Anyone Who Had a Heart: My Life and Music [NOOK Book]

Overview

One of the greatest songwriters of all time offers a frank and riveting account of his life and the stories behind the hits.

Over the past six decades, Burt Bacharach's legendary songwriting has touched millions of devoted listeners all over the world. In Anyone Who Had a Heart, Bacharach steps out from behind the music to give an honest, engaging look at his life—from his work with Hal David, Dionne Warwick, Elvis Costello, and many others to ...

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Anyone Who Had a Heart: My Life and Music

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Overview

One of the greatest songwriters of all time offers a frank and riveting account of his life and the stories behind the hits.

Over the past six decades, Burt Bacharach's legendary songwriting has touched millions of devoted listeners all over the world. In Anyone Who Had a Heart, Bacharach steps out from behind the music to give an honest, engaging look at his life—from his work with Hal David, Dionne Warwick, Elvis Costello, and many others to his tumultuous marriages and the devastating fate of his beloved daughter.

Growing up in Forest Hills, New York, during the 1930s and '40s, Burt Bacharach fell in love with music after sneaking into a Manhattan jazz club to see the legendary Dizzy Gillespie. After a stint in the Army during the Korean War, he toured the world with Marlene Dietrich, wrote an endless string of hits, scored numerous Hollywood films, married the glamorous movie star Angie Dickinson, and composed the music for the huge Broadway hit Promises, Promises.

While he soared professionally, Bacharach's private life was dominated by the never-ending search for love—and the heartbreak that comes when it is lost—which is reflected in his greatest songs. His firstthree marriages ended in divorce. His long-running partnership with the late Hal David suffered a bitter split that lasted seventeen years. Throughout the highs and lows, Bacharach steadfastly pursued his muse—a quest that continues to this day.

Anyone Who Had a Heart is the story of a manwho has always expressed his deepest feelings through his music. Filled with the emotional power that defines Burt Bacharach's most unforgettable songs, his memoir offers a candid backstage look at show business as well as the personal struggles of an artist whose incredible body of work has earned him a unique position in the American cultural landscape.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

One would imagine that a songwriter as popular as Burt Bacharach would need no further introduction, but that apparently is not true. This revealing autobiography shows that the quiet, self-effacing man behind those 73 Top 40 hits is far more fascinating than we imagined. Anyone Who Had a Heart seems to have borrowed its title from one of his famous songs, but it accurately reflects the vulnerability of a talented man who suffered the breakup of three marriages and the suicide of a beloved daughter. The book also offers telling glimpses into his collaborations with his longtime partner Hal David, Neil Diamond, Elvis Costello, and others. An inviting photo section; a pleasant surprise.

Publishers Weekly
Though he’s clearly a gifted songwriter, Bacharach as a memoirist disappoints. While Bacharach, writing with Greenfield, certainly has a story to tell (he was married to Angie Dickinson; toured with Marlene Dietrich; wrote mega-hits like “Walk on By” and “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head”; won Grammys and Oscars), he’s in too much of a hurry to get to the end of his book to really dig in and tell readers what it was like to cut his teeth in the infamous Brill Building, work with (and sever ties with) his frequent collaborator Hal David, or even address his daughter’s battle with Asperger’s and depression that led her to commit suicide; he prefers to let Angie Dickinson and others do most of the talking. Bacharach spends more time talking about his tennis game and various marriages than his approach to songwriting (much more detail is given to who he worked with on a particular song than the song itself) . Moments of humility and candor, such as a blown opportunity to work with Sinatra, peek through, but it’s not enough to save what could have been an illuminating work on many levels. Amy Schiffman, Intellectual Property Group. (May)
Rolling Stone
“Absorbing.”
Booklist
“This chatty autobiography…tracks the famed composer’s life and career from childhood to the present day.… [H]is contributions to popular music of the twentieth century have been inarguably significant.”
Kirkus Reviews
Reminiscences of a master songwriter. Compiled from interviews conducted by journalist Greenfield (The Last Sultan: The Life and Times of Ahmet Ertegun, 2011, etc.) with Bacharach and his associates, this oral memoir provides a congenial overview of a life devoted to music. Bacharach began reluctantly taking piano lessons as a child, then became smitten with classical and jazz compositions; they would later inspire him to bring a sophisticated palette to his own songs. After a few unspectacular years at the Brill Building, he hit the jackpot with lyricist Hal David; the two went on to create such iconic hits as "Baby, It's You" for the Shirelles, "The Look of Love" for Dusty Springfield and "Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head" for B.J. Thomas. Bacharach candidly details his transformation into a household name, his perfectionism in the recording studio and his sometimes-contentious relationships with David and the indomitable Dionne Warwick. The chanteuse acted as a muse for the pair and was aggrieved when they broke up their songwriting partnership after the colossal failure of their score for the 1973 box office bomb Lost Horizon. For decades, breaking up relationships was a specialty of Bacharach's; many of the women in his life, including his first three wives, describe him as exuding a combination of ambition, ambivalence and arrogance. The most moving recollections come from Marlene Dietrich, who highly valued Bacharach as her conductor and accompanist on the road, and from ex-wife Angie Dickinson, who laments Bacharach's decision to institutionalize their autistic daughter, Nikki. The specter of Nikki (who committed suicide in 2007) casts a shadow over the memoir. Whether Greenfield has purposely arranged the book this way or not, intertwining Dickinson's interviews with Bacharach's commentary paints a darker picture of the man whom most people identify with catchy love songs and cameo appearances in the Austin Powers films. Illuminating and gritty, though Bacharach's remarks are occasionally self-serving.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062206084
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/14/2013
  • Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 286,400
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Burt Bacharach

Burt Bacharach is a classically trained pianist whose songs have been recorded by the most influential artists of the twentieth century. He has written more than seventy Top 40 hits and has received Grammy, Oscar, and Emmy awards for his work. The father of three children, he lives in Los Angeles.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 15, 2013

    Great songwriter...bad autobiography. I am disappointed with the

    Great songwriter...bad autobiography. I am disappointed with the writing style. What happened?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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