Billboard #1 Hits: #75: “Breaking Up Is Hard To Do”- Neil Sedaka. August 11, 1962. #1 for 2 weeks. Released on RCA Victor. Written by Neil Sedaka and Howard Greenfield. Time: 2:18. B-side: “As Long As I Live” Grade: B
Neil Sedaka was only 23 years old when “Breaking Up Is Hard To Do” hit #1 the first of an eventual 3 #1’s he would have in his career- but he always looked/ seemed older than his age to me. Not a year or two older but a decade older. I always think of actor Karl Malden that way too- even when Malden was a young man he seemed older.
When I was younger I tended to get Neil Sedaka and Paul Anka confused. I don’t know why that was the case- clearly Sedaka is the more talented of the two. They look nothing alike. Sedaka is Jewish and from New York City- Anka is from Canada and is of Lebanese descent.
” Breaking Up Is Hard To Do” has made the charts five times- the first was this #1 original- by Sedaka- the faster version. In 1976 a slower version by Sedaka went to #8. The other chart appearances by the song- #67 in 1968 by Happenings, “#34 in 1970 by Lenny Welch, #28 by Partridge Family in 1972.
Neil Sedaka has had 31 Hot 100 singles with 21 making the Top 40. He went from late 1963 until 1974 without a hit- The Beatles/ British Invasion were not good for his career but in 1974 Elton John signed him to his record company- and he was back- with a #1 in “Laughter In The Rain” and “Bad Blood” where Elton was on backing vocals.