Columbia Records to Release Burt Bacharach's 'At This Time' on November 1st
New CD, with Music and Lyrics by Bacharach, Stirs Musical and Emotional Passions
Album Marks First Time Bacharach Writes Lyrics for his Music and Unites Harmony and Love With Some Righteous Indignation ... With Contributions From Elvis Costello, Dr. Dre and Rufus Wainwright
Columbia Records will release At This Time, a new album by Burt Bacharach, which combines his passion about life with new stirring melodies performed by an orchestra of more than 35 musicians, on Tuesday, November 1st. The Academy Award and Grammy-winning composer writes lyrics - a first, he says - and sings vocals on one of the album's songs and a part of another, because "There are things I need to say."
Bacharach wrote lyrics for nine of the album's 11 songs, many with collaborator Tonio K. "People ask why a man who has been known for writing love songs all of his life is suddenly rocking the boat," Bacharach says. "I had to do it. This is very personal to me, and this is the most passionate album I have ever made.
"I had to express myself, not only musically but lyrically. It was time for me to ask, 'who are these people who are taking control of our lives and how do we stop the violence?' I've got two little kids and a 19-year-old son and I wonder what they're going to do with their lives. It's so personal to me that I even decided to do some of the singing. This is dedicated to my kids and your kids," Bacharach adds.
Collaborations on At This Time include Elvis Costello, with whom Bacharach teamed on the Grammy-winning album, "Painted From Memory" in 1998. Costello performs "Who Are These People," perhaps the CD's most-controversial and haunting track, with music by Bacharach and lyrics by Bacharach and Tonio K. "Who are these people that keep telling us lies?/And how did these people get control of our lives?/And who'll stop the violence 'cause it's out of control/Make 'em stop," Costello sings. Rufus Wainwright sings "Go Ask Shakespeare," which contains the lyrics, "I've been hoping for a better day/It's a long time coming but I wait anyway/Life's a miracle or a foolish tale/I don't know/Go ask Shakespeare."
Also contributing is Dr. Dre, with whom Bacharach started collaborating a couple of years ago. The original project changed, but Dre contributed drum loops for three of the tracks that Bacharach describes as "adventurous." Trumpeter Chris Botti co-wrote "Dreams" with Bacharach and performs on that track, as well as on "In Our Time." Other vocals are performed by singers John Pagano, Josie James and Donna Taylor.
The man who is known for such love songs as "What The World Needs Now Is Love," "The Look of Love," "I Say A Little Prayer," "Close To You," "I Just Don't Know What to Do With Myself" and "This Guy's In Love With You," doesn't leave love behind, even in these complex times. Recognizing the themes are universal, he instead mixes melodic and beautiful music and lyrics with his life experiences to consider how love and compassion can enhance the actions of the world's leaders and nations, at a time that Bacharach sees as increasingly frightening.
In a first for one of music's most legendary and successful composers, Bacharach says he had "the freedom to write music without worrying about radio airplay or how many hits there would be" in order to write from his heart melodically and emotionally. "I had the encouragement to take some risks, using voices we don't hear very often, such as the Greek chorus, interjections and vocal interruptions," he says. "I want radio and sales, too, but I was able to start from my own experiences and thoughts and adapt the music, rather than second-guess what tomorrow's radio programmers would need to hear."
Andrew Hale, from the band Sade, who was the A&R supervisor on the record, concurs. "It would have been easy to ask Burt to make another record that rested on his laurels, but here he's speaking from the heart. He's pissed at the administration, concerned about the world he is leaving to his children, and you can feel it."
At This Time will be released in the UK by Sony BMG Music. The project was originally commissioned for the UK, but Columbia saw its universal musical and emotional themes and appeal and is releasing it in the U.S., as well. UK release date is October 24th.
"I feel it is the most important album I have made and I am very proud of it. I'm pleased that Columbia is joining me in this journey, because these times require passion and emotion," Bacharach concludes.
Six decades into one of songwriting's most successful and honored careers - marked by 48 Top 10 hits, nine #1 songs and more than 500 compositions and a landmark 47-year run on the charts, Bacharach's music continues to set industry records and creative standards. The recipient of three Academy Awards and six Grammy Awards (including the 1997 Trustees Award with collaborator Hal David), he revolutionized the music of the 1950s and 60s and is regularly bracketed with legendary names such as Lennon and McCartney, Paul Simon, Leiber and Stoller, Cole Porter and the visionaries who pioneered new forms of music from the second half of the 20th Century in the 21st Century.
Tracks on At This Time are: "Please Explain" Music by Burt Bacharach and Denaun Porter Lyrics by Burt Bacharach and Tonio K. Drum and Bass Loop Denaun Porter "Where Did It Go?" Music by Burt Bacharach Lyrics by Burt Bacharach and Tonio K. Drum Loop Prinz Board for Beets & Produce "In Our Time" Music by Burt Bacharach Featuring Chris Botti "Who Are These People?" Music by Burt Bacharach Lyrics by Burt Bacharach and Tonio K. Featuring Elvis Costello "Is Love Enough?" Music by Burt Bacharach Lyrics by Burt Bacharach and Tonio K. Drum Loop Dr. Dre "Can't Give Up" Music by Burt Bacharach Lyrics by Burt Bacharach and Tonio K. "Go Ask Shakespeare" Music by Burt Bacharach Lyrics by Burt Bacharach and Tonio K. Featuring Rufus Wainwright Drum and Bass Loop Dr. Dre "Dreams" Music by Burt Bacharach and Chris Botti Lyrics by Burt Bacharach and Tonio K. Featuring Chris Botti "Danger" Music by Burt Bacharach Drum and Bass Loops Dr. Dre "Fade Away" Music and Lyrics by Burt Bacharach "Always Taking Aim" Music by Burt Bacharach Lyrics by Burt Bacharach and Tonio K.
There will be listening parties for At This Time in New York and Los Angeles.
SOURCE: Columbia Records
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