Every artist, even great ones, experiences peaks and valleys. When Dionne Warwick signed with Arista Records in 1979, she had nothing to prove, but her glory also seemed like a thing of the past. She was already a part of pop history with an unparalleled string of hits penned by Burt Bacharach and Hal David. In fact, when she signed with Warner Brothers in 1971, the plan was that history would continue and she would still be singing hits by the songwriter team that had made her famous. However, it didn’t turn out that way. Bacharach and David broke up and Warwick found herself in a dry spell. She had to prove that she could manage on her own and she needed someone to believe in her.
Video: Dionne Warwick – HEARTBREAKER (Barry Gibb) 1982
Limited 12 CD box set. It’s just over 40 years since global music icon Dionne Warwick signed with Arista Records marking a defining fifteen-year chapter in the star-studded career of the Lifetime Achievement and multi-Grammy-winning songstress, celebrated here with this first-of-it’s-kind box set of her (159) recordings for the label. Included are (29) bonus tracks, with nine of the twelve albums as expanded editions of the original Arista LPs, with remastering by Nick Robbins. The deluxe 64-page booklet (with artwork by Roger Williams) includes detailed essays on each album with quotes from Dionne, Clive Davis and producer Steve Buckingham.
• Disc 1, DIONNE marked the rejuvenation of the famed entertainer’s career as an international hitmaker, with then-labelmate Barry Manilow producing Dionne’s first platinum-selling LP with the classics ‘I’ll Never Love This Way Again’ and ‘Déjà Vu’, garnering the singer two Grammy Awards. An expanded edition with three bonus tracks left over from the early 1979 sessions.
• Disc 2, 1980’s NO NIGHT SO LONG was produced by then Atlanta-based Steve Buckingham with the title cut achieving US Top 30 and Top 20 R&B status. An expanded edition with nine bonus tracks (two of which were originally released on Dionne’s third Arista set and a number of which were planned for inclusion on that LP but shelved) as well as the rare ‘B’ side, ‘This Time Is Ours’.
• Disc 3, 1981’s HOT! LIVE & OTHERWISE, a Steve Buckingham-produced live recording of Dionne’s shows at Harrah’s in Reno including the famous 20-minute ‘Hit Records Medley’; with studio cuts (produced by Michael Masser) from the ‘Otherwise’ side of the LP. Expanded edition with two bonus ‘live’ tracks (‘Touch Me In The Morning’ and ‘Welcome To My World’) along with CD debut of the ‘live’ version of ‘We Never Said Goodbye’.
• Disc 4, 1982’s FRIENDS IN LOVE, produced by renowned musician/songwriter Jay Graydon, features Dionne’s US Top 40 hit duet with Johnny Mathis along with original compositions by Stevie Wonder and Tom Snow along with distinctive cover versions of ‘Can’t Hide Love’ (EW&F) and “Betcha By Golly Wow” (The Stylistics), considered musically one of Dionne’s best Arista albums.
• Disc 5, 1982s HEARTBREAKER, Dionne’s biggest-selling LP to date (with over 3 million sales), a worldwide success thanks to the title track, “All The Love In The World” and “Take The Short Way Home.” Produced by Barry Gibb, Albhy Galuten & Karl Richardson with (8) songs written specifically for Dionne. Expanded edition with a demo duet with Barry Gibb of ‘Let It Be Me’.
• Disc 6, 1983’s HOW MANY TIMES CAN WE SAY GOODBYE (released in Europe as “So Amazing”), produced by Luther Vandross, featuring the U.S. Top 10 R&B and Top 30 pop charted title track and a musical reunion with Dionne’s 60s Scepter label-mates, The Shirelles on ‘Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow’. Expanded edition with a dance mix of ‘Got A Date’.
• Disc 7, 1985’s FINDER OF LOST LOVES, an expanded edition with five bonus tracks including the original Dionne & Luther duet from the US television series of the same name (a musical reunion with Burt Bacharach) and duets with Barry Manilow, Stevie Wonder and Glenn Jones.
• Disc 8, FRIENDS, the 1985 US gold-certified LP featuring the timeless global anthem, award-winning ‘That’s What Friends Are For’ (with Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight & Elton John) which raised over $3 million for AIDS research; and key originals ‘Whisper In The Dark’ and ‘How Long’.
• Disc 9, 1987’s RESERVATIONS FOR TWO, with the hit duets ‘Love Power’ (with Jeffrey Osborne) and the title track (with Kashif). An expanded edition with three bonus tracks including ‘Take Good Care Of You And Me’ with Osborne and ‘Who’s Counting Heartaches’ with Johnny Mathis.
• Disc 10, 1990’s DIONNE WARWICK SINGS COLE PORTER, an inspired tribute to the renowned late composer, produced by Arif Mardin and including time-honoured standards such as ‘Night And Day’, ‘You’re The Top’; with ‘You’d Be So Nice To Come Home To’.
• Disc 11, 1993’s FRIENDS CAN BE LOVERS with production by Ian Devaney & Andy Morris (of Lisa Stansfield fame), Dionne’s son David Elliott (on ‘Love Will Find A Way’, Dionne’s duet with cousin Whitney Houston) and Barry J. Eastmond; an expanded edition with three bonus tracks including the 1989 charted single ‘I Don’t Need Another Love’, duet with The Spinners and, “A True Love,” Dionne’s duet with French music legend Sacha Distel.
• Disc 12, Dionne’s final Arista LP, 1994’s the artistic triumph AQUARELA DO BRASIL with a cadre of top musicians, songwriters and singers from Brazil; an expanded edition with five bonus tracks not included on the original critically-acclaimed album,