Steve Forbert

Romeo's Tune

Composed by Steve Forbert

Song Review by

Although Steve Forbert fell victim to the same "New Dylan" hype that scuttled the commercial prospects of both Elliott Murphy and Loudon Wainwright III, his one hit single, 1980's glorious "Romeo's Tune," is a delightful piece of late-'70s soft rock that sounds more like a slightly folkier Fleetwood Mac. Based on a lovely rolling piano riff that brings to mind some of Steve Nieve's more lyrical work with Elvis Costello and the Attractions (think "Oliver's Army"), with Forbert's own guitar pushed well back in the mix but his intimate, slightly hoarse vocals front and center, "Romeo's Tune" is slightly too jittery to be truly mellow, but it's a much more melodic and poppier song than anything to be found in either New York's downtown new wave scene or the soulful rock of Bruce Springsteen and his growing legions of imitators, the two camps that Steve Forbert was uneasily bridging at this point in his career. Unfortunately, it's also by far Forbert's most memorable song, making his one hit wonder status unfortunate, but not undeserved.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Jackrabbit Slim 1979 Sony Music Distribution
The Best of Steve Forbert: What Kinda Guy? 1993 Nemperor/Epic 3:31
Radio Daze: Pop Hits of the 80's, Vol. 1 1995
Various Artists
Rhino 3:32
King Biscuit Flower Hour: New York, 1982 1996 King Biscuit Entertainment 4:40
Sounds of the Eighties: The Early '80s 1996
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 3:32
Mellow Rock Hits of the 70's: Sundown 1997
Various Artists
Rhino
Everybody Wants Some 1997
Various Artists
Warner Bros. 3:32
Soft Rock Classics [Rhino Box] 1998
Various Artists
Rhino 3:33
Legends of Rock: '70s Classic Rockers 1999
Various Artists
Petrock Music 3:42
Mellow Rock Classics 1999
Various Artists
Laserlight / Delta Distribution 3:36
Sony Music 100 Years: Soundtrack for a Century 1999
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 3:32
Rockin' 80's, Vol. 1 1999
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 3:32
No Image 2000 Rolling Tide Records 4:52
No Image 2000
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 3:30
A Year in Your Life: 1980, Vol. 1 2001
Various Artists
Definitive 3:31
More Young, Guitar Days 2002 Valley Entertainment 4:05
From the Front Row Live 2003 Silverline Records
Singers And Songwriters: All Through The 80s 2003
Various Artists
Time/Life Music
School Girl 2004 Disky
The Songwriter Collection 2006
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 3:32
On Stage at World Cafe Live 2007 In-Akustik / Wienerworld
Strange Names and New Sensations 2007 429 Records 3:54
Margot at the Wedding 2007
Original Soundtrack
Lakeshore Records 3:29
In Concert [DVD] 2008 Rolling Tide Records
Alive on Arrival/Jack Rabbit Slim 2013 Blue Corn Music 3:31
Everybody Wants Some!! [Music from the Motion Picture]
Various Artists
Warner Bros.
No Image
Various Artists
Ganser & Hanke Media 3:31
Romeo's Tune: Live Keyhole Records 3:53
The Old Grey Whistle Test: Country
Various Artists
Rhino
blue highlight denotes editor's pick