Our Top 20 Burt Bacharach Songs List takes a look at the music of one of the most wondrous composers of all time. There is simply not enough adjectives in the English language to describe the talent and music of Burt Bacharach. For those of us who grew up in the second half of the 20th century, the music of Burt Bacharach served as the soundtrack to our lives. Hit after hit filled the airwaves especially in the 1960s. The incredible vocal talents of so many great singers such as Dionne Warwick, Dusty Springfield, Jackie DeShannon, Tom Jones and so many more brought Burt Bacharach’s music alive. Burt Bacharach Songs have been covered by more artists than probably any other popular music songwriter in history. Over a thousands professionally signed major label recordings artists had covered Burt Bacharach Songs.
One can not compose a list of Burt Bacharach Songs without first mentioning all of his great songwriting partners. Burt Bachararch’s most important songwriting partner and the author of all those great lyrics that filled the Burt Bacharach songs of the 60s was the great Hal David. The brilliant lyricist who charmed our hearts first met Burt Bacharach at the legendary New York Brill Building. It was a place where songwriters like Carole King, Neil Diamond, Laura Nyro and so many others composed the hits of our lifetimes. Burt Bacharach also had other songwriting partners through the years including Bob Hilliard, Bruce Roberts, Carole Bayer Sager and Elvis Costello.
Burt Bacharach’s professional songwriting career began with his first hit song recorded by Mart Robbins in 1957 entitled “The Story of My Life.” It was a grand start for Burt Bacharach and Hal David as the song went straight to number one on the county music charts in the United States. The song even proved successful on the Billboard Hot 100 peaking all the way up to number fifteen. Over the next couple of years in the late 1950s and early 1960s Burt Bacharach and lyricists Hal David and Bob Hilliard would find commercial success with their songs being recorded and turned into hits by artists such as Gene Pitney, The Four Coins, Perry Como, Jane Morgan, The Avons, Gene McDaniels, The Drifters, The Shirelles and even the Dick Van Dyke.
The year 1961 would prove to be a major turning point in the career of Burt Bacharach. 1961 was the year Burt Bacharach discovered the vocal talents of Dionne Warwick. The songwriter and singer would put their talents together and celebrate a twenty year history together in which they scored twenty two top 40 hits and almost forty songs that charted on the pop charts. In simple terms the pair made a lot of money together and a lot of people happy from record companies, to record stores, to radio stations spreading their music across multiple cultures with huge sucess.
Burt Bachararch released his first album in 1965 entitled Hit Maker!: Burt Bacharach plays the Burt Bacharach Hits. The album featured half the members of Led Zeppelin as both Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones performed on the record. The album was recorded in London. Burt Bacharach’s next two albums would also serve as film soundtracks entitled What’s New Pussycat? and After the Fox. In 1967, Burt Bacharach released the great alum Reach Out. 1967 was a busy years for Burt as he also released soundtrack albums to Casino Royale and On The Flip Side.
Burt Bacharach would score his second gold album of his young career in 1969 with the release of the album Make It Easy on Yourself. Burt Bacharach would finish of his incredible decade with two more album releases in 1969 including the Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid Film Soundtrack and the Original Broadway Cast Recording Promises, Promises.
Burt Bacharach would continue to release albums and have his songs recorded all though the 1970s, 80s and onward. He continued to have multiple modern day hits scoring big with Arthur’s Theme and the huge 1985 hit “That’s What Friends Are For.” One of his later day great projects was an album of new songs he recorded and wrote with Elvis Costello in 1998 entitled Painted from Memory. The album won a Grammy Award. The two reunited in 2018 and wrote three new songs together that appeared on Elvis Costello’s new album.
With a career that has spanned five decades and earned six Grammy Awards, three Academy Awards and over one hundred top 40 hits combined between the United States and United Kingdom, the word legendary does not seem to be enough of a word to describe Burt Bacharach’s success. In the end, for us, it’s not about his success, its about his songs….so many of them. We wish we could list a hundred of them but then the page would never load. So we have to be selective and that tough. But, its also fun. So here is our top 20 Burt Bacharach songs.
# 20 – God Give Me Strength
# 19 – That’s What Friends Are For
# 18 – A House Is Not a Home
# 17 – Trains and Boats and Planes
# 16 – What’s New Pussycat?
# 15 – Alfie
# 14 – One Less Bell to Answer
# 13 – Arthur’s Theme (Best That You Can Do)
# 12 – I’ll Never Fall in Love Again
# 11 – I Just Don’t Know What to Do with Myself
# 10 – Wishing And Hoping
# 9 – Always Something There To Remind Me
# 8 – Do You Know The Way To San Jose
# 7 – (They Long to Be) Close to You
# 6 – The Look Of Love
# 5 – Say A Little Prayer
# 4 – Walk On By
# 3 – This Guy’s In Love With You
# 2 – Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head
# 1 – What The World Need Now Is Love