Monday, April 11, 2022

"Heaven Knows" by When in Rome

Song#:  3803
Date:  02/18/1989
Debut:  95
Peak:  95
Weeks:  2
Genre:  Synthpop

Pop Bits:  This trio nearly cracked the Pop Top 10 with their single "The Promise." It stalled just shy at the #11 spot (#1 Dance/#45 AC). The hit helped the album sell a few copies and it reach #84. For a follow-up, this next track was selected for release. It did fine on the Dance chart getting to #14, but is would barely be a blip on the Pop chart spending a very short two weeks near the bottom. A third single, "Sight of Your Tears," would miss the Pop chart, but became a minor #40 entry at Dance.

ReduxReview:  When you have such an indelible hit as "The Promise," you better have something just as good or better to follow it up. Unfortunately, When in Rome didn't have that second solid single. This one was probably the best of the bunch, but it wasn't nearly as catchy or memorable as "The Promise." Its minor two weeks on the chart along with the band more or less folding before a second album could be done left the trio as a one-hit wonder of the 80s.

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  In 1990, internal issues within the trio came to a head and vocalists Andrew Mann and Clive Farrington chose to dismiss keyboardist Michael Floreale. Mann and Farrington tried to carry on, but in the end they lost their recording contract. Meanwhile, Floreale had moved to Texas and began working on film and TV music. The two factions kept to themselves and it seemed When in Rome was just a one-hit wonder memory. Then in 2003, Floreale was contacted about the use of "The Promise" in an upcoming film. Floreale reached out to the other two and agreements were made for the song to get used in the 2004 film Napoleon Dynamite. The film became a sleeper hit and it generated renewed interest in "The Promise" and When in Rome. In 2006, Floreale would take advantage of the song's revival and with vocalist John Ceravolo would begin to tour at When in Rome II. A few years later, Mann and Farrington would chose to do the same touring under the name When in Rome UK. That didn't seem to sit well with Floreale who chose to trademark the When in Rome name in 2010. Legal issues would then follow and after the dust settled, Floreale could tour as When in Rome II while his former bandmates had to use the lengthy moniker Farrington+Mann Original Members of When in Rome UK. In 2015, Floreale would release a self-titled album under the When in Rome II name. Both groups remained active touring and would be on the bills of several package tours of 80s artists.



  1. I think "Wide Wide Sea" is their second-best song and should have been the release, but what do I know? Probably wouldn't have mattered. It's not as egregious as "Repetition" as the third single for Information Society though!

    1. The tune was more in-line with "The Promise." I read an interview with one of the band members who thought the song should have been pushed out as a single.

  2. You'd think this would be another case of the first single just being too good but the rest of the album is pretty dull in the end. But hey - they had one great idea!

    1. Yup. This happened to a lot of artists and still does. They write that one really great song that gets them in the door, but then an album comes out and it is loaded with weak, forgettable material. I will say there were a couple of interesting tracks on the LP, but nothing that came remotely close to "The Promise."