Breaking Up Is Hard to Do

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For the 2011 film, see Breaking Up Is Hard to Do (film). For the jukebox musical, see Breaking Up Is Hard to Do (musical).
"Breaking Up Is Hard to Do"
Single by Neil Sedaka
B-side "As Long as I Live"
Released June 1962
Genre Brill Building, doo-wop
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]

Neil Sedaka 1962 original 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, reaching number 7 in the UK, 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.

"Breaking Up Is Hard to Do"
Breaking Up Is Hard to Do - Neil Sedaka 1975.jpg
Single by Neil Sedaka
from the album The Hungry Years
B-side "Nana's Song"
Released December 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"

Sedaka's 1975 version[edit]

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 1970. Sedaka's slow version peaked at #8 in December 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]

Chart performance[edit]

Weekly charts[edit]

The Partridge Family version[edit]

"Breaking Up Is Hard to Do"
Breaking Up Is Hard to Do - Partridge Family.jpg
Single by Partridge Family
from the album At Home with Their Greatest Hits
B-side "I'm Here, You're Here"
Released June 1972
Format 7"
Genre Pop
Label Bell Records
Writer(s) Neil Sedaka
Partridge Family singles chronology
"Am I Losing You"
"Breaking Up Is Hard to Do"
"Looking Through the Eyes of Love"

Apart from Sedaka's own reworking of the song, by far the most successful cover of "Breaking Up Is Hard to Do" was done by the Partridge Family in 1972. While only a medium hit in North America, their version reached number 3 in both the UK and Australia.

Chart performance[edit]

Other versions[edit]

"Breaking Up Is Hard to Do"
Single by The Carpenters
from the album A Kind Of Hush
Released September 4, 1976
Recorded March 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. ^ a b c d "Australian Chart Book". Archived from the original on 2016-03-05. Retrieved 2016-09-26. 
  5. ^ "Image : RPM Weekly - Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved 2016-09-26. 
  6. ^ "Image : RPM Weekly - Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved 2016-09-26. 
  7. ^ Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955-2002
  8. ^ "Top Singles – Volume 26, No. 14 & 15, January 08 1977". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved June 13, 2016. 
  9. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1976/Top 100 Songs of 1976". Retrieved 2016-09-26. 
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-10-21. Retrieved 2016-06-05. 
  11. ^ "Image : RPM Weekly - Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved 2016-09-26. 
  12. ^ "flavour of new zealand - search listener". Retrieved 2016-09-26. 
  13. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 419. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  14. ^ Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955–2002
  15. ^ "Cash Box Top 100 8/26/72". 1972-08-26. Retrieved 2016-09-26. 
  16. ^ "Top 100 1972 - UK Music Charts". Retrieved 2016-09-26. 
  17. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1999). Pop Annual. Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. ISBN 0-89820-142-X. 
  18. ^ Richie Unterberger. "The Marbles - The Marbles | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-09-26. 

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