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Burt Bacharach

℗ 1977 A & M Records SP 4622

℗ 2012 barin.livejournal.com BR LLH 98742

Burt Bacharach • 1977 • Futures

As with 1973's Living Together album, Burt Bacharach was given a lot of latitude by A&M, and deservedly so. This album is even more deep and complex than Living Together; though commercially it has more to grab onto, it still lacks the immediate punch of his Reach Out album, Burt Bacharach Plays His Hits or even A Tribute to Burt Bacharach: Composer, Arranger, Conductor. This is a very musical episode with Burt Bacharach: Reach Out engineer Phil Ramone co-producing. When you've got Jamie Anders singing on "When You Bring Your Sweet Love to Me," Joshie Armstead contributing to four titles, and even Peter Yarrow helping out on "The Young Grow Younger Every Day," the result can be called "underground adult contemporary." It goes down smooth, and where there are no singers, like on "Time and Tenderness," sophisticated Muzak emerges. As negative as the term Muzak has become, that is a compliment. The audience that enjoys a "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head" are more apt to listen to this perfectly balanced array of performances and arrangements. Futures is a great title; it's a very futuristic middle of the road album, Bacharach looking like he stepped out of the gym riding in what looks like a ski lift on the cover. An Engelbert Humperdinck type relaxing, if you will. But the music inside is complex, and the project itself is as tremendous as Jethro Tull's A Passion Play. Unfortunately, it is also as difficult. With the legendary songwriter's many achievements it makes sense that A&M would allow him to go so far out on a limb. As Carole Bayer Sager's masterpiece Sometimes Late at Night mesmerizes -- and keep in mind Burt Bacharach was a major contributor to that epic, Futures is not as easy to absorb. It is immediately accessible, but not as easy to contain or recall. On the back of the album the artist writes, "My music came alive because of these people...," and that pretty much says it all: a major composer and arranger bringing more of his individual music to life. It's a classy project that may find appreciation years after it was recorded, one that might have been overlooked because the composer's other work is so popular.

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