One of the most well-known pop music composers of the 20th century, Burt Bacharach, passed away at the age of 94.
Bacharach’s publicist broke the news of his demise to the Associated Press, stating that the celebrated composer passed away from age-related natural causes. The majority of Bacharach’s songs span several decades, including the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s.
In addition to penning some of the most recognizable movie soundtrack songs, he also aided numerous musicians in becoming number one hits. Along with musicians like Warwick, Frank Sinatra, The Beatles, Barbra Streisand, Tom Jones, Aretha Franklin, and Elvis Costello, he amassed more than 50 chart hits in the US and the UK during his career.
The lyricist Hal David and Bacharach most frequently worked together to produce timeless hits like I Say A Little Prayer, What The World Needs Now Is Love, Walk on By, Alfie, What’s New Pussycat?, and many others. There is an endless list.
When Bacharach won the Grammy for lifetime achievement in 2008, music fans praised him as the “greatest living composer.” He also received three Oscars, two Golden Globes, and five more Grammy awards in addition to this honor.
Bacharach was an innovator and a throwback who was successful in a variety of artistic mediums; he was truly unique.
Although he was married four times, his relationship with music creation—to which he was totally devoted and enjoyed—was the strongest one he had ever had.
Although Bacharach was raised in Kew Gardens, New York, he was born in Kansas City, Missouri. He expressed an interest in music, particularly jazz, even as a young child.
His music was regarded by many as “easy listening” and traditional. The 1960s were defined by his upbeat pop tunes and mellow, jazzy instrumentals. Mad Men and Austin Powers both feature his songs.
Bacharach was well-known for his cameos in the Austin Powers film series and made a memorable appearance in the second Austin Powers movie, where he performed I’ll Never Fall in Love Again with Elvis Costello on an open-air bus.
Most importantly, Entertainment Weekly claims that while Mike Myers was driving home from hockey practice, the song The Look of Love shaped his perception of Austin Powers.
“Did I arrive at that intellectually? No,” he told Rolling Stone in 1999.
“I arrived at it by hearing the song ‘The Look of Love,’ the national anthem of libido, and thinking, ‘Where have all the swingers gone?’”
Regarding Bacharach, Costello stated in a 2018 interview with The Associated Press, “To put it simply, people associate him with easy listening.”
“It may be agreeable to listen to these songs, but there’s nothing easy about them. Try playing them. Try singing them.”
While going through a period of grief, Bacharach was penning some of his most memorable songs. He lost his 40-year-old autistic daughter to suicide following four unsuccessful marriages. Even as a young child, she sensed something wasn’t right, but it took the medical community thirty years to identify her Asperger’s syndrome. She killed herself six years later.
Bacharach’s music was profoundly impacted by the pain these hardships caused him to feel in his soul.