Dusty, “The Look of Love” and Late ’60s Movies

I’ve decided that I might as well rename this blog A Nostalgic Journey Through the Works of Burt Bacharach, January to December 1967, as yet again I have found myself troubled by a pesky earworm from that year. All day yesterday I had the first few lines of The Look of Love by Dusty Springfield going round and round in my head but wasn’t sure where it had come from. I was pretty sure I hadn’t heard it on the radio or on television but here I was yet again revisiting my seemingly favourite year and favourite composer.

dustyspringfield_thelookofloveThe Look of Love, by Burt Bacharach and Hal David featured in the 1967 spoof James Bond film Casino Royale. Here is the scene in the movie where it appears and between Dusty’s husky vocals, the slow motion filming and the saxophone playing, Peter Sellers looks as if he is in for quite a time with Ursula Andress (the original Bond girl – Honey Ryder).

The Look of Love by Dusty Springfield:

Of all the songs featured in this blog, 1967 is the year I seem to keep coming back to and after thinking about it a bit more I have come up with a few reasons as to why that might be happening.

First of all I was only six at the start of ’67, so most of my personal musical memories are from the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s (post turn-of-the-millennium is still classed as “new” music for me). My point is, there are many songs from the ’60s that are still fresh for me, as I haven’t yet reached the tipping point of having heard them just once too often. (Sadly the exception to that rule is now the song Alfie – After undertaking this project I hope I never, ever, have to listen to it again.)

Secondly, when you are six (just like in the world of A.A. Milne) you have no exam, work, money or relationship worries, so none of the songs from that era conjure up any unpleasant memories. If you were lucky like me and came from a stable family where you were loved and taken care of, life was sweet – The days of teenage angst were far off in the future.

Thirdly (is that even a word), the radio stations I now listen to (briefly in the morning when I get up, and when in the car) generally play older music so I am much more likely to hear something by Burt Bacharach than by Tame Impala in the course of the day, setting off one of those pesky earworms (although to be fair not pesky in the case of this song, more pleasurable).

Fourth, I am truly amazed at the sheer number of musical sub-genres, and in the last couple of weeks alone I have covered songs from the sunshine pop, baroque pop and champagne soul camps. Burt’s music was apparently from the orchestral pop camp and of the many sub-genres out there, I think this is the one I warm to most. In the late ’60s plenty of other arrangers and producers were championing this style of music such as George Martin, Brian Wilson and John Barry (of Bond theme fame) so lots of great stuff to listen to.

And finally, the big one, in my youth I absolutely loved old ’60s movies like Casino Royale shown in the clip. There is a delay of a few years before films made for the big screen can be shown on television and I am guessing that this one, and the non-spoof Cubby Broccoli Bond movie You Only Live Twice, first made an appearance on British television in the early ’70s. Perhaps all was hunky dory where you lived but my memory of early ’70s Britain is that things were a bit grim and depressing. We had economic and political unrest, three-day weeks and power cuts. The clothes were all droopy (midi/maxi skirts and flared trousers) and came in a variety of shades of brown and beige. Compare all that to the brilliant colours and exotic locations shown in those comedic, technicolor movies from the ’60s and I know which era I wanted to live in, albeit vicariously.

It is no coincidence that Peter Sellers popped up in the clip for The Look of Love – His output was prolific around that time and he had already starred in What’s New Pussycat? in 1965 and After The Fox in 1966, both films having title songs written by Bacharach and David. There can’t be many people who wouldn’t recognise Tom Jones’ version of What’s New Pussycat? but despite the fact that After The Fox by The Hollies (featuring Peter Sellers) is lesser known, it has now become one of my favourite Burt songs from that period. Again, when you listen to it, you just remember all those great films that usually had very funny cartoonised opening sequences and colourful movie posters designed by Frank Frazetta.

After The Fox by The Hollies (featuring Peter Sellers):

So, “What’s It All About?” – After writing this post, I worked out how the song The Look Of Love became an earworm yesterday. It turns out that it is being used in a new advert for tinned soup! That’s another song ruined then, as from now on it won’t be associated with the husky sounds of Dusty Springfield, it will be associated with tinned tomato.

I wrote a while back about how advertising companies have worked out that if they use music from the era their target market turned 16, they will be putty in their hands and mindlessly buy anything on offer. In the case of this song, it looks as if all those recent retirees aged around 65 who eschew spending a fortune on designer soup in cartons, are about to have a purchasing frenzy, buying up all their favourite tinned soups from their youth. (Oxtail anyone? No me neither.)

Very clever marketing The Heinz Corporation, but for me, they have just ruined another classic song from the ’60s…… for all of us.

The Look of Love Lyrics
(Song by Burt Bacharach/Hal David)

The look of love
Is in your eyes
The look your smile can’t disguise
The look of love
Is saying so much more
Than just words could ever say
And what my heart has heard
Well it takes my breath away

I can hardly wait to hold you
Feel my arms around you
How long I have waited
Waited just to love you
Now that I have found you

You’ve got the look of love
It’s on your face
A look that time can’t erase
Be mine tonight
Let this be just the start
Of so many nights like this
Let’s take a lover’s vow
And then seal it with a kiss

I can hardly wait to hold you
Feel my arms around you
How long I have waited
Waited just to love you
Now that I have found you
Don’t ever go

I can hardly wait to hold you
Feel my arms around you
How long I have waited
Waited just to love you
Now that I have found you
Don’t ever go
Don’t ever go
I love you so

Author: Alyson

Whenever I hear an old song on the radio, I am immediately transported back to those days - I know I'm not alone here and want to record those memories for myself and for the people in them. 50 years ago the song "Alfie" was recorded for the film of the same name and I'm hoping that by writing this blog, I might finally work out the answer to his question, "What's it all about?"

4 thoughts on “Dusty, “The Look of Love” and Late ’60s Movies”

  1. In our house, it was (Campbell’s) Cream of Tomato soup, Alyson. It’s so annoying that our fave ’60s songs, the keepers of our memories, are being commandeered to sell soup or luxury cars. Fortunately, when the commercials come on, my trigger finger is usually quick on the draw with the mute button or if I’ve taped a show, I’ll fast forward through them.

    Dusty Springfield is another favourite of mine, too. One of the early 45s that I purchased with my own money was “Wishin’ and Hopin'” I think I’ve got her version of “The Look of Love” on a CD somewhere, so will leave you a link if I do find it.

    Liked by 1 person

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