Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Dionne Warwick - "Heartbreaker"

Heartbreaker - Heartbreaker

(Debuted October 9, 1982, Peaked #10, 21 Weeks on the Chart)

When the 1970s ended and gave way to a new decade, there was a shift in musical tastes that affected a lot of the artists who'd scored some really big hits in the old decade. While some artists adapted and managed to survive the changes (Donna Summer), there were others whose chart fortunes fell off considerably. And one of those acts was The Bee Gees. Well, that's partially true, and I'll get back to that point.

The change also allowed some acts to reappear after seeming to be gone from popularity for a while. One of the "comeback" acts was Dionne Warwick, whose reemergence came with a 1979 LP produced by Barry Manilow. When she recorded her 1982 LP Heartbreaker, she tapped the Gibb Brothers to produce it. Contrary to popular belief, the brothers were kept busy with other projects; the end of the decade didn't "kill" them as many have stated. Yes, their early 1980s material wasn't the chart material that the late 1970s produced, but their success led to a great deal of work behind the scenes. And if you think the dawn of the 1980s doomed their work, I'd counter that you just weren't listening closely.

The song "Heartbreaker" has the Gibbs' hallmarks all over it. They sing backup, the backing music features their synthesized brass, and the drum rhythm is unmistakeably theirs. Three years after the brothers were supposedly "out," here they were in the pop Top 10 and #1 on the adult contemporary chart. They also went to #2 in the U.K. with the song. They weren't done, either...later in 1983, they created a country/pop record that would be a crossover #1 smash.  

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