Dec 04

CILLA BLACK – “Anyone Who Had A Heart”

Popular67 comments • 5,712 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. 1
    Anonymous on 27 Mar 2005 #

    Have you ever listened to Dionne Warwick’s version? It’s total crap compared to Cilla’s. I hear what you’re saying about Cilla’s strident voice – but Dionne’s in comparison is totally insipid!!! Personally, I love the Cilla version. It totally deserved to be the huge hit it was.

    Cheers :-)

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    Anonymous on 26 Jan 2006 #

    Doctor Mod says–

    To whomever made the previous comment I can only respond with bewilderment. Dionne Warwick was surely one of the finest singers of the 1960s, and certainly Burt Bacharach choice to sing the song. She set the standard for it.

    If you’d rather hear a Brit girl singing it, try Dusty Springfield. I’d give her a slight edge over Dionne–Dusty’s rather more impassioned. But Dusty didn’t have to sound as if she were strangling herself in order to convince us of deep feeling like Cilla did. Let’s face it–Cilla screeched and shouted through most of her material. But then, she never claimed to be a great singer. It was personality that sold her–and a bit of the svengali-treatment from Brian Epstein.

    Indeed, Sandie Shaw’s curious cover version with BEF offers a much superior interpretation than Cilla could ever muster.

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    bramble on 8 Sep 2006 #

    How anyone can think Cilla Black’s version is better than Dionne Warwick’s is beyond me -in all her covers, Cilla Black tries to copy Dionne Warwick’s phrasing but dismally fails. She was the flavour of the time because she was Liverpudlian, knew the Beatles and could front Saturday night TV variety shows

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    Scott on 25 Nov 2006 #

    I preferred Dionne Warwick’s version ,as it was the original and Dionne had a much better voice and had higher standards!

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    EricMontreal on 1 Dec 2006 #

    From allmusic:

    In the UK a number of Bacharach-David-Warwick songs were covered by UK singer Cilla Black, most notably “Anyone Who Had a Heart”, which went to #1 in the UK. This upset Warwick and she has described feeling insulted when told that in the UK, record company executives wanted her songs recorded by someone else. Warwick even met Cilla Black whilst on tour in the UK. She recalled what she said to her – ” I told her that “You’re My World” would be my next single in the States. I honestly believe that if I’d sneezed on my next record, then Cilla would have sneezed on hers too. There was no imagination in her recording.” [1]

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    Marcello Carlin on 1 Dec 2006 #

    That having been said, Cilla’s Alfie >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Dionne’s Alfie.

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    Phil on 1 Dec 2006 #

    There has always been a conflict over whos version of ‘Heart’ was the best, it comes down to the audience it appealed to, Cilla’s more intense version suited the British music at the time, whilst Dionnes is more smooth and soulful and suited the American market more. Both versions have their merit and both have stood the test of time. As for ‘Alfie’ then I have to say that Cilla wins this one, at first she didnt want to record it but when Burt Bacharach came over to London to supervise it then she was won over.

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    Phil on 1 Dec 2006 #

    Further to my previous comment, I am a lifelong Cilla fan, but I am so glad she didnt bother covering ‘Walk On By’ as it is a fab record by Dionne, I cannot imagine anyone ever topping her version of it, it made the UK top ten but deserved much more.

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    tez on 3 Sep 2007 #

    im so sick of hearing dionne warwick say that if she had coughed so too would cilla, cillas phrasing, voice and production on ‘anyone who had a heart’ could not be more different. cillas version is gutsy and passionate, and anyway, at that early stage in the sixies a british girl would never have had a hit in america, america was very unforgiving on many of our artists before the beatles, so whats wrong with cillas manager giving her ‘heart’ to release in the uk, i believe shirly bassey was thought of by george martin to offer the song to, but epstein wanted it for cilla, im shaw warwick would not have a go at bassey, she prob wouldnt live to tell the tale. also ive heard a recording of cilla singing ‘walk on by’ on her 1968 show, and its fab. cillas voice in the 60s was rich and dark and full of feeling, if you listen to her version of ‘ol’ man river’ or ‘fever’ she was fab. she was an individual she had bright red bobed hair, a big nose, crooked teeth, but she was still sexy, the public wouldnt accept a girl like her now, she wouldnt fit our vein criteria and that sort of modern generic caberet voice thats so popular now days, all our girls, cilla, sandie, dusty and lulu were very original. although cilla is still popular i think she is tainted by the modern post nose job blind date comedien that most know, if people got to see all the unreleased clips of her from back then then they would see how great she was, and is

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    Marcello Carlin on 4 Sep 2007 #

    Possibly the worst Bacharach/David injustice in the sixties UK singles chart: “Don’t Make Me Over” was a hit here, not for Dionne, but for…Swinging Blue Jeans, The. Dearie lord God rest my soul etc.

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    rubbersoul on 18 Sep 2007 #

    http://www.thegirlfromabbeyroad.blogspot.com listen to cilla’s decent stuff from the sixties and lwt cilla will fade away. cilla; why the f*** did you cash in your rock n roll chips?..

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    Nigel Egg on 8 Mar 2008 #

    I’ve only ever heard Cilla sing it so far. Dionne Warwick is Burt Bacharach’s muse – I’ll find her version. But I’ve remembered Cilla these many years and enough to learn the song today for singing myself. Amazing how simple and complicated it is.

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    Matthew on 12 Jan 2009 #

    Much prefer Cilla’s rendition to Dionne’s too, I have to say. The latter is polished and perfect, the former feels like the hurt and pain of a real, vulnerable human being who could plausibly find herself unlucky in love. Yeah, 20 years later Cilla would be a toothy Gorgon. Find me a sixties act that weren’t ravaged and unrecognisable a couple of decades later. That’s what time does.

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    Billy Smart on 12 Feb 2009 #

    TOTPWatch: Cilla Black performed ‘Anyone Who Had A Heart’ on Top Of The Pops twice;

    5 February 1964. Also in the studio that week were; Cliff Richard, Gerry & The Pacemakers, The Bachelors and The Merseybeats. Alan Freeman was the host.

    26 February 1964. Also in the studio that week were; The Dave Clark Five, Billy J Kramer & The Dakotas, Eden Kane, kathy Kirby and The Merseybeats. Jimmy Saville was the host.

    Neither episode survives.

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    wichita lineman on 29 Sep 2010 #

    The sax (?) break on Dionne’s version has always bugged me, always slightly behind the track, puffed up like a giant blowfish, and too loud for the delicate vocal. George Martin’s woodwinds give light, Crossroads-ish relief from stentorian Cills. I don’t find it hard to see why this was the bigger radio hit, but both versions have their flaws.

    Marcello, a little dismissive of the Swingin’ Blue Jeans there! At least they took the original to bits, adding a spangly guitar part and Mersey-fying it. But the original is possibly Dionne’s most passionate performance and pretty hard to beat, cut when she was still young and pissed off, before she nailed down her studied cat-cool.

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    swanstep on 29 Sep 2010 #

    Cilla’s AWHaH and Alfie do nothing for me. I like the ‘Step Inside Love’ theme to her tv show a lot tho’ (probably everyone does!). Too bad that never got to #1.

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    wichita lineman on 29 Sep 2010 #

    Quite fond of Cook/Greenaway’s Something Tells Me, the no.3 hit theme to her 1971 show (which Billy probably knows the name of) and it’s b-side – La La La Lu – which was in the Please Sir movie. Neither sees her in foghorn mode.

    Other fine Cilla fare – 1969 single Conversations which, two years earlier, approaches the dark, internal stalking of the Temptations’ Just My Imagination.

    Does anyone else think Miss Piggy’s ‘two voices’ might have been based on Our Cilla?

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    swanstep on 29 Sep 2010 #

    @wichita. Thanks for those additional Cilla refs. Conversations is the one that jumps out to me right now – it’s a keeper, thanks.

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    enitharmon on 24 Mar 2011 #

    This seems as good as anywhere to say goodbye to Johnny Pearson, arranger of this recording. Pearson was a companion on our travels for quite a while, being behind the scenes on Top of the Pops for just about all my time of following it, as chief conductor and arranger of the band.

    He had a hit of his own once, with Sleepy Shores. Somebody will be along in a minute to tell us about its chart performance. It was the theme from a TV series, Owen MD, which I rather enjoyed but which seems not to be remembered by many.

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    punctum on 24 Mar 2011 #

    I remember it well. It was a spin-off from another BBC soap called The Doctors and starred Nigel “Tell Number 1 I did my best” Stock.

    JP was also the man (and pianist) behind Sounds Orchestral’s version of “Cast Your Fate To The Wind,” top five in early ’65. Not to mention the author of numerous TV themes; everything from News At Ten to the long-forgotten but ace The Rat Catchers.

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    Jimmy the Swede on 24 Mar 2011 #

    Yes, JP’s catalogue was vast. And “Sleepy Shores” found its way into our family record collection courtesy of my mum. We watched “Owen MD” but it was an indifferent show from what I can recall of it.

    I’m sure Popular Pickers would be happy to be saved from another chain of Prisoner ditties between myself and MC but I just need to add that as much as I admire Nigel Stock, he was totally miscast as Pat’s replacement in that particular episode. The whole performance was awkward and the scene with him and Janet “out in the arbour” was frankly ludicrous.

    I trust I’ve been of service..

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    wichita lineman on 25 Mar 2011 #

    No memory of Owen MD bar Sleepy Shores, the theme tune. It turned up incongruously (as ever) on a 1972 K-Tel album called Believe In Music betwen two reggae hits, The Pioneers’ I Believe In Love and Greyhound’s Black And White.

    Mary Mungo & Midge is what came to mind when I heard the news about Johnny Pearson. I always imagined he’d have a kind face.

    A pedant writes: MC, was that not John Schroeder on Cast Your Fate To The Wind?

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    Jimmy the Swede on 25 Mar 2011 #

    Ah, Mary Mungo and Midge. Quality. And the Swede-child identified so much with them back in the day. Being 17 floors up a tower block, travelling in a lift was (like for MM&M) a daily occurance, although why it was always vital that one remained to ensure the lift door closed behind you remains to this day a mystery to me. Great theme tune too.

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    wichita lineman on 25 Mar 2011 #

    “Do you live in a town?” Johnny Pearson did ALL the incidental music, lift motif, 3 Blind Mice and all! It’s on a KPM album (‘Children and Animation’, KPM 1045).

    The DVD is still the best present you can give to an infant living in a block of flats. Though the parents will hate it three months of repeat plays later, of course.

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    punctum on 25 Mar 2011 #

    Yes you’re right it was John Schroeder.

    Mary, Mungo And Midge, though. Even at a time when New Towns had ceased to be viewed as nirvanas, it was touching to watch. Theme, incidental music, tags etc. all to be found on the excellent 2CD set Girl In A Suitcase.

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    Snif on 26 Mar 2011 #

    JP’s music library piece “Power Drive” was used as the theme for early 70s Australian police show “Division 4” – well worth listening to if you can find a copy (the producers of the show edited it drastically) – it seems to have the same beat but three different tempos throughout…it really is a fantastic track.

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    crag on 13 Apr 2011 #


    Cilla Black, Singer (1964)

    U A Fanthorpe, Poet(2004).

  28. 28
    Lena on 11 Jul 2011 #

    Noisy No. 2 counterpoint of misery: http://musicsoundsbetterwithtwo.blogspot.com/2011/07/pop-rocks-dave-clark-five-bits-and.html Thanks for reading as ever!

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    Jimmy the Swede on 3 Sep 2012 #

    Dionne Warwick appeared on the Today Programme this morning, albeit on a pre-recorded interview. The ocassion was to mark her 50 years in the biz and was done prior to Hal holing out to mid-wicket. She made it clear that she hasn’t forgiven Cilla for grabbing “Heart” for the UK market and scoring a major hit with it. What she didn’t mention was the derivation of “Don’t Make Me Over”, which came about when Burt and Hal decided not to give her “Make It Easy On Yourself” as they didn’t think the young girl’s style was quite right for it. When they broke the news to her, she kicked off. “Don’t make me over, man!” she howled. “Accept me for what I am!” Burt and Hal looked at each other…

    Now, you may not believe this, Popular Pals, but as I was just starting this entry (at work in my office at the North Terminal Customs Red Point at Gatwick), a “VIP” was ecorted through and cleared by a colleague. I looked up and it was Cilla Black. What are the odds?

    I’m going to try this trick again in another place by writing a paragraph about Daniela Denby-Ashe…

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    punctum on 4 Sep 2012 #

    I wonder what Dionne thought of being robbed of a UK hit with “Don’t Make Me Over” by Swinging Blue Jeans, The.

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