Dionne Warwick

COVER vs ORIGINAL: ‘Walk On By’

The song “Walk On By” was originally recorded by Dionne Warwick in 1964.

The iconic and classic song “Walk On By” was written by multi-Academy Award winning songwriters Hal David (1921-2012) and Burt Bacharach (b.1928) in 1964 and recorded by Dionne Warwick (b.1940) as the lead single from her album “Make Way For Dionne Warwick”. It was a huge hit, peaking at No.6 in America and No.9 in the UK.

The song has been recorded by a precession of artists ever since including Isaac Hayes in 1969 (US No.30), The Stranglers In 1978 (UK No.21) and five times during the 1980’s. A notable version from this period came from a then unknown British singer by the name of Dina Carroll, who released an R&B/dance style version of the song in October 1989. This only reached No.95 on the UK singles chart and came two years before her breakout success with dance band Quartz on “It’s Too Late”.

In total, 62 artists and groups have recorded the song, but not all have been released as singles and many of them have hardly scratched the surface. One that did was US singer Sybil‘s version in January 1990, which was released by the hitmaking team Stock Aitken Waterman. The song made No.6 in the UK, at the time her highest charting position, and No.74 in the US, while it peaked at No.3 on the US R&B chart.

A more traditional version that paid a more than respectful nod to Warwick’s original came from British singer Gabrielle in 1997. This version, the fifth single lifted from her second, self-titled album of the previous year, reached No.7 on the UK chart as well as proving popular across much of Europe.

But which one is the best? DIONNE WARWICK’s original, SYBIL’s 1990 cover or GABRIELLE’s classy homage?

Take a look at some of the other posts in this series and don’t forget to follow the playlist.

cover vs original

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Written by Christopher Smith

So perhaps you’ve read an article or two that I’ve written and wondered “just who is this character?”! Well I thought maybe it would be time to introduce myself and what I’m all about. Well it’s all about the music! Having been born in the late 1970’s I was heavily influenced by my parent’s love of ‘popular’ music and rock and roll of the 1950’s and 60’s. My Mother always said she should of married Elvis and my father was, and is still, in love with Sandie Shaw! But while my Dad’s tastes stopped in about 1967, my Mum carried on loving music throughout the 70’s, 80’s and beyond. My first memory was playing on the floor whilst my Mother was ironing one day with the radio on, and hearing ABBA’s “Super Trouper” dancing my nappy off to it! Maybe that’s where it all went wrong…?! Having been subjected to all and sundry in my infant years, I finally found my feet in the mid-1980’s and began ‘partying’ to the likes of Culture Club, Stevie Wonder(!), Elkie Brooks and Bananarama to name but a few! The year 1987 would have a profound effect on my listening tastes and from thereon in my life would be dominated with buying and listening to music. Any number of outstanding songs were released and listened to that year, most notably “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now”, “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” and “La Isla Bonita”. That Summer my mind was completely taken over with music and sounds I’d never heard before and I was totally taken in by it all. My father would say “whaaar rubbish you got on naaaaao?” (I’m from Norfolk!) but I was hooked. And it continued so for the rest of the decade and the next. At the beginning of 1988 I ‘met’ my true love and the singer I’ve worshipped more than any other artist or group. You may know of her. She’s from Australia…! Aside from pop music, my tastes are many and varied and continues to grow and expand as I ‘mature’ in age. I’ve always been heavily interested in films and in particular the mechanics of film making and of course film music, so scores and subsequently orchestral music takes up a lot of my tastes and collection. 90’s dance and club tunes also takes up much of the space in my head and I’m surprised my brain has stopped shaking from the years of abuse it took being dragged to nightclubs, often three times a week in my 20’s! I find with each year that passes I regress back to my youth and of course the 1980’s. 80’s music dominates and the lust to see as many 80’s acts and singers play live now is insatiable. I’m still getting into the groove as much as every breath I take, but I’m never gonna give up listening to my heart and pumping up the volume, simply because I LOVE MUSIC…any kind of music!
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