If you're a prospective guitarist with a love for the music of the 1960s, you're in for a treat. Neil Sedaka, a legendary artist of that era, has left an indelible mark on the music world with his catchy, up-tempo, and vibrant songs that are perfect for sing-alongs around the campfire or in your favorite pub. In this musical journey, we'll delve into the songs of Neil Sedaka world, exploring his remarkable career, his most famous songs, albums, and even provide you with some chords and lyrics to help you play his timeless tunes. So grab your guitar, and let's get started!
Below are several great Neil Sedaka songs you can easily learn on the acoustic. View my demos and download the free .pdf chord sheets.
I've included Neil Sedaka album covers so you know where each song originated. If you need or want to purchase the full lesson, it's available for a few bucks or less with a bulk purchase.
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Neil Sedaka is an American pop singer, songwriter, and pianist who rose to prominence in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Born on March 13, 1939, in Brooklyn, New York, Sedaka showed an early aptitude for music and began his classical piano training at the age of eight. His talent and passion for music soon led him to a career that would span decades.
Neil Sedaka's career has been a colorful journey filled with remarkable achievements and contributions to the world of music. Here are some of the highlights:
Early Success: Neil Sedaka's career took off when he partnered with lyricist Howard Greenfield. Together, they wrote numerous hit songs, including "Stupid Cupid" and "Breaking Up Is Hard to Do."
Chart-Topping Hits: Sedaka scored numerous chart-topping hits in the late 1950s and early 1960s, including "Calendar Girl," "Oh! Carol," and "Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen."
Resurgence: In the 1970s, Neil Sedaka experienced a resurgence in his career with hits like "Laughter in the Rain" and "Bad Blood."
Songwriting Icon: He is not only known for his own performances but is also recognized as a prolific songwriter for other artists.
Awards and Honors: Neil Sedaka has received numerous awards and honors throughout his career, including induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
Now that you have a glimpse of Neil Sedaka's impressive career, let's dive into some of his most famous songs and albums.
Breaking Up Is Hard To Do is from the writing duo of Neil Sedaka and Howard Greenfield in 1962, and it became one of Sedaka's signature hits. It was released twice: first as a slow ballad, and later in an up-tempo doo-wop arrangement.
The song is a classic example of Sedaka's pop style, featuring his distinctive tenor vocals and catchy melodies. The lyrics describe the difficulty of ending a romantic relationship and the pain of heartbreak. The song's memorable chorus, with its repeated phrase "breaking up is hard to do," became an anthem for anyone going through a difficult breakup.
The song was a commercial success, reaching No. 1 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1962, and also charting well in other countries. It was one of several hits that Sedaka had in the early 1960s, including "Calendar Girl" and "Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen".
In 1975, Sedaka recorded a new version of the song, which reached No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100. The new version was recorded in a more contemporary style, with a disco beat and backing vocals by the female group, The Tokens.
"Breaking Up Is Hard to Do" has since become a classic and has been covered by numerous artists over the years, including The Carpenters, Lenny Welch, and even a reggae version by The Paragons. It remains a popular choice for radio stations, TV shows, and movies.
One of Neil Sedaka's signature songs, "Breaking Up Is Hard to Do," captures the essence of youthful heartbreak. Its catchy melody and relatable lyrics make it a favorite among guitarists looking to strike a chord with their audience.
Calendar Girl was written by Neil Sedaka and Howard Greenfield and recorded by Sedaka in 1960. The song became a hit, reaching No. 4 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart.
"Calendar Girl" is an upbeat and infectious tune that will have everyone singing along. With its lively tempo and memorable melody, it's a must-know for any guitarist who wants to keep the good times rolling.
The song is a classic example of Sedaka's early pop style, featuring his distinctive tenor vocals and catchy melodies. The lyrics tell the story of a man who loves a woman so much that he compares her to his "calendar girl," the woman who appears in his calendar every month. The song has a light and upbeat feel, capturing the excitement of young love.
"Calendar Girl" was one of several hits that Sedaka had in the early 1960s, including "Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen" and "Breaking Up Is Hard to Do." The song remains a favorite among fans of Sedaka's music and is often included on compilations of his greatest hits.
In addition to its success on the charts, "Calendar Girl" has been featured in numerous films and TV shows, and has been covered by several other artists over the years.
Happy Birthday Sweet 16 was released while Neil Sedaka and Carole King were good friends and went to high school together and in 1961. If you're in a celebratory mood, "Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen" is the song to play. It radiates a joyful, sing-along feeling that's perfect for any birthday party or special occasion.
It was pretty close to two songs King had penned which were Take Good Care Of My Baby by Bobby Vee and One Fine Day by The Chiffons. The song reached #6 in the US and #3 in the UK.
The song was written by Sedaka and Howard Greenfield, who were one of the most successful songwriting duos of the era.
It's a classic example of Sedaka's early pop style, with his distinctive tenor vocals and catchy melodies. The lyrics tell the story of a young man who is in love with a girl who is turning sixteen, and he wishes her a happy birthday and expresses his desire to be with her.
"Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen" was a commercial success, reaching No. 6 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. It was one of several hits that Sedaka had in the early 1960s, including "Breaking Up Is Hard to Do" and "Calendar Girl".
The song has since become a classic and is often played at birthday parties and other celebrations. It has also been covered by numerous artists over the years, including Connie Francis and The Crests.
The song is found on the "Neil Sedaka Sings His Greatest Hits" album.
Laughter In The Rain had already been released by singer Lea Roberts on the radio when Neil Sedaka phoned Elton John and asked that his label, Rocket Records, put a rush on the Neil version, as they were sure the song was going to be big.
This song was written by Neil Sedaka and Phil Cody, and recorded by Sedaka in 1974. The song was a comeback hit for Sedaka, who had experienced a lull in his career during the late 1960s and early 1970s. "Laughter in the Rain" became a major hit, reaching No. 1 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart.
The song is a classic example of Sedaka's pop style, featuring his signature catchy melodies and upbeat lyrics. "Laughter in the Rain" tells the story of a man who recalls a romantic encounter he had with a woman on a rainy night, and how that memory still brings him joy and happiness. "Laughter in the Rain," showcases his enduring talent for crafting melodic pop songs. This song's breezy vibe is perfect for a relaxing jam session by the campfire.
Sedaka's version of "Laughter in the Rain" features lush orchestration, with a prominent piano and string section. Sedaka's smooth vocals and the song's infectious melody helped to make it a hit, and it remains one of his best-known songs today.
In addition to its chart success, "Laughter in the Rain" won a Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance in 1975. It has been covered by several other artists over the years, but Sedaka's version remains the definitive one.
Songwriter Phil Cody smoked a joint, fell asleep under a tree and awoke to write the lyrics to this song in about five minutes.
Next Door to an Angel is from Neil Sedaka and Howard Greenfield, and recorded by Sedaka in 1962. The song was released as a single and became a hit, peaking at No. 5 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart.
The song is a classic example of Sedaka's early pop style, featuring his distinctive tenor vocals and catchy melodies. "Next Door to an Angel" tells the story of a teenage boy who has a crush on a girl who lives next door. The boy dreams of being with her and imagines what it would be like to be her boyfriend. The song has a sweet and innocent feel that captures the essence of young love.
"Next Door to an Angel" was one of several hits that Sedaka had in the early 1960s, including "Calendar Girl," "Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen," and "Breaking Up Is Hard to Do." The song remains a favorite among fans of Sedaka's music and is often included on compilations of his greatest hits.
What a Surprise is from his 1978 album "All You Need Is Music."
"What a Surprise" is a mid-tempo pop song that features Sedaka's trademark catchy melody and upbeat lyrics. In the song, Sedaka sings about unexpectedly falling in love and being surprised by his feelings.
The song was not released as a single, but it remains a favorite among fans of Sedaka's music.
There was also no music video released for this song.
Neil Sedaka's albums are a treasure trove of musical gems. Here are a few that encapsulate the essence of his career:
Neil Sedaka's music is not just for entertainment; it's also a fascinating subject for academic or professional exploration. If you're interested in diving deeper into his work, you can consider:
Neil Sedaka's songs have a vibrant, up-tempo, and fun-loving quality that continues to captivate audiences of all ages. Whether you're a weekend pub musician or a campfire enthusiast, his music offers the perfect soundtrack for those moments of musical camaraderie. So, pick up your guitar, strum along to his timeless tunes, and let the happy feelings and sing-along vibes of Neil Sedaka's music transport you to a bygone era of musical magic.
Thanks for stopping by my songs of Neil Sedaka page for the acoustic guitar and I hope you found the info here useful in helping you learning the best Neil Sedaka songs on acoustic. Enjoy the journey, and happy playing!