The Look of Love

Posted by M ws On Thursday, June 7, 2012 7 comments
Regular readers would be well aware that I love the song of Burt Bacharach such as Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head, Do You Know the Way to San Jose?,  I;ll Never Fall In Love Again, This Guy's In Love With You etc. (CLICK HERE for a list of his hits.) As of 2006, Bacharach had written 70 Top 40 hits in the U.S., and 52 Top 40 hits in the UK. Certainly, 'The Look of Love' is one of my favourite Bacharach hits apart from Alfie and People. (Click here for my post on Alfie and People)

Originally written by Burt Bacharach as an instrumental, Hal David added the lyrics later and the song was published in 1967. In the same year, The Look of Love sung by Dusty Springfield appeared in the 1967 James Bond movie Casino Royale. CLICK HERE FOR THE VIDEO.

The song received an Oscar nomination and reaching the US Top 40. Later on, DustySpringfield re-recorded the song the same year in London, featuring a throaty saxophone solo, and released it as the B-side of "Give Me Time".

Many others went on to record this beautiful love song including:

  • Claudine Longet recorded the song on her 1967 album of the same title.
  • Lainie Kazan also recorded "The Look of Love" (arranged by Pat Williams) on her 1967 album Love is Lainie.
  • Nina Simone also recorded "The Look of Love" in 1967 on her album Silk & Soul.
  • Sérgio Mendes' hit rendition on the Sérgio Mendes &aBrasil '66 album Look Around reached #4 on the pop charts after their performance in the Academy Awards telecast in March 1968.
  • The lead vocal on this single was handled by Janis Hansen, not Lani Hall, a rarity in the early Brasil '66 canon. Soul group The Delfonics also covered the song in 1968 on their album La La Means I Love You.
  • Shirley Bassey
  • Chris Botti - A Thousand Kisses Deep (2003).
  • Diana Krall (with the London Symphony Orchestra) for the album The Look of Love (2006) and Live in Paris (2002). Krall's record went platinum and made the top 10 of the Billboard 200. It topped the Canadian album charts and went quadruple platinum in Canada.

According to Wikipedia, the song has had much impact in pop culture. The Look of Love has been featured in the following media:
  • Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997), Susanna Hoffs of The Bangles sings the tune.
  • In Yamaha DGX-series keyboards, "The Look of Love" is featured as a demo song.
  • An instrumental version is featured in the film The Boys in the Band (1970), directed by William Friedkin.
  • A character hums it in the film Alive (1993)
  • It was used in a McDonald's television commercial in the mid-1990s.
  • In the film Dead Presidents (1995) Isaac Hayes' version is in a scene where the characters Kirby, Joe, and Anthony are driving along after Anthony's rocky return from the Vietnam War.
  • The song is used (anachronistically) in the film Catch Me If You Can (2002) during a scene set in 1964.
  • The song is also featured in the film, I Think I Love My Wife (2007), written and directed by Chris Rock. (Erica Canales sings the song produced by Marcus Miller.)
  • The song appears in an episode of "The Sarah Silverman Program" titled "Vow Wow".
  • The song is featured in the film "Toast (film)" (2010).

Here are my favourite versions of The Look of Love by:

Dusty Springfield

Diana Krall Live in Paris

Shirley Bassey

Chris Botti

As many of you know, I had been sick with chronic sinusitis for five months and recovered by mid-May. The past few nights, I have been singing my lungs out upon discovery that I can hit those notes again! Tonight, I did an impromptu recording of The Look of Love which you can listen to at this link. It's an impromptu recording  in one take with no editing and using Sound Recorder.

I really love the song for its meaning, mood, melody, lyrics and many other reasons. Bacharach certainly has ingenious talent. Blog reader E***** was very lucky to have watched Burt Bacharach live in Melbourne recently!!! I am totally green with envy. My cousin watched him perform in San Francisco and he said there was an electrifying silence in the air, especially when Bacharach sang "Alfie".

May each one of you out there dwell in bliss with the one who gives you that look of love! Take care and have a pleasant evening!

7 comments to The Look of Love

  1. says:

    cin2tan I thot BB was a singh lah !

  1. says:

    edward Dear MWS,

    You have a very melodious voice with good intonation and diction. Congrats!

    Top on my list is Dusty's rendition followed by Diana Krall's. The saxophone play in Casino Royale is just unbelievable.I never get tired of listening to it nor will ever be. Thank God for B Bacharach and his incomparable lyricist Hal David for creating such beautiful music and songs.


  1. says:

    masterwordsmith Dear Cin2tan

    Haha!! So now you know :-).


  1. says:

    masterwordsmith Dear Edward

    Thank you so much for your warm and encouraging response. Yes, I do agree with you that Dusty Springfield's version is the best followed by Diana Krall. Whilst both styles differ, the essence of the song is evidently underscored by their unique voices and delivery.

    When you are free, do pen your thoughts or reactions @ the Burt Bacharach concert that you attended. It would be a pleasure to post it in my humble blog.

    Lucky you to have seen him life. I am sure it must have been an unforgettable and poignant milestone in life!

    Take care and have a blessed weekend!


  1. says:

    cin2tan I checked through one of my >500 cassette tapes & listened to Ricky Nelson's 'Garden party' + 'I need you' again & again !!

  1. says:

    cin2tan OMG, just discovered from my OLD cassettes : Both sides now, The other side of me, Hearts of gold, Beyond the sea, Whiter shades of grey .....!

  1. says:

    cin2tan sorry, it's 'whiter shade of PALE' !

    Paula, cant hear yr recording : TOO soft lah thro my speakers !

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