City Slang: “The Romantics” revisited

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Since I started doing this City Slang “Revisited” blog every Wednesday evening, the band that I have been getting requests for more than any other is the Romantics. So here we are. Don’t say I don’t listen to y’all.

The question is then, which Romantics album needs to be revisited? The simple answer is, all of them. The Romantics were and are a criminally under-rated band and nearly everything they recorded is worth digging out. The National Breakout album is fantastic.

However, the self-titled album from ’79 is the real gem. It’s also arguably their most popular but still, not nearly enough people have heard this record. And that’s a travesty.

The band sprang out of the blossoming new wave scene of the day, which had in turn evolved out of punk. The Romantics were taking their cues from bands like the Kinks and the Who, just as the Jam were doing across the Atlantic. The Romantics were also taking in the Beatles and those catchy pop hooks and harmonies.

So here we have songs as infectious as “When I Look in Your Eyes” and “What I Like About You”, as retro-fuelled as “Girl Next Door” and as saccharine-sweet as “First in Line”.

The Romantics should have been at least as big as Cheap Trick. To their hardcore fans, they were.

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