Each Time You Break My Heart

Album: Nick Kamen (1986)
Charted: 5
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • In this synth-pop ballad, Nick Kamen struggles to hang onto his relationship with a girl who keeps breaking his heart. The first single from his debut album, it was originally intended for Madonna's True Blue album but didn't make the cut. At the time, Kamen was a hot commodity after appearing in a steamy Levi's ad where he stripped down to his boxers in a British Laundromat to the tune of Marvin Gaye's "I Heard It Through the Grapevine."

    Madonna, Kamen's label-mate at Sire Records, wanted to work with the British model-turned-singer but couldn't find the time. She was busy shooting her movie Who's That Girl, so she gave him this song, which she wrote with her frequent collaborator Stephen Bray. She also provided backing vocals on the track.
  • Peaking at #5, this was Kamen's biggest hit in his native UK. In the US, a dance version by remix master Shep Pettibone peaked at #5 on the US Dance Club Songs chart.
  • Although the Levi's commercial made him an overnight sensation, Kamen said his modeling success made it difficult to transition into a music career because people only wanted to see him as the Levi's guy. Kamen only had a few more minor hits following "Each Time You Break My Heart" before falling off the charts completely in the late '80s. "It's still difficult for people to fully accept me as a singer," he explained in a 1989 interview.
  • The music video, directed by Jean-Baptiste Mondino, opens in a near-empty bar on a Wednesday morning at 4 a.m. Kamen takes the stage to perform the song for the few sleepy stragglers. That same year, Mondino directed the clip for Madonna's "Open Your Heart."
  • In a 1986 interview with BBC Radio One, Madonna said she was attracted by Kamen's charisma and beautiful voice.
  • Produced by Stewart Levine (who helmed the 1982 chart-topper "Up Where We Belong" by Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes), the retro R&B-styled album also featured covers of Sam Cooke's "Win Your Love" and The Four Tops' "Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever."
  • Nick Kamen died on May 4, 2021 after a long battle with bone marrow cancer. He was 59.

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Grateful Dead Characters

Grateful Dead CharactersMusic Quiz

Many unusual folks appear in Grateful Dead songs. Can you identify them?

David Paich of Toto

David Paich of TotoSongwriter Interviews

Toto's keyboard player explains the true meaning of "Africa" and talks about working on the Thriller album.

Little Big Town

Little Big TownSongwriter Interviews

"When seeds that you sow grow by the wicked moon/Be sure your sins will find you out/Your past will hunt you down and turn to tell on you."

Zakk Wylde

Zakk WyldeSongwriter Interviews

When he was playing Ozzfest with Black Label Society, a kid told Zakk he was the best Ozzy guitarist - Zakk had to correct him.

Victoria Williams

Victoria WilliamsSongwriter Interviews

Despite appearances on Carson, Leno and a Pennebaker film, Williams remains a hidden treasure.

Ramones

RamonesFact or Fiction

A band so baffling, even their names were contrived. Check your score in the Ramones version of Fact or Fiction.