Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Burt Bacharach: Synthpop Sensation?

I was once again shocked to learn this week that another 1980's hit is in fact a cover of a 1960's soul/R&B song (see below for Soft Cell's "Tainted Love," originally by Gloria Jones). This time it's Naked Eyes' "(There's) Always Something There to Remind Me." The song was in fact originally recorded by Dionne Warwick as a demo in 1963, before Lou Johnson released it virtually the exact same track with his vocals in 1964, with that version charting at #49 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Like virtually all of Warwick's songs recorded in her career, the song was composed by Burt Bacharach with lyrics by Hal David. It's just a bit funny to think that the brooding, snythpop hit of the 80's was in fact composed by Bacharach, known for his loungy love songs in a bygone era (for some perspective, Bacharach's biggest hit he composed in the 80's was the cheesy "That's What Friends Are For," as performed by Warwick). It also just makes you wonder: if all these latter day hits are recycled from yesterday's B-sides, is that a testament to the versatility of the tracks or does it indicate that music was, in fact, better then?