Finding Shangri-La In The Turmoil

It is probably fair to say that much great music…nay, great art, is probably created in an environment of turmoil rather than tranquility. Pet Sounds was certainly the fruit of a man realising that love was a lot more than just a game, and starting to feel the hostility of bandmates who didn’t want to be promiscuous with the formula.

Burt Bacharach isn’t exactly known as the wild man of rock, but the soundtrack to Lost Horizon was created at the tail-end of his association with lyricist Hal David and was their last work together. The film itself was a major-league flop, but in this difficult environment, Bacharach and David were tasked with writing songs about finding peace and harmony in Shangri-La.

Although some of the lyrics could be dismissed as pop psychology, there is an extraordinary depth to some of these songs…I Come To You must be one of the emotional love songs ever, while the title track is an evocative work sung by Shawn Phillips. And The Things I Will Not Miss features some interesting production effects and some good counterpoint vocals.

The whole thing is weighted down slightly by the overlong fluff of Question Me An Answer but this is still a classic pop soundtrack well worth seeking out if you have the slightest love for Bacharach. Many of the songs are also on Bacharach’s own Living Together album, which is also highly recommended.

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