Saturday, 19 April 2014

"The Windows Of The World / Valley Of The Dolls / Promises, Promises / Soulful…Plus" by DIONNE WARWICK – A Review Of Her Four Albums Between 1967 and 1969 On Pye International and Scepter Records - Now Reissued And Remastered Onto 2CDs By Edsel Of The UK In 2014 With 21 Bonus Tracks…

Here is a link to AMAZON UK to get this superb reissue at the best price:

"…Do Right Woman…" – The Windows Of The World…PLUS by DIONNE WARWICK

Dionne Warwick’s catalogue for Pye International (UK) and Scepter Records (USA) has been done before – but never with such style – and dare we say it – such affection. With 4 LPs and a whopping 21 Bonus Tracks - there’s a huge haul on this 3CD set (No. 3 in a series of 4 multiples). So let’s get to the details right away…

UK released 20 January 2014 - Edsel EDSK 3017 (Barcode 740155301736) breaks down as follows…

Disc 1 (63:14 minutes):
Tracks 1 to 10 are her 9th album "The Windows Of The World" – released August 1967 in the USA on Scepter SPS 563 and Pye International NPL 28101 (Mono) in the UK
Tracks 11 to 20 are 10th album “Valley Of The Dolls” – released March 1968 in the USA on Scepter Records SPS 568 and Pye International NSPL 28114 (Stereo) in the UK

Disc 2 (62:31 minutes):
Tracks 1 to 3 are BONUSES
Tracks 4 to 13 are her 11th album "Promises, Promises” – released December 1968 in the USA on Scepter Records SPS 571
Tracks 14 to 19 are BONUSES

Disc 3 (75:27 minutes):
Tracks 1 to 10 are her 12th album “Soulful” – released April 1969 in the USA on Scepter SPS 573 and Pye International NSPL 28122 (Stereo) in the UK
Tracks 11 to 23 are BONUSES

The 4-way foldout digipak gives the whole reissue a quality feel with each flap used to showcase rare picture sleeves, promo variants and label bags. The chunky 28-page booklet pictures the album covers, 7” singles, more foreign picture sleeves, original British Pye International and Wand labels, publicity photos, track-by-track annotation and exceptionally detailed liner notes by Soul Expert and long-time Edsel Associate TONY ROUNCE. It’s beautifully done.

The remastered sound varies wildly depending on the source – the singles in Mono are invariably hissy but the Stereo album tracks are glorious – beautifully clear – the “Promises, Promises” album especially. Even if the punchy Mono tracks are a little on the noisy side though – they have punch and are full of that great Sixties vibe. And much of this stuff hasn’t been in print for decades - with some of the bonus tracks (singles sung in foreign languages) only previously available on very expensive imports. 

The shadow of Bacharach and David hangs of so much on here – but that’s a complaint I’ll gladly countenance. “Do You Know The Way To San Jose?”, “Windows Of the World”, “I Say A Little Prayer”, “Theme From The Valley Of The Dolls”…it’s all so bloody good and has ‘so’ stood the test of time. I love her cover on the “Soulful” LP of the James and Bobby Purify hit “I’m A Puppet” penned by Spooner Oldham and Dan Penn. And the congregational mood to Aretha’s “Do Right Woman – Do Right Man” feels just as soulful as the classic Atlantic Records original. Even the obvious choice of “Hey Jude” feels good.

Among the bonus cuts is an aching version of the Little Anthony & The Imperials torch ballad “Hurt So Bad” which is superb - as is the gospel organ of “Young. Gifted & Black” - slowed right down to powerful effect – a properly great reinterpretation.

It’s not all genius of course (some of the Sly Stone covers are trying to hard) – but what is good is magical.

A classy lady and an equally classy reissue series. Kudos to all involved…

PS: This reissue is Volume 3 of 4 – the other titles in the series are:
1.         Presenting Dionne Warwick /Anyone Who Has A Heart /Make Way For Dionne Warwick /The Sensitive Sound Of Dionne Warwick (Edsel EDSK 7051)
2.         Here I Am – Dionne Warwick In Paris / Here Where There Is Love / On Stage And In The Movies (Edsel EDSK 7052)
3.         I’ll Never Fall In Love Again / Very Dionne / Dionne / Just Being Myself  (Edsel EDSK 7053)

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Spines of Exceptional CD Remasters

Spines of Exceptional CD Remasters

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