I came across a chart of the 100 Top-Selling LPs for the Week of March 16, 1968. In the #10 spot is the soundtrack for VALLEY OF THE DOLLS (20th Fox 4196), up from the #12 spot the week before. It was the 7th week that the album had been on the chart.
Down in the middle of the chart, at #55, was Dionne Warwick's LP "Valley of the Dolls" (Scepter SPS-568). The album had entered the chart at the #88 spot the week before.
Two weeks later, for the Week of March 30, 1968, the Fox LP had climbed to the #6 spot, with the Warwick album hot on its heels at #12. I wonder how many people had purchased the Fox soundtrack LP looking for the Dionne Warwick vocal that was not to be found, and was just then appearing in stores.
I assume that the recording on Warwick's LP was actually a re-recording of the song. I guess the actual soundtrack recording has never been heard outside of the film. Warwick's recording, in both its album and single form, went gold.
Unless I'm mistaken, the version of the title song on the original soundtrack (at least the version I used to own) is the same version heard in the film, complete with spoken narration over the beginning of the track. The version on the Warwick LP is a single/radio version that didn't appear in the film or on the original soundtrack album, but the orchestration is similar (if not identical) to the film version.
The film is a superior work of camp, and the title song is one of the most beautiful movie songs ever.
Warwick's record contract prevented her recording from being on the soundtrack album -- it was sung by Dory Previn. They just used the opening narration for the film as a lead in for the soundtrack. Interestingly, Williams is "John" on the film but "Johnny" on the album. And, of course, it was his first Oscar nomination!
An expanded and remastered edition would be great (okay it's Fox/Disney so it's highly improbable right now). Does someone has an idea of how much underscore is missing from the OST? Songs demos could make a great bonus too...