Almost Hits: The Monroes, “What Do All The People Know” (1982)

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From San Diego, California came the Monroes, whose impossibly infectious “What Do All The People Know” stalled at the #59 spot on the national charts in the spring of 1982. Released on the Alfa label, the hook-happy ditty neatly incorporated standard power pop procedures with dribs and drabs of new wave trimmings.

Everything about the single smacks of perfection. The vocals are a bit rootsy and sandpapery, pitched somewhere between those of Tom Petty and Bryan Adams, and the guitars ripple and resonate with melody. You can dance to the snappy beat, and the chorus is so contagious that you’ll be whistling it in your sleep.

Had there been more muscle behind the promotion and distribution of “What Do All The People Know,” there’s no question it would have made a far bigger dent than it did. It’s usually hard to judge the worth of a band just from one song. But in this case, it’s obvious to hear how together the Monroes were. Traveling on the same frequency, they were tight, organized and totally at ease.

Sounding contemporary then and timeless now, “What Do All The People Know” is a finely written and superbly performed piece of pop rock magic.

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Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson was born the day Ben E. King hit No. 4 with "Stand By Me" -- which is actually one of her favorite songs, especially John Lennon's version. She's contributed to Lance Monthly and Amplifier, and served as Rock Beat International's associate editor. Paterson has also published Inside Out, and Twist & Shake. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Beverly Paterson
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