Thursday, November 18, 2021

"Don't Break My Heart" by Romeo's Daughter

Song#:  3678
Date:  10/15/1988
Debut:  94
Peak:  73
Weeks:  7
Genre:  Pop, Rock

Pop Bits:  Olga Lange, the second wife of famed songwriter/producer Robert John "Mutt" Lange, happened to be in a pub outside of London and heard a band called Arctic Fox. She was drawn to them and approached them about becoming their manager. The band bit due in part to her connections. Of course changes ensued and eventually the two main contributors to the band, Craig Joiner and Tony Mitman, were singled out and paired with singer Leigh Matty, who won the spot via an audition. The new trio became Romeo's Daughter and to help record some demos, Lange cashed in one of her connections and brought in John Parr to produce. The demos helped get the band signed to Jive Records and by that time, Mutt Lange got interested in the trio and decided to co-write/produce several tracks for their self-titled debut album. This first single was issued out and it started to gain some attention, but then could only make it about a quarter of the way up the Pop chart. The album would then make a brief appearance at #191. A second single failed to chart and with those results, the trio was left off of Jive's roster. They would return with an indie album in 1993, but nothing much came from it and the band would later split.

ReduxReview:  With Mutt Lange on board, I knew this song would sound great and indeed it does. It sounds huge and not out of line with the work he did with Def Leppard. The song is good too. It's a hooky, radio-ready track that should have gotten more attention. I wouldn't say it was Top 10 worthy, but it certainly should have cracked the Top 40. Joiner and Mitman had a knack for writing solid rock tunes, but having Lange come in to help shape them into something more immediate and radio friendly was certainly lucky. The fact that other artists ended up covering tracks from this semi-obscure LP (see below) is a tell-tale sign that the trio were on to something. Unfortunately, it just didn't pan out for them on the charts.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  Although the trio's debut album didn't sell well, several songs from the LP would find their way to other artists. Heart would record "Wild Child" for their 1990 album Brigade. The song would not be an official single, but it picked up enough airplay to reach #3 on the Rock chart. "Heaven in the Back Seat" would be recorded by Eddie Money for his 1991 album Right Here. It would be the lead single from the album and get to #6 Rock/#58 Pop. Bonnie Tyler would record "I Cry Myself to Sleep at Night" for her 1992 album Angel Heart. The track would not be issued out as a single. Popular British dance-pop group Steps would cover "Stay with Me Tonight" for their 1998 debut album Step One. It would not be released as a single. All four tracks were co-written by Mutt Lange, Joiner, and Mitman with Matty helping on one.


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