The Smithereens have had bigger hits than “Blood and Roses.” But this song — the first single from the band’s first album, 1986’s Especially for You — really set the tone for what was to follow, combining a dark, haunted tone with masterfully built melodic uplift. It also helped the band get a little extra exposure via its use in the soundtracks of the movies “Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion” and “Dangerously Close,” and the hit TV show “Miami Vice.”
In my mind, at least, it is really the quintessential song of a quintessential Jersey band.
Below is the song’s video. And if you’re wondering who the guy in the sunglasses is, sitting behind frontman Pat DiNizio … he would appear to be an actor from the film “Dangerously Close,” as you can see when you watch the second video, featuring clips from the movie.
New Jersey celebrated its 350th birthday last year. And in the 350 Jersey Songs series, we are marking the occasion by posting 350 songs — one a day, for almost a year — that have something to do with the state, its musical history, or both. We started in September 2014, and will keep going until late in the summer.
If you would like to suggest any songs to be included, please let me know in the comments section underneath the video. And if you want to see the entire list, either alphabetically or in the order the songs were selected, click here.