HEART BREAKER (Dionne Warwick song)


Format 7″ single, CD single
Recorded 1994 at
Middle Ear, Miami Beach, Florida

Genre Pop, adult contemporary
Length 4:25
Label Polydor (UK)
Universal (US)
Writer(s) Barry, Robin & Maurice Gibb
Producer(s) Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb

“Heartbreaker” is a 1982 single released by American pop and soul singer Dionne Warwick. The song was written by Bee Gees’ Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb, with Barry Gibb’s backing vocal being heard on the chorus. It was released from her fourth Arista label studio album of the same name in 1982.

Warwick admitted in The Billboard Book of Number One Adult Contemporary Hits by Wesley Hyatt that she was not fond of “Heartbreaker” (regarding the song’s international popularity, she quipped, “I cried all the way to the bank”), but recorded it because she trusted the Bee Gees’ judgment that it would be a hit. It turned out to be Dionne’s most successful solo hit of the 1980s. The Bee Gees recorded a version, with Barry Gibb on lead vocals, which was featured on the album Their Greatest Hits: The Record, as well as their Love Songs album.

Maurice Gibb, who was a co-writer of this song commented, “I cried my eyes out after we wrote it. I drove home and thought, ‘We should be doing this one’, and when she did it, it was brilliant. We sang on it, and it still became like a duet between the Bee Gees and Dionne Warwick”.

The song reached the top of charts around the world and stands as one of Warwick’s biggest career hits. It made the top 10 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart in January 1983, and was also a number 1 Adult Contemporary hit. It is ranked as the 80th biggest US hit of 1983. In the UK Singles Chart, the track reached number 2 for two weeks in November 1982.

Barry Gibb version

“Heartbreaker” was originally recorded by Barry Gibb for Dionne Warwick, for her album Heartbreaker released in 1982. This demo version was not released until 2006.

This song blended the two Gibb brothers schools of songwriting: it has the clear verse and chorus structure favored by Robin and Maurice, yet also has the longer spun-out verses Barry now preferred, both well balanced, so that it has instant appeal but takes repeated listenings to fully appreciate. The melody is reminiscent of “Living Eyes”, but the song has a much stronger forward motion. Maurice said later that he wished they had saved it for themselves.


Barry Gibb – vocals, guitar
Albhy Galuten – piano, synthesizer
Uncredited – drums