Song of the Week – Third Rate Romance, The Amazing Rhythm Aces

In the mid to late ‘70s, the eclectic Amazing Rhythm Aces released a series of incredibly good albums on the ABC label that contained their own brand of “roots” music, though it wasn’t called that at the time.  Their debut album, Stacked Deck (1975), contained their greatest hit, “Third Rate Romance,” which reached #14 on the Billboard Hot 100.

“Third Rate Romance” has a “Margaritaville” Caribbean feel with some nice guitar fills played by its songwriter, Russell Smith.  It is a story song about a dalliance at the Family Inn after a couple connects at a “ritzy” restaurant.  The tryst is humanized when the woman says, “I’ve never really done this kind of thing before, have you?” And her partner replies “Yes, I have. But only a time or two.”

You can often measure a song by the company it keeps.  In this case, “Third Rate Romance” has been covered by Jesse Winchester, Sammy Kershaw, Roseanne Cash, and Elvis Costello (on the unreleased Flip City Demo album that can be heard on YouTube).  Not a bad group of characters.

Enjoy… until next week.