Listen/Download – Jackie DeShannon – Come and Get Me
I initially had something else prepared for today, but the weekend brought the news of the passing of lyricist Hal David.
David, i.e. the second half of the legendary Burt Bacharach/David* collaboration, next to Lennon and McCartney the defining songwriting partnership of the 60s passed away at the age of 91.
I’ve posted other Bacharach/David songs in this spot before (especially Tony Orlando’s ‘To Wait For Love’, I reposted the link to the song) and have gone on record saying that he team was responsible for creating some of the most sublime music of the era.
Certainly Bacharach’s brilliant melodic sensibility is what often made the first impression, but it was Hal David’s ability to construct lyrics that turned his baroque flights of fancy into memorable pop songs that made their’s such a powerful creative union.
The tune I bring you today is one of several songs the pair wrote for Jackie DeShannon in the 60s.
‘Come and Get Me’, recorded in 1966 was an emotionally powerful tour de force and a testament to Bacharach and David not only as songwriters but as record makers/auteurs as well.
Written and produced by the pair, and arranged by Bacharach, ‘Come and Get Me’ shows the kind of artistic heights the pair could reach when they matched a singer to a song, and then built up a sound around them.
I always found DeShannon particularly interesting in this respect because she got her start as a songwriter herself, yet found her greatest measure of fame as a performer, particularly as an interpreter of other people’s material (especially Bacharach and David).
She had a great voice, but even that is tempered by the fact that Bacharach and David wrote songs and made records from them that seemed to force the performers into a mold (at least part of the way), i.e. the structure of their songs and recordings were so distinct that what you ended up with was often less a Jackie DeShannon performance than a B&D record featuring Jackie DeShannon (or whoever the singer involved was).
Listen to the competing versions of ‘Alfie’ by Cilla Black (arranged/produced by Bacharach in a grueling, marathon session) and Cher (produced by Sonny Bono) for a look at how strong the composer’s hand was in shaping the interpretation of his song in the studio.
Oddly, despite its obvious quality, ‘Come and Get Me’ barely scraped the outer edges of the Hot 100 and DeShannon wouldn’t have another big hit until her own ‘Put a Little Love In Your Heart’ in 1969.
That all said, it’s a wonderful record, great Bacharach/David, great DeShannon.
I hope you dig it, and I’ll see you all next week.
*Interestingly, also the second ‘David’ in that equation, preceded by his older brother Mack, who worked with Bacharach first
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