Wednesday, June 20, 2018

"Test of Time" by The Romantics

Song#:  2440
Date:  08/31/1985
Debut:  90
Peak:  71
Weeks:  6
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  This Detroit band hit it big with the #3 hit "Talking in Your Sleep," the lead single from their fourth album In Heat. That gold album set them up well for their next effort titled Rhythm Romance. This first single was issued out but it barely got any attention. It spent a few weeks near the bottom of the Pop chart while only getting to #44 at Rock. A follow-up single, "Mystified," failed to reach either chart, but did briefly make the Dance chart at #42. In turn, the album did not sell well and it stalled early at #77. Unfortunately, the news was going to get worse for the band (see below) and as a result, this song would be their last to reach the Pop chart.

ReduxReview:  The Romantics had a knack for creating solid, catchy power pop tunes and when they really hit the mark as with "Talking" or "What I Like About You," they were awesome. However, something happened when they wrote and recorded Rhythm Romance. The songs lacked punch, the production lacked crunch, and the band nearly sounded out to lunch. This Motown-ish first single sounds lethargic. I think there might be a decent song here, but the band just doesn't sound all that into it and the production is fairly wimpy. This wasn't the album they needed after In Heat. A change in producers and some outside songwriters might have been helpful at this point to keep their career hot. Unfortunately, the band quickly cooled off with this tepid outing.

ReduxRating:  4/10

Trivia:  Not long after the band finished up a tour in support of Rhythm Romance, they discovered that their management had been profiting for years off of their works without their knowledge. Apparently, when the young band (with zero music biz experience) signed the agreement with their managers, it allowed the band members to get the royalties from any songwriting, but the money from mechanical royalties and publishing/administrative rights went to the managers. This was a huge mistake and the band basically lost control over their own catalog and didn't even realize it. You'd think a lawyer would have caught this for them, but alas, they used the same lawyer that worked for the managers, so that didn't help. When it all finally came to the surface, the band sued their now-former management. Yet doing this came with a cost. Due to aspects of the legal battle, the band was prevented from recording and releasing any new music until the suit was settled. Unfortunately, the suit lasted nearly seven years and that basically ruined their career. The band would be successful in the end gaining back their catalog and rights, but any royalties prior to the suit were long gone thanks to the managers squandering the funds, so it is doubtful they will see a penny of back settlement royalty pay.


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