Sunday, February 12, 2017

Songoftheday 2/12/17 - I used to travel in the shadows and I never found the nerve to try and walk up to you...

"A Girl Like You" - The Smithereens
from the album 11 (1989)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #38 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 2

Today's song of the day comes from the New Jersey-based power-pop band The Smithereens, who came together in the early 1980's fronted by singer/guitarist Pat Dinizio. Heavily influence by the psychedelic rock of the late 60s as well as the British mod movement of the 70s-80s, the proto-hipster band didn't look like they would rock as hard as they did, but with Jim Babjak's heavy guitar chunks and the tight rhythm section of bassist Mike Mesaros and drummer Dennis Diken, their wall of sound belied their numbers. Their first album, Especially for You, was their most emo and "flower-child" of the bunch, and the first single, "Blood And Roses", was one of two Mainstream Rock radio hits on the set, reaching #14 in Billboard, while the album spend months on the chart and ended up one of the 100 biggest sellers of 1987. The following year, the band put out their sophomore effort, Green Thoughts. The lead track, "Only A Memory", topped the Mainstream Rock chart, and became their first pop success, slipping in at #92 on the Hot 100 in America.

In 1989, the Smithereens released their third studio album, 11 (inspired by the movie Oceans 11). The first single, "A Girl Like You" was dominated by the guitar crashes that came with the title hook. Written by Dinizio and produced by Ed Stasium, who helped out groups like Living Colour and the Ramones...


"A Girl Like You" became the Smithereens' first top-40 pop hit in March of 1990. The on rock radio, the song climbed to #2 on Billboard's Mainstream and #3 on their Alternative/Modern Rock charts. Up north, the single made it to #62 in Canada.

The second single from 11, the rollicking "Blues Before and After", slipped on to the pop chart at #94, but went up to #7 on the Mainstream Rock and #18 on Modern Rock lists in Billboard. They followed with "Yesterday Girl", which peaked at #20 Mainstream and #16 Modern Rock. Another track from the album, "Blue Period", which featured Belinda Carlisle, popped on to the British chart (their first) at #99.

(Click below to see the rest of the post)


Here's the band performing live on the Tonight Show to promote the single...


...and again live on stage in 1990 along with third single "Yesterday Girl"...


Finally, the guys going back to their roots in New Brunswick in 2008 at the Court Tavern...


Up tomorrow: Glam-metal bad boys are lacking.

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