Thursday, September 26, 2013

Robin Lane & The Chartbusters - When Things Go Wrong

The 11th video ever played on MTV, "When Things Go Wrong" is another great, nearly forgotten classic by Robin Lane & The Chartbusters.  Lane was a native Californian who began her career as a folk artist in the late 1960's.  By the mid-1970's, she had moved to Massachusetts and became involved in the vibrant punk and new wave scene.  After hanging out at the legendary Rathskeller club (nicknamed The Rat) in Boston, she decided to put a group together.

The resulting band released an independent three song EP in 1979, which sold more than 10,000 copies.  Later that year, Jerry Wexler (one of the most well-regarded A&R executives in the industry) signed them to Warner Bros. and the band's major label LP came out in 1980.  Unfortunately, poorly produced records and a lack of marketing doomed the group.  "When Things Go Wrong" managed to reach #87 on the singles chart, but the band did not have another charting single or album as far as I can tell.  By 1983 the Chartbusters had broken up, although Lane remained in the industry.

In 2001, there was a Robin Lane & The Chartbusters reunion, which led to a new album in 2003.  More recently, Lane has been involved with the Turners Falls Women's Resource Center, where she uses music therapy to help abuse survivors. [As an aside, this gets my vote for coolest post rock star job ever.]

Cool trivia fact:  Robin Lane was married to Andy Summers (guitarist of The Police) from 1968-70.

Addendum:  Thanks to reader Shellie, who mentioned a TV show in Boston, called Chronicle, that featured Robin Lane over the summer.  The show is up on YouTube (here), for folks who are interested (It gets a recommendation from ERV).


  1. I just blogged about Robin Lane!

    1. Thanks for stopping by. The Chronicle episode is up on YouTube; very cool stuff.