The Promise (When in Rome song)

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"The Promise"
Single by When in Rome
from the album When in Rome
Released 1987 / 1988
Format 7", 12"
Recorded 1987
Genre New wave, synthpop
Length 3:40
Label Virgin, 10
Writer(s) Clive Farrington, Michael Floreale, Andrew Mann
Producer(s) Ben Rogan, Michael Brauer
When in Rome singles chronology
- "The Promise"
"Heaven Knows"

"The Promise" is a song by British band When in Rome. First released in 1987 on 10 Records, the song is the lead single from their self-titled debut album. It was written by all three band members Clive Farrington, Andrew Mann and Michael Floreale. The song made the top 20 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart and is the band's biggest commercial hit.

Critical reception[edit]

William Cooper of AllMusic spoke of the song in a review of the When in Rome album, writing, "The 1988 hit "The Promise" was essentially a carbon copy of New Order's radio-friendly dance-rock. Dark yet catchy, boasting a throbbing dance rhythm, a singalong chorus, and a hypnotic melody, 'The Promise' certainly deserved the success."[1] Cooper also highlighted "The Promise" as a standout on the album by labeling it an AMG Pick Track.[1]

On January 22, 1989, a review of the album was published in the daily issue of the Daily Union. The review mentioned the song, saying, "'The Promise', a hit in Great Britain, is typical. Starting with a piano that picks out the melody, the song throbs along electronically with clear harmonies of Mann and Farrington piercing through the catchy melody."[2]

Chart performance[edit]

"The Promise" was initially released as a 12" record and reached the top of the Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart. After the release of the group's self-titled debut album, the song was re-released and peaked at number 11 on the Billboard Hot 100. However, the single was less successful in the band's native Britain, reaching number 58.

Chart (1988-1989) Peak
UK Singles (The Official Charts Company)[3] 58
US Billboard Hot 100[4] 11
US Billboard Dance/Club Play Songs Chart[4] 1
US Billboard Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales Chart[4] 19
Preceded by
"Divine Emotions" by Narada
Billboard Hot Dance Club Play number-one single
June 11, 1988
Succeeded by
"Just Got Paid" by Johnny Kemp

Cover versions[edit]

Song in popular culture[edit]

  • The song closed the movie Napoleon Dynamite in the scene where Deb and Napoleon play tetherball and the ending credits start to roll.