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Dionne Warwick: Déjà Vu: The Arista Recordings (1979-1994)

Jakob Baekgaard By

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Dionne Warwick: Déjà Vu: The Arista Recordings (1979-1994)
Every artist, even great ones, experiences peaks and valleys. When Dionne Warwick signed with Arista Records in 1979, she had nothing to prove, but her glory also seemed like a thing of the past. She was already a part of pop history with an unparalleled string of hits penned by Burt Bacharach and Hal David. In fact, when she signed with Warner Brothers in 1971, the plan was that history would continue and she would still be singing hits by the songwriter team that had made her famous. However, it didn't turn out that way. Bacharach and David broke up and Warwick found herself in a dry spell. She had to prove that she could manage on her own and she needed someone to believe in her.

Clive Davis of Arista Records turned out to be the man for the job and he did good. In fact, Aretha Franklin later said that she would like Davis to do with her what he had done for Warwick. While Davis was certainly good at finding the right commercial setting for Warwick, she deserves the credit for making the music memorable. It is her voice that lifts the material and gives it the class which she gave the classic songs of Bacharach and David.

Warwick's stay with Arista lasted from 1979 to 1994 and resulted in twelve albums. They are all collected in Déjà Vu: The Arista Recordings 1979-1994, a comprehensive box with bonus tracks and a 64-page booklet which includes a detailed essay by producer David Nathan for every album. It is clearly a labor of love but, most importantly, bringing Warwick's Arista albums together underlines the strength of the music as a body of work in the same way that Aretha Franklin's collected Atlantic recordings are a monument to her strength as a singer and interpreter.

During her time with Arista, Warwick worked with many great producers, even Bacharach returned as a composer, but this time with his new musical partner, Carole Bayer Sager. A track such as "Extravagant Gestures" is just one of many gems that can be found in the box. From her Arista debut in 1979, Dionne, to her swansong Aquarela Do Brasil, Warwick was remarkably consistent and delivered first-class contemporary pop helped by such writers, producers and musicians as Isaac Hayes, Barry Gibb, Luther Vandross, Stevie Wonder and Barry Eastmond. There's even a reunion with Bacharach and David on the sophisticated pop of "Sunny Weather Lover" from Friends Can be Lovers (1993), but the track actually proves that Warwick didn't need her old partners anymore. She could do fine without them as she explored classy adult pop, light disco, contemporary R&B and bossa nova. Unfortunately, the one missed opportunity is related to jazz.

In 1990, Warwick recorded a whole album of Cole Porter tunes with producer Arif Mardin. The album was initially recorded as a jazz album, but was scrapped by Davis, who instead got a new version, which according to Warwick was "very vanilla." There is a hint of what could have been on a jazz version of "Night and Day," the only available track from the original sessions. It is still very smooth and shiny, but it gives a hint about Warwick's talent as a jazz singer.

In the end, the wonderful voice of Warwick rises above it all. It has depth, clarity and musicality and a sublime balance between emotion and music. Sometimes, with a singer, you can get the feeling that the emotion carries the song instead of the music. There's nothing wrong with that, but with Warwick, the music carries the emotion.

There's plenty of proof of how she lifts the material she was given in this box set and anyone who thinks Warwick was finished after she ended her collaboration with Bacharach and David should be corrected by the musical legacy of her Arista recordings.

Track Listing

CD1: Who, What, When, Where, Why; After You; The Letter; I'll Never Love This Way Again; Déjà Vu; Feeling Old Feelings; In Your Eyes; My Everlasting Love; Out Of My Hands; All The Time; Never Gonna Let You Get Away (Solo); The Last One To Be Loved; Never Gonna Let You Get Away - Dionne Warwick with Barry Manilow. CD2: Easy Love; No Night So Long; It's The Falling In Love; When The World Runs Out Of Love; We Never Said Goodbye; How You Once Loved Me; Reaching For The Sky; Sweetie Pie; Somebody's Angel; We Had This Time; Even A Fool Would Let Go; Dedicate This Heart; Now That The Feeling's Gone; Starting Tomorrow; This Time Is Ours; Only Heaven Can Wait For Love; Right Back; When The Good Times Come Again; This Is What I've Wanted All My Life. CD3: What You Won't Do For Love/In The Stone; Don't Make Me Over; Alfie; One In A Million You; Touch Me In The Morning (Live); Welcome To My World (Live); Hit Records Medley; Déjà Vu; Easy Love; No Night So Long; We Never Said Goodbye; I'll Never Love This Way Again; There's A Long Road Ahead Of Us; Some Changes Are For Good; Now We're Starting Over Again. CD4: For You; Friends In Love - Dionne Warwick & Johnny Mathis; Never Gonna Let You Go; Can't Hide Love; Betcha By Golly Wow; More Than Fascination; Got You Where I Want You - Dionne Warwick & Johnny Mathis; With A Touch; What Is This; A Love So Right. CD5: Heartbreaker; It Makes No Difference; Yours; Take The Short Way Home; Misunderstood;All The Love In The World; I Can't See Anything (But You), Just One More Night; You Are My Love; Our Day Will Come; Let It Be Me (Demo) - Dionne Warwick with Barry Gibb, CD6: Got A Date; So Amazing; I Do It 'cause I Like It; How Many Times Can We Say Goodbye - Dionne Warwick & Luther Vandross; What Can A Miracle Do; Two Ships Passing In The Night; I Can Let Go Now; Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow; Got A Date (Special Remix). CD7: No One In The World; Without Your Love; Run To Me - Dionne Warwick with Barry Manilow; Finder Of Lost Loves - Dionne Warwick & Glenn Jones; Love Doesn't Live Here Anymore; It's You - Dionne Warwick with Stevie Wonder; It's Love; Bedroom Eyes; Weakness (Duet With Stevie Wonder); You Made Me Want To Love Again; Broken Bottles; Dangerous; No One In The World (Alternate Version); Bedroom Eyes (Alternate Version); Finder Of Lost Loves - Dionne Warwick & Luther Vandross. CD8: That's What Friends Are For - Dionne & Friends (Featuring Elton John, Gladys Knight & Stevie Wonder); Whisper In The Dark; Remember Your Heart; Love At Second Sight; Moments Aren't Moments; Stronger Than Before; Stay Devoted; No One There (To Sing Me A Love Song); How Long?; Extravagant Gestures. CD9: Love Power - Dionne Warwick & Jeffrey Osborne; Close Enough; You're My Hero - Dionne Warwick with Smokey Robinson; In A World Such As This; Another Chance To Love - Dionne Warwick And Howard Hewett; Reservations For Two - Dionne & Kashif; Cry On Me; Heartbreak Of Love - Dionne Warwick & June Pointer; For Everything You Are; No One In The World; Walk Away; Take Good Care Of You And Me - Dionne Warwick & Jeffrey Osborne; Two Strong Hearts - Johnny Mathis With Dionne Warwick. CD10: Night And Day; I Love Paris; I Get A Kick Out Of You; A. What Is This Thing Called Love?/B. So In Love (Medley); You're The Top; I've Got You Under My Skin; Begin The Beguine; It's All Right With Me; Anything Goes; You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To; All Of You; I Concentrate On You; Just One Of Those Things; Night And Day (Jazz Version). CD11: Sunny Weather Lover; Age Of Miracles; Where My Lips Have Been; Friends Can Be Lovers; Love Will Find A Way - Dionne Warwick with Whitney Houston; Much Too Much; Til The End Of Time; The Woman That I Am; Fragile; I Sing At Dawn; A True Love (Duet With Sacha Distel); Who’s Counting Heartaches (Duet With Johnny Mathis); I Don't Need Another Love (With The Spinners). CD12: Jobim Medley: Retrato Em Branco E Preto (Variation)/How Insensitive/Quiet Nights Of Quiet Stars; Virou Areia; Oh Bahia; Piano Na Mangueira; Captives Of The Heart; Samba Dobrado; Heart Of Brazil; N'kosi Sikelel'i - Afrika/So Bashiya Bahlala Ekhaya; Brazil (Aquarela Do Brasil); Caravan; Flower Of Bahia; 10,000 Words; To Say Goodbye - Dionne Warwick with Edu Lobo; Love Me; Lullaby; Bridges (Travessia); Rainy Day Girl - Dionne Warwick with Ivan Lins.

Personnel

Dionne Warwick: voice / vocals.

Various Session Musicians.

Album information

Title: Déjà Vu: The Arista Recordings (1979-1994) | Year Released: 2020 | Record Label: Soulmusic Records

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