Breaking Up Is Hard to Do

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"Breaking Up Is Hard to Do"
Single by Neil Sedaka
from the album Neil Sedaka Sings His Greatest Hits
B-side"As Long as I Live"
ReleasedJune 1962
GenreBrill Building, doo-wop
LabelRCA Victor
Songwriter(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 significantly 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]

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 Overnight Success (UK)
The Hungry Years (US)
  • "Nana's Song" (US);
  • "Lonely Night" (UK);
  • "Stephen" (Australia)
ReleasedDecember 1975
LabelRocket Records (US);
Polydor Records (Int'l)
Songwriter(s)Neil Sedaka, Howard Greenfield
Producer(s)Neil Sedaka, Robert Appere
Neil Sedaka singles chronology
"Bad Blood"
"Breaking Up Is Hard to Do"
"Love in the Shadows"

Sedaka's 1975 version[edit]

Though it was 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 February 1976 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 The Partridge Family
from the album At Home with Their Greatest Hits
B-side"I'm Here, You're Here"
ReleasedJune 1972
Songwriter(s)Neil Sedaka
Producer(s)Wes Farrell
The 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 Carpenters
from the album A Kind of Hush
ReleasedSeptember 4, 1976
RecordedMarch 1976
Songwriter(s)Neil Sedaka, Howard Greenfield
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

Czech version: Zázemí

Czech version: Nálada je výborná

Czech version: Nálada

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 "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. Archived from the original on March 19, 2016. Retrieved June 13, 2016.
  9. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1976/Top 100 Songs of 1976". Retrieved 2016-09-26.
  10. ^ Top 50 Adult Contemporary Hits of 1976
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-10-21. Retrieved 2016-06-05.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  12. ^ "Image : RPM Weekly - Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved 2016-09-26.
  13. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Breaking Up Is Hard to Do". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved July 2, 2017.
  14. ^ "flavour of new zealand - search listener". Retrieved 2016-09-26.
  15. ^
  16. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 419. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  17. ^ Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955–2002
  18. ^ Billboard Adult Contemporary, August 5, 1972
  19. ^ "Cash Box Top 100 8/26/72". 1972-08-26. Archived from the original on 2016-08-27. Retrieved 2016-09-26.
  20. ^ 1972_in_British_music#Best-selling_singles
  21. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1999). Pop Annual. Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. ISBN 0-89820-142-X.
  22. ^ Richie Unterberger. "The Marbles - The Marbles | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-09-26.

External links[edit]

Recorded by Shelly Fabres in 1962