DIONNE WARWICK; Dionne (bbr)


bbr’s latest release is the long overdue reissue of Dionne Warwick’s first Arista album. The queen of New Jersey soul came to Clive Davis’s label in 1979 after a relatively unhappy period at Warner Bros and Davis immediately teamed her with his biggest star Barry Manilow. With big Barry in the producer’s chair, the team set to work and quickly crafted an album that re-established Ms Warwick as a major star. Not just that – the eponymous LP – yielded two Grammy winners – the dramatic ballad ‘I’ll Never Love This Way Again’ and the more soulful (and Isaac Hayes-penned) ‘Deja Vu’… 30 odd years later both songs still stand out and rightly remain classics in Dionne’s repertoire.

They, though, aren’t the album’s only recommendations. ‘After You’ is a fabulous, sensitive ballad that typifies the craft of Dionne Warwick. ‘Feeling Old Feelings’ is another lovely ballad while on ‘In Your Eyes’ Manilow tries his darnedest to copy the Bacharach/ David approach to music and lyrics… and he almost succeeds. It’s a great cut and has survived better than some of the more up-tempo items like a quirky cover of the Box Tops’ ‘The Letter’ and Rupert Holmes’ ‘Who, What, When, Where, Why’.

For this reissue, the original album’s 10 tracks are augmented by single mixes of ‘Deja Vu’ and ‘After You’

(BB) 4/5