Thursday, March 17, 2011
ALFIE ~ DIONNE WARWICK
"Alfie" would not become a Top 30 hit in the US until the summer of 1967 when Dionne Warwick, the most prolific interpreter of Bacharach/David compositions and the composers' original choice to cut the song, took it to #15. Introduced on the December 1966 album release Here Where There Is Love, Warwick's version of "Alfie" had been an impromptu addition to a recording session at A& R Studio in New York City whose scheduled tracks had been completed early; Scepter Records a&r man Steve Tyrell suggested to Burt Bacharach that the booked time remaining be put to use by having Warwick record a version of "Alfie". Warwick, though feeling it pointless to increase the song's massive cover version count (there were by then some forty-two recorded versions of the song), was persuaded to record the song cutting her vocal in a single take.Although the "Alfie" track on Here Where There Is Love began receiving radio airplay as early as January 1967 the track was not issued as a single until March 1967 and then as the intended B-side of "The Beginning of Loneliness"; however disc jockeys preferred "Alfie" and the track began to ascend the Billboard Hot 100 in April 1967, with a major assist from Warwick's performing "Alfie" on the 39th Academy Awards ceremony television broadcast of 10 April 1967. "Alfie" had a somewhat staggered regional success resulting in its national peak on the Billboard Hot 100 in July 1967 being outside the Top Ten at #15. However Billboard's year end tally of the biggest Pop hits of 1967 ranked "Alfie" at #44 in a Top 40 composed otherwise of Top Ten hits.