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Top 10 Love Songs: Breakup Songs

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Love songs are a fundamental part of pop music. Most of us can think of particular songs we associate with the love relationships of our lives. In the fourth of a 5 part series on love songs, here are the top 10 love songs for when things just don't work out. Songs are listed in alphabetical order by the name of the artist.

10. Abba - "Knowing Me, Knowing You" (1977)

ABBA - "Knowing Me Knowing You"
Courtesy Polar Music

The majestic pop of Abba is particularly effective here detailing the walk through an empty house and memories of "old familiar rooms children would play in" when a relationship has come to an end.

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9. Cher - "Believe" (1999)

Cher - Believe
Courtesy Warner Bros.

Cher is someone with a bit of firsthand experience at relationships coming to an end. "Believe" is an inspirational dance classic providing encouragement to make it through the pain. It became the biggest hit of Cher's long career.

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8. Bruno Mars - "Grenade" (2010)

Bruno Mars - Doo-Wops and Hooligans
Courtesy Elektra

Bruno Mars details a woman who just can't seem to reciprocate in a relationship. The song is filled with the pain of a love gone bad. It was a second consecutive #1 for Bruno Mars as a lead solo artist.

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7. Greg Kihn Band - "The Breakup Song" (1981)

The Greg Kihn Band - "The Breakup Song"
Courtesy Beserkley

With this breakup classic Greg Kihn reminded us there is a certain numbness in the aftermath of a relationship folding. "Now I wind up staring at an empty glass...Cause it's so easy to say that you'll forget your past." The song is irresistibly catchy and heartbreaking at the same time.

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6. Alanis Morissette - "You Oughta Know" (1995)

Alanis Morissette - You Oughta Know
Courtesy Maverick Records

Barely out of her teens Alanis Morissette recorded one of the most brilliant evocations ever of blinding anger in the face of being dumped. The lyrics drip with a sense of more than we wanted to know...in Alanis' anguished voice you can almost feel her scratch her nails down someone's back.

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5. Whitney Houston - "I Will Always Love You" (1992)

Whitney Houston - "I Will Always Love You"
Courtesy Arista

This is the ultimate anthem for star-crossed love. Dolly Parton wrote and recorded the first version. Then Whitney Houston, as a theme for the movie The Bodyguard, turned the song into a smash pop hit.

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4. Righteous Brothers - "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" (1965)

Righteous Brothers - You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'
Courtesy Polygram

Generations of lovers have been on the lookout for the moment at which you no longer close your eyes during a kiss due to this song. Rarely has the pain of a breakup ever been more beautiful than in the voices of the Righteous Brothers.

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3. Carole King - "It's Too Late" (1971)

Carole King - Tapestry
Courtesy Ode

Carole King nearly singlehandedly launched the early 70's singer-songwriter movement with this song. "Something inside has died and I can't hide and I just can't fake it." The clarity in King's lyric is stark but beautiful.

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2. Paul Simon - "50 Ways To Leave Your Lover" (1976)

Paul Simon - "50 Ways To Leave Your Lover"
Courtesy Warner Bros.

This is probably one of the most cerebral and witty breakup songs ever. The lyric unfolds like a mini-movie with the clever rhymed refrain. The song is still fascinating 30 years later.

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1. Gloria Gaynor - "I Will Survive" (1979)

Gloria Gaynor - Love Tracks
Courtesy Polydor

Almost anyone leaving a long-term relationship can relate to "I Will Survive's" opening lines, "First I was afraid, I was petrified." It's a visceral description of the shock and fear, but, as disco beats sweep in, "I Will Survive" becomes one of the greatest pick-me-ups in the history of breakup songs.

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