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Splitsville: Breaking Up With Your Favorite Bands

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Clockwise from top left: U2, Neil Young, Weezer, Paula Cole.

Clockwise from top left: U2, Neil Young, Weezer, Paula Cole. Courtesy of the artists hide caption

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This week: the moment it all went wrong, relived in vivid detail. Members of the All Songs Considered crew share stories of hope and heartache as they remember some of the bands they've broken up with over the years and why. NPR Music's Daoud Tyler-Ameen joins co-hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton for the discussion.

Context is everything here, so the three narrowed their picks into four basic categories: bands you swore off entirely and never looked back; bands you simply grew away from with age; bands you no longer follow, but you still remember the good times; and bands you'll stick by no matter what. Prepare for pride-swallowing tales of joy and pain, smooth jazz and second-wave emo, outrage and, ultimately, redemption.

Tell us about your casual hook-up bands, the ones that broke up with you, the ones you secretly long for and more, on the All Songs Considered blog.

Splitville! How We Broke Up With Our Favorite Artists

Cover for All That You Can't Leave Behind

Stuck in a Moment You Can't Get Out Of

  • Artist: U2
  • From: All That You Can't Leave Behind

Winner: In our recent poll, "of all the people who wrote in, U2 was the most broken-up-with band. The worst boyfriends, at least among our audience." -- Daoud Tyler-Ameen

Cover for Nothing Like the Sun


  • Artist: Sting
  • From: Nothing Like the Sun

Band You Broke Up With: "We had an exciting time together. We were in love. But then I realized this just isn't working for me anymore. We broke up. I never go back and listen to any of the old records, and I really don't care if (he) ever does anything ever again. I just don't hear what I used to love. All I hear is the smooth jazz." -- Robin Hilton

Cover for Emerson, Lake & Palmer

The Barbarian

  • Artist: Emerson, Lake & Palmer
  • From: Emerson, Lake & Palmer

Band You Broke Up With: "I went digging through my albums, figuring the best thing I can do is look at the really old stuff. Emerson Lake and Palmer, that first record blew my mind. Stuck with them for a while. (But) now gone." — Bob Boilen

Cover for Make Believe

Beverly Hills

  • Artist: Weezer
  • From: Make Believe

Band You Broke Up with: "First two albums, just all-time favorites. By the time we get to 2005, it was so over. (On 'Beverly Hills') you hear just the worst talk-box guitar solo in the world, kind of a Barry White talk-down thing that happens, just a lot of thudding, ponderous speak-song. Just a disaster." — Daoud Tyler-Ameen

Cover for Welcome to the Monkey House

We Used To Be Friends

  • Artist: The Dandy Warhols
  • From: Welcome to the Monkey House

Remembering The Good Times: "U2 would be one. I still go back and listen to the early records. I still love them even though I don't care if they ever put another record out. But The Dandy Warhols, when Welcome To the Monkey House came out, I thought 'this band and I are going to have long run,' but I just didn't like anything else that they did after." -- Robin Hilton

Cover for Psychomodo


  • Artist: Cockney Rebel
  • From: Psychomodo

Remembering The Good Times: "Reaching through my LP collection, I came across a band I have multiple albums by, a group called Cockney Rebel. In the early 1970s they were one of my top five bands. But I just didn't care for the later albums." — Bob Boilen

Cover for We Shall All Be Healed

Pigs That Ran Straightaway Into The Water, Triumph Of

  • Artist: The Mountain Goats
  • From: We Shall All Be Healed

Remembering The Good Times: "Sometimes the artist goes through a shift either in the way they approach production or songwriting. For me, that moment is the Mountain Goats. I haven't bought a record of theirs since 2005. A record called The Sunset Tree. I just could not get into the record." -- Daoud Tyler-Ameen

Cover for This Fire

Where Have All The Cowboys Gone?

  • Artist: Paula Cole
  • From: This Fire

It's Not You, It's Me (Bands We Grew Apart From): "I (dug) out my old CD books and dusted them off. And this recurring theme that came back at me, just haunting, I realized it was the whole Lilith Fair crowd. It was so painful. I had Shawn Colvin, Jewel, Sarah McLachlan, Indigo Girls, Paula Cole, Beth Orton. I just listened to that music non-stop. And now, maybe I'm not the sensitive, new-age guy that I used to be." -- Robin Hilton

Cover for Kicks 45


  • Artist: Paul Revere & The Raiders
  • From: Kicks 45

It's Not You, It's Me: "We totally grew apart. The group is Paul Revere And The Raiders. On the name alone I shouldn't have loved this stuff. But it wasn't long before I grew out of this pop music. It just wasn't for me anymore. It wasn't them. It was me." — Bob Boilen

Cover for Red Letter Day / Woodson

Mass Pike

  • Artist: The Get Up Kids
  • From: Red Letter Day / Woodson

It's Not You, It's Me: "The difficult thing about this category is that it forces you to look back at the person that you used to be. This is opening some old wounds here. The Get Up Kids broke up in 2005 and got back together. They've got a new album coming out, but no way Jose. I don't think I can bear to look back. But when you hear this song you'll understand why I thought they were speaking directly to me (when I was 16)" -- Daoud Tyler-Ameen

Cover for Songs from The Capeman

Adios Hermanos

  • Artist: Paul Simon
  • From: Songs from The Capeman

Artist You'll Always Stand By: "For me, the artist that no matter what, Paul Simon, I'm going to listen to you forever. He's almost done no wrong for me. Songs From The Capeman, I think it's where most people left Paul Simon. And I thought it was a terrific record." — Bob Boilen

Cover for Living with the Living

La Costa Brava

  • Artist: Ted Leo and the Pharmacists
  • From: Living with the Living

Artist You'll Always Stand By: "If I have a hero in music, it's Ted Leo. A really smart guy. A really admirable work ethic. To me it goes beyond friends. He's gained my trust so much that he almost feels like family. And you don't turn your back on family." — Daoud Tyler-Ameen

Cover for After the Gold Rush

Only Love Can Break Your Heart

  • Artist: Neil Young
  • From: After the Gold Rush

Artist You'll Always Stand By: "I want to set it up by saying he can do no wrong. But the truth is, Neil Young put out some seriously stinky records over the years. But no matter how many stinkers he puts out, I'm going to still be buying them and I want to know what he's doing. It's because everything we had before was so amazing that I can forgive anything." — Robin Hilton


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