The best and most famous songs written with Hal David, many sung by Dionne Warwick, Dusty Springfield and others

Anyone with a heart


The technical challenge for time signature nerds is switching from 5/4 to 4/4 to 7/8 in the chorus. The singer’s gift is how this rhythm jacks you into the bated breath of the dejected lover: Outraged, angry and utterly devastated in a handful of choked phrases too proud to break down and sob. Only.

This house is empty now

Elvis Costello has had to rein in his characteristic verbosity to fit into the hollow shell of a man sifting through the debris of a marriage and trying to trace the unfolding of his own deception. What critics overlook about his over-the-top voice, he said, was that the maestro had written a tune that was “nearly impossible everyone to sing.”

This guy is in love with you

Boo-boo, boo-boom. What else could go with this tune? The taciturn guy of the title practically stutters the book’s most eloquent tune, as if floating in slow motion in an amorous stupor, suspended in time in an eternal moment of promise. Far too possessed to be cheesy, the Reels version is an unlikely Aussie classic.

The look of love

The ultimate horizontal bossanova was Bacharach’s attempt to capture the erotic allure of Ursula Andress on screen. Tick. Dusty Springfield sounds like she’s singing into a satin pillowcase. Even the saxophone solo is half dressed, sitting on the room service tray with wet hair and a towel around his waist. If a song could blush, this is the color.

Do you know the way to San Jose?

The song that explains why Dionne Warwick was Bacharach’s and David’s singer-songwriter of choice, sung at the wheel of a pale blue convertible cruising Sunset with oversized sunglasses, a flapping headscarf and a knowing grin for any other wannabes coming the other way. Or at least that’s what it sounds like. “It’s a stupid song and I didn’t want to sing it,” she famously said. Yes, but just don’t try.

Bacharach during an interview in Los Angeles in 1979.

Bacharach during an interview in Los Angeles in 1979.Credit:AP Photo/Huynh, file

What the world needs now is love)

“I’ve written love songs all my life and I’ve never been wrong,” Bacharach wrote in 2006. “The closest I came to writing music was music with a social and political connotation What the world needs now is love. When this song was written 40 years ago, it was an important song. And now it’s a thousand times more.” Tape this hard truth to your easy-listening playlist. The best and most famous songs written with Hal David, many sung by Dionne Warwick, Dusty Springfield and others

Jaclyn Diaz

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