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Anyone Who Had a Heart: My Life and Music Hardcover – May 7, 2013


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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

This chatty autobiography (it feels like it was transcribed from tapes) tracks the famed composer’s life and career from childhood to the present day. Major success didn’t come immediately to Bacharach; he spent much of his early career as a pianist for such entertainers as Steve Lawrence and Marlene Dietrich. It wasn’t until he was nearly 30 when one of his songs, written with lyricist Hal David, became a number-one hit in 1957. Although he partnered with various lyricists, it was his collaboration with David that produced some of his most popular work, including a lengthy association with Dionne Warwick. Film work followed: the score for Casino Royale (the 1967 spoof, not the 2006 version) and his hugely popular song “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head” (lyrics by David, of course), for Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. The list of artists who recorded Bacharach’s songs is impressive—Johnny Mathis, Aretha Franklin, the Beatles, Cher, Herb Alpert, and many more—and, during the 1970s and ’80s, he transitioned from industry star to elder statesman, seeing his early hits remade and rerecorded, making cameo appearances in television shows and films (the Austin Powers movies being perhaps the most well known). Because he’s primarily a composer and not a performer, Bacharach might not be as familiar to readers as, say, singer-songwriters like Paul Anka, who has also recently published an autobiography, but his career has been equally impressive, and his contributions to popular music of the twentieth century have been inarguably significant. --David Pitt

Review

“Absorbing.” (Rolling Stone)

“A congenial overview of a life devoted to music.… Illuminating and gritty.” (Kirkus Reviews)

“This chatty autobiography…tracks the famed composer’s life and career from childhood to the present day.… [H]is contributions to popular music of the twentieth century have been inarguably significant.” (Booklist)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; F First Edition edition (May 7, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062206060
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062206060
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (106 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #94,634 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Burt Bacharach is a classically trained pianist whose songs have been recorded by the most influential artists of the twentieth century. He has written more than seventy Top 40 hits and has received Grammy, Oscar, and Emmy awards for his work. The father of three children, he lives in Los Angeles.

Customer Reviews

A very good read for anyone who enjoys memoirs, and more so if you are a Bacharach fan.
Kindle Customer
I didn't know much about Burt but I came away from the book thinking he was an egotistical person who was not very interested in the feelings of others.
bippi333
I found the book to be very refreshing in terms of detailing his stories that formed his career.
Efrem Sepulveda

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By David W. Perry on May 21, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Literally could not put it down, and I don't often feel that. It's all here, warts and all. Unlike other recent celebrity-written bios, Burt is not afraid to share the facts/causation on both his successes and failures, plus the personal high points and the terrible heartaches along the way.

You will finally find out exactly what caused the split with Hal David, Dionne Warwick and his ex-wives and the inside scoop on the impact of the mega-bomb "Lost Horizon" (1973). And how they all later (respectively) reconciled. How Marlene Dietrich really was. How difficult it was to get "Promises, Promises" to Broadway with producer David Merrick threatening to replace him if Bacharach didn't get out of the hospital (with pneumonia, yet) to write replacement songs. (And how oddly-dissatisfied he was with the show.) Most devastating are the private details on his autistic daughter Nikki, her difficult life and eventual suicide.

Burt is very direct, witty, and above all candid and honest. He has the main participants in his life comment. You can hear his voice in your head, telling you his story: both the fulfillment and the many awful, blunt rejections. He sadly doesn't have room to comment on every album, song, movie or celebrity he was associated with, but what's here is choice! And you definitely know who he considered naughty and/or nice. You gotta hand it to him: some of what's in the book is a bit unflattering about him, but he tells you what you want to know. A stand-up guy. Stop reading this and order the book!
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Jonny on May 13, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The pages felt like they were turning themselves as one story seemed to flow effortlessly into the next. Burt held nothing back and couldn't have been more honest and humble in his depiction of his life to date.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Gunther Purdue on May 15, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Bacharach is one of the most significant song writers of the last 60 years, and his memoir is tone perfect. His story is earnestly and engagingly written. If anyone has a heart, it's Mr. Bacharach, and he shows it time and again throughout this personal account of his extraordinary life. I've always loved and admired the guy and now even more so after reading this wonderfully engrossing and candid reminiscence.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Kindle Customer on July 2, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I'm a huge Bacharach fan, and always have been. He's a supreme songwriter in my opinion. His memoir is very good. He does not pull any punches and is honest, brutally so at times, about his life and events. His past marriages were not successful and he never seemed to go into them with the right attitude. He has a huge ego and was too involved in his work and himself to be a good marriage partner. The man is a perfectionist and I could imagine very difficult indeed to live and work with at times. His sadness over his daughter is obvious, and there is much conflict there with past decisions regarding the best way to handle his daughter's issues (daughter he had with Angie Dickinson). Some wonderful stories in the book about working with some of the greats in the music industry - especially interesting to see him discuss Dionne Warwick, since he is so closely linked with her stellar career.

A very good read for anyone who enjoys memoirs, and more so if you are a Bacharach fan.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By John P. DERMODY on May 29, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Yes, this a 5-star book, but Bacharach has not matured much when it comes to women. He is living in 2013 and is still describing women in 1950s neanderthal-speak -- as "dogs," having "great tits," "hot"... You get the idea. (Yeah, YOU do, but Burt still has no clue.) He does speak somewhat respectfully about his mother and Marlene Dietrich. Where he seems to go awry is with women he has sex with -- where he reveals some sort of eternal Queens, Brooklyn, or Jersey Coast teenage stunted growth. What Burt Needs Now Is To Know How To Love. Hey Burt, women ARE NOT OBJECTS!!!

Meanwhile, Burt does show us what it takes to be a great artist. That must necessarily be a combination of crushingly hard, grueling work and the love of pain associated with enormous energy, sleeplessness and persistence. This was also true of Disney, Edison, and any awesome creator you can name. And, yes, part of the price of giving yourself 100% to your art is to intentionally or unintentionally trample on the people who make the mistake of expecting a lot of affection and conversation from you.

Still, Burt's honesty merits accolades. He pulls no punches.

And if you are a musican, you will absolutely not be able to put this book down because you will learn what you must do to play with the big boys.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By R. Spell VINE VOICE on September 16, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a great book of a great career by a true musician. There is much here to enjoy like his conducting for Marlene Dietrich which influenced so much of his early career. And this book is also not without controversy as you see some of the good of the person as well as the bad.

Of course as a celebrity some of the most followed parts will be about his marriages to Angie Dickinson and Carol Bayer Sager. Frankly, I didn't know he had a third marriage to Jane with whom he now has kids. But the most heartbreaking part of the book is his recount of his daughter Nikki. Here, and throughout, the book has liberal paragraph quotes from others, particularly Angie Dickinson. This strengthens the story immensely but can sometimes put Burt in a bad light. I applaud him for including these parts. Also, Carole Bayer Sager with whom he wrote after parting with Hal David is quoted, and given the manner of their divorce, it's interesting she would participate.

But a good book needs a happy ending and his final chapter being awarded the Gershwin award is a great story as is reading of his meetings with at least three Presidents.

This is a flawed man with incredible talent and his book correctly tells this story. I strongly recommend for your reading enjoyment.
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