Remembering the man who sang the best love songs of all time: Rest in peace, Burt Bacharach

Burt Bacharach, the legendary composer of 20th-century pop music, passed away at the remarkable age of 94. The news of his departure was shared by his publicist, who revealed that the acclaimed composer died peacefully of natural causes due to old age.

Bacharach’s music left an indelible mark on several eras, spanning the 50s, 60s, 70s, and 80s. His genius not only brought us iconic movie soundtracks but also propelled numerous music stars to the top of the charts. Throughout his illustrious career, he produced over 50 chart-topping hits in both the US and the UK, collaborating with the likes of Warwick, Sinatra, The Beatles, Streisand, Jones, Franklin, and Costello, among others.

Burt Bacharach

One of Bacharach’s most illustrious partnerships was with lyricist Hal David. Together, they created timeless classics like “What The World Needs Now Is Love,” “I Say A Little Prayer,” “Walk on By,” “Alfie,” “What’s New Pussycat?,” and many more. The list is simply endless.

In recognition of his extraordinary contributions to music, Bacharach was awarded the prestigious lifetime achievement Grammy in 2008, with many hailing him as the “greatest living composer.” His remarkable talent was further acknowledged with three Oscars, two Golden Globes, and an additional five Grammy awards.

Beyond his numerous accolades, Burt Bacharach was a unique blend of both innovation and nostalgia, excelling in various art forms. Music was his true passion, and his devotion and love for it were apparent throughout his life. While he had four marriages, his deepest connection was undeniably with the creation of music.

Bacharach was born in Kansas City, Missouri and spent his formative years in Kew Gardens, New York. Even as a child, his inclination towards music, particularly jazz, was evident. Many regarded his music as “easy listening” and associated it with an old-fashioned style. His infectious pop songs and smooth, jazzy instrumentals captured the essence of the 1960s, making them timeless. You can even hear his songs playing in popular TV series like “Mad Men” and the “Austin Powers” franchise, where Bacharach made memorable cameo appearances.

Interestingly, one of his songs, “The Look of Love,” played a role in inspiring the creation of the character Austin Powers. Mike Myers, the actor behind the iconic character, revealed that it was the driving force behind his idea. “The Look of Love” became the anthem of libido for Myers, evoking a sense of nostalgia and longing for the “swinging” era.

Speaking of Bacharach, Elvis Costello once said in an interview, “The shorthand version of [Bacharach] is that he’s something to do 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 crafting some of his most unforgettable melodies, Bacharach was going through a painful period of grief. After enduring four failed marriages, he tragically lost his 40-year-old daughter to suicide. She had struggled her whole life and was eventually diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, yet it took doctors thirty years to reach that diagnosis. The profound sorrow Bacharach experienced during this time seeped into his music, giving it an incomparable depth and emotion.

Rest in peace, Burt Bacharach. Your songs will eternally touch our hearts and live on forever.

Love and Peace