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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 21 February 2016
INTRODUCTION:

Dionne Warwick was born Marie Dionne Warwick on December 12, 1940 in East Orange, New Jersey. Nobody would contest the assertion that Dionne Warwick is one of the finest singers in popular music. Throughout the 1960s her collaborations with Burt Bacharach and Hal David provided the world with some of its greatest musical moments, and some of its most memorable hits. Her singing career can be divided into 3 eras: The Scepter Years (1962 – 1972), the Warner Years (1972 – 1977) and Arista Years (1979 – 1987). She has an amazing 60 charted singles on Billboard Hot 100, and 34 charted albums on Billboard 200.

CONTENT:

There are many Greatest Hits compilations on Dionne Warwick. But her album releases on CDs are much more difficult to get. Rhino has released 2 LPs on one CD, and recently there is one series Original Album Series with 5 albums on 5 CDs in one set. Still it is far from complete. Edsel Records in UK has finally partially rectified this problem by restoring Dionne’s first 16 albums (her entire output on Scepter label), in many cases, for the first time in decades, across 4 packages, each with 4 albums each, containing bonus tracks and rare b-sides made their CD debut.

This set is the third in the series, consisting of 4 albums:
1. The Windows Of The World (Scepter 563)(US 22/1967)
2. Dionne Warwick In The Valley Of The Dolls (Scepter 568)(US 6/1968; UK 10/1968)
3. Promises, Promises (Scepter 571)(US 18/1968)
4. Soulful (Scepter 573)(US 11/1969)

POSITIVE POINTS:

1. I have done a Complete Singles Discography on Dionne Warwick. She has 88 songs (a and b-sides on Scepter label). In this series, all the a-sides (charted and uncharted) are present from 1967 to 1969. (Some a-sides during this period are found in the other series).
2. All the b-sides are present during this period (some are also found in the other series), with some making their CD debut, like Walk Little Dolly, Let It Be Lonely, Whoever You Are, I Love You, Dream Sweet Dreamer and As Long As there’s An Apple Tree. I have been trying to find these songs for a long time. Now this is a collector’s dream come true.
3. 4 complete albums on 3 CDs, with 40 songs.
4. There are 22 bonus tracks, containing rare non-album singles (a and b-sides), plus foreign language versions.
5. The sound is wonderfully remastered, clean with no hiss.
6. There is a wonderful 28-page booklet, containing an informative essay by Tony Rounce, plus pictures of album sleeves, EP sleeve and 45 labels.

NEGATIVE POINTS:

1. I was hoping that the front and back covers of these 4 albums are featured on an entire
page, like Real Gone Music, instead of tiny small pictures here.
2. I was also hoping that the label & number are listed for the songs that were singles, but not done here.
I know I am being picky.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

At long last, Dionne Warwick’s entire Scepter album catalogue is finally available. If you buy these 4 volumes, besides getting all her albums, you also get all her singles output (both a and b-sides). If you are just looking for her Greatest Hits, I would recommend Dionne Warwick: The Definitive Collection (20 songs with 24-bit remastering from original master tapes) and Walk On By: The Definitive Dionne Warwick Collection (2 CD set containing 40 songs. There is also a Complete Warner Bros. Singles Collection by Real Gone Music. What is missing is a true Complete Singles Collection on Arista, or all her albums on Arista. (Are you listeing, Real Gone Music?) Anyway, this current set is a good beginning, and this set is highly recommended. It is also a MUST for collectors and Dionne Warwick fans.
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on 22 January 2014
I pre-ordered the complete set in this essential reissue series by Rhino, and I'm so very happy I did. I enjoy hearing Dionne's early pop hits in their original context, but I especially love the way she communicates a lyric; so that it's heard by the heart as well as our ears. Aretha, for example, takes I Say A Little Prayer and This Girl's In Love With You to church, but Dionne, on the other hand, takes the same songs to the beach. That said, I was astonished to hear Dionne's raw soul on Hurt So Bad and her rendition of Young Gifted and Black, amongst others. Here she proves that she can leave the beach and take a song to church, too. You get great music, but the comprehensive liner booklet is first class, too. Dionne is a unique and delightful gift to popular music, and you'll never get to heaven if you fail to buy this three-CD box set of wonderfully created songs that remain as fresh today as when they first hit the radio in the 1960s. There is only one Dionne Warwick, and these superior recordings explain why love is a song by Dionne Warwick. By the way, you can read all about Dionne's sterling commitment to the UK HIV/AIDS challenge (complete with pics!) in the Amazon book, God's Other Children - A London Memoir. The book is powerful evidence that the lady is more than a singer; she also happens to be a commendable humanitarian.
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This triple CD follows two earlier double CDs Presenting Dionne Warwick / Anyone Who Had A Heart / Make Way / The Sensitive Sound and Here I Am & Live In Paris & Here Where There Is Love & On Stage And In Movies This triple CD follows two earlier double CDs Presenting Dionne Warwick / Anyone Who Had A Heart / Make Way / The Sensitive Sound and Here I Am & Live In Paris & Here Where There Is Love & On Stage And In Movies in presenting re-issues of Dionne's sixties music. This volume features the ninth, tenth, eleventh and twelfth albums of Dionne's career. The first three of these continue much as before with Bacharach and David still in control. Classic songs featured include I say a little prayer, Always something there to remind me, Up, up and away, You're my world, Valley of the dolls, Do you know the way to San Jose and Little green apples, just to name a few.

Her performance of L.O.V.E. is strange. She uses a different voice for much of the song and it doesn't work for me. It would have worked better in her normal voice. I've heard men sing this song superbly. I don't remember hearing a female version before, but this is an aberration. On a shorter album, I might knock a star off for this track, but with over 60 great tracks here, that would be unfair.

The final CD is all about her self-produced album, Soulful, and its bonus tracks. Here, she was able to decide not only what songs to sing, but also how they would be arranged. The result is music that sounds more like we would expect from a soul singer than her earlier work. Many of the songs are covers of songs associated with other soul singers, such as Do right woman - do right man (Aretha Franklin), I've been loving you too long to stop now (Otis Redding), Someday we'll be together (Diana Ross and Supremes) and To be young gifted and black (Nina Simone) but there are also three Beatles covers (done in a soulful style) and there is the second oddity of this compilation, MacArthur Park.

MacArthur Park has been severely cut to under two and a half minutes, omitting the piece about someone leaving the cake out in the rain, and much else besides, but the bit that Dionne chose to record, she did superbly. Whether Dionne set out to record it this way, or whether she cut it during production after initially recording a longer version, I don't know, but that's how it ended up.

This is certainly an interesting part of Dionne's career, with plenty of great music and a couple of oddities.
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on 15 March 2014
One of the great songstresses of our time. 3 early albums on 3 separate discs. Nice packaging.
On a personal note, I prefer the first two albums - the 3rd is mostly tracks usually associated to other artistes. But all in all -
certainly worthwhile having if you're a fan.
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on 15 April 2015
good
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