All Cried Out Mix

Minor chords and melodrama. Stories of heartache and loss. Sad songs require few ingredients to reach full effect, and often less is more (although sweeping string arrangements are always appreciated). I  like my sad songs devastating– the ones that REALLY floor you. Here are 25 of my most heart-wrenching favorites. Unsurprisingly the list leans heavily on the females, although a few men have been thrown in for good measure (couldn’t leave out the Cryin’ Shames “Please Stay,” possibly the saddest song on record). I’ve included Chicago’s “If You Leave Me Now” for its flawless, tear-inducing verse, but I’m always disappointed that it loses its sorrowful way soon after.

I always keep a devastating mix handy, incase the mood turns blue and I really want to immerse myself in sadness. I often did this as a teenager. When I found myself alone at home, I’d grab all my saddest records (Kix “Don’t Close Your Eyes,” Skid Row “Quicksand Jesus,” Ozzy Osbourne “You’re No Different,” metal bands were masters of melodrama!), sit by the window sill and listen in the dark. A few weeks ago a bunch of friends rented a house near Woodstock, and brought in a karaoke machine (Ed Blythe, you are a genius). In the morning I began with Skeeter Davis’ “The End of the World.” Maya followed with “The Rose,” and thus began a session of singing sad songs. Somehow sad songs can tap into unique emotions, and I guess I quite like feeling them. 

I’d love to expand this mix, so please feel free to use the comments section to share your own favorites. 


1. Jody Miller: How Do You Say Goodbye
2. Betty Lavette: Let Me Down Easy
3. The Cryin’ Shames: Please Stay
4. France Gall: J’entends Cette Musique
5. Tina Britt: I Love You More Than You’ll Ever Know
6. The Shangri Las: Past, Present And Future
7. Franc?oise Hardy: Ma Jeunesse Fout Le Camp
8. Kiki Dee: Patterns
9. The Flying Burrito Brothers: Hot Burrito, No. 1
10. Evie Sands: Maybe Tomorrow
11. Saint Etienne: Hate Your Drug
12. Sheila Ferguson: Don’t Leave Me Lover
13. Cilla Black: I’ve Been Wrong Before
14. Irma Thomas: I’m Gonna Cry Till My Tears Run Dry
15. Sylvie Vartan: Par Amour, Par Pitié
16. Gwen Stacey: Lonely Girl
17. Chicago: If You Leave Me Now
18. The Bachs Lunch: You Go On
19. Jackie Trent: Either Way I Lose
20. Bessie Banks: Go Now
21. Kim Davis: Tell It Like It Is
22. Romy Schneider & Michel Piccoli: La Chanson D’Helene
23. Miki Nakatani: Kowareta Kokoro
24. The Cardigans: No Sleep
25. Ennio Morricone: Lontano

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