It's a Heartache

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"It's a Heartache"
BonnieTyler IAH single.jpg
Single by Bonnie Tyler
from the album Natural Force
B-side"It's About Time"
Released4 November 1977[1]
Bonnie Tyler singles chronology
"It's a Heartache"
"Here Am I"

"'It's a Heartache'" is a song recorded by Welsh singer Bonnie Tyler. Written by Ronnie Scott and Steve Wolfe, and co-produced with David Mackay, the single was released in November 1977 through RCA Records. The song topped the charts in Australia, Canada, and numerous European countries, and reached no. 3 in the USA and no. 4 in the UK. It is listed among the best-selling singles of all time with sales of over six million copies.[3]

In the United States, Tyler's version was released in 1978 around the same time as recordings by Juice Newton and Ronnie Spector.


"It's a Heartache" was recorded at The Factory Sound in Surrey, England in 1977. Producer David Mackay finished the construction of his recording studio in the summer of 1977, and "It's a Heartache" was cut during the very first session.[4]

"It's a Heartache" was one of the first recordings Tyler made following a surgical procedure to remove nodules from her vocal folds. The procedue left Tyler with "unusually husky voice", which AllMusic journalist Marcy Donelson described as "an effective instrument".[5]


Producer David Mackay recalled that RCA were reluctant to release the single. The label were preoccupied with reissuing Elvis Presley's back catalogue following his recent death. Mackay, Scott and Wolfe threatened terminate their contract with RCA if they did not release the track immediately.[6] "It's a Heartache" was released on 4 November 1977 in parts of Europe, including the United Kingdom, and March 1978 in the United States and Canada.[1]

Music Video[edit]

Tyler performs the song under a spotlight. The video opens and closes with a rain filter.

Critical reception[edit]

The release of "It's a Heartache" had music critics comparing Tyler's voice to Rod Stewart's who would eventually cover the song.[7] Carol Wetzel from Spokane Daily Chronicle complimented Tyler's voice on "It's a Heartache", stating that her previous big hit, "Lost in France", is "no big deal, probably because it was made before her voice changed."[8]

Other versions[edit]

In 1978, Juice Newton released a cover of the song through Capitol Records, produced by John Palladino. Newton's version reached no. 86 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart and no. 91 on the Canadian RPM 50 Singles Chart. In the same year, Ronnie Spector released the track as a single through Alston Records. Tyler, Newton and Spector's versions were all released in the same week in the United States, with Billboard listing each version as "recommended" tracks.[2]

Dave & Sugar's 1981 cover of "It's a Heartache" reached no. 32 on the Billboard Country Singles Chart. Trick Pony released a cover of the song in 2005, peaking at no. 22 on the same chart.

In 2004, Tyler released a blinigual version of the song with French singer Kareen Antonn. Renamed "Si tout s'arrête", the single reached no. 7 on the Belgian Flanders chart, no. 12 in France and no. 25 in Switzerland.[9] In the following year, Tyler released a solo version of the song, sung entirely in English, on her album Wings.

Charts and certifications[edit]