Dec 04

CILLA BLACK – “Anyone Who Had A Heart”

Popular67 comments • 5,680 views

#164, 29th February 1964

“Anyone who had a heart would love me too”. When Cilla Black sings it, this is not a request. Dynamic to be sure, but this song requires its singer not to lose the vulnerability when they turn up the volume, and Cilla never pulls that off. Her demand to be loved is almost bullying in its stridency. And the British public listened, making this the best-selling single by a British woman and making Cilla Black a star.

And there’s the trouble. On paper the story of the hat-check girl turned pop star is wonderful, in the real world it ends up at Blind Date, which of course as a sensitive boy I despised. (And even now I’ve sluiced out most of the virginal bile that prompted such hate, the thought of the program makes me wince). It’s terribly unfair on the Cilla of ’64 to hold the Cilla of ’89 up as prosecution evidence, but I can’t help it. Playing this song I don’t just hear a young woman with a remarkable ability to shift voices, I hear Cilla Black accessing her own future, the full-on parts a preview of the prime-time caw that blighted my Saturdays.



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  1. 31
    Mark G on 4 Sep 2012 #

    And also being usurped as the main answer to “who sung “I say a little prayer for you?” ?

  2. 32
    wichita lineman on 4 Sep 2012 #

    The Today prog also thought Dionne wuz robbed by Sandie over Always Something There… when EVERYBODY knows Lou Johnson did the original.

  3. 33
    wichita lineman on 4 Sep 2012 #

    Swinging Blue Jeans’ DMMO was released 4 yrs after Dionne’s version, so she might let them off. It’s also quite radically different which Cilla’s AWHAH clearly wasn’t.

  4. 34
    punctum on 4 Sep 2012 #

    Well, “EVERYBODY” doesn’t, if by “EVERYBODY” you mean the vast majority of mankind on Earth.

    And half a century later, it really doesn’t matter.

  5. 35
    wichita lineman on 4 Sep 2012 #

    Sorry, the capitals were meant to indicate “know-all show-off voice”. Clearly 99.9% of the population has OBVIOUSLY never heard of Lou Johnson which is THEIR LOSS.

  6. 36
    punctum on 4 Sep 2012 #

    Not particularly, it’s mostly down to bad luck on Lou Johnson’s part. If I spent my life studying the work of CRIMINALLY OVERLOOKED musicians who have been THUS FAR INEXPLICABLY OMITTED FROM ROCK’S RICH TAPESTRY DEBATE I’d not have time to do anything else.

  7. 37
    swanstep on 4 Sep 2012 #

    American obits for David drew attention to the surprising fact that none of the standards he co-wrote reached #1 in the US. Perhaps then Warwick remains a little touchy about being gazumped in the UK by Cilla and others precisely because the UK market did respond more strongly to the underlying songs: those were *her* #1s is perhaps her thought. That suggested, how the hell did an un-gazumped Warwick miss on a #1 everywhere for ‘Walk On By’ (#6 US, #9 UK)? Too sophisticated for the kids?

    Also, a pretty good, new pop-ish cover of WOB that was a hit down under in 1982 (the original, WW2-set video isn’t available sadly).

  8. 38
    punctum on 4 Sep 2012 #

    How does that explain DW’s cover of “Alfie” (if it was a cover)?

  9. 39
    Mark G on 4 Sep 2012 #

    “See how much *you* like it, Cilla” I’d put it down to.

  10. 40
    swanstep on 4 Sep 2012 #

    I assume that DW can’t be too fussed about Cilla’s and Cher’s Alfies because DW recorded her Alfie a year later, i.e., I conjecture that it’s the cases where there’s a prior recording by DW that never got a shot in the UK that mainly eat at her.

  11. 41
    wichita lineman on 4 Sep 2012 #

    Re 37: I assume you mean with Dionne Warwick, as Herb Alpert (1968) and the Carpenters (1970) scored no.1s for Bacharach and David. Most intriguingly, the duo had racked up several UK no.1s by 1968 – their first (Story Of My Life) being a full ten years earlier.

    Re 40: Dionne’s Anyone Who Had A Heart did get a shot – at least, it reached the Top 50. Also, Cilla had only had one (minor) hit prior to AWHAH, so her cover was no shoo in. I assume it’s just that Dionne thought her own version/voice was vastly superior to Cilla’s.

    Dionne didn’t always get the first shot a B&D’s songs – her Message To Michael, a US Top hit, post-dated Lou Johnson and Adam Faith’s versions. She also had a US Top 10 hit with This Guy’s In Love With You, less than a year after Herb Alpert had a no.1 with it.

  12. 42
    a tanned rested and unlogged lørd sükråt wötsît on 4 Sep 2012 #

    Which is the first UK-covered version of a US song where the original charted better in the UK than the cover?

    (OK, I’m not entirely sure this is a well-formed question: I mean UK covers that were explicitly fashioned to pip the US release at the UK post…)

  13. 43
    wichita lineman on 4 Sep 2012 #

    Gawd… umpteen versions from the dawn of the hit parade, eg Lita Roza covered Rosemary Clooney’s Half As Much (in the first chart, I think). I might be misinterpreting the question…

  14. 44
    swanstep on 4 Sep 2012 #

    @41, wichita. Arggh, of course you’re right – I was just repeating (while noting my surprise) a factoid mentioned/created in two US Network tv obits I saw (one was from ABC – so Elvis Costello’s strictures evidently still apply! – don’t remember the other). Both obits cited Close To You for the Carpenters as one of David’s hits before ruefully remarking that his biggest success, I say a Little Prayer for Franklin, still didn’t quite get to to #1. This was complete BS top to bottom and I should not have repeated or relied on any of it (even though shrinking the claims to DW technically works). My apols.

    As for the AWHAH stuff, Wiki appears to be accurate on this:

    Black’s single of “Anyone Who Had a Heart” debuted at #28 on the UK Top 50 dated 8 February 1964. The Dionne Warwick original, issued by Scepter’s UK licensee Pye Records, debuted on the chart for the following week at #42; by then Black’s version had reached #10, ascending in the subsequent two weeks to #2 and then #1 while Warwick’s version concurrently ended its chart run with two weeks at #47. On the chart dated 29 February 1964, besides Black’s “Anyone Who Had a Heart” at #1 for the first of three weeks and Warwick’s version in its final chart week at #47, the UK Top 50 featured a third version of “Anyone Who Had a Heart” as the version by Mary May made its one week appearance at #49. On 25 April 1964, Billboard reported that the sales tally for Black’s “Anyone Who Had a Heart” was nearing one million units.

    Maybe release dates tell a different story from chart action dates….

  15. 45
    Mark G on 5 Sep 2012 #

    #42, surely that’d be Tommy Steele with Singing The Blues…

  16. 46
    Mutley on 5 Sep 2012 #

    #42 and #45
    I think this (i.e. US original charted better and outsold -are they necessarily the same thing?)also applies to the sequel to Singing the Blues, namely Knee Deep in the Blues, and with the same singers – Guy Mitchell and Tommy Steele. No wonder that Tommy lost interest in rock’n’roll (although he was still belting out Tallahassee Lassie in 1959 – I think that he just about charted better than the original US Freddy Cannon version in the UK).

  17. 47
    a tanned rested and unlogged lørd sükråt wötsît on 5 Sep 2012 #

    No, the question was poorly formed because it assumed that when UK covers emerged as a phenom at the dawn of the charts, they charted better from the outset.

    I’m gathering there were four periods, really:

    1: US songs released, no UK cover versions
    2: US songs released, UK cover version also charts, but less well
    3: US songs released, UK cover version outcharts it
    4: US songs released, UK cover version also charts, but less well

    It was periods 3 and 4 I was asking about. And of course the pattern may be so bitty and granular you can’t even generalise this much; but assuming you can handwave a bit about one-offs and anomalies. Tommy Steele is a very satisfactory borderline between 3 and 4.

  18. 48
    wichita lineman on 6 Sep 2012 #

    Point 1 I haven’t got a clue on – lost without a hit parade!

    Point 2 – as far as Popular goes, the Stargazers’ Broken Wings outsold Art & Dotty Todd’s original which got to no.6.

    Point 3 – Tommy Steele wasn’t really on the border as this was a common occurrence right through the r’n’r era. For instance, in 58/59 Marty Wilde scored huge hits with Endless Sleep (no.4), Donna (no.3), Teenager In Love (no.2) and Sea Of Love (no.3), meaning the originals by Jody Reynolds (didn’t chart), Richie Valens (no.29), Dion & the Belmonts (no.28) and Phil Phillips (didn’t chart) were squished. Likewise Billy Fury, who tended to cover songs that were obscure enough that history barely records the originals – Halfway To Paradise (no.4) and I’d Never Find Another You (no.5) were both written by Goffin and King for Tony Orlando (his HTP got to no.39 and INFAY didn’t chart at all).*

    The big moment for point 4 was You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’ – the expectation and promo was all on Cilla’s side against a US original who most people had never heard of. They both charted on Jan 28, Cilla’s higher in the first week. The chart positions went like this after the next few weeks, Cilla/R Bros: 28/35, 12/20, 2/3, 5/1, 9/1.

    *I’m always intrigued by the rarer records that switch the usual US/UK position. In the 70s Bo Donaldson & the Heywoods had a no.1 with Paper Lace’s Billy Don’t Be A Hero; Stories covered Hot Chocolate’s Brother Louie and also got to no.1.

  19. 49
    a tanned rested and unlogged lørd sükråt wötsît on 6 Sep 2012 #

    I vaguely remember reading long long ago that the practice of covers was very much encouraged by the fact that the UK company didn’t at that time have to pay sales royalties to the original US company, because copyright law wasn’t particularly effectively structured internationally (of course it’s still a byzantine maze, but record companies themselves have tended to be absorbed into multi-national combines, so they work out bilateral agreements).

    (I’m being a bit vague about the exact nature of the situation, so this may be hard to answer)

    (I’m yr go-to-guy for cloudy and obscure queries at the moment…)

  20. 50
    punctum on 6 Sep 2012 #

    A lot of it was also down to antediluvan/stubborn Musicians’ Union rules about American artists coming over here to promote records; much cheaper and convenient to have local people doing Hot Hits-type covers.

  21. 51
    swanstep on 8 Sep 2012 #

    NPR/Fresh Air’s tribute to Hal David (including a 25 min interview with David from 1997) is listenable/downloadable here. Recommended.

  22. 52
    Erithian on 23 Sep 2014 #

    Has anybody else here been watching “Cilla”, the three-part ITV series? Very competently done with Sheridan Smith in the title role. A couple of moments in last night’s episode of particular interest to us – two contrasting scenes where Cilla and Bobby Willis rush across the road to a phone box to take calls from Brian Epstein. The first to tell her “Love of the Loved” has reached number 35, at which Cilla is distraught at having a flop; the second to say “Anyone Who Had A Heart” is number 1, leaving Cilla and Bobby embracing in a hero-shot with Liverpool at their feet.

    A couple of questions – even at the peak of Merseybeat, would a No 35 hit for a debut single be considered a flop for an Epstein act? And would Epstein have known the chart positions in advance of the general public, and if so how long before? We’ve established that the chart we follow on here wasn’t the one that 60s pop fans would have been most aware of, so which one would he be working from and what were the single’s previous chart positions?

  23. 53
    wichitalineman on 23 Sep 2014 #

    Love Of The Loved was a joint #30 for one week on the NME chart, which may mean it was bought in. It’s not a single you see very often. I’m sure this would’ve been a huge disappointment – think of the success Billy J Kramer, not the world’s strongest singer, was having with Lennon/McCartney cast-offs. Tommy Quickly (and, briefly, the Big Three) were the only relative failures in Epstein’s stable. Cilla must have thought she was on the scrap heap already.

  24. 54
    Mark G on 23 Sep 2014 #

    It wasn’t that, it was the implication that they were waiting to see where the single had charted. “Love of the love” peaked at 35 but had entered at 50 and had gone up every week until it got to 35, and there is no way they would have known that that would be it’s peak position.

    “Anyone who ever had a heart” entered at 28 (which is obviously better and has more potential), but the week it made number one, they’d be waiting to see if it had moved up from it’s previous position of 2.

    Compare again to “Love me Do” which took 12 weeks to reach its peak..

    (this post has been brought to you by Polyhex. Yum.)

  25. 55
    Erithian on 23 Sep 2014 #

    That’s right, it was as if the scene was scripted by someone who was used to records debuting at their highest position, and it jarred slightly.

  26. 56

    of course scripts which hinge on the fact that there were at that time various competing charts may not get past the drama editor’s scrutiny :)

  27. 57
    wichitalineman on 23 Sep 2014 #

    Back to your piles of dusty books, sir! Of course you’re right, but historical inaccuracies do my head in. Seeing an orange RCA label in Nowhere Boy, a full ten years out of sync, nearly made me burn down the Rio in Dalston.

  28. 58
    Tommy Mack on 23 Sep 2014 #

    …post-CBS wide-headstocked Fender Stratocasters (a la Jimi Hendrix) in movies/TV about the 50s. Happy Days guilty here, i think. And, of course, Marty McFly rocking a 1958 Gibson ES 355 in 1955 Hill Valley.

  29. 59
    Jimmy the Swede on 24 Sep 2014 #

    I think we should cut “Cilla” more than a little slack. Yes, the bits where Epstein calls Cilla with the chart positions was bound to annoy we chart saddoes (especially with regards AWHAH, which, as been mentioned, moved from two to one. The way that Cilla reacted to the news seemed to suggest that the record had entered the chart at the top) but in general the series, with one episode left, has been extremely good and well written. It is complimented by the performance of Sheridan Smith, who is a first rate actress and a delightful young woman too.

  30. 60
    Mark G on 26 Sep 2014 #

    #57, yes it does always bug me seeing the wrong label when a single is played on fillums and that. (e.g. the rolling stones were never on CBS, and so on)

    Then again, I have a small collection of singles that are on the ‘wrong’ labels, because they were issued that way: “Hey Jude” on Parlophone, “Dance to the Music” on UK columbia, “7 and 7 is” on London, and, what the hell, “Shout and Shimmy” James Brown on the old red Parlophone label, like it was “Love me do” or something!

  31. 61
    Ed on 27 Sep 2014 #

    @58 ‘Back to the Future IV: Doc Brown’s time-travelling guitar store’.

  32. 62
    lonepilgrim on 17 Mar 2015 #

    growing up in the ’60s and ’70s I’ve always associated Cilla from her TV shows with middle-of-the-road entertainment – not something that appealed to me but which if I thought about at all I was willing to tolerate. Cilla always came across as fairly genuine but IIRC had almost disappeared from the public eye until she gave a barnstorming performance on the Terry Wogan show which led to Blind Date, etc.
    Her version of AWHAH is a better than average performance that in the absence of a nuanced emotional interpretation she belts out with gusto. Not terrible, not great.

  33. 63
    Paulito on 2 Aug 2015 #

    And so Cilla’s name is added to the poignant roster of the Popular departed. RIP.

  34. 64
    Kinitawowi on 2 Aug 2015 #

    And it’s an RIP to Priscilla White.

  35. 65
    enitharmon on 2 Aug 2015 #

    News came through even as I was marking my numpty-numpth¹ birthday enjoying an obscene ice cream confection at Crolla’s Gelateria of Byres Road in my new home of Glasgow. And it came as a shock. Dedicated Tory she may have been but she was also part of my growing up. Sad and untimely.

    ¹ I’m in my prime again at the end of a one-year hiatus, but after this year it will six years before I’m in my prime again.

  36. 66
    fireh9lly on 26 Jul 2017 #

    Gosh. Not a Cilla fan here – early childhood exposure to her as a Blind Date host gave me an allergy – but she’s the least interesting thing about this. What’s important is that arrangement. The horror movie piano, the flapping harpies clawing at their mouths whenever there’s space, that sepulchral oboe; it’s gothic horror as teenpop. You just know George Martin was thinking of Johnny Remember Me; there’s a bit of Amy Winehouse in the piano, too, I bet Mark Ronson is a fan.

  37. 67
    Gareth Parker on 8 Jun 2021 #

    I’m fine with Cilla’s rendition of this. 6/10 imho.

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