“A Girl Like You” was released as the first single from The Smithereens’ 1989 album, 11. The single was released on October 2, 1989, and took a little while to cross over from alternative rock to pop. The single ultimately peaked at number 38 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the early part of 1990.
I was 14 years old and in the ninth grade when this single was released. At this point in my life, I was primarily listening to pop and not much to alternative rock, but this song grabbed my interest the first time I heard it. It’s a very pop friendly track with lyrics that are easy for listeners to relate to. I also really liked the follow-up single, “Blues Before And After,” but it just barely made it into the Billboard Hot 100 chart. While “Blues Before And After” was also catchy and upbeat it ended up not quite fitting in with where pop music was heading when it was release. While I really like “A Girl Like You” and think it’s a great song, I believe its success ended up being a case where the song was lucky and happened to be released at just the right time to fit in with what was going on in pop music at that moment. But this wouldn’t be The Smithereens’ only entrance into the pop charts; they would make one more appearance about two years later with “Too Much Passion.”
The music video basically sees the band performing in what looks like some kind of rehearsal space. But it’s not just a dry performance video, because the band tries to inject some humor with their performance, and the director also made some decisions with the visuals to keep the video from looking boring. It’s not a bad video for what it is.