Can 60s pop get any better than this? It’s hard to think so – given the near-perfect sound of this album, and its unique blend of soul, vocal, and mainstream modes.
It is easier to define Dionne Warwick by what she isn’t rather than what she is.
Burt Bacharach and Hal David were always there for her. Everyone of us has sang “ I say a little player” “I just don’t know what to do with myself” “Anyone who had a heart” and so many classic songs.
A1 I Say a Little Prayer 3:04
A2 Walk Little Dolly 3:27
A3 The Beginning of Loneliness 3:30
A4 Another Night 2:34
A5 The Windows of the World 3:23
B1 (There’s) Always Something There to Remind Me 2:59
B2 Somewhere 4:23
B3 You’re Gonna Hear From Me 4:29
B4 Love 2:52
B5 What’s Good About Good-Bye 2:41
Dionne Warwick followed up the lukewarm reception for On Stage and in the Movies (1967) with her ninth long player for Scepter Records in less than four years. Conversely, Windows of the World (1967) would garner a favorable impression thanks in part to “Say a Little Prayer” and the hauntingly poignant and politically-tinged title song, “Windows of the World.” Both are timeless illustrations of the pop perfection found in Warwick’s interpretations of Burt Bacharach and Hal David classics. The same is true of “(There’s) Always Something There to Remind Me,” “The Beginning of Loneliness” and the irresistibly groovy “Another Night,” all of which were minor hits. The team also provided the secondary (read: filler) “Walk Little Dolly,” sporting a gliding waltz arrangement that is custom-fit to Warwick’s lilting and expressive vocal.
As on earlier collections, she expands beyond the Bacharach/David songbook on a few show tunes, forecasting her impending success on André Previn’s “(Theme From) Valley of the Dolls.” Another Previn composition, “You’re Gonna Hear from Me” — from Inside Daisy Clover — is included here in an impressive Peter Matz score. Warwick’s deep gospel roots are drawn upon as she unleashes one of the most striking performances of her career. Matz gives West Side Story’s “Somewhere” a jazzy and fully orchestrated reading that takes advantage of Warwick’s innate timing and commanding pipes — especially when holding that final “…someway…” that lasts over ten seconds. On the lighter side, O.B. Massengill and Warwick collaborated on the camped up rendition of Nat King Cole and Bert Kaempfert’s “Love.”
[Windows of the World/Valley of the Dolls (2004) is available as a CD two-fer boasting an additional three selections. “Taking a Chance on Love” is actually referred to on the original album jacket, but pulled from the running order at some point. The Italian-sung “Dedicato All Amore” was Warwick’s entry in the 1967 San Remo Song Festival, while “Lo Volce Di Silenzio” had been recorded in English for Valley of the Dolls under the name “Silent Voices.”
Dionne Warwick’s 1967 single I Say A Little Prayer was written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David and recorded at A&R Studios in Manhattan in June 1966. Engineering the recording was the legendary Phil Ramone who would later produce Billy Joel and many others. Bacharach arranged, conducts and is on piano. The tune was released as single in October 1967 after DJs all over the country started playing the album cut from the Windows of the World album. I Say A Little Prayer was certified RIAA Gold selling over 1 million copies and peaked at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart in December 1967. I Say A Little Prayer/(Theme From) Valley of the Dolls is one of the most successful double sided hits of the Rock era. This is the rare unedited version in which Burt Bacharach can be heard on count off. I Say A Little Prayer was also the first RIAA certified million seller for Bacharach and David. Less than one year later, Aretha Franklin would take her cover of “I Say A Little Prayer” to the #10 spot on Billboard’s Hot 100 singles chart.