Following in the footsteps of Eminem -- just much later in his career -- 76-year-old songwriter/producer Burt Bacharach is turning to Dr. Dre to bring some edge to his music.
So far, Dre has supplied the beats to three tracks on Bacharach's next album, which is due in 2005.
"It's a challenging, freeing feeling to take an existing format -- like these rigid, four-bar loops -- and to see what you can write on top of it," Bacharach told the Denver Post over the weekend. "It's hard and challenging too, because it does have some restrictions."
Bacharach, who launched his songwriting career more than 50 years ago, is best known for penning sophisticated, easy-listening hits for the likes of Dionne Warwick, Dusty Springfield, the Carpenters and Neil Diamond. In recent years, however, his cool quotient has escalated thanks to his appearances in the "Austin Powers" movies and duets with Elvis Costello and Oasis' Noel Gallagher.
Aside from a collection of Costello collaborations in 1998, Bacharach hasn't released an album of new, original songs since 1977's Futures. His new project came about when his label in England, where he is more widely considered an icon, approached him about doing a "cutting-edge record."
"I had got together with Dre about a year and a half ago and talked about doing something for the album that we never did," Bacharach said. "Then he gave me the loops, and when I decided to do this album for Sony England, it seemed a natural fit."
Bacharach is not making a hip-hop album, however. He described the new music as tapping into his jazz and classical roots.
A spokesperson for Dre had no comment on the Bacharach album or the rapper's own upcoming release, The Detox (see [article id="1484683"]"Dr. Dre's Detox 'The Most Advanced Rap Album Ever,' Co-Producer Says"[/article]).
Along with recording what he has said will be his final album, Dre is also working on Ice Cube's next record (see [article id="1484915"]"Ice Cube Ready To Work On Solo LP, Still In Talks With Dre"[/article]).