Chances are that if you’re aware of who The Romantics are, it’s either due to this song or “What I Like About You”, a song I guess I was too young to latch on to when it was originally popular (well, there’s also the fact that it wasn’t that big a hit initially). Regardless, despite the fact that “Talking in Your Sleep” was a significantly bigger hit, “What I Like” has had the more lasting influence thanks to being played at sports events and in commercials constantly. Which kinda sucks, because “Talking in Your Sleep” is a much better song (although “What I Like About You” does have the awesome harmonica solo).

The cover of The Romantics\' 1983 album \"In Heat\", which contained the hit single \"Talking in Your Sleep\".

I guess this is where power-pop meets the dance floor. I dig the chiming guitars and the killer bassline (and the lyrics were very easy to remember for a 7-year old), and of course you’ve gotta love the echo effect that comes at the end of every line during the verses. Plus, it’s extraordinarily easy to dance to…this was right at the beginning of the post-“Beat It”/Duran Duran phase when songs like “Dancing in the Dark” and “Out of Touch” had crunchy guitars and danceable grooves…and according to Wikipedia, it actually hit #1 on Billboard’s Dance Music chart. Thanks, again, Wikipedial

I will say, though, that I don’t remember ever seeing the video until looking for a YouTube clip this morning, and…wow. All I can say is “wow”. The chicks in nighties, the bad special effects, the lead singer’s hair (what hell??)…it’s almost too much to take. So delightfully Eighties.

Apparently, a British group named Bucks Fizz covered the song shortly after The Romantics’ version became a hit. The versions are reasonably similar (down to the echo in the verses), but The Romantics’ version has a bit more kick to it. You’ve also got to give The Romantics’ props for using live drums, while the Fizz version appears to rely on a $10 Casio drum machine. Judge for yourself.