“Don’t tell me what it’s all about / ‘Cause I’ve been there and I’m glad I’m out / Out of those chains those chains that bind you / That is why I’m here to remind you…”

Between the mid to late 60s the late Burt Bacharach and his partner Hal David (also no longer with us) were well established as composers of light romantic pop tunes…light but sophisticated and even complex.

Bacharach experienced four significant career surges. One, when he became Marlene Dietrich‘s arranger (and apparently her lover) in the mid ’50s. Two, when director George Roy Hill decided to ignore classic narrative tradition by inserting a contemporary music video (“Raindrops Are Falling on My head”) into Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (’69). Three, his early to mid ’80s surge when he was partnered with wife Carole Bayer Sager (cowriting “Arthur’s Theme”, “Heartlight”, “Making Love”, “That’s What Friends Are For”). And four, when Elvis Costello saved Bacharach from a fatal association with boomer schmaltz with the Grammy-winning Painted From Memory (’98), which Bacharach co-wrote with Costello.

Do the vast majority of Millennials and Zoomers even know who Bacharach was? Or who Elvis Costello is? Of course they don’t.

Bacharach’s 15-year marriage to Angie Dickinson (his second, ’65 to ’80) must have been sensually wonderful. In ’77 they had a daughter, Nikki, who sadly took her own life in ’07. From ’82 to ’91 Bacharach was married to Sager, his musical soul mate. He married his fourth wife, Jane Hansen, in ’93. Together they had two kids, Oliver and Raleigh.

Bacharach’s autobiography, “Anyone Who Had a Heart“, was published in ’13.

The 94-year-old Bacharach died yesterday (2.8.23) at his Los Angeles home.