Potential Breakup Song

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"Potential Breakup Song"
Single by Aly & AJ
from the album Insomniatic
B-side "Careful With Words" (UK)
Released June 26, 2007[1]
Format CD single, digital download
Recorded 2007
Genre New wave, dance-pop, electropop
Length 3:39
Label Hollywood
Writer(s) Alyson Michalka, Amanda Michalka, Antonina Armato, Tim James
Producer(s) Antonina Armato, Tim James
Certification Platinum (RIAA)[2]
Aly & AJ main singles chronology
"Greatest Time of Year"
"Potential Breakup Song"
"Like Whoa"
Music video
Potential Breakup Song on YouTube (posted by Hollywood Records)

"Potential Breakup Song" is a song co-written and performed by American pop rock duo Aly & AJ, and is the first single from their second studio album, Insomniatic. It was a very successful single in the summer and early fall of 2007, topping many video countdowns, and becoming Aly & AJ's most successful single to date. At the time, was highest selling single by a Hollywood Records artist, as it was certified platinum by the RIAA for sales over 1,000,000 copies.[2] Time magazine ranked "Potential Breakup Song" the ninth best song of 2007.[3][4] The song received positive reviews from other music critics as well, many praising its lyrical content and its maturity, as well as the "adventurous" synth-based production.

Song information[edit]

There are two versions of this song played on the radio. One is the official album version, which is played on mainstream radio, while a version with all of the violence and sexual innuendo removed is played on Radio Disney. In the chorus, in "gettin' me", the edited version adds a "to" between "gettin'" and "me". In the middle-eight, in "without me you're gonna die", "die" is replaced with "cry."

A departure from their earlier guitar-based pop rock sound, "Potential Breakup Song" is primarily a three-minute-and-thirty-nine-second new wave, dance-pop and electropop song with heavy elements of ska pop, dance-rock and power pop. The song also makes heavy use of vocal processing effects during the verses, and its lyrical content is, as the title states, about a break-up, mentioning that "our album needs just one".

Critical reception[edit]

The song received critical acclaim. Digital Spy said that, "by Disney Channel standards at least, 'Potential Breakup Song' is fairly adventurous, riding its bassline and tango-inflected rhythm track to a chipper, synth-fueled chorus."[5] The Celebrity Cafe said that the song "has an electronica-like melody to it that is perfect to be played in listeners’ dance clubs."[6] Tommy2.Net says that that "several tracks [on the Insomniatic album] point toward synth rock by the use of samples, loops and vocal processing including the lead single, Potential Breakup Song which proves to be a good barometer for the direction they're heading."[7] BBC Music said that they "already introduced 'Potential Breakup Song' on Back of the Sofa Tunes pt.2, after I bullied Steve P into listening to it until the poor lad was quite overcome by its brilliance and subsequently forced to bully Fraser into covering it."[8] TIME voted it the ninth best song of the year, describing it as "winking pop that doesn't skimp on the hook ... or the emotion".[9]

Single release[edit]

The single was released on Radio Disney on May 12, 2007, containing the edited lyrics rather than the official version of the single. The song was made available for sale on the U.S. iTunes Store on June 26, 2007,[10] along with a pre-order offer for their second studio album, Insomniatic.

The single was released digitally in the UK on October 1, 2007, followed by a physical CD single release on October 8. The album followed two weeks later on October 22. The song served as the group's second UK single when it was released in October, after their debut UK single, "Chemicals React", failed to chart in the UK in May 2007. Also, the bonus track for the United States Wal-Mart collector's edition "Careful With Words" serves as the B-side of the CD single in the United Kingdom.

The UK CD single has been pulled out of stores, resulting in it only being available digitally.

Release history[edit]

Date Country Format Label
May 12, 2007 United States Radio Disney Hollywood Records
June 26, 2007 Mainstream radio
Digital download
October 1, 2007 United Kingdom Digital download EMI
October 8, 2007 CD single

Track listings and formats[edit]

Radio Disney Promo CD (U.S., May 12, 2007)
No. Title Length
1. "Potential Breakup Song" (Radio Disney Edit) 3:35
Digital download/Promo CD (U.S., June 27, 2007)[11]
No. Title Length
1. "Potential Breakup Song"   3:39
UK CD single (UK, October 8, 2007)[12]
No. Title Length
1. "Potential Breakup Song"   3:39
2. "Careful With Words"   2:20
Total length:
PureVolume digital download/Potential Breakup Song Remix (September 16, 2011, Re-release)
No. Title Length
1. "Potential Breakup Song" (Aly & SA Remix) 5:49
2. "Potential Breakup Song" (Dave Aude Remix) 5:38
3. "Potential Breakup Song" (Original Version) 3:47
4. "Potential Breakup Song" (DJ Phredee Remix) 4:59
5. "Potential Breakup Song" (Original Instrumental) 3:47
Total length:
  • The Radio Disney version of the song contains different lyrics and is slightly shorter in length.

Music video[edit]

The music video, directed by Chris Applebaum,[13] was shot on May 17, 2007 and was premiered on TRL on June 18, 2007. It debuted at number ten on TRL on August 21, 2007, and peaked at number 6 on August 29, 2007. On July 18, 2007, the video for the single reached number one on AOL Music's Top 10 Video Countdown.

The video shows Amanda Michalka and older sister Alyson Michalka singing "Potential Breakup Song" on a grey set dressed in black. At the end of the video, the black ink floating on the air stains a blank paper forming the group's new logo, as well as the sequence of letters XOXO. It also includes the web address to PotentialBreakup.com.

In the Disney Channel version, the Radio Disney lyrics are used. The version also does not include the web address at the end. The music video is sometimes shown on Nickelodeon Asia.

As of March 10, 2010, the music video picked up 42,664,364 views, asserting that it is Hollywood Records, Inc., 8th highest viewed Music Video of all time from their Official YouTube site. The music videos ahead of Hollywood Records' Aly & AJ is Demi Lovato's La La Land; Miley Cyrus' Start All Over; Miley Cyrus' Fly On The Wall; Vanessa Hudgens' Sneakernight; Miley Cyrus' The Climb; Vanessa Hudgens' Say OK and Miley Cyrus' Party In The U.S.A. (listed from fewest to highest views).[14]

Chart performance[edit]

"Potential Breakup Song" debuted at number 77 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 on July 5, 2007.[15] The song peaked at number 17, becoming the group's best single performance on the Hot 100. As the song began to fall down the chart, dropping to number 50 about a month after its peak, the song recovered bounced back up to number 41 after Aly and AJ co-hosted MTV's TRL for one week.[16] As of March 2009, the song has logged over 1,000,000 digital downloads in the United States, enabling it to be certified Platinum by the RIAA.

In the United Kingdom, the single was released to download on the October 1, 2007, and debuted at number 33 on the UK Singles Chart. Following the release of the physical CD, the song later peaked at number 22 in Britain.

Charts and certifications[edit]

Weekly charts[edit]

Chart (2007-08)[17] Peak
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[18] 72
Europe (European Hot 100 Singles)[19] 65
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[20] 83
Ireland (IRMA)[21] 16
Norway (VG-lista)[22] 18
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[23] 22
US Billboard Hot 100[24] 17
US Mainstream Top 40 (Billboard)[25] 19
Venezuela Pop Rock (Record Report)[26] 3


Region Certification Sales/shipments
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[27] Gold 15,000^
United States (RIAA)[28] Platinum 1,000,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
xunspecified figures based on certification alone

Uses in pop culture[edit]

  • "Potential Breakup Song" is played in the video game Thrillville: Off the Rails.
  • "Potential Breakup Song" is played in episode 2 of The Miley and Mandy Show.

Ami Suzuki version[edit]

"Potential Breakup Song"
Single by Ami Suzuki
from the album Dolce
Released 28 November 2007 (Japan)
Format CD single
Genre J-pop, house
Length 3:51
Label Avex Trax
Writer(s) Alyson Michalka, Amanda Michalka, Antonina Armato, Tim James
Producer(s) Sugiurumn
Ami Suzuki singles chronology
Free Free/Super Music Maker
Potential Breakup Song

"Potential Breakup Song" was covered by Japanese singer Ami Suzuki under the label Avex Trax. It was released on 28 November 2007.[29]

The song was used in the Japanese horror flick X-Cross, in which Suzuki had a lead role, alongside the original Aly & AJ version. The single is produced by Japanese DJ Sugiurumn and has a stronger club feel than Aly & AJ's version.

In June 2008, it was announced that this single would be Suzuki's final "joins" single.

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Potential Breakup Song"
  2. "Feel the Beat"
  3. "Potential Breakup Song" (Sugiurumn Remix)
  4. "Potential Breakup Song" (Instrumental)


Oricon Sales Chart (Japan)

Release Chart Peak position First week sales Total sales Chart run
28 November 2007 Oricon Daily Singles Chart 16
Oricon Weekly Singles Chart 34 4,151 5,315 5 weeks


  1. ^ "FMQB: Format - CHR". fmqb.com. 
  2. ^ a b "POTENTIAL BREAKUP SONG GOES PLATINUM!". Retrieved March 20, 2009.
  3. ^ Tyrangiel, Josh; "The Best Top 10 Lists of the Year"; "The 10 Best Songs"; Time magazine; December 24, 2007; Page 39.
  4. ^ Tyrangiel, Josh (2007-12-09). "''Time'' magazine's Top 10 Songs of 2007 at". Time.com. Retrieved 2011-10-03. 
  5. ^ "Aly & AJ: 'Potential Breakup Song' - Music Singles Review". Digital Spy. 2007-10-08. Retrieved 2011-10-03. 
  6. ^ Sari N. Kent (2007-08-16). "Insomniatic". TheCelebrityCafe.com. Retrieved 2011-10-03. 
  7. ^ "Tommy2.Net". Tommy2.Net. 2007-07-10. Retrieved 2011-10-03. 
  8. ^ "Chart Blog: Aly & AJ - 'Potential Breakup Song'". BBC. 2007-10-04. Retrieved 2011-10-03. 
  9. ^ Tyrangiel, Josh (December 9, 2007). Stengel, Richard, ed. "Top 10 Songs". TIME (New York City: Time). ISSN 0040-781X. OCLC 1311479. Archived from the original on 28 March 2010. Retrieved 12 June 2013. 
  10. ^ 6/26 Mainstream. FMQB.com. Retrieved on July 31, 2007.
  11. ^ "Aly & AJ "Potential Breakup Song" Digital download". Musicbrainz.org. Retrieved 2011-10-03. 
  12. ^ "Aly & AJ "Potential Breakup Song" UK CD single". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 2011-10-03. 
  13. ^ "Potential Breakup Song | Aly & AJ | Music Video". MTV. Retrieved 2011-10-03. 
  14. ^ "Kanaal van hollywoodrecords". YouTube. Retrieved 2011-10-03. 
  15. ^ "Potential Breakup Song" Debut Position on the Billboard Hot 100. Billboard. Retrieved on August 8, 2007.
  16. ^ "Potential Breakup Song" chart trajectory. Aly & AJ Reaction
  17. ^ "Potential Breakup Song" worldwide chart positions. aCharts. Retrieved on October 7, 2007.
  18. ^ "Aly & AJ – Chart history" Canadian Hot 100 for Aly & AJ.
  19. ^ "Aly & AJ – Chart history" European Hot 100 for Aly & AJ.
  20. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Aly & AJ – Potential Breakup Song" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  21. ^ "Chart Track: Week 41, 2007". Irish Singles Chart.
  22. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Aly & AJ – Potential Breakup Song". VG-lista.
  23. ^ "Aly & AJ: Artist Chart History" Official Charts Company.
  24. ^ "Aly & AJ – Chart history" Billboard Hot 100 for Aly & AJ.
  25. ^ "Aly & AJ – Chart history" Billboard Pop Songs for Aly & AJ.
  26. ^ "Pop Rock" (in Spanish). Record Report. 2007-12-01. Archived from the original on 2007-07-02. 
  27. ^ "Danish single certifications – Aly & AJ – Potential Breakup Song". IFPI Denmark. 
  28. ^ "American single certifications – Aly & AJ – Potential Breakup Song". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH
  29. ^ (Japanese) Hot News|鈴木 亜美(すずき あみ)avex Official WebSite