Song of the Day: Dionne Warwick, “You’ll Never Get to Heaven if You Break My Heart” (1964)

Having established herself as the queen of unrequited love with previous recordings, it was refreshing to hear Dionne Warwick be less keen to stay with a guy who didn’t appreciate her so much by the end of a song.

Such was the case of “You’ll Never Get to Heaven if You Break My Heart,” another great collaboration between Warwick and the legendary songwriting team of Burt Bacharach and Hal David. This cut marked a departure of sorts from her run of bossa nova beat hits, which culminated with the international success of “Do You Know the Way to San Jose.” It was also the song that solidified her reputation in Europe, where she would embark on a four-month-long tour.

“You’ll Never Get to Heaven if You Break My Heart” is a fascinating, quirky song not least of all because of the intriguing contrast it offers. While the dream-pop landscape deceives with its tinkling chimes, harps and bells, it’s fun to hear Warwick threaten her ungrateful love that if he will break her heart, he will essentially be faced with eternal damnation.

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