Lost or Forgotten Oldie of the Day: 1988 When In Rome – The Promise

Clive Farrington was a member of the British group Beau Leisure. When the group disbanded in the mid-eighties, he recruited Andy O’Connell and Michael Floreale and began performing as When In Rome. Andrew Mann joined the group and Andy left and the remaining members began writing and recording songs. The group released its first album in 1988.

The Promise was perhaps the most commercial track on the album, and their record company released it as a twelve-inch dance record. The release quickly rose to the top of the US Dance Club Play chart. They released a single remix that reached #11 on the Hot 100 in late 1988.

The next single was Heaven Knows, but it was a disappointment: it reached #95 and then promptly fell off the chart. Two more singles from the album did even more poorly in 1989 and 1990. The other members of the group fired Michael from the group over “creative differences,” and he departed for the US. Their record label dropped the group in 1993 and the group dissolved.

That might have been the end of the story, but in 2004, the soundtrack of Napoleon Dynamite included The Promise. The single showed all three members receiving credit as writers but a battle ensued over royalties.

Michael trademarked the name When In Rome in 2010 and reformed the group with John Ceravolo using the name When In Rome II. They began making public appearances.

When Clive and Andrew attempted to reform their own version of When In Rome, Michael used his trademark and successfully blocked their use of the name.

The US group continues to make appearances as When In Rome II. The British group instead tours as Farrington + Mann Original Members of When in Rome UK.

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