Saturday, February 13, 2010

Gryph's Top-Ten Valentine's Day Breakup Songs

#10: Maneater, by Hall & Oates

This one reminds me of my ex...

#9: Jeopardy, by The Greg Kihn Band

Yeah, I know Greg Kihn had "The Breakup Song," but that one seemed too easy. Besides, this one has a disturbingly surreal video and a great beat -- even if it's not strictly a breakup song.

#8: Go Your Own Way, by Fleetwood Mac

When their "Rumours" album was being cut in the 1970's, Fleetwood Mac's internecine drama may have threatened to tear the band apart, but it also resulted in some really nifty creative work that their follow-up album ("Tusk") didn't even come close to matching.

#7: Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lover, by Paul Simon

I've absolutely adored this song ever since I could remember. It is probably the most poetic of the great breakup songs, and Steve Gadd's drumming is absolutely stellar.

#6: This Love, by Maroon 5

I'm a sucker for a cinderella story. Adam Levine, Maroon 5's lead singer, performed in front of a crowd for the first time at the age of 12. He was so consumed with stage fright when he had to sing his band's final number, he turned his back to the crowd. It's evident both in this song and its video that he's come quite a long way.

#5: Ain't No Sunshine, by Bill Withers

As breakup songs go, this one is beautiful in its soulful simplicity.

#4: I'm Not In Love, by 10cc

From the group that ultimately gave the world Godley and Creme, these guys will stand forever in the annals of rock as supreme innovators -- pretty much entirely in analog, to boot. The choral effects in this song would subsequently be used by Billy Joel in "Just the Way You Are," as well as by other artists, but 10cc was the first.

On a more personal note, I just love the song's theme of irrational denial

#3: Love Stinks, by J. Geils Band

Unlike most of the videos on this countdown, I couldn't get it to embed. It's still worth taking a listen. J. Geils and the boys have encapsulated my feelings on love in a wonderful two-word chorus.

#2: Always on my Mind, by Willie Nelson et. al

The number of times this song has been covered is testament to its impact. Apologies for the funky aspect ratio in the video, but the music makes it worth the slight visual dissonance.

And the #1 breakup song on Gryph's list is...

Love's Been a Little Bit Hard on Me, by Juice Newton

As much as I hate Valentine's Day, I have to end this list on a mildly triumphant, rather matter-of-fact note. Follow the link to check out the video, and if it doesn't make you smile, you may be a lost cause.

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