This list of Top Ten Songs by Dionne Warwick is taken from a career which has shown amazing resiliency and productivity across four decades of performing. While many of the Top Ten Songs by Dionne Warwick reflect her collaboration with music gurus Hal David and Burt Bachrach, the finished products are always unique Dionne Warwick products. The Top Ten Songs by Dionne Warwick are mere landmarks in a career that helped to establish respect and carve out opportunity for African American female singers in the American entertainment industry. This list of Top Ten Songs by Dionne Warwick includes songs from as far back as the sixties, yet they are selections which we continue to listen to and enjoy in this, a whole new millennium
#1 “Don’t Make Me Over”, #2 “Do You Know the Way to San Jose?” and #3″ Say a Little Prayer” . Let’s face it, you can list these three songs in any order and be equally justified. In fact ask three people to tell you Dionne Warwick ‘s signature song and you are likely to receive three different and quite defensible answers. If you broaden your polling sample, you will probably see these three songs continue to appear and generally rise to the top. In short, they belong on this list of Top Songs by Dionne Warwick and they belong at the front end.
In 1962, Dionne Warwick broke into the world of recording with her first success “Don’t Make Me Over.” This song has continued to be a Warwick fan favorite and has appeared with frequency in subsequent album collections. Dionne won her first Grammy Award in 1968 with a tune called “Do You Know the Way to San Jose?”. In a catchy song with easty to remember lyrics, Dionne sang about the fortune or lack thereof of young hopefuls that go to LA, never become stars but end up “parking cars and pumping gas.” For people in and out of show biz of any glitzy biz “Do You Know the Way to San Jose?” struck a responsive chord.
In “Say a Little Prayer” Dione captured the listening audience with a recital of the many times in the course of a normal work day when she stops to remember and pray for the one she loves. There are many connecting points for listeners and the chorus line is easy to hold onto: “I say a little prayer for you”. If Dionne had only produced three songs in her whole career, these three might have been enough to ensure her stardom and so they head the list of Top Ten Songs by Dionne Warwick.
#4″What the World Needs Now” and #5″The Windows of the World” let Dionne’s fans know that her interest in music goes well beyond just making a quick buck. She has real interest in the world and its people and she reaches out to both with her songs. In “Windows of the World” Dionne takes a somber note reminding us that “The Windows of the World are covered with gray” and declaring a need for us to revisit the kind of world we are creating for our children. In her own way she softly challenges us all to “Let the sun shine in.” In “What the World Needs Now” Dionne adroitly deciphers the list of things humans truly need and then prayerfully ask the Almighty to give us “the only thing that there’s just too little of ” which is of course love. That these two thought provoking and yet imminently singable songs have remained popular indicate that Dionne chose her songs well, tuned them effectively and delivered them right onto the list of Top Ten Songs by Dionne Warwick.
#6″Walk on By” and #7 “Anyone Who Had a Heart” In these two hits, Dionne sings for lonely lovers and commiserates with the pain they feel when love is gone. The lyrics of “Walk on By” help the suffering lover to demand of his or her X “if you see me walkin’ down the street and I start to cry each time we meet, walk on by”. Dionne sings out for the lover who just wants to be left alone with his or her pride in tact , but wants also to make sure that the departed lover knows that he or she is the cause of ” the tears and sadness you left me when you said goodbye”. Dionne addresses a somewhat different situation in her renditions of “Anyone Who Had a Heart”. Here we have a grieving lover who is trying to bring back her lover by reminding him of how much he is loved. She sings: ” Anyone who had a heart could look at me and see I dream of you.” Here the mournful lover doesn’t want to be passed by at all but rather noticed, recognized as a loving person. And, she is hoping this recognition will help to bring back her lover. To borrow a phrase from Dionne “anyone who has a heart” and has had it broken is drawn irresistibly to the lyrics , the mood of the music and especially the intonation brought to the tune by Dionne Warwick. It’s no surprise to find these two songs on any list of Top Ten Songs by Dionne Warwick.
#8 “That’s What Friends Are For” and #9 “I’ll Never Fall in Love Again” are songs that , while still about love, give us a happier more upbeat take on this greatest of human emotions and calls our attention back to the happiness that love is meant to bring to every human being. A song that reminds us all of the importance of deep, lasting friendships, “That’s What Friends are For” gave Dionne another chance to share and to touch the emotions of everyone. With a voice full of understanding and sincerity, Dionne sings “in good times, in bad times, I’ll be on your side forevermore, that’s what friends are for”. There just is no feeling human being who can’t revel in these lyrics but with Dionne we also get swept up and sing along.
A chippy tune, ” I’ll Never fall in Love Again” asks listeners to consider “What do you get when you fall in love?” and then answers the question with some pretty upsetting responses like “you get enough germs to catch pneumonia, and if you do he ‘ll never phone ya.” While there doesn’t seem too much in the lyrics to recommend love, the more than perky melody line suggests a twist is coming down the road. Dionne delivers it perfectly with ” so at least until tomorrow, I’ll never fall in love again.” You can almost see her smile and you smile too as the song ends on a lovely upturn.
#10″Alfie” Dionne Warwick’s voice added charm and professionalism to a number of movie s but perhaps her most memorable film related song was “Alfie.” Bringing a deeply thoughtful, reflective timber to the lyrics, Dionne asks some pretty serious questions like “are we meant to get more than we give ?” and “is it just for the moment we live?”. The provocative voice Dionne lends to these pondering stanzas gives the song its strength and its long time appeal. It also places this song on the list of Top Ten Songs by Dionne Warwick.
Anyone who has maintained a recording career for more than four decades is likely a singer of quality, endurance , personality and near universal appeal. As much as these characteristics can be easily attributed to Dionne Warwick , they can with equal candor be applied to this list of Top Ten Songs by Dionne Warwick.