The Breakup Song (They Don't Write 'Em)

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"The Breakup Song (They Don't Write 'Em)"
Single by The Greg Kihn Band
from the album RocKihnRoll
B-side "When the Music Starts"
Released May 1981
Format 7", 12"
Length 2:56 (album version)
2:50 (single version)
Label Beserkley
Writer(s) Greg Kihn, Steve Wright
Producer(s) Matthew King Kaufman
The Greg Kihn Band singles chronology
"The Breakup Song (They Don't Write 'Em)"
RocKihnRoll track listing
"The Breakup Song (They Don't Write 'Em)"

"The Breakup Song (They Don't Write 'Em)" is a song written by Greg Kihn and Steve Wright and recorded by American rock band The Greg Kihn Band. It is the first single from the band's fourth studio album, RocKihnRoll (1981). It is one of the artist's most recognizable signature songs, and a favorite of many Kihn fans worldwide. The song's musical style encompasses pop rock[1] and power pop.[2]


It celebrates the quality of break-up songs in rock's earlier times, as the narrator laments both his recent breakup and the fact that they don't write good breakup songs anymore.[3]


The song reached #15 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart and #5 on the Billboard Top Tracks chart.

In popular culture[edit]

It has been featured in several films, including Let Me In (2010), The House of the Devil (2009), The Groomsmen (2006) and Beautiful Girls as well as the hit video game Grand Theft Auto V (2013). It was sampled in "Gone" by Yelawolf on his Arena Rap EP.

Track listing[edit]

  • 12" Maxi (AS-11506)
  1. "The Breakup Song (They Don't Write 'Em)" - 3:42
  2. "The Girl Most Likely" - 3:46
  3. "Can't Stop Hurtin' Myself" - 4:30
  4. "Valerie" - 2:44
  • 7" Single (B-47149)
  1. "The Breakup Song (They Don't Write 'Em)" - 2:50
  2. "When the Music Starts" - 2:34


  1. ^ Dave Marsh; John Swenson (12 October 1983). The new Rolling stone record guide. Random House/Rolling Stone Press. p. 273. ISBN 978-0-394-72107-1. the entire nation's pop-rock sensibility was so benumbed that when Kihn recorded his first competent tune in the genre, "The Breakup Song (They Don't Write 'Em)," 
  2. ^ Neal Walters; Brian Mansfield (1998). MusicHound Folk: The Essential Album Guide. Visible Ink. ISBN 978-1-57859-037-7. with power-pop hits including "The Breakup Song (They Don't Write "Em)" in 1981 
  3. ^

External links[edit]