Despite that they are remembered primarily as a one-hit wonder, The Rembrandts had a fairly long history before "Friends" made them a household name. Lead vocalist Danny Wilde began his musical career as the lead singer of The Quick, an L.A.-based punk/power-pop combo briefly popular in the late 1970s due to their song "Pretty Please Me." The duo--Danny Wilde and Phil Solem--had roots in an early 1980s new wave/power pop band called Great Buildings, who released a single critically-lauded album on Columbia in 1981, spawning minor hits in "Hold On To Something" and "Maybe It's You". After they disbanded, Wilde released a series of slick '80s solo albums before rejoining with his former partner to form The Rembrandts. Initially, The Rembrandts were heavily indebted to simple, rootsy guitar pop, reminiscent of The Beatles and The Everly Brothers but also contemporaries like Squeeze and Crowded House. Their first, self-titled album, released in 1990, featured the surprise #14 hit "Just the Way It Is, Baby," which managed to claw its way onto top 40 playlists despite sounding out of place for the time. Follow-up single "Someone" and "Save Me" also garnered small amounts of airplay. Their second record, released two years later (and titled, humorously, Untitled,) also spawned minor hits in the brooding, violin-spiked "Johnny, Have You Seen Her?" and the breezy "Rolling Down the Hill". In 1995, however, the Rembrandts became a surprise seemingly-overnight success when they recorded the theme song to "Friends," a Monkees-esque ditty called "I'll Be There For You." The song became an instant smash based on its 30-second tv version--Interestingly enough, they recorded the full-length version of "I'll Be There For You" after the shorter version was recorded specifically for the TV show. The band were busy prepping tier third release, LP, at the time that "I'll Be There For You" became so successful, and it was shoehorned last minute onto the end of the track order (initial pressings omit the song on the track list). Unfortunately, many of the new audience generated by the hit didn't take a shine to the rest of the low-key guitar-pop on the disc, and as a result LP has become something of a lost 90s classic, relegated to used bin status. A few follow-up singles, notably "This House Is Not a Home," generated a small amount of interest, but nothing compared to that of "I'll Be There For You."
The sudden shift in the band's fanbase--where they had gone from being a low-flying critical success to a discarded one hit wonder--took its toll on the band, especially Solem, who quit several years later. Danny Wilde produced another Rembrandts album without him, but it was a commercial failure. In 2001, however, the duo reunited for "Lost Together," their fourth album as a duo and fifth overall. A greatest hits compilation was released in 2006, displaying that the band did in fact have a singles history far deeper than the "Friends" theme.
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The Rembrandts lyrics
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