Download Instrumental It’s “ladies’ choice” time, folks. And the perfect song for the ladies to pick their dance partner is this classic gem from Neil Sedaka, “Breaking Up is Hard to Do”.
When the uptempo version of this tune came out in 1962, it was described as “two minutes and sixteen seconds of pure pop magic” and was Sedaka’s first number one hit. Personally, I would describe the original version as “bubblegum pop” – I never particularly cared for Neil Sedaka anyway (I know, it’s a sin to say that).
But THIS arrangement of the song…well, that’s a whole ‘nother story. Lenny Welch originally came up with this slower adaptation in 1970 and had a fairly decent hit with it (went to #34 on the charts). It took Sedaka another five years, for some reason, to come to his senses and turn the song into a gorgeous ballad (like Lenny did). When Neil finally re-recorded it in ’75, “Breaking Up” charted top ten overnight.
The original version sounded like the guy was glad to be breaking up with his girl. It was like “Yaaa! I’m dumpin’ the twit, finally”. But this one expresses sorrow and remorse (and don’t we all love that). He desperately wants her back, and the slight breaks and inflections in the melody let you know he’s on the brink of tears. Having to say goodbye is breaking his heart.
Perform it this way, you singers out there. Jazzy piano and lush violins beat “bubblegum” every time.