I was doing some spring cleaning this weekend, my children and I dancing to some Pat Benetar, and immediately had flashbacks of the pending summer of 1989. I had just turned five and my mother and I were spending our usual weekend cleaning house and jamming to the massive record player/stereo system that sat in the living room. We were in the middle of listening to Ray, Goodman & Brown when she switched it up a bit and went to her Diva section of records. She pulled out this 33 featuring a pretty lady on the front wearing fur with bedroom eyes and big white letters that simply said, “DIONNE.”
My mother had played Dionne Warwick a lot. Especially when she was the darling of Burt Bacarach and David Hal. But then my mother explained to me as she was setting up the record, that in the last two years of the seventies, Whitney’s cousin was looking for a change from her sixties pop sound that pushed her to stardom; she wanted something fresh and modern. Enter Barry Manilow who produced Dionne’s self entitled album with a stellar team of writers- including Rupert Holmes and Issac Hayes- and gave us a classic with wicked drum solos, massive ballads, and spot on vocals. My mother said to me, “This is your introduction to the last great music of the decade before you were born. Listen and learn.”
And I did.
Dionne’s album gave us the original Deja Vu, I’ll Never Love This Way Again, After You, and my personal favorites, an uptempo poppy rendition of The Letter and Who, What, Where, When, Why?
I put my generation’s version of the record, my iPod, on the docking stereo system and scrolled to DIONNE (I could never find this on CD so I had to convert it from the original record to mp3). Watching my kids to the air guitar and drums to The Letter and badly moonwalk across the room, made me ridiculously happy.
Enjoy the A side of DIONNE!