Gina Vivinetto’s Greatest Hits

Indie break-up songs

The Recycled Love Songs site lists Top 25 Indie Break-Up Songs.

I’ll add 21 more (and then you add some, too):

1. Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Maps
“They don’t love you like I love you.”

2. Sonic Youth, Wish Fulfillment
“It’s such a mess now anyway…”

3. The entire Foolish album by Superchunk
Mac and Laura’s intra-band break-up inspires their best album.

3. Sleater-Kinney, One More Hour
“Oh you’ve got the darkest eyes….”

4. Amy Winehouse, Back to Black
The chorus kills.

5. Belle & Sebastian, I’m Waking Up to Us
Why not mix humor with your heartbreak?

6. Dinosaur Jr., Puke + Cry
“There’s things I’d like to show you, but you don’t even know you.”

7. Galaxie 500, When Will You Come Home?
Watching TV all alone is sad.

8. Husker Du, Sorry Somehow
Grant Hart wrote the band’s best break-up tunes.

9. The Who, So Sad About Us
– and the covers by The Jam and The Breeders.

10. Johnny Thunders, Hurt Me
Johnny was ballsy enough to address dysfunction in a love song.

11. Joy Division, Love Will Tear Us Apart
A band so gloomy they wrote break-up songs ahead of time.

12. Leslie Gore, You Don’t Own me
– and the covers by Juliana Hatfield and Klaus Nomi.

13. Leonard Cohen, So Long, Marianne
Though it’s hard to pick just one song by him.

14. Liz Phair, Divorce Song
Yes, the Exile in Guyville album lives up to all the hype.

15. Sebadoh, The Freed Pig
Lou Barlow knows band break-ups are just as hard.

16. The Ain’t Love Grand album by X
The only good thing about the break-up of Exene and John.

17. Violent Femmes, Gone Daddy Gone
Who would have known you can have xylophone on a break-up song?

18. Velvet Underground, I Can’t Stand It
This guy’s life is a mess, but if Shelly would just come back….

19. Unrequited Loves, Chewing Gum
“Remember standing on my front lawn? Sudden delightfulness but not for long.”

20. The Smiths, Back to the Old House
“And you never knew how much I really liked you…”

21. Pearl Jam, Black
“I know some day you’ll have a beautiful life…”

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7 thoughts on “Indie break-up songs

  1. Does “God Damn the Sun” by Swans count?

  2. Kevin Croitz on said:

    How about Don’t Go Back to Rockville, by REM, a loverly sad song, best heard on the road, Kevin

  3. Oh, I love that Superchunk record. Some others … “I don’t want to get over you” by the Magnetic Fields (or half the 69 love songs record), “Pearl” by The Folk Implosion and sealed into the #1 spot of all-time best breakup songs ever, by my love John Cusack, “You’re gonna miss me” by 13th Floor Elevators.

  4. jonathan on said:

    Mercy by Saint John and the Revelations is the best break up album I’ve ever heard. They’re an indie canadian band and they just put this album out. It’s choc-full of cathartic break up songs. I don’t know what he went through, and i thought my breakups were bad, but he just goes right to the center of the pain. Blood on the Tracks by Bob Dylan is also a mainstay breakup album for me.

  5. Adam Again – the entire Perfecta album. Gene Eugene’s intraband breakup with Riki Michele powered this entire album, leading with brilliance. “There’s a lot for me to say/
    About a hundred ways/ for me to wrap my words around your face/But it won’t do any good /I never really could convince you / that when I said to leave I meant “Please stay”/
    There I’ve said it now, too late /
    It’s late, I’ve got to get up early.”

  6. Shoot out the Lights by Dick and Linda Thompson. I knew Divorce song would make your list. Listen to When We Two Parted by the Afghan Whigs. That should be on the list.

    Does dissing J Mascis count as a breakup song?

  7. does not suffice-joanna newsome

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