Personnel includes: Burt Bacharach; Grant Geissman (guitar); Dennis Wilson (reeds); John Thomas (horns); David Joyce, Rob Shrock (keyboards); David Coy (bass); David Crigger (drums); John Pagano, Donna Taylor, Lisa Taylor (background vocals); Sheryl Crow, All Saints, Elvis Costello, Chrissie Hynde, Mike Meyers, Wynonna, Ben Folds Five, Barenaked Ladies, Luther Vandross, David Sanborn, George Duke, Dionne Warwick.
Recorded live at the Hammerstein Ballroom, New York, New York, on April 8, 1998. Includes liner notes by Daniel Durchholz.
The Bacharach revival continued apace with the release of this live soundtrack for the TV special which aired in April of 1998. Contemporary artists such as All Saints, Barenaked Ladies and Wynonna all take creditable stabs at Bacharach classics from the purview of their respective genres. Comic relief is provided by a droll "What's New Pussycat," courtesy of Mike Meyers, whose '60s spy spoof AUSTIN POWERS did much to put Burt and his music back in play. Not to be outdone, power pop pianist/singer Ben Folds brings off a cheeky, over-the-top "Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head."
The most heartfelt performances, however, belong to those old punk rockers, Elvis Costello and Chrissie Hynde, whose identification with Bacharach's transcendent songcraft was ongoing even in their angry salad days. Costello performs his new co-written hit "God Give Me Strength," originally written for the film GRACE OF MY HEART and the powerful catalyst for the wonderful Costello/Bacharach full-length collaboration PAINTED FROM MEMORY. And yes, Dionne Warwick, late of the Psychic Network, returns to the land of the living with a strong three-song medley, still the only singer fully able to claim these difficult but beauteous songs as her own.