Promises, Promises based on Billy Wilders film, The Apartment,
that starred the fabulous Shirley MacLaine and the wonderful Jack Lemmon
ran for three years and 1,281 performances. The show won a Tony Award and
this album several Grammies.
Burt Bacharachs music is very much of its time shades of the
Bossa Nova and Tijuana Brass - frankly it sounds really old-fashioned now.
The lead singers Jerry Orbach (in the Lemmon role) and Jill OHara (in
the MacLaine) are enthusiastic and reprise the film actors
characterisations well. The numbers are sunny and upbeat; giving an overall
more breathlessly exuberant impression than the rather shadowy poignancy
of the story needed, perhaps. The big hit Ill Never Fall in Love
Again is sung in a suitably astringent manner by Orbach and OHara
though. This great Bacharach song with its clever lyrics (like: "
do you get when you fall in love? enough germs to catch pneumonia
and hell never phone yer!) would go on to be a major hit, independent
of the show, in more lush or brash arrangements depending on the artists
who delivered it and the song collections in which it was packaged.
The other romantic sentimental songs are: Whoever You Are and
Knowing When to Leave the latter song also achieved success
independent of the show. The other, mostly patter songs are so-so and forgettable
but the breathless, tongue-twisting snake-like rhythmic She Likes
Basketball is a plus; it tests Orbachs stamina to the limit.