Queen of Hearts is the title of a country–pop song written by Hank DeVito, the pedal steel guitarist in Emmylou Harris‘ backing group The Hot Band, and introduced by Dave Edmunds on his 1979 album Repeat When Necessary: released as a single it reached number 11 in the UK that year. In 1997 a live version of “Queen of Hearts” was featured on the Dave Edmunds compilation album Rockin’ .
Following an appearance of the 1980 Rodney Crowell album But What Will the Neighbors Think, on which the song’s composer Hank DeVito played guitar, “Queen of Hearts” had its highest profile incarnation via its inclusion on the 1981 album Juice by Juice Newton who’d recall: “I did [“Queen of Hearts”] live for about a year…Then I brought it to [producer] Richard Landis when we started the Juice album. He wasn’t convinced at that point that it was a breakout song but I told him I think this is a real cool song…so we cut it.” Newton’s own favorite cut on the Juice album, “Queen of Hearts” was issued as the album’s second single and would afford Newton her career record reaching #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks in September 1981, only behind “Endless Love” by Diana Ross and Lionel Richie. And while it was still at #2 Newton’s “Queen of Hearts” was certified Gold for domestic sales of one million units.
“Queen of Hearts” also afforded Newton an international hit with Top Ten hit status in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa and Switzerland and more moderate success in Austria, Germany and the Netherlands. For her recording of the song, Juice Newton earned a 1982 Grammy nomination for Best Female Vocalist in the C&W category, “Queen of Hearts” having been a #14 C&W hit
Chart performance (Juice Newton version)