road
  6. I’ll Never Fall In Love Again
  7. What The World Needs Now Is Love
  8. You Can Have Him
  9. Make It Easy On Yourself
  10. Let Me Go To Him
  11. Any Old Time Of Day
  12. Sure Thing
  13. Take It From Me
  14. His House and Me
  15. I Think You Need Love
  16. Track Of The Cat
  17. I’m Just Being Myself
  18. Move Me No Mountain
  19. I’m Your Puppet
  20. Who Is Gonna Love Me
  21. Reach Out For Me

Disc 1, Tracks 1 & 6 and Disc 2, Track 21 from Make Way For Dionne Warwick, Scepter 523, 1964
Disc 1, Track 2 & 23 from Valley of the Dolls, Scepter 568, 1968
Disc 1, Tracks 3 & 15-16 and Disc 2, Track 7 from Here Where There is Love, Scepter 555, 1966
Disc 1, Track 4 and Disc 2, Track 2 from Heartbreaker, Arista AL-9609, 1982
Disc 1, Track 5 & 20 and Disc 2, Track 3 from The Windows of the World, Scepter 563, 1967
Disc 1, Tracks 7 & 12 and Disc 2, Track 9 from Presenting Dionne Warwick, Scepter 508, 1963
Disc 1, Track 8 from Make Way For Dionne Warwick, Scepter 523, 1964 or Dionne, Warner Bros. 2585, 1972
Disc 1, Track 9 and Disc 2, Track 11 from Anyone Who Had a Heart, Scepter 517, 1964
Disc 1, Tracks 10 & 22 and Disc 2, Track 20 from Promises, Promises, Scepter 571, 1968
Disc 1, Track 11 from Scepter single 1282, 1964
Disc 1, Track 13 from Here I Am, Scepter 531, 1965
Disc 1, Track 14 from Scepter single 12133, 1966                                             
Disc 1, Tracks 17 & 21 from Greatest Motion Picture Hits, Scepter 575, 1969
Disc 1, Track 18 & Disc 2, Track 19 from Soulful, Scepter 573, 1969
Disc 1, Track 19 from Scepter single 11256, 1969
Disc 2, Tracks 1, 12-13 & 18 from Then Came You, Warner Bros. 2846, 1974
Disc 2, Track 4 from Dionne, Warner Bros. 2585, 1972
Disc 2, Tracks 5, 14 & 16 from Track of the Cat, Warner Bros. 2893, 1975
Disc 2, Tracks 6 & 10 from I’ll Never Fall in Love Again, Scepter 581, 1970
Disc 2, Track 8 from The Sensitive Sound of Dionne Warwick, Scepter 528, 1965
Disc 2, Tracks 15 & 17 from Just Being Myself, Warner Bros. 2658, 1973

Chicago, The Ultimate Collection (Music Club Deluxe MCDLX520, 2011)

CD 1

  1. If You Leave Me Now
  2. Hard To Say I’m Sorry
  3. Hard Habit To Break
  4. You’re The Inspiration
  5. Street Player
  6. Baby What A Big Surprise
  7. Just You ‘N’ Me
  8. Call On Me
  9. No Tell Lover
  10. Song For You (Single Version)
  11. Will You Still Love Me?
  12. I Don’t Wanna Live Without Your Love
  13. What Kind Of Man Would I Be?
  14. Look Away
  15. Stay The Night
  16. You Come To My Senses
  17. You’re Not Alone
  18. Take Me Back To Chicago

CD 2

  1. 25 Or 6 To 4
  2. I’m A Man
  3. Saturday In The Park
  4. Colour My World
  5. Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?
  6. Memories Of Love
  7. Harry Truman
  8. Old Days
  9. Make Me Smile
  10. Questions 67 And 68
  11. Wishing You Were Here
  12. (I’ve Been) Searchin’ So Long
  13. Beginnings
  14. Critic’s Choice
  15. Loneliness Is Just A Word
  16. Feelin’ Stronger Every Day
  17. Alive Again
  18. Here In My Heart

Disc 1, Track 1 from Chicago X, Columbia PC-34200, 1976
Disc 1, Track 2 from Full Moon/Warner Bros. single 7-29979, 1982
Disc 1, Tracks 3-4 & 15 from Chicago 17, Full Moon/Warner Bros. 1-25060, 1984
Disc 1, Track 5 from Chicago 13, Columbia FC-36105, 1979
Disc 1, Tracks 6 & 18 from Chicago XI, Columbia JC-34860, 1977
Disc 1, Track 7 & Disc 2, Tracks 14 & 16 from Chicago VI, Columbia KC-32400, 1973
Disc 1, Track 8 & Disc 2, Tracks 11-12 from Chicago VII, Columbia C2-32810, 1974
Disc 1, Track 9 & Disc 2, Track 17 from Hot Streets, Columbia FC-35512, 1978
Disc 1, Track 10 from Columbia single 1-11341, 1980
Disc 1, Track 11 from Chicago 18, Full Moon/Warner Bros. 1-25509, 1986
Disc 1, Tracks 12-14, 17 from Chicago 19, Full Moon/Reprise 1-25714, 1988
Disc 1, Track 16 from Chicago Twenty I, Full Moon/Reprise 9-26391, 1991
Disc 2, Tracks 1, 4, 6, 9 & 13 from Chicago, Columbia KGP-24, 1970
Disc 2, Tracks 2, 5 & 10 from Chicago Transit Authority, Columbia GP-8, 1969
Disc 2, Track 3 from Chicago V, Columbia KC-31102, 1972
Disc 2, Tracks 7-8 from Chicago VIII, Columbia PC-33100, 1975
Disc 2, Track 15 from Chicago III, Columbia C2-30110, 1971
Disc 2, Track 18 from The Heart of Chicago 1967-1997, Reprise 9-46554, 1997

Written by Joe Marchese

July 29, 2011 at 12:38

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