Sunday, March 29, 2015

"Heartbreaker" by Dionne Warwick

Top 10 Alert!
Song#:  1211
Date:  10/09/1982
Debut:  68
Peak:  10
Weeks:  22
Genre:  Pop, Adult Contemporary, R&B

Pop Bits:  Warwick's two LP's that followed her 1979 platinum debut album for Arista, "Dionne," were not nearly as successful and failed to even go gold. She needed a new approach and one came to her via a conversation between Clive Davis and the Bee Gees' Barry Gibb. Gibb expressed that he loved Warwick's music so Davis got the Bee Gees and Warwick together to discuss a possible project. They hit it off and the brothers began to develop a full album for the singer. Co-produced by Barry Gibb, the LP "Heartbreaker" featured six songs written by the Bee Gees plus three others co-written by Barry Gibb. This first title-track single got things off to a great start as it returned her to the pop Top 10 while hitting #1 at AC (and #14 R&B). Thanks in part to the participation of the Bee Gees, the album and single became Warwick's biggest successes in the UK reaching #3 and #2 respectively.

ReduxReview:  The Bee Gees have a distinct style of writing songs and even when those songs go to other artists, you can usually recognize their work. Burt Bacharach's songs are often like that as well. "Heartbreaker" is one that has an unmistakable Bee Gees stamp to it, thanks in part to the brothers' background vocals. Warwick, this song, and the Bee Gees were an absolutely perfect fit. The brothers updated her sound in just the right way and Warwick responded well to the change. I loved this song right off the bat and I think it holds up well despite the 80s production.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) Warwick stated later that she really didn't initially care for the song "Heartbreaker." But she knew a Bee Gees song would be a good career move and trusted the brothers when they said it would be a hit.  2) Like many songwriters, the Bee Gees recorded demos of songs to present to other artists. For the nine songs included on Warwick's album, the brothers recorded their own versions. These songs were passed around among collectors for years until officially released on iTunes in 2006 as "The Heartbreaker Sessions" under Barry Gibbs' name. Also released at the same time were sessions for albums they wrote/produced for Barbra Streisand ("Guilty"), Kenny Rogers ("Eyes That See in the Dark"), and Diana Ross ("Eaten Alive").


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