♫ Break Up To Make Up ♫

A few days ago in a conversation with David, he mentioned in passing a song called ‘Make Up to Break Up’ and said he thought it was by The Stylistics.  It vaguely rang a bell with me, so I trotted over to Google to find it and listen.  Well, the song is actually Break Up to Make Up and David was right, it is by The Stylistics.  Now, I love the Stylistics, have played their music at least a few times here before, but I’ve never played this one, for while I don’t dislike it, it isn’t my favourite — a bit too slow for my tastes, I think.  Thus, it would have ended there and you would be seeing an entirely different song tonight, but … once I listened to it, I found it stuck in my head … even in my sleep!  Only … I kept singing it backward, as “make up to break up …”  So, if you like this one, thank David, and if you hate it, you can blame him!

Unfortunately, I don’t have much background trivia about this song, but I do have a bit of background about The Stylistics.  The Philadelphia soul group formed in 1968 and achieved their greatest success in the 1970s.  The original lineup was comprised of singers Russell Thompkins Jr., Herb Murrell, Airrion Love, James Smith, and James Dunn. All of their US hits were ballads characterized by the falsetto of Russell Thompkins Jr. and the production of Thom Bell.

In 1974, the year after Break Up to Make Up, Thom Bell stopped working with the Stylistics and the group began to struggle after that.  Their U.S. success began to wane, while their popularity in Europe, and especially the United Kingdom, increased.  Their single, Can’t Give You Anything (But My Love) went to #1 in the UK, but only reached #51 in the U.S.

In 1980 the group reunited with Thom Bell and signed with Philadelphia International Records subsidiary TSOP Records. They released the single Hurry Up This Way Again that year which brought them back into the R&B Top 20 (peaking at #18).  Both James Dunn and James Smith departed due to conflicts over the direction of the group. The group continued, recruiting new member Raymond Johnson. But Johnson departed in 1985, leaving the group a trio. Love, Murrell and Thompkins continued to tour until 2000, when Russell Thompkins, Jr. left the group.

Released in February 1973, this was written by Thom Bell, Linda Creed, and Kenneth Gamble.  The song hit #5 in the U.S., #34 in the UK, and only #37 in Canada.  It was also recorded in the same year by Johnny Mathis, and though I much prefer The Stylistics version, I will offer both here.

Break up to Make Up
The Stylistics

Tell me what’s wrong with you now, tell me why I
Never seem to make you happy though heaven knows I try
What does it take to please you? Tell me just how
I can satisfy you woman, you’re drivin’ me wild

Break up to make up, that’s all we do
First you love me then you hate me
That’s a game for fools
Break up to make up that’s all we do
First you love me then you hate me
That’s a game for fools

When I come home from workin’, you’re on the phone
Talkin’ about how bad I treat you, now tell me I’m wrong
You say it’s me who argues, I’ll say it’s you
We have got to get together or baby, we’re through

Break up to make up, that’s all we do
First you love me then you hate me
That’s a game for fools
Break up to make up, that’s all we do
Yeah, first you love me then you hate me
That’s a game for fools

Break up to make up, that’s all we do
Yeah, first you love me then you hate me
That’s a game for fools

Break up to make up, that’s all we do
First you love me then you hate me
That’s a game for fools

Source: Musixmatch
Songwriters: Kenny Gamble / Thom Bell / Linda Creed
Break up to Make Up lyrics © Warner-tamerlane Publishing Corp.

18 thoughts on “♫ Break Up To Make Up ♫

  1. Oh yeah….another good one, Jill ! I saw Johnny Mathias in person… at the Garden State Art’s Center… in New Jersey. I couldn’t get anyone to go with me (my friends weren’t into him), and I didn’t have a ticket. I was going to try and buy one at the ticket office. I was 17 or18 . When I got there, a security guard gave me a ticket. I was three rows back… center! Johnny Mathias had a full orchestra and wore a tuxedo. He was FANTASTIC! Can’t remember if he sang, BREAK UP to MAKE UP, though. Loved the Stylistics singing it, too! Thanks for sharing. Great memories! 💙

    Liked by 4 people

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