The Romantics, so named because they formed on Valentine's Day 1977 in Detroit, have had only two US Top 40 hits - and this, now their best-known song, wasn't one of them. It attracted little attention and was only a minor hit when first released in 1980 on their debut album, but found new life later in the decade when it became a popular choice for an advertising jingle, particularly for Budweiser beer. Since then the song has also become a fixture at sporting events, bars and nightclubs, and parties and celebrations of all kinds, and has taken its place as one of the most popular rock anthems of all time.
The Romantics' two Top 40 hits were "Talking In Your Sleep" (#3) and "One In A Million" (#37). Both came in 1983, from their fourth album In Heat.
In another ironic twist, the licensing of this song for advertising, the very thing that sparked the song's comeback, was apparently handled illegally. It was secured from the band's management without the band's knowledge or approval, which sparked a lawsuit lasting several years. Despite now having faded into obscurity, the band stayed together during this time, albeit with several lineup changes, and remain active as of 2012.
Joshua - Twin Cities, MN, for above 2
This song's resurgence had a lot to do with MTV. The band made a simple performance video for the song that MTV put in rotation when they launched in 1981. It fit the criteria the network was looking for: American band, rock, catchy song, acceptable production quality. Since few American artists made videos at the time, MTV made do with lots of European imports when they started.
The Romantics, who were often compared to The Knack when this song was released, were a four-piece that split lead vocals between their guitarist Wally Palmar and drummer Jimmy Marinos, and it was Marinos who sang lead on this one.
Marinos and Palmar wrote this song with their other guitarist, Mike Skill.
The Texas singer Michael Morales took this song back to the charts in 1989 when his version hit #28 in the US. The song was also covered by 5 Seconds of Summer, who released it in 2014 on their EP She Looks So Perfect. They performed the song at the American Music Awards that year.
In The Office episode "Stress Relief" from season 5, Andy Bernard rewrites this as "What I Hate About You" for a roast of Michael Scott. He sings:
What I hate about you
You really suck as a boss
You're the losiest, jerkiest
And you're dumber than applesauce
What I Like About You is also the name of a sitcom starring Jennie Garth and Amanda Bynes that aired on The WB from 2002 to 2006. For its theme song, the show used a cover of the Romantics' tune by the Canadian female rock band Lillix. That version was also used in the movies Freaky Friday (2003) and 13 Going On 30 (2004).