25Noah And The Whale, ‘The First Days Of Spring’ (Vertigo)
Bursting onto the scene together in 2007 as the proverbial king and queen of Nu-Folk, Laura Marling’s split with Charlie Fink of Noah and The Whale broke hearts all over Hoxton. Fink responded with ‘The First Days Of Spring’, a self help breakup guide that saw him graciously confess on ‘Slow Glass’ to still being Marling’s “biggest fan.”
24Coldplay, ‘Ghost Stories’ (Parlophone)
Chris Martin revealed that this 2014 LP was partly inspired by his split with actress Gwyneth Paltrow, telling BBC Radio 1 “I don’t want to go through life being scared of it, being scared of love, being scared of rejection, being scared of failure”.
23Los Campesinos!, ‘Hello Sadness’ (Wichita)
Cardiff six piece Los Campesinos! had finished writing their 2011 album ‘Hello Sadness’ and were gearing up to record it when lead singer Gareth split with Rebecca Taylor of Slow Club. His heartbreak led him to Spain, where he proceeded to rewrite the entire album’s lyrics to reflect the doomed relationship.
22Marvin Gaye, ‘Here, My Dear’ (Tamla)
Written whilst Gaye was dealing with the financial hardships of divorcing his wife, Anna Gordy, ‘Here, My Dear’ was initially a critical and commercial failure that reversed its fortunes after Gaye’s 1984 death. The record was completed in three months, but got delayed whilst Gaye battled in court with Gordy over the 50% royalty share she was trying to claim.
21Ben Gibbard, ‘Former Lives’ (Barsuk)
As frontman of Death Cab For Cutie, Ben Gibbard made his name as a songwriter capable of turning relationship disaster into musical legend. Debut solo record ‘Former Lives’ was inspired by his split with Zooey Deschanel, whom he married in 2009. Despite the pair’s fall out, Deschanel featured as a guest musician on the record and the pair remain friends
20Justin Timberlake, ‘Justified’ (Jive)
At face value, Justin Timberlake’s 2004 debut is just another slick pop/RnB hybrid, but under the surface lurks some truly dark songwriting, inspired by the singer's split with Britney Spears. ‘Cry Me A River’ tells the tale of her infidelity with choreographer Wade Robson in startling honesty: add that menacing video and you get payback in its sweetest form.
19The Mountain Goats, ‘Get Lonely’ (4AD)
Following on from 2005’s gut wrenching ‘The Sunset Tree’, which depicted struggles with an abusive stepfather, The Mountain Goats added to the anguish with tenth record ‘Get Lonely’ that addressed the pressures of a break up and the aftermath of emotional recovery.
18Robyn, ‘Body Talk’ (Konichiwa)
Spawning several successful singles, Body Talk was the result of a three mini-album experiment that saw Swedish pop star Robyn tackle the many perils of a modern relationship, with a little help from an all-star line up including Diplo and Snoop Dogg. Standout single ‘Dancing On My Own’ has become a break up anthem in its own right, featuring on season 1 on HBO’s Girls.
17Taylor Swift, ‘Red’ (Big Machine)
With tracks metaphorically bitch-slapping various A-list exes (‘I Knew You Were Trouble’ is said to be inspired by Harry Styles, ‘We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together’ a gleeful middle finger to Jake Gyllenhaal), Taylor Swift’s ‘Red’ is an audible diary entry for the Tumblr generation, turning her from country starlet into pop icon.
16Alanis Morrisette, ‘Jagged Little Pill’ (Maverick)
With the majority of the tracks penned about unfaithful boyfriends and relationship pressure, ‘Jagged Little Pill’ displayed Alanis Morrisette most angst-ridden material. She cites producer Glen Ballard as the main driving force behind the record, encouraging her to use the music as a way of confronting her issues with panic attacks and anxiety.