Last year El records released a wonderful retrospective of BURT BACHARACH’S early career. The collection focused on the songs he wrote between 1959 and 1961 and now the same label offers us a compilation of his very best work from 1962. The set, ‘Make It Easy On Yourself’, is named for his classic tale of heartbreak – and though it’s been recorded hundreds of times, it’s offered here in the defining Jerry Butler version and in all honesty no one nails the song’s inherent melancholy quite like the Ice Man.

Other featured soul treasures include Tommy Hunt’s ‘I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself’, The Drifters’ ‘Mexican Divorce’, Jimmy Radcliffe’s ‘There Goes The Forgotten Man’ and Dee Dee Sharp’s hard-to-find version of ‘Any Day Now’.

Plenty of Brill Building style pop and the odd novelty like actress Sophie Loren with ‘Donne Moi Ma Chance’ and Marlene Dietrich’s German language version of ‘Message To Michael’ (Bacharach, of course, was Dietrich’s musical director for most of the early 60s).

Burt Bacharach is now 86 and though he doesn’t write too many new songs these days, he still tours and his concerts are always very special affairs and feature many of the songs on this wonderful 27 tracker.

BURT BACHARACH; ‘MAKE IT EASY ON YOURSELF – 1962’ is out now on El Records