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Non-Prog CD Reviews

The Romantics

Super Hits

Review by Gary Hill

Compilation discs are always a tricky thing. When you have one that’s entitled “Greatest Hits” or, in this case, “Super Hits,” though, it takes away the guess work of “Best Of” or “The Definitive Collection.” Of course, it also means that all the tracks should be hits. I’m not sure that’s the case here. I really don’t know if a lot of these were ever released as singles – making it tough to be hits. I am pretty sure the bulk were never played on the radio. That said, there’s a lot of cool music here giving us a good cross-section of the sound that is The Romantics. You’ll certainly find yourself singing along. I just question two things. The first is the title – for the reasons mentioned above. The second is putting the band’s two biggest hits in the opening positions. I think it would have been more effective to open with one and close it with the other. Still, this is a good set and a great first purchase when starting into The Romantics catalog.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2009  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
What I Like About You
They lead this off with one of their best known songs. This rocker is energized and classy. It feels a lot like The Kinks in so many ways. It still holds up well. This is retro sounding, but still managed to rock like crazy with a sound that was fresh at the time.
Talking In Your Sleep

Here’s the other biggest hit from the band. I’ve always been reminded of The Tubes with this one for some reason. Still, it’s recognizable as The Romantics nonetheless. I’m not so sure about the logic in putting their two biggest hits as the two openers. They would have made better book ends.

One In A Million

This was a hit, but not on the level of either of the cuts that preceded it. It’s a good tune, catchy and fun.

Do Me Anyway You Wanna

Here’s the first that I don’t ever remember hearing on the radio. There’s a rubbery, fast paced bass line and catchy vocal line. I like this track a lot. In fact, it’s one of my favorites on the set.

Tomboy

This is less pop-oriented and raw. It is closer to “What I Like About You.” I can hear plenty of 1950’s rock and roll here, but also some Clash. It’s another highlight of the set.

When I Look In Your Eyes

Another more in the “rocker” vein, this has even more of a 1950’s vibe than the previous one did.

Tell It To Carrie

I like the bridge on this, but overall it’s got a bit too much of a “doo wop” rock and roll element for me. That kind of a sound has never really worked for me. Yes, Grease leaves me completely non-plused.

Girl Next Door

They give us another retro rocker, but this one is more like the early period of The Beatles.

21 And Over

It seems to me this one was on the radio at times in the day. It’s a killer retro tinged punk-oriented jam. I’d have to say it might be my favorite song of all time from The Romantics. There’s some great surf guitar on this.

Mystified
I do remember hearing this one on the radio. It’s more along the lines of “Talking In Your Sleep,” but with a bit less energy. I like this one better than that track, though.
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