Burt Bacharach Gone at 94
The legendary pop composer enjoyed an unprecedented 70-year career
Burt Bacharach, the legendary composer known for such famous melodies as “Walk on By,” “Do You Know the Way to San Jose” and dozens of other hits, has died at 94.
The Grammy, Oscar and Tony winner died Wednesday at home in Los Angeles of natural causes, his publicist said Thursday.
For 70 years, Bacharach enjoyed a successful run of hits that spanned from the 1950s through the 21st century, largely alongside longtime collaborator Hal David. Together, the pair would blur the lines between film and radio by penning hit songs for cinema, including such swinging 60s smashes as Tom Jones’ “What’s New, Pussycat?” from the 1965 film of the same name and Dusty Springfield’s “The Look of Love” from the James Bond classic Casino Royale (1967), which would also become a hit for Herb Albert and the Tijuana Brass. Plus, how could we forget “Raindrops…”
In the 1980s, he would collaborate with his third wife, Carole Bayer Sager, on a number of songs penned for the likes of Christopher Cross, Patti LaBelle and Michael McDonald that would introduce him to a new audience, not to mention a New Wave cover of “(There’s) Always Something There To Remind Me” by the group Naked Eyes in 1983.
VIDEO: Naked Eyes “(There’s) Always Something There To Remind Me”
By the 90s, both the lounge revival and his influence on the Austin Powers film series would bring Bacharach into the ironic hearts of Generation X. Then, in 1998, he recorded an album with Elvis Costello entitled Painted From Memory, which won a Grammy for best pop collaboration with vocals. In fact, at the time of his passing, Universal Music Enterprises is prepping the release of a box set chronicling the Costello-Bacharach union set to arrive in stores on March 3rd.
Bacharach would release one more pop album, At This Time, in 2005, but still continued to keep busy throughout his 80s and early 90s, scoring the 2017 film A Boy Called Po, and, in 2020, collaborated with songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Daniel Tashian on the EP Blue Umbrella, which earned the duo a Grammy Award nomination for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album for the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards.
Additionally, in 2018, Bacharach wrote a touching song dedicated to school gun violence survivors entitled “Live to See Another Day,” proceeds of which went to the charity Sandy Hook Promise, a non-profit organization founded and led by several family members whose loved ones were killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.
“It is with saddened hearts that we share the passing of our father, husband and friend,” the family wrote in a statement on Bacharach’s social media pages. “He gave the world so much, and we are eternally grateful. The music is always there, so please keep listening. We send our love from team Bacharach, because that’s what friends are for.”
Burt Bacharach will always be remembered as one of the most important figures in American Pop. May he rest in peace after a long life well lived.
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