Monday, October 13, 2014

Best Songs That Don't Get Enough Airplay

What I love about the explosion of digital music and services like Sirius Radio is that I no longer have to listen to the same four radio stations I did for much of my life.

When I was growing up my favorite was Power 95.  I also loved whatever 98.7 was - when it would come in.  That gave way to KJ 108.  I also could tolerate XL 93 and Y 94 when hard rock dominated the airways in '87-'91.  I could even tolerate them when my personal favorite, Grunge, dominated things from '92-'99.

But those one terrible thing about those old radio days was that when a new song came out and it was popular, radio stations often played it to death.  I think that happened to countless one hit wonders and some of my favorite songs.  After a month or two, I actually started to hate the song simply because I heard it every other time I tuned in to a radio station.

As we were watching The Voice last night, I heard a contestant sing a song that was an amazing flash from the past.  That's when I realized that there were awesome songs from my youth that are never played anymore.

That started me compiling a list of song that once were played every 10 minutes on commercial radio but are almost lost now (at least to my ears).

Here's my list of my favorite 'lost' songs, in no particular order -

"Everybody Hurts" by REM.

Maybe it was because this song honestly was played every other minute on radio when I was young, but this is an excellent song that I never hear anymore.  Plus the video is awesome. I forgot how good it really was.

"Malibu" Hole

I'm not a big Hole or Courtney Love fan, but this song is amazing. One of the best summer song I've ever heard.  Just listening to it makes me wish I was floating on the river in a tube.

"Bittersweet Symphony" by The Verve.

Maybe the most memorable opening notes of any song from the 1990's.  This was another song played every other minute on radio (and video), but it's an excellent song that, again, I never hear on the radio anymore.  And who could forget its classic use in the movie, Cruel Intentions?  Classic.

"Brand New Day" Sting

I admit that this is not the most popular - or perhaps best - song from Sting's album of the same name (that would most likely be Desert Rose, thanks to the car commercial it was featured in), and the video isn't exactly good, but the song is classic sting.

"I Try" Macey Gray

Another great late 1990's song that doesn't get the air play anymore that it deserves. In fact, I had forgotten how good this song was until I heard it on an audition of The Voice.

"December" Collective Soul

Maybe my sleeper favorite grunge song from the iconic 1990's.  I know Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, and Smashing Pumpkins got all the press and accolades, but Collective Soul put out some consistently excellent music in the 90's.

"Seven Bridges Road" The Eagles

Okay. This was probably never played a lot on the radio (though I remember having it on the Eagles Greatest Hits album), but it's a great song that deserves to be played far more than it is.

I know this was is going way, way, way back . . . to like when my sister was in high school.  Ha ha.  But this is my favorite Eagles song.  It even trumps the classic "Hotel California" in my book.

"Thorn in my Pride" The Black Crowes

Another great band from the early 1990s. I think their second album, from which this song is derived, is their best album. When I was in college, this video was on MTV every hour.  It was great.

 "Possum Kingdom" The Toadies

I'm definitely showing my tendencies toward my favorite genre of music: 1990's grunge.  Though I never watched the video for this song, it was always a great jam for about 8 of us piled into my car whenever it came on the radio.

"Under the Milky Way" The Church

A total one hit wonder from 1988 here, The Church.  Again, as a young kid listening to XL 93's Top 8 at 8, this was a staple.  Too bad it never gets played anymore.

"Yellow" Coldplay

Coldplay.  Easily the best of the post-grunge bands.  At least the still pay homage to the haunting sounds of the best grunge.

I have a soft spot for this song.  When I first heard it, I was living alone having just finished graduate school.  I was lonely and could relate to the isolation inherent in it.  And the longing, for as soon as I heard the title, I though of my wife, though we hardly knew each other then.

I knew her, for she was (and still is) the most beautiful person I have ever set eyes upon.  Her blonde hair stood out to me and burned itself into my mind.  So when I heard "Yellow," I couldn't help but think of her.

In fact, I recall one time being so bored and lonely that I just decided to drive in my car and listen to music.  This was the first song that came on.  As I listened to it, I thought how great it would be if I could ever just dance with her to this one song.

Little did I know way back then that I'd marry here.  So this song could play every hour on the hour and that'd be fine by me!

"It's so Hard to Say Goodbye" Boyz II Men

Trust me as a child of the '90's I know full well how this song was played to death.  But I rarely hear it now, which is surprising because it can fit so many occasions.  I think one of the best uses of the song was in Lethal Weapon 3.

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