Tuesday, March 28, 2006

The Burt Bacharach Springboard

(In which ungentlemanly language is used. In good fun.)

I have a two items of news relating to Burt Bacharach and his recent CD At This Time which, for the record, I have not heard. Strangely, I now have two reasons to seek it out.

The first is that it won a Grammy award. Sharing in this for his synth programming is Ted Perlman. He frequents some of the same newsgroups as yours truly and has done some reviews online. It's nice to see he got his award-winning work done on a Pentium 4 PC (like me) using RME audio hardware (like me).

When asked about his gear, Perlman replied "I use an RME 9652 with 3 ADI-8's." This is a harder-hitting setup than my own Multiface, naturally.

Only tangentially related, but amusing, is this article he wrote on Background Vocals. I include it because this article itself is nothing but tangents and amusement, or so I hope.

The second thing about the Bacharach album that jumped out at me, like a cobra from a tightly packed box of coconuts1, is that some songs were co-written with Tonio K. I remember this fellow from his 1978 album Life in the Foodchain which was -- how can I put this delicately? -- completely fucked up. There's dance songs about protests and protest songs about dance, Earl Slick guitar solos, a ditty about a vampire, parodic love songs about beating each other up, and even a message from Joan Of Arc. It basically sounds like the dying rants of an anarchist stuck in L.A.

But apparently he's mellowed since writing songs as warped as "H.A.T.R.E.D.", which includes these classic lines:
i'm so full of h-a-t-r-e-d
i'm bitter and malign
you've got me p-i-s-s-e-d off
i'm angry most of the time
why don't you g-o-t-o-h-e-double-l
you tramp, you philandering bitch
i'm going to k-i-l-l one of us baby
when i'm sober i'll decide on which

And concludes:
but then again
maybe with the proper counseling
we can work this out

It turns out that Tonio K. has an alternate life writing tunes for Mary Black, Al Green, Wynonna Judd and the like and is some sort of "born again" person. Oh well. All great things. Etc.

As a final joke it must be noted that At This Time won the Best Pop Instrumental Album Grammy. As Tonio says "Some career I'm having, eh?"

1 Do cobras hide in coconuts? I know tarantulas hide in bananas.


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