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The Best Heartbreak Albums For Men

Culture

Nobody is saying that playing some tunes will solve your problems, but certain music can help you through the toughest times. Here are 15 of the best heartbreak albums. This isn't about 'cheering you up', it's about reflection.

01
Spiritualized heartbreak record

'Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space' - Spiritualized

One of the greatest break-up albums of all time, this settles itself into a flotation tank of loneliness. A tear jerker for sure, but there’s something about it that makes you think of larger designs, higher purposes, and eventual healing. Buy

02
Sonic Youth heartbreak record

'Daydream Nation' - Sonic Youth

There’s something about the dense atmosphere of this record that is both abstract and rawly thrilling. One you can really live inside for as long as you need to, gathering your strength while imagining a new Self as a New York bar-room poet. Buy

03

'I Put A Spell On You' - Nina Simone

Stark and unflinching, beautiful but confrontational. Someone who has suffered through life’s troubles and howls her way through it with that quite unbelievable voice. Buy

04
Iggy Pop The Idiot

'The Idiot' - Iggy Pop

The most intense Iggy album, the first dark fruits of the working relationship between him and Bowie. Recorded amidst the glamourous squalor of Cold War Berlin, its electronica pulse and layers of sounds make it essential for those long walks with your headphones on. Buy

05
Help! The Beatles

'Help!' - The Beatles

Famously the title song was a genuine cry for help from a John Lennon exhausted by Beatlemania. Their first slide away from pop, it has the narcotic despair of ‘Ticket To Ride’, and ‘You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away’, which may just be the greatest song about a man’s inability to express his feelings. Buy

06
Patti Smith heartbreak record

'Horses' - Patti Smith

Where Patti delves into the darkest depths of emotions, and emerges triumphant, even exultant. “Jesus died for somebody’s sins, but not mine,” she drawls. We defy you not to end this record on your feet with life swelling back up inside you. Buy

07
Nick Cave heartbreak record

'The Boatman's Call' - Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

The break-up album to end all break-up albums, it nevertheless never loses touch with strands of hope. The moment when ‘Are you the one I’ve been waiting for?’ peaks then falls ends on a devastating truth about love: “Stars have their moment, then they die.” Buy

08
Robert Johnson heartbreak record

'The Complete Recordings' - Robert Johnson

The most mythical of all the bluesman, the guy who sold his soul to the devil at the crossroads and developed incredible musicianship overnight. Absolute tosh of course, but you can see why the rumours started – his music is uncanny. These quite primitive recordings only add to the mystery - it sounds like they’ve been beamed in from outer space. Buy

09
Cat Power heartbreak record

'The Covers Record' - Cat Power

Hard to pick highlights, as it all gets right under your skin, but her version of The Velvet Underground’s “I Found a Reason’, might be it. “What comes is better, than what went before.” Which is all you need to hear, really. Buy

10
Velvet Underground record

'The Velvet Underground' - The Velvet Underground

As such, let’s just get the whole of the album ‘I Found a Reason’ came from. This is the quietest Velvets album, but just as effective as their noisy ones. In fact, it’s probably the most intimate album you’ll ever here, and one for all those people who think Lou Reed was just a moody dude in leather. Buy

11
Nick Drake heartbreak record

'Pink Moon' - Nick Drake

During his short life, Nick had a problem with speaking to people, which is a common theme at The Book of Man, about men’s silence and the damage it can do. But his voice found its way out through his music, and it is unforgettable. Pink Moon is hard to listen to in places but is ultimately a special experience for anyone seeking solace. Buy

12
Baxter Duty heartbreak record

'Prince of Tears' - Baxter Dury

Dury is great company for a wallow in introspection, particularly if you have done some sinful things as part of the fall-out from your break-up. Oh Christ, the horror, the horror… Buy

13
Miles Davis record

'A Kind of Blue' - Miles Davis

Entry level jazz, which is the best kind of jazz. It’s kind of made for waking up in an empty bed, putting on the coffee and standing barefoot onto the replacement ‘pizza partner’ you made last night. Buy

14

'Back To Black' - Amy Winehouse

A bit of time has passed since her death, and going back to this with a bit of distance from all the tabloid muck-raking allows you to see what a classic this is. What a performer. Utterly heartbreaking. Buy

15

'In the Wee Small Hours' - Frank Sinatra

Yeah this is absolutely bleeding obvious, but it is absolutely bleeding brilliant. One of Iggy Pop’s faves, and an instant way for your heartbreak to suddenly be rendered as cinematic. Which helps. Buy

Require something more upbeat? Here’s the 20 Best Alternative Summer Albums.

Tom Wolfe writer

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