Only Love Can Break a Heart

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Not to be confused with Only Love Can Break Your Heart.
For album of the same name, see Only Love Can Break a Heart (album).
"Only Love Can Break a Heart"
Single by Gene Pitney
from the album Only Love Can Break a Heart
B-side "If I Didn't Have a Dime (To Play the Jukebox)"
Released 1962
Format 7" (45 rpm)
Genre Pop
Length 2:50
Label Musicor Records
Writer(s) Hal David, Burt Bacharach
Producer(s) Wally Gold, Aaron Schroeder

"Only Love Can Break a Heart" is the title of a popular song from 1962 (see 1962 in music) performed by the American singer-songwriter Gene Pitney. The song was written by Hal David (words) and Burt Bacharach (music) and appears on Pitney's second album Only Love Can Break a Heart.

Gene Pitney version[edit]

Pitney had enjoyed some success as a songwriter prior to breaking through as a performer in his own right. He wrote the songs "Hello Mary Lou", "Rubber Ball", and "He's a Rebel", the latter a number-one Billboard Hot 100 hit for The Crystals in 1962.[1] Ironically, Pitney's success as a singer was beginning at this time, and "He's a Rebel" kept "Only Love Can Break a Heart" from topping the Billboard Hot 100 chart, where it spent one week at No. 2.[2] The song also spent two weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Easy Listening chart in October and November 1962,[3] while reaching No. 2 on New Zealand's "Lever Hit Parade".[4]

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1962) Peak
US Billboard Hot 100 2
US Billboard Easy Listening 1
New Zealand - "Lever Hit Parade" 2
Canada - CHUM Hit Parade[5] 11
US Billboard R&B[3] 16

Country music versions[edit]

Country music singers Sonny James and Kenny Dale also recorded cover versions of "Only Love Can Break a Heart". Both versions reached the Top 10 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart during the 1970s.[3] James' version peaked at No. 2 in March 1972, held out of the top by Freddie Hart's "My Hang-Up Is You." As a result, "Only Love ..." just missed continuing James' record-breaking streak of consecutive number-one singles, which had reached 16.[6] Dale's version of the song reached number seven on the Hot Country Singles chart in 1979 and it was his biggest hit on the country charts.

Other versions[edit]

Margaret Whiting charted with the song in 1967. Whiting's version reached No. 96 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 4 on Billboard's Easy Listening chart.[7][8]

Bobby Vinton released the song in 1977, and it reached No. 99 on the Billboard Hot 100,[9] while reaching No. 46 on Billboard's Easy Listening chart,[10] and No. 50 on the RPM "Adult Oriented Playlist" in Canada.[11] Vinton's version appears on his album The Name Is Love.

Dionne Warwick released her version of the song as a single in 1977, but it only reached No. 9 on the "Bubbling Under" portion of the Billboard Hot 100.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Bronson, Fred (2003). The Billboard Book of #1 Hits, 5th Edition (Billboard Publications)
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1996). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits, 6th Edition (Billboard Publications)
  3. ^ a b c d Hyatt, Wesley (1999). The Billboard Book of #1 Adult Contemporary Hits (Billboard Publications)
  4. ^ "Lever Hit Parade" 15-Nov-1962, Flavour of New Zealand. Accessed October 21, 2015
  5. ^ "CHUM Hit Parade", CHUM, Week of October 29, 1962
  6. ^ Whitburn, Joel, "Top Country Songs: 1944–2005," 2006.
  7. ^ Margaret Whiting - Chart History - The Hot 100, Accessed October 21, 2015
  8. ^ Margaret Whiting - Chart History - Adult Contemporary, Accessed October 21, 2015
  9. ^ Bobby Vinton - Chart History - The Hot 100, Accessed October 21, 2015
  10. ^ Bobby Vinton - Chart History - Adult Contemporary, Accessed October 21, 2015
  11. ^ "RPM Adult Oriented Playlist", RPM, Volume 27, Ed. 13, June 25, 1977. p. 27. Accessed October 21, 2015

External links[edit]