His sophisticated collaborations with the lyricist Hal David — “The Look of Love,” “Walk On By,” “Alfie” and many more hits — evoked a sleek era of airy romance.
Burt Bacharach in 1965. His effervescent compositions defined sophisticated hedonism for a generation of young people amid the tumult of the 1960s.Credit...Val Wilmer/Redferns, via Getty Images
By Stephen Holden
Burt Bacharach, the debonair pop composer, arranger, conductor, record producer and occasional singer whose hit songs in the 1960s distilled that decade’s mood of romantic optimism, died on Wednesday at his home in Los Angeles. He was 94.
His publicist Tina Brausam confirmed the death. No specific cause was given.
A die-hard romantic, Mr. Bacharach fused the chromatic harmonies and long, angular melodies of late-19th-century symphonic music with modern pop orchestration and embellished the mixture with a staccato rhythmic drive.
effervescent compositions epitomized sophisticated hedonism to a generation of young adults only a few years older than the Beatles.
Because of the high gloss and apolitical stance of the songs Mr. Bacharach wrote with his most frequent collaborator, the lyricist Hal David, during an era of confrontation and social upheaval, they were often dismissed as little more than background music by listeners who preferred the hard edge of rock or the intimacy of the singer-songwriter genre. But in hindsight, the Bacharach-David team ranks high in the pantheon of pop songwriting…….