Wives and Lovers
"Wives and Lovers" is a 1963 song by Burt Bacharach and Hal David. It has been recorded by numerous male and female vocalists, instrumentalists and ensembles, most notably by Jack Jones in 1963. That recording earned the 1964 Grammy Award for Best Vocal Performance, Male, and peaked at number fourteen on the Hot 100 and number nine on the Easy Listening chart.
"Wives and Lovers" is a song of advice to married women, to stay attractive and attentive to their husbands ("wives should always be lovers, too") to avoid their husbands straying with "girls at the office". The song originated when Bacharach and David were asked to write a song with the title "Wives and Lovers", on the theme of marital infidelity, as a promotional tie-in for the 1963 film Wives and Lovers. The song did not appear in the film but was intended simply to promote the film; which made it what was known at the time as an "exploitation song". The song "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance", which Bacharach and David had written in 1962, similarly promoted, but did not appear in, the film The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.
- Burt Bacharach recorded "Wives and Lovers" with orchestra and chorus and released the song as single B-side of "Trains and Boats and Planes" in 1965 on London Records, and included it on the album Hit Maker! Burt Bacharach Plays the Burt Bacharach Hits (London and Kapp) of the same year (and later compilations).
- Bacharach and David produced their version with Dionne Warwick in 1963Ref? for Scepter (licensed to British Pye and French Vogue, both releasing the title on 7" EPs, each with four different songs). The 1965 album featuring the song called The Sensitive Sound of Dionne Warwick (Scepter).
- Vic Damone version was released as single in 1963; B-side was "Oooh! Look-A There Ain't She Pretty?" (Capitol)
- Dick van Dyke with the Ray Charles Singers and Enoch Light and His Orchestra – Songs I Like (Command, 1963)
- Jack Jones 1963 single on London Records (as Bacharach) got him a Grammy Award for Best Vocal Performance. Jones was accompanied by an orchestra directed by Pete King; B-side was "Toys in the Attic." – Over 40 year later, in 1979, he released also a disco version of this song on the LP Nobody Does It Better (MGM).
- Andy Williams – The Wonderful World of Andy Williams (Columbia, 1963)
- Billy Eckstine - The Modern Sound of Mr. B, a 7" single with 33rpm comprising six songs (Mercury, 1964)
- Red Holloway with the Brother Jack McDuff Quartet had a single release of the song in (Prestige, 1964)
- Julie London on her self-titled 1964 album (Liberty)
- Peter Nero - Reflections (RCA Victor, 1964)
- Wayne Newton - Sings Hit Songs (Capitol, 1964)
- Frank Sinatra with Count Basie and His Orchestra – It Might as Well Be Swing (Reprise, 1964) It was later mentioned by Burt Bacharach that while the song was in 3/4 time, the performance was in 4/4 time as "the Basie band can’t play in 3/4."
- Jimmy Smith – Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Verve, 1964)
- Nancy Wilson – Today, Tomorrow, Forever, a double single issued by Capitol in 1964 with arrangements by Kenny Dennis. This version is featured on the 2004 label compilation Blue Note Plays Burt Bacharach.
- Grant Green recorded the song in 1965, but was not released until 1990 on the reissue of Matador.
- Ella Fitzgerald with Duke Ellington and His Orchestra recorded the song live at the Côte d'Azur in 1966 (Verve).
- Lena Horne – Lena in Hollywood (United Artists, 1966)
- Steve Lawrence recorded a version in 1966 (Columbia)
- Stan Getz – What the World Needs Now – Stan Getz Plays Bacharach and David (Verve, 1968)
- Rita Reys Meets Oliver Nelson recording "Wives and Lovers" and "Satin Doll", released as single on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the Dutch Youth Hostel Association in 1968.
- Frank Chacksfield and His Orchestra – Chacksfield Plays Bacharach (London, 1970)
- Obscure Christopher Scott's Moog Plays Switched-On Bacharach for Decca Records in 1969, exploiting Wendy Carlos' success with her interpretations of Johann Sebastian Bach on the Moog synthesizer in 1968 (Switched-On Bach on Columbia).
- Mark Laub and the Music Minus One Orchestra - Bacharach Organized – Music Minus One Organ, arranged and conducted by Jack Six (Music Minus One, 1969).
- Jack Six – Bacharach Revisited – 10 Backgrounds for Male Singers (Music Minus One, 1969)
- British organist Ena Baga included the song on Happy Hammond Plays Bacharach (Hallmark, 1972).
- Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops – What the World Needs Now (The Burt Bacharach-Hal David Songbook) (Polydor, 1972)
- Ron Goodwin & His Orchestra – Play Burt Bacharach (EMI, 1972)
Mind the gap...
- Kimiko Itoh – Standards My Way (Video Arts, 1996)
- Jazz trumpeter Dave Douglas arranged the song for a Burt Bacharach tribute compilation on John Zorn's Tzadik label series Great Jewish Music in 1997 with pianist Uri Caine and reed player Scott Robinson.
- Tony Hadley – Passing Strangers (Curb, 2006)
- Patty Ascher – Tribute in Bossa to Burt Bacharach (Just Entertainment, 2010)
Song in popular culture
- The song was featured playing on a radio in the very first "For Better or For Worse" comic strip by Lynn Johnston.
- The Warwick version of the song was played during the opening credits of The First Wives Club.
- GRAMMY Winners Search
- Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961-2001. Record Research. p. 130.
- Anyone Who Had A Heart: The Songs of Burt Bacharach and Hal David, Robin Platts, Discoveries, December 1997
- Frank Sinatra: The Complete Guide
- Simpson, Dave (2015-05-21). "Burt Bacharach: Marlene Dietrich’s music sucked! But I liked her | Music | The Guardian". theguardian.com. Retrieved 21 May 2015.
It was the same thing with Sinatra and the Count Basie band, with Quincy Jones producing. They did Wives and Lovers, which is in 3/4 time, but they did it in 4/4. I said, “Quincy, what happened?” He said: “The Basie band can’t play in 3/4.”
- Johnston, Lynn (1979-09-09). "For Better or For Worse". Universal Press Syndicate. Retrieved 16 October 2012.