When Love Breaks Down

"When Love Breaks Down" is a single by English pop band Prefab Sprout, released by Kitchenware Records in 1984. It was the first single taken from their album of that year, Steve McQueen. On its first release, the single did not chart in the UK Singles Chart, but it was reissued in 1985, reaching No. 25.[1] The song was also the group's first chart appearance in the United States, peaking at No. 42 on the Billboard Top Rock Tracks chart in October 1985.[2]

"When Love Breaks Down"
Single by Prefab Sprout
from the album Steve McQueen
  • "Diana" (first release)
  • "The Yearning Loins" (reissue)
Released1984 (first release)
1985 (reissue)
2007 (acoustic version)
Recorded1984, RAK Studios, London
GenreSynthpop, pop rock, new wave
Length3:40 (single edit)
4:08 (UK Steve McQueen album version)
3:44 (US Two Wheels Good version)
Songwriter(s)Paddy McAloon
Producer(s)Phil Thornalley
Prefab Sprout singles chronology
"Don't Sing"
"When Love Breaks Down"
"Faron Young"


When Love Breaks Down (reissue)

Johnny Johnny

"When Love Breaks Down" was recorded and mixed at RAK Studios, London. The song was re-released in March 2007, this time with an entirely new acoustic arrangement, recorded in 2006 by frontman Paddy McAloon to coincide with the two-disc Legacy Edition of Steve McQueen.[3]

The B-side to the original single release was "Diana", which would later be re-recorded and included on the album Protest Songs (which was originally going to be released after Steve McQueen but was shelved until 1989).

Cover versionsEdit

The song has been covered by many artists including the Zombies, E'voke, Kate Walsh, Lisa Stansfield, Portastatic and Snow Patrol.

In popular cultureEdit

The song appeared in Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City's fictional radio station, Vice City FM.


  1. ^ "When Love Breaks Down". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 29 April 2015.
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2008). Joel Whitburn presents Rock Tracks 1981-2008. Menomonee Falls, Wis.: Record Research. p. 199. ISBN 9780898201741.
  3. ^ "New Releases". Prefab Sprout. Retrieved 2012-01-08.

External linksEdit