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Dionne Warwick: 4on2 CD Box Set

Presenting Dionne Warwick / Anyone Who Had A Heart / Make Way / The Sensitive Sound

Reviewed by Heikki Suosalo

Rating: 7/ 10

  These are happy but costly times for those Dionne Warwick fans, who want to replace their old vinyl records with CDs.  Soon they’ll re-release her Arista albums, but already now for a few months we’ve been able to enjoy her first sixteen albums released between 1963 and ’73, fourteen on Scepter Records and two on Warner.  It all adds up to 9 CDs, 194 tracks – 32 of them are bonus tracks – and almost exactly ten hours worth of music.  The only albums that are not repeated here – besides Dionne Warwick’s Golden Hits, Part One and Part 2, Dionne Warwick’s Greatest Motion Picture Hits and The Dionne Warwicke Story – are her ’68 inspirational set, The Magic of Believing, and her ’72 compilation, From Within

Presenting Dionne Warwick (released in 1963) / Anyone Who Had a Heart (’64) / Make Way for Dionne Warwick (’64; # 10 – r&b / # 68 – pop, in Billboard) / The Sensitive Sound of Dionne Warwick (’65; # - / 107) – Edsel, EDSK 7051; (2 CDs)

-         charted singles: Don’t Make Me Over (*), This Empty Place, Make the Music Play, Anyone Who Had a Heart (*), Walk On By (*), You’ll Never Get to Heaven (If You Break My Heart), A House Is Not a Home, Reach out for Me, Who Can I Turn to, You Can Have Him

*) denotes a top-ten r&b hit.

  I assume that everybody is familiar with Dionne’s big hits, so I decided just to list them and concentrate on other highlights and interesting tracks on these albums.  Dionne’s ( music roots go back to church and gospel, after which on the secular side she became a session singer until she teamed up with Burt Bacharach and Hal David.  Her history is told in detail in Tony Rounce’s annotations.

  The fast and poppy I Smiled Yesterday is the original A-side to Don’t Make Me Over, and Zip-A-Dee Doo-Dah just might be the original 60s take on that song.  Make It Easy on Yourself is the original demo, and other highlights include a poignant ballad called I Cry Alone and The Love of a Boy, another pretty downtempo song - plus two-mid-pacers, Put Yourself in My Place and That’s Not the Answer.  Dionne’s (They Long to Be) Close to you is one of the first recordings of that modern-day standard.

  The first Presenting album concentrated a lot on teeny pop, whereas Make Way became the first charted album.  The Sensitive LP was mostly recorded in London, and it was crammed with lush and sugary or jazzy renditions of standards and melodies from musicals, which really isn’t my music.

© Heikki Suosalo

The Other 3 Box Sets in the Same Series:

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