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Best Breakup Songs/Albums

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Having just listened to both Vulnicura and HEAL, by Bjork and Strand of Oaks, I'm thinking about breakup records.

 

What are, for you, the greatest breakup songs of all time?

 

And--this is tougher--what are the great breakup albums?

 

Springing to mind for me: 

 

Sam Phillips - A Boot and a Shoe

Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago

Suzanne Vega - Songs of Red and Gray

 

And then there's the almost-breakup album: Over the Rhine - Drunkard's Prayer

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I haven't listened to it in quite a while, but high school Tyler would say "The Light of Things Hoped For" by Brave Saint Saturn.

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I said this over on Facebook, but I'll say it here too: Blood on the Tracks.

 

 

EDIT: As for a song, I've thought of "Into My Arms" by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds as a breakup song of sorts since the first time I heard it. There are multiple reasons for this, possibly not all connected to the song itself:

 

Edited by NBooth

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Having just listened to both Vulnicura and HEAL, by Bjork and Strand of Oaks, I'm thinking about breakup records.

 

Did she break up with Matthew Barney?

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I've always been partial to Elvis Costello's cover of George Jones' A Good Year for the Roses...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ySQlU3hussQ

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Which reminds me of other great Costello breakup songs: "15 Petals" and "God Give Me Strength."

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Having just listened to both Vulnicura and HEAL, by Bjork and Strand of Oaks, I'm thinking about breakup records.

 

Did she break up with Matthew Barney?

 

 

From the LA Times review:

 

Though Björk, who has a daughter with Barney, never mentions her ex by name, she delivers lines about family — mothers, fathers and daughters in "Family" — that make it painfully apparent this is her take on a real-life situation. (Barney and Björk reportedly ended their decade-long relationship in 2013.)

 

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The Glow Pt 2 by The Microphones uses a bad breakup as a springboard for some big existential question stuff.   A great record for one's early twenties!

 

The Graceful Fallen Mango is a solo record by Dave Longstreth of Dirty Projectors before he put a band together, it's about breaking up with his high school girlfriend.  I think he was maybe 18 or 19 when he made it.

 

About half of Joanna Newsom's Ys seems to be about a breakup.  

 

And about half of Mirah's "C'mon Miracle".

Edited by Holy Moly!

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Ryan Adams' Heartbreaker and Beck's Sea Change are two that come to mind that I discovered as break up albums in real time as I listened to them, rather than approaching retroactively as Break-Up albums such as Here, My Dear or Shootout the Lights.

 

Adam Again's River on Fire on the Dig album as the prelude to the end of a relationship followed by the Perfecta album as the aftermath is one of the more painful song cycles I can think of. Stone and Relapse are the standout songs, but the enitre album aches.

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Definitely Peter Gabriel's Us.

 

Also--Elemental by Tears for Fears. This is not a romantic break-up album but a caustic and bitter exploration of the end of Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith's friendship and working relationship. It sounds a bit juvenile now, but Orzabal was barely out of his 20s at the time.

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Love the Elemental album. It is certainly one of those that rips you apart at the seems. A very moving and yet satisfactory album, and yet remains one of their least known. A hidden gem.

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Jeffrey mentioned "God Give Me Strength," though I would say we could consider the entirety of the Costello/Bacharach album, Painted from Memory.

 

Also, noone has mentioned what is, for me, the saddest album ever made: Frank Sinatra's Watertown, a concept album about a man whose wife leaves him, seemingly out of the blue.

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A lot of good ones mentioned here. I like Dolorean's "Country Clutter" as a break-up/kiss-off sort of song.

 

Edited by bloop

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Bear in mind that I can't speak from experience (I did, however help my teddy bear, Stewie Dedalus, get over a breakup a couple years ago), but here are good ones that come to mind:

Marvin Gaye - Here, My Dear

Richard & Linda Thompson - Shoot Out The Lights

(surprised no one's mentioned this, but perhaps the radio has spoiled it) Fleetwood Mac - Rumours (and Tusk, perhaps)

 

 

Andrew, on 23 Jan 2015 - 04:34 AM, said:snapback.png

Peter Gabriel's Us

 

 

Hmm, never gave this one a listen. I love PG's first four albums, and really like BirdyPassion, and So, but...I think that, due to its era of release, I had a bad feeling that Us may deep-dive into unadulterated early 90s adult-contemporary, a niche I have built some prejudice against. Maybe that's also the contemporaneous state of his former bandmates speaking as well, but with your mentions of it, I think I'll try it out.

 

Also, haven't heard it myself (since, y'know, I have things to do), but as it's semi-related, I must share this line from a list of 2014's worst albums with Robin Thicke's Paula on it.
 

 

It’s like an Aaron Spelling production of Scenes from a Marriage.

 

From here onward, that shall be my stock response to everything.

Edited by Kinch

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This just popped up on my iPod. "Precious" by Depeche Mode. It's basically an apology from parent to child(ren) for immersing them in the hell that is divorce. And if Wikipedia is to be believed, it's autobiographical on Martin Gore's part. I find this song strangely touching, and also comparatively grown-up and perceptive, coming from the same lot who gave us such hedonistic anthems as "Master and Servant."

 

Edited by morgan1098

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