Dionne Warwick's 1963 "Anyone Who Had A Heart" hit the Billboard Top Ten in January 1964 and peaked at #8
on the Billboard Hot 100. The tune was a crossover smash and hit #6
on the Billboard R&B Chart and #2
on the Billboard AC Chart. The tune was also a Top 10 hit in Australia, Belgium, Canada and South Africa. Written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David, the tune was presented to Dionne in unfinished form while she, Hal and Burt were rehearsing in Burt's Manhattan apartment for a recording session a few days hence at Bell Sound. Bacharach had finished the score but Hal had written only about a third of the lyric and was struggling with what Hal regarded a bad accent in the sixth line of the first stanza, which he could not resolve. Burt played a snippet of the tune for Dionne, and she fell in love with the tune and begged Hal to finish it. Hal, according to his wonderful 1968 book "What the World Needs Now and Other Love Lyrics", went to Burt's bedroom while Burt and Dionne rehearsed in the living room and finished the lyric. The tune was recorded at Bell Sound Studios in Manhattan in November 1963, days after the assassination of JFK, in the same session as Bacharach and David's "Walk On By" and "In the Land of Make Believe". Rumor has it Warwick nailed the tune in only one take. Cilla Black, a top female recording artist in the Uk but little known outside the UK recorded a cover version released in the UK in January 1964 before Scepter licensee Pye records could release Warwick's original and Black's cover became her first number one hit in the UK. Dionne's original version, released two weeks after Cilla's in the UK did make the UK charts at #43
. However, in the USA, Black's cover died at Billboard #91
. Black remained relatively unknown except to fans in the UK while Warwick went on to achieve worldwide stardom. Anyone Who Had A Heart was Dionne's first international million-seller. Linda Ronstadt covered the tune in 1994 as a tribute to Warwick for the album "Winter Light." Dusty Springfield cut a cover of the tune in 1964 and both Shelby Lynne and Atomic Kitten remakes were released in 2008.
Writes Nick Tosches, the renowned writer, music journalist, novelist, biographer and poet in the January 7, 1972 issue of the rock magazine FUSION; ".getting into Dionne Warwick is like finding buried treasure. The Bacharach/David repertoire which milady chooses to sing is so fascinatingly cynical / fatalistic / stoical / emotional / happy, simultaneously! It's pure emotion. There is a whole lot more to emotion than some rock punk bursting his dexedrine-staved blood vessels by screaming "Baby I need you baby" into a microphone. Dionne Warwick is not a rock and roll singer. She's not a jazz singer either. Rhythm and blues? Nope. A pop singer? No way. Did you ever tongue-kiss with someone who barfed a Singapore Sling bolus into your mouth, and then four years later you're with someone else and you feel good and you realize how beautiful it all was and then it's all melancholy/happiness, sort of? That's the kind of singer Dionne Warwick is. She's beautiful. Dionne, paired with Bacharach's string/horn/reed arrangements, comes up as a lyric mezzo-sopranoid par-excellence, melodious/expressiveness-wise. If you've never gotten into her, you ought to. Get hep to Dionne Warwick. For your own sake."