Search - Burt Bacharach, Hal David, Peter Matz :: On the Flip Side

On the Flip Side
Burt Bacharach, Hal David, Peter Matz
On the Flip Side
Genres: Pop, Rock, Soundtracks
 
  •  Track Listings (10) - Disc #1

Exclusive Japanese limited edition digitally remastered reissue of this 1966 soundtrack by Burt Bacharach, packaged in a miniature LP sleeve. A&M. 2006.

      
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CD Details

All Artists: Burt Bacharach, Hal David, Peter Matz, Rick Nelson, Joanie Sommers
Title: On the Flip Side
Members Wishing: 3
Total Copies: 0
Label: Universal
Release Date: 6/26/2006
Album Type: Import, Soundtrack
Genres: Pop, Rock, Soundtracks
Styles: Easy Listening, Oldies, Vocal Pop, Oldies & Retro
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 4988005432940

Synopsis

Album Description
Exclusive Japanese limited edition digitally remastered reissue of this 1966 soundtrack by Burt Bacharach, packaged in a miniature LP sleeve. A&M. 2006.

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CD Reviews

A real rarity
Ron | Tacoma, WA | 11/14/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)

"In between "Bright Lights & Country Music" and "Country Fever", Rick Nelson starred in this special for ABC-TV. I've never seen the show, but this soundtrack album isn't bad. This import cd is very pricey, though. A better way for Nelson fans to pick up these tracks is the Ace Records CD from 2004, "Rick's Rarities". It contains all 4 of Rick's vocals found on this cd. The rest of this cd is musical numbers sung by the other cast members, and instrumental score. Rick's songs are definately the highlights of the album. "It Doesn't Matter Anymore" is a pretty tune, sung commandingly by Rick. "Take a Broken Heart" is also a nice tune for Rick to sing, but he sounds forced on "They Don't Give Medals (to Yesterday's Heroes)" . Not the kind of melody he was comfortable with. The best song (in my opinion) is the duet with Joannie Sommers, "Try to See it My Way". The lyrics resonate with Rick's lifelong struggle to maintain his artistic vision. Not a great album, but certainly worth a listen, and let's home we see the program released on home video someday soon."
Prime-time Burt, but short and pricey
PH-50-NC | Southeast USA | 02/23/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)

"This record is worth tracking down for hard-core Burt Bacharach fans and people really into 1960s pop. The record is quite short--seven songs, three of which appear in two versions (instrumental/vocal, single/duet, "montage" arrangement/regular arrangement). So that, plus it's current astronomical import record price, leads me to give a three star rating. But for people really into mid-1960s AM radio-style pop music, it might be worth the cash. It's half "Promises Promises" Broadway style numbers, and half AM radio pop with the patented Bacharach brass accents and mellow vocal delivery. And it's pop music about a very interesting period in pop music, so bonus points for the historical / cultural value.

The standout track, the country sounding waltz-ballad "Take a Broken Heart", made it to the Bacharach Rhino boxed set released in 1998. It's close to Glen Campbell territory, but the underlying tune is great, with echos of "Don't Make Me Over" from four years earlier. Ricky Nelson nails the vocal, singing slightly behind the beat to emphasize the lovelorn quality of the song.

"It Doesn't Matter Anymore" is mid-tempo Bacharach take on beat music, but it's more Burt than Beatles, for sure. It is like some of the material that showed up on the early Monkees albums--Brill Building songwriters dipping their toes into the British Invasion aesthetic while hanging on to their own bag of tricks. Rick Nelson has a double-tracked vocal layered over chanking rhythm guitars, Latin brass, and soaring strings--a textbook AM radio Top-40 arrangement.

Joanie Sommers sings "Try to See It My Way", which is decent Bacharach, just a shade below "Take a Broken Heart". It's exactly like the songs Burt was writing specificlly for Dionne Warwick's voice at the time--a gentle latin beat and an airy melody that skips around like "I Say a Little Prayer for You" (but with a Broadway-sounding bridge instead of a gospel one). Despite the title swiped from the Beatles' "We Can Work It Out", this song is pure Bacharach and has no beat-music feel at all. Ironically, Dionne doesn't seem to have cut her own version of this one (if AMG is correct on the matter).

"Try to See It My Way" and "They Don't Give Medals (To Yesterday's Heroes)" appear in two versions, perhaps indicative of the high hopes that the producers and/or Bacharach had for them (Dionne Warwick recorded a version of "Yesterday's Heroes", but it didn't cause much of a stir).

"Yesterday's Heroes" itself isn't the embarrassment that others have called it, but Ricky Nelson didn't quite know what to do with it, stylistically, and sounds uncomfortable navigating the tricky accents of Bacharach-land. It's not a grade-A pop tune, but it's got some interesting things going on musically that leave no doubt as to who wrote it.

"Fender Mender" is campy fun, and my second favorite track on the record. It's something of a throwaway tune and hard to defend on any grounds other than the goofiness factor--it's almost like Frank Zappa's writing on "Cruisin' with Reuben and The Jets". It's a group vocal song about pop stardom, with mentions of the Beatles and Fender guitars.

In the same campy category is "They're Gonna Love It", where Donna Jean Young struggles (to hilarious effect, IMHO) to sing in tune the tricky Bacharch melody. It's a one of the most Broadway sounding tracks on here, and is similar in feel to much of "Promises Promises."

"Juanita's Place" is a splashy showbiz group-vocal (not quite a "chorus") number, with a tricky Bacharach melody and a certain camp charm. These last two numbers won't win any Bacharach converts, certainly. But if you are already on board the Bacharach train and have a slightly perverse sense of humor, you'll like them.

The television musical it is from was an hour-long affair on ABC TV's "Stage '67". Interestingly, Stephen Sondheim's "Evening Primrose" aired three weeks earlier than "On the Flip Side" on the same program, and both composers soon went on to write full-length Broadway shows about the swingin' sixties in Manhattan ("Promises Promises" and "Company") that were somewhat similar in their use of "sophisticated" storylines (read: plots about adultery and sleeping around) and contemporary (i.e. 1960s) pop music elements.

Here's the story synopsis for On the Flip Side, take from the back of the record sleeve. The plot is sort of a mash-up between "It's a Wonderful Life" and The Monkees!:

On The Flip Side (Original Cast Album): Liner Notes

"On the Flip Side" is the story of a young beat singer named Carlos O'Connor (Rick Nelson) who finds himself, at twenty-one, at the dangerous edge of being a has-been. His bookings have fallen off to about zero, his recording contract has been cancelled, and, worst of all, the fan clubs have dropped him in favor of such newer attractions as The Hors D'Oeuvres and Heinrich and The West Berlin Nein.

To save himself from onrushing obscurity there materializes divine (or, at least, partly devine) intervention in the form of four young hipsters from inside the Pearly Gates, a quartet headed by Angie (Joanie Sommers). Carlos needs their help, they decide. Didn't they do as much for Frankie in 1953? And for Caruso before that?

They go AWOL from Big Pearly, as they call it--there are twenty-four hour breaks between inspections "Up There"--and transform themselves into a swinging group called The Celestials. "Carlos needs a group to back him up," Angie tells the others. "He's just too solitary."

Chaos (what else?) ensues. From the top of the Pan Am building, as they await Carlos' arrival in New York, to his hotel, to the Way Out Inn in Greenwich Village (where they manage to get his only booking cancelled), to a bankruptcy-riddled boutique called Juanita's Place, to The Cafe Pot, and, finally, to a record company presided over by an Edwardian fink of twenty-three, the story goes.

Carlos emerges with a new hit record (still solo, it turns out), and The Celestials have to return to their other world. But he is back on top again, bigger than ever, and The Celestials are last seen on their pink cloud, closely following Carlos' career in the trades. "What d'you say we give him one last blast from the past?" Angie asks the others. "I don't want him to think we've forgotten about him."

The songs for "On the Flip Side" are pure Bacharach and David--which is just about as pure as you can get these days. Whatever "firsts"--or "lasts"--the show can claim, the writing of completely contemporary songs for an original television musical is certainly a "first." The songs themselves will surely have important lives of their own, as most Bacharach and David songs do. But they belong to the story every bit as much as Carlos, Angie, The Celestials, and all the other nuts that cross the screen. But, as the record entrepreneur in the show says, "enough polite." Listen to them; they'll probably send you down to MacDougal Street, looking for Juanita's Place!"