Today's 70s Song You Should Know: 'Stay In Time' By Off Broadway

Post by: Rick Ellis 18 July, 2022

If you are a fan of power pop music, there has never been a better place to live than Chicago from the late 1970s through 1990 or so. In an alternative universe, this music scene would have exploded in the same way Seattle's grunge scene did in the 1990s. 

The depth of talent that was in local clubs back then was insane, and while a number of bands ended up with major label deals, Cheap Trick was the only act to break big nationally. And let's be honest, even Cheap Trick struggled to get their first hit.

One of the bands that fell into the category of "how did these guys not get a big hit?" is Off Broadway, whose 1979 debut album On is near-perfect mash-up of Beatlesque harmonies and crunchy Move-like guitars. 

On sold a respectable 200,000 or so copies, but the lead single "Stay In Time" only reached #51 on the Billboard Top 100 charts. Follow-up singles failed to chart at all and the band rushed out a follow-up album which was good, but not crammed with as much ear candy as their debut.

But a string of tough breaks is what eventually broke up the band in 1983, ranging from management and label issues to addiction problems and an unfortunate decision to book Off Broadway as an opening act for various metal bands, which ground down the will of the group.

Four members of the original band got back together in the late 1990s under the name "Black On Blond," but the following year they changed the name back to Off Broadway and released Fallin In, their first new album in 17 years. A live album soon followed, but while the band remained popular with longtime fans, it never received the attention it deserved.

Lead singer Cliff Johnson passed away a few days ago and it felt like a good time to remember this stellar example of Midwestern Power Pop.

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Last modified on Monday, 18 July 2022 12:40