I’m going to guess that a song about wishing an ex would come back so that the couple can start all over can be a romantic song. And if that statement is indeed true, then I have the tune for you. For the first #RomanticTuesday in October, I have chosen “Wishing On A Star” by Rose Royce.
The song never answers the question as to whether or not the ex comes back, but the sound of the song conveys the longing and the yearning for the singer to have that “old thing back.” It’s not quite begging, but you can feel the passion behind it. To me, that is romantic, even if it doesn’t necessarily make it a “love” song.
Rose Royce came to fame as a backing band for Motown artists before getting their own shot, thanks to one-time Motown producer Norman Whitfield. Whitfield was a famous songwriter and producer, most notably in a writing partnership with Barrett Strong (writer and singer of “Money (That’s What I Want”) and as a producer for the Temptations during their “psychedelic soul” phase. He’s also responsible for their mega-hit “Papa Was A Rollin’ Stone.”
Rose Royce was the group behind the soundtrack to the 1976 movie Car Wash, which starred Richard Pryor. The title song became a smash hit and the album also featured two additional hits: “I Wanna Get Next To You,” and the original version of “I’m Going Down,” which was later sung by Mary J. Blige. Today’s song is taken from their second album In Full Bloom. The album proved to be a big hit, but this song was not, at least on this side of the Atlantic. It could only muster a #52 placing on the R&B chart, but made it all the way to #3 in the United Kingdom. Like a lot of songs that I have featured, it is a favorite on Quiet Storm programs and is played and requested often.
Despite its low chart placing here in the States, the song has become a ballad standard. A glance at the website WhoSampled.com reveals twenty-five covers of the song, by artists as varied as Beyoncé, Teena Marie, MFSB, Luka Bloom, Will Downing, Maysa (Leak), Marion Meadows, The Cover Girls and so many more. In addition, the original song has been sampled (used as part of other songs) another twenty-six times, mostly by rappers like Jay-Z, Masta Ace and Raekwon.
So, is it romantic? Is it not? Whatever it is, it’s my pick for #RomanticTuesday. As always, thanks for reading and listening.