Bacharach pushes hip meter with Costello disc

Collaboration skedded for Sept. 29 release

Is Burt Bacharach poised to become the next musical darling of the MTV generation?

Mercury Records execs are hoping the collaboration between Bacharach and Elvis Costello, slated for Sept. 29 release, sparks a renewed interest in the tunesmith’s works, in the way the music cabler helped make Tony Bennett uber-cool among the MTV crowd.

Costello and Bacharach are set to release an album for Mercury consisting of original material that they have been working on for more than a year.

The pair last worked on “God Give Me Strength,” a track from the soundtrack to the 20th Century Fox film “Grace of My Heart.” The song will also appear on the new album.

The untitled project is being produced by Costello and Bacharach, with the latter performing on piano as well as conducting a 24-piece pop orchestra for the project’s 12 tunes.

“This is a new chapter in both artists’ careers,” Danny Goldberg, prexy-CEO of Mercury Records Group, told Daily Variety. “Elvis collaborating with a legend like Burt gives the album a hip cast, yet it has an edge and intensity that connects a couple of generations with its music.”

“Every year or two there is an album that crosses several (demographics) and brings together musical styles that galvanize audiences,” Goldberg said. “We think this is one of those albums.”

The album stems from Costello’s recently inked, groundbreaking recording pact with the Mercury Records Group, which crosses several labels. For pop offerings, Costello can use the Mercury label and for jazz albums he can tap the expertise of Verve Records execs.

Costello had a parting of the ways with Warner Bros. Records last year, and the label released him from his deal.Mercury will herald the arrival of the Costello-Bacharach album (tentatively titled “Painted from Memory”) with a media blitzkrieg befitting Costello’s marquee artist status with his new label and Bacharach’s stature as a music industry elder statesman.

The orchestrations were written and conducted by Bacharach, with the exception of the string chart for the title track, which was written by Johnny Mandel.

Bacharach, perhaps best known for penning such classics as “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head,” “Do You Know the Way to San Jose” and “That’s What Friends Are For,” revolutionized the sound of the ’60s and continues to be one of the world’s most popular and prolific composers.

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