Rolling Stone - 8/21/03, p.794 stars out of 5
- "...[An] astutely selected, spectacular-sounding Bacharach collection culled mostly from his 1960 and 1970s solo albums....Here is Bacharach in all his glory, scoring and playing piano and producing masterpieces..."
Q - 11/03, p.1303 stars out of 5
- "...The songs are allowed space to manoeuvre, with the arrangements taking on some interesting nuances..."
Mojo (Publisher) - 10/03, p.1273 stars out of 5
- "...These largely instrumental takes - impeccably recorded, gleaming with supper-club Latino beats, ticklish strings and telling key changes - recast their greatness in suggestive, near therapeutic ways..."
Includes previously unreleased tracks.
Producers: Burt Bacharach, Phil Ramone.
Compilation producers: Jim Pierson, Mike Ragogna.
All tracks have been digitally remastered using 96K/24-Bit technology.
Arranger: Burt Bacharach.
What the World Needs Now is a comprehensive single-disc compilation of Burt Bacharach's recordings of his music for Kapp and A&M Records between 1965 and 1974, drawn from his albums Hit Maker, the Man! Burt Bacharach and His Songs, Reach Out, Make It Easy on Yourself, Burt Bacharach, Living Together, and Burt Bacharach in Concert, as well as the soundtrack to Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Bacharach arranges and conducts the performances, using a studio orchestra including strings and electric instruments, usually with a female chorus to sing some portion of the lyrics written for the tunes by Hal David (or, in one instance, Bob Hilliard). The composer himself also handles occasional vocals, humming here and there and even singing whole lyrics on such songs as "A House Is Not a Home" and "Make It Easy on Yourself." The studio trickery of the 21st century no doubt could have made it sound like he could sing competently if he were cutting this material 40 years later than he did; as it is, he has moments in which he sings expressively and on key, but for the most part his voice is poor. While these recordings are a cut above mere easy listening run-throughs, boasting interesting arranging ideas and sections that illuminate Bacharach's melodies in ways the more familiar hit recordings did not, this is still music that depends heavily on the listener's recollection of those hit versions. When the tune is less familiar, such as on "Reach Out" or "Knowing When to Leave," the loss is felt particularly. For those who want to hear Bacharach's own, largely instrumental, take on his most popular songs of the 1960s and '70s, this is an excellent selection from his catalog. ~ William Ruhlmann