Top 10... - November 18, 2016

Little Mix's Glory Days (and 10 of the best breakup songs)
by James
James
by James hmv London, Bio "Like the legend of the Phoenix, I've just eaten a whole packet of chocolate HobNobs..." Editor, hmv.com

Little Mix's Glory Days (and 10 of the best breakup songs)

Just one year on from their third album, 2015's Get Weird, Little Mix return this week with album number four. Glory Days arrives in stores today (Friday November 18th) and finds Perrie, Jesy, Leigh-Anne and Jade delivering another 12 tracks of polished pop produced by Norwegian duo Electric, aka Henrik Michelsen and Edvard Førre Erfjord, the men behind other Little Mix hits including 'Black Magic', one of the highlights from Get Weird and the group's third Number One single in the UK.

The new album includes the singles 'F.U', 'Nothing Else Matters' and 'You Gotta Not', the latter written with 'All About That Bass' singer Meghan Trainor, while there's also a guest appearance from Charlie Puth on the song 'Oops'.

It's all about the album's opening salvo though; Glory Days kicks off with the group's lead-off single 'Shout Out to My Ex', the song co-written with their regular writing partner Camille Purcell and aimed squarely at the breakup of Perrie Edwards and her ex-boyfriend, former One Direction star Zayn Malik.

Yep, there's blood on the tracks alright and as a tribute to what might be the year's best kiss-off track, we've rounded up 10 of the best songs about the breakup of a relationship. You can also find the video for the song in question below..

 

'Love Will Tear Us Apart'

Ian Curtis was clearly in a deeply unhappy place when he penned the lyrics to Joy Division's biggest hit, struggling with the pressures of his newfound fame as well as wrestling with his conscience about his own martial infidelity. His lyrics are suitably stark and brutal, but also beautifully articulated: “When routine bites hard / And ambitions are low / And resentment rides high / But emotions won't grow.” In a career that was cut tragically short, this is a standout moment.

 

'Go Your Own Way'

In all honesty, we could have filled this list just using tracks from Fleetwood Mac's seminal 1977 album Rumours, since the entire thing is basically a document of not just one breakup within the band, but two. Judging by some of the album's lyrics, the most bitter of these was the split between singer Stevie Nicks and guitarist Lindsey Buckingham, each of whom took a musical swipe at each other on the album. If 'Dreams' was Nicks' withering critique of Buckingham's behaviour, then 'Go Your Own Way' is the embattled response. Both are great tunes, but for us this one just about edges it.

 

'Train in Vain'

Originally intended as a free giveaway for an NME flexi-disc that never materialised, 'Train in Vain' ended up being the last song recorded during the 'London Calling' sessions. Most fans thought it was intended to be a hidden track since it wasn't listed in the album's liner notes, but in reality the track was recorded after the sleeves had already gone to print, so it was just tacked on to the end of the master tape. Mick Jones, who wrote the track, has always been coy about the song's meaning, but it's widely thought to be about his split from The Slits guitarist Viv Albertine, who once told fanzine Eccentric Sleeve Notes that after she and Mick split “He used to get the train to my place in Shepherds Bush and I would not let him in. He was bleating on the doorstep. That was cruel".

 

'Somebody That I Used To Know'

Belgian-Australian singer-songwriter Gotye will, unfortunately, probably be remembered as a one-hit wonder for this duet with fellow Aussie Kimbra, laying bare the practicalities of a painful relationship breakdown: “You didn't have to stoop so low / Have your friends collect your records and then change your number.” Ouch. Still, the song topped the charts the world over, earned him a Grammy award and a boatload of cash in royalties, so there's that.

 

'Rolling in the Deep'

The fact that Adele's second album 21 is littered with references to the breakdown of a relationship is well documented, but 'Rolling in the Deep' has to be the best of the bunch and it was certainly the album's biggest hit. As songs about heartbreak go, this is up there with the best.

 

'Skinny Love'

Justin Vernon famously spent several months locked away in seclusion at a hunting cabin owned by his father while he was writing and recording what would become Bon Iver's debut album and the whole record has a feeling of loneliness, but 'Skinny Love' is definitely one of the album's highlights.

 

'Back to Black'

Amy Winehouse was undoubtedly an incredibly talented singer, but she was a great lyricist too and her partnership with producer Mark Ronson brought out the best in them both. Her distinctive voice delivers a lyric of heartbreak and regret set to a perfectly-weighted backing track, arranged by Ronson and performed by Sharon Jones' backing band The Dap-Kings.

 

'Cry Me a River'

The breakup of Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears might have been heartbreaking for their fans, but the split did have a silver lining in as much as it coincided with JT's most productive period, thanks in large part to his teaming up with producer Timbaland. That partnership produced several hits for the singer, but 'Cry Me a River', the song aimed at his breakup with his former Mickey Mouse Club co-star, is the best of the bunch.

 

'You Oughta Know'

Ever since Alanis Morissette released this piece of pent-up rage from her 1995 album Jagged Little Pill, there have been rumours about exactly who the song is about, with the most persistent featuring Full House star and comedian Dave Coulier, who dated Morissette in the early 90s. He has issued some rather vague denials over the years and Morissette herself has remained tight-lipped on the subject, although Coulier did confess to recognising the line about being bugged 'in the middle of dinner' when she called him at a restaurant after their split. He was however a little more coy on the subject of whether or not they had participated in a certain act while 'in a theater'...

 

'Song for the Dumped'

As you'll notice from the variety of songs on our list, there are varying degrees of subtlety when it comes to delivering a musical two-fingered salute to your ex, but for pure unadulterated rage it's hard to beat the refrain from Ben Folds Five's 1997 track: “Give me my money back, you bitch”. Featured on the band's second album Whatever and Ever Amen, this is just about as angry as they come.

Glory Days
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