"Third Rate Romance" by the Amazing Rhythm Aces is a song I love. It has a low key, almost lazy feel to it musically that sells the story beautifully. And what a story! It's the awkward buildup to a one night stand. A third rate romance indeed.
"Third Rate Romance" was a song that still had life on my local country station when I was a kid. Yep, this was a song that made both the pop and country charts. Since it was from 1975, I never knew who did it. It wasn't until about 12 years ago that I was able to put an artist to the tune. By then, it had been supplanted on the radio by a cover version performed by Sammy Kershaw.
I bring all this up because "Third Rate Romance" was #18 on the AMERICAN TOP 40 show from August 30, 1975. As you might've guessed, that program was rebroadcast this weekend. My excitement over hearing "Third Rate Romance" in the context of it being contemporary was tempered by the handling it received.
Understand, AT40 frequently edited songs back in the 1970s. Sometimes it was for time (remember that three minute "American Pie"?), and sometimes it was for content (skipping the needle during Neil Sedaka's "Bad Blood" when he says a naughty word springs to mind). I am not sure which column "Third Rate Romance" falls under, since it's only three and a half minutes. HOWEVER, it had one of the most amazing, non sequitur edits it has ever been my pleasure to hear.
Did you listen to the song? Do that if you haven't already. On that particular AT40 countdown, this is how the lyrics go:
She said, "You don't look like my type, but I guess you'll do"
Third rate romance, low rent rendezvous
And he said, "Yes I have, but only a time or two"