Monday, August 10, 2015

"Take the Short Way Home" by Dionne Warwick

Song#:  1359
Date:  02/26/1983
Debut:  65
Peak:  41
Weeks:  13
Genre:  R&B, Adult Contemporary

Pop Bits:  Warwick grabbed her final solo Top 10 pop hit with "Heartbreaker," the title track to her Barry Gibb-produced album. Gibb co-wrote almost all of the tracks on the album including this second single. While it didn't catch on at pop (peaking at the dreaded #41) or R&B (#43), it was another Top 10 AC hit for her reaching #5.

ReduxReview:  If for some reason you couldn't hear the Bee Gees connection on "Heartbreaker," you have to hear it in this song. The staccato delivery, the groove, the harmonies, and the syncopated verse are all hallmarks of the Gibb brothers' sound. With the Bee Gees basically being ostracized around this time, that close connection may have caused this single to get overlooked despite the success of "Heartbreaker." It's a terrific song and there is no other reason I can come up with for this single not doing better. It may not be a Top 10 contender, but it deserved a better fate than its #41 showing.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  Warwick's debut single was custom written for her by Burt Bacharach and Hal David. Initially, the pair wrote "Make It Easy on Yourself" and one of the singers they had in mind to record it was Warwick, who had just signed with Scepter Records. However, the label thought the song was not good for Warwick's style and gave the song to Jerry Butler, who took the song to #20 pop, #18 R&B. Bacharach and David went to let Warwick know she wasn't getting the song and to let her know they would write one just as good for her. Warwick got pissed at the news and was not convinced the writing team could get her a better song. She then screamed out to them "Don't make me over, man! You have to accept me as I am!" That rant immediately sparked the imagination of the songwriters and they turned around and wrote "Don't Make Me Over" specifically for Warwick. She recorded it, but initially the label put it as a b-side. However, radio stations quickly picked up on the song and soon it was hitting the charts. It became Warwick's first hit reaching #21 at pop and #5 R&B. Bacharach and David certainly did not make her over and the three formed a hit making team that lasted for many years.


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