Melancholy Quintet of Songs

On Valentine’s Day, people are always playing these lovey-dovey songs. It being roughly six months from that holiday, I thought I would link to some of those songs I used to play when I broke up with someone. Haven’t done that in well over a decade, fortunately, yet the songs themselves still make me melancholy. It’s strange how music still holds its sway.

The Supremes – Remove This Doubt. You may know this from the Elvis Costello cover, but the original is from one of my favorite Motown albums of the 1960s, The Supremes Sing Holland-Dozier-Holland. Funny thing that most of the time in their hit period, they WERE singing H-D-H.

Aretha Franklin – Sweet Bitter Love. From Aretha’s Columbia Records period. I also have the Roberta Flack version, but QoS’ version is better.

Jane Olivor–My first night alone without you. Also have the Bonnie Raitt version. Got the Olivor version by accident, with someone giving me the “wrong” birthday present. But I never corrected it.

Roberta Flack – Gone Away. On my top 10 song list.

Lorraine Ellison – Stay with me. Among others, Bette Midler recorded this. The Ellison version I found on a Warner Brothers lost leader album, though memory suggests it was first recorded on Mercury Records.
Description; lyrics; recording.

So all you people who complain about all those sappy, romantic songs: these are for you. And here’s some advice on how not to get your heart broken.

Picture courtesy of The Bad Chemicals.

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3 thoughts on “Melancholy Quintet of Songs”

  1. OH, yeah. My favorite breakup song is “Rainbow Sleeves,” written by Tom Waits but recorded best by Rickie Lee Jones. When I was on her first national tour, she did it every night for an encore. Bette Midler also sang it in concert (VERY badly – she couldn’t hack the range) and claimed Tom had written it for HER! Either she is a big liar or he is a bigger one! Ha ha. Best line: “The heart that has been broken will be stronger when it mends…” Amy

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  2. I always suspected that Berry Gordy came up with the H-D-H title as a sop to H-D-H, who were well on their way to Total Disgruntlement.

    I own that Jane Olivor album, and I’d totally forgotten that track.

    The story goes that “Stay With Me” was recorded to get some use out of the orchestra after Sinatra canceled a session. (I’ve seen it only on Warner Bros. 5850 and various compilations, but the writers had contacts elsewhere — George David Weiss was on everyone’s speed-dial at RCA Victor — so it may have sneaked out of somewhere else as a demo or even an acetate.)

    I have a rotating list of about 100 songs that will almost always break me up. Then again, I have an odd breakup threshold, as you’ll find if you give a listen to “Second Go” by Lights.

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