Believe it or not, as a guy that’s made country music his life’s work, I’m a pretty big fan ’80s rock/new wave bands from the UK. The Smiths, The Cure, INXS, Tears For Fears, The Clash, all that kinda stuff… What can I say, I have a lot of European friends… (RIP to ’80s nights at Neo in Lincoln Park, Chicago, back in my college days).
Anyways, a few lads outta Manchester, collectively known as When In Rome, put out a little song called “The Promise” in 1987 and damn, it was a banger.
Written by Clive Farrington, Andrew Mann and Michael Floreale, it hit the United States in 1988 and went nearly to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 Chart.
Flashforward to May 2014, a guy from Eastern Kentucky named Sturgill Simpson put out a little album called Metamodern Sounds In Country Music.
A groundbreaking sophomore album, and arguably the best country album of the past decade depending on who you talk to to, it featured a killer song about drugs and turtles, a toe tapping road anthem called “Long White Line,” and a criminally underrated cover of the aforementioned ’80s New Wave hit, “The Promise.”
What do ’80s-era New Wave synth rock and down home country music from the hills of Appalachia have in common? Couldn’t tell ya, but all I know is this just WORKS.