Breaking Up Is Hard To Do (1962) (1975)

Click the YouTube video below to listen:

Download MP3s from

Neil Sedaka (born March 13, 1939 in Brooklyn, New York.)

Neil Sedaka formed the Tokens with Jay Siegel in 1954 at the age of 15. By the time the group had a hit with "The Lion Sleeps Tonight", Sedaka had long since moved on.

Sedaka recorded "Breaking Up Is Hard to Do" with the Cookies singing backing vocals. The Cookies went on to record "Chains" and "Don't Say Nothing Bad (About My Baby)", both top 10 R&B hits.

The session musicians thought Sedaka was crazy for adding backing vocals throughout the entire song even before recording his lead vocal, which he triple-tracked. Inspired by Les Paul & Mary Ford, Sedaka was one of the first singers to overdub multiple tracks of his own voice.

Chart position: #1 (US), #7 (UK).

It was preceded at #1 by "Roses Are Red (My Love)" (Bobby Vinton) and succeeded by "The Loco-Motion" (Little Eva.)

Sedaka had a hit again with "Breaking Up Is Hard to Do" recorded as a slow ballad in 1975, which reached #8, the only US #1 single to be re-recorded by the same artist and become a Top Ten hit all over again.

The Top Ten Songs: October 25, 1962 (US Billboard Hot 100).
  1. "Breaking Up Is Hard to Do" (Neil Sedaka)
  2. "The Loco-Motion" (Little Eva)
  3. "Roses Are Red (My Love)" (Bobby Vinton)
  4. "The Wah Watusi" (Orlons)
  5. "You Don't Know Me" (Ray Charles)
  6. "Things" (Bobby Darin)
  7. "Ahab The Arab" (Ray Stevens)
  8. "Little Diane" (Dion)
  9. "Speedy Gonzales" (Pat Boone)
  10. "Sealed With A Kiss" (Brian Hyland)
Written by: Neil Sedaka and Howard Greenfield (born March 15, 1936, died March 4, 1986).

Sedaka and Greenfield also wrote such songs as "Where The Boys Are", "Is This the Way to Amarillo" (which was a #1 hit for Tony Christie when reissued in 2005), "Stupid Cupid", "Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen", "Everybody's Somebody's Fool", "Love Will Keep Us Together", "Calender Girl", etc.

In 1952, sixteen year old Greenfield and 13 year old Sedaka, both lived in the same apartment building in Brooklyn. However, they didn't know of each other until Greenfield's mother had a chance meeting with the young Sedaka, suggesting to the young pianist that "You should meet my son; he writes great lyrics." The rest is history.

Initially, no one was impressed by "Breaking Up Is Hard to Do", even Greenfield, whom Sedaka persistantly goaded for months to supply lyrics to the tune. Often when they would run out of lyrics while writing, they would often thrown throw in nonsense syllables, which soon became a trademark.

The "down dooby doo down down" refrain was intentionally incorporated into the song by Sedaka.

Also by: The Partridge Family/David Cassidy, who was the first singer to record "Breaking Up Is Hard to Do" as a slow ballad; the Four Seasons; The Carpenters; Carole King; Gloria Estefan; Freddy Fender; Little Eva; Tom Jones; Eydie Gorme.

Download MP3s from

Want to submit facts and trivia about this song? Leave a comment!

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful blog, extremely well done! "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do" is one of my childhood favorites. I think over the years Neil Sedaka was grossly underrated as both a performer and a songwriter. Thanks for posting this up!



Please be sure to leave a comment. If you love the oldies, then by all means, say so!