By Bad Seed
Dionne Warwick's 1967 single I Say A Little Prayer was written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David and recorded at A&R Studios in Manhattan in June 1966. Engineering the recording was the legendary Phil Ramone who would later produce Billy Joel and many others. Bacharach arranged, conducts and is on piano. The tune was released as single in October 1967 after DJs all over the country started playing the album cut from the Windows of the World album. I Say A Little Prayer was certified RIAA Gold selling over 1 million copies and peaked at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart in December 1967. The flip or B side (Theme from Valley of the Dolls), sung by Warwick in the motion picture, was also a million seller and rode the #2 position for 4 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart in February 1968 and hit # 1 on the Record World Chart the same month. I Say A Little Prayer/(Theme From) Valley of the Dolls is one of the most successful double sided hits of the Rock era. This is the rare unedited version in which Burt Bacharach can be heard on count off. I Say A Little Prayer was also the first RIAA certified million seller for Bacharach and David. Less than one year later, Aretha Franklin would take her cover of "I Say A Little Prayer" to the #10 spot on Billboard's Hot 100 singles chart. Writes Nick Tosches, the renowned writer, music journalist, novelist, biographer and poet in the January 7, 1972 issue of the rock magazine FUSION; "...getting into Dionne Warwick is like finding buried treasure. The Bacharach/David repertoire which milady chooses to sing is so fascinatingly cynical / fatalistic / stoical / emotional / happy, simultaneously! It's pure emotion. There is a whole lot more to emotion than some rock punk bursting his dexedrine-staved blood vessels by screaming "Baby I need you baby" into a microphone. Dionne Warwick is not a rock and roll singer. She's not a jazz singer either. Rhythm and blues? Nope. A pop singer? No way. Did you ever tongue-kiss with someone who barfed a Singapore Sling bolus into your mouth, and then four years later you're with someone else and you feel good and you realize how beautiful it all was and then it's all melancholy/happiness, sort of? That's the kind of singer Dionne Warwick is. She's beautiful. Dionne, paired with Bacharach's string/horn/reed arrangements, comes up as a lyric mezzo-sopranoid par-excellence, melodious/expressiveness-wise. If you've never gotten into her, you ought to. Get hep to Dionne Warwick. For your own sake."