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Rembrandts Will Be There For Fans

Fri., Sept. 22, 1995

Beasley Coliseum at Washington State University will play host tonight to one of the most popular pop-rock outfits in the country.

Any guesses as to who it might be?

Here’s a hint: The band does the theme song, “I’ll Be There For You,” for that hit TV sitcom “Friends.”

You guessed it, the Rembrandts.

That single song has amounted to major stardom for the 5-year-old band.

The tune topped the pop radio charts for more than two months and went on to sell more than a half a million copies. “I’ll Be There For You” also paved the way for strong sales of the Rembrandts’ third and new album “LP” (short for Long Player).

Further, it’s garnered the duo major airplay on MTV. The video featured the show’s entire cast.

“It has obviously exposed us to a bulk of people,” the Rembrandts’ Dan Wilde recently told a reporter. “It has meant a gold record, playing larger venues. Life has become simpler, but it is a double-edged sword. We’re worried about a backlash… . We’re hoping people realize we’re serious songwriters.”

What the Rembrandts, rounded out by Phil Solem, is actually hoping for is that the song will lead people to the band’s latest album, that pop radio will pick up on the other songs and that the group isn’t remembered solely for the rest of their lives as the band that sang the theme song on “Friends.”

“Actually, when the whole ‘Friends’ thing started, the album was done,” said Wilde. “We had high hopes for it. We’re hoping it will help people cross the bridge into the rest of the album.” To help new fans make that transition, the Rembrandts included “I’ll Be There For You” on the album. Early copies of the release featured the song as the hidden 15th track.

So far, it appears that people are willing to give the album a chance. “LP” has moved past golden sales (500,000 units sold) and is rapidly approaching platinum. Its chart position last week on the Billboard 200 was 57 and gaining, according the band’s record label East West.

It’s not as though the Rembrandts is a brand new band; it has had hits before. “That’s Just The Way It Is Baby” from the band’s 1990 eponymous debut and “Johnny Have You Seen Her” from 1992’s “Untitled” both charted.

The fact the band is on the charts months after the hype from “Friends” most likely means it won’t disappear anytime soon. However, the Rembrandts’ second single from the album “You Can’t Call That A Home” will perhaps decide the band’s fate, at least on this record.

Up-and-coming band Blessid Union of Souls opens the show.

The band, which calls itself rural-soul, recently put out its debut album “Home” on the major label EMI.

xxxx The Rembrandts with Blessid Union of Souls Location and time: Beasley Coliseum/ Pullman, tonight, 8 Tickets: $16

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