Breaking Up Is Hard to Do

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For the 2011 film, see Breaking Up Is Hard to Do (film).
"Breaking Up Is Hard to Do"
Single by Neil Sedaka
A-side "Breaking Up Is Hard to Do"
B-side "As Long as I Live"
Released 1962
Genre Doo-wop, pop
Length 2:18
Writer(s) Neil Sedaka, Howard Greenfield
Neil Sedaka singles chronology
"King of Clowns"
"Breaking Up Is Hard to Do"
"Next Door to an Angel"

"Breaking Up Is Hard to Do" is a song recorded by Neil Sedaka, and co-written by Sedaka and Howard Greenfield. Sedaka recorded this song twice, in 1962 and 1975, in two vastly different arrangements, and it is considered to be his signature song.[1] Another song by the same name had previously been recorded by Jivin' Gene [Bourgeois] and The Jokers, in 1959.[citation needed]

1962 version[edit]

Neil Sedaka recorded both "Breaking Up Is Hard to Do" and its B-side, "As Long as I Live" in Italian as "Tu Non Lo Sai" and "Finche Vivro", respectively, further endearing him to his Italian fans.[citation needed]

Described by Allmusic as "two minutes and sixteen seconds of pure pop magic,"[1] "Breaking Up Is Hard to Do" hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 on August 11, 1962 and peaked at number twelve on the Hot R&B Sides chart. [2] The single was a solid hit all over the world, sometimes with the text translated into foreign languages. For example, the Italian version was called "Tu non lo sai" ("You Don't Know") and was recorded by Sedaka himself.

On this version, background vocals on the song are performed by the female group The Cookies.

The personnel on the original recording session included: Al Casamenti, Art Ryerson, and Charles Macy on guitar; Ernie Hayes on piano; George Duvivier on bass; Gary Chester on drums; Artie Kaplan on saxophone; George Devens and Phil Kraus on percussion; Seymour Barab and Morris Stonzek on cellos; and David Gulliet, Joseph H. Haber, Harry Kohon, David Sackson, and Louis Stone on violins.

1975 version[edit]

"Breaking Up Is Hard to Do"
Single by Neil Sedaka
from the album The Hungry Years
B-side "Nana's Song"
Released 1975
Genre Pop
Length 3:14
Label Rocket Records
Writer(s) Neil Sedaka, Howard Greenfield
Neil Sedaka singles chronology
"Bad Blood"
"Breaking Up Is Hard to Do
"Love in the Shadows"

Though originally an uptempo song, Sedaka re-recorded it as a ballad in 1975. The slower arrangement was originally debuted by Lenny Welch; it peaked at #34 on the US Billboard charts in January of 1976. Sedaka's slow version peaked at #8 in December of 1975 and went to number one on the Easy Listening chart.[3] It was only the second time that an artist made the Billboard Top Ten with two different versions of the same song.[citation needed]

Cover versions[edit]

"Breaking Up Is Hard to Do"
Single by The Carpenters
from the album A Kind Of Hush
Recorded 1976
Genre Pop
Length 2:36
Writer(s) Neil Sedaka, Howard Greenfield
The Carpenters singles chronology
"Breaking Up Is Hard to Do"
"All You Get from Love Is a Love Song"

"Breaking Up Is Hard to Do" has been covered by numerous other artists over the years, including:

German version: Abschiednehmen ist so schwer

French version: Moi je pense encore à toi

  • sung and adapted by Claude François (co-author of "My Way") the title means "I'm still thinking of you".
  • Sylvie Vartan under the same French title Moi je pense encore a toi (I'm still thinking about you)

Portuguese version: O Superstar

Spanish version: Qué triste es el primer adiós

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Breaking Up Is Hard To Do Song Review November 29, 2011
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 516. 
  3. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961-2001. Record Research. p. 218. 
  4. ^ The Marbles at Allmusic

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"Roses Are Red (My Love)" by Bobby Vinton
Billboard Hot 100 number-one single
August 11, 1962 (two weeks)
Succeeded by
"The Loco-Motion" by Little Eva

Recorded by Shelly Fabres in 1962