Underrated Songs Because Of Its Popularity

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ZapperZ
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I some time get kidded for liking certain tunes because they were "big hits". Most people often look down on a hit tune, thinking that its commercial factor automatically implies that it isn't a song that should be taken seriously, or of high "quality". I don't think commercial success and artistic merit are mutually exclusive.

So off the top of my head, here are the tunes that had great commercial success, but if one examines each one very carefully (melody, lyrics, singing, production, etc), one can easily see that each of them is a finely crafted song in its own right.

1. Celine Dion "My Heart Will Go On" - say whatever you want, but you can never take away from the fact that this song is impeccably sung (and all reports indicated that they used her first take). It has a gorgeous melody, and a strong lyrics that actually made sense with the movie. But the singing definitely took this tune to a higher level very seldom achieved with many songs. Of course people got sick of it because it got played over and over and over again on the radio. That still does not detract from the quality of the tune.

2. The Knack "My Sharona" - One could easily dismiss this one-hit wonder, but damn if all the stars just didn't converge for one brief moment to produce this gem. Again, great lyrics (especially now that we know the actual story on who "Sharona" was and why this tune was written), amazing melody with lots of hooks, and then there is that guitar rift. This song remains as one kick-*** tune.

3. Michael Jackson "Don't Stop Till You Get Enough" - Before Micheal Jackson got weird, he was writing great songs with Quincy Jones. For this tune, the amazing singing and production (by Jones) turned this into one of my all-time favorite. It was impossible at that time (and still is) to not move one's feet to this tune.

4. Gerry Rafferty "Baker Street" - One word: "saxophone". Can one instrument make a tune memorable? It sure can, and this song is the perfect example. Although,I can't say that I completely understood the lyrics, though. :)

Zz.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
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I was singing Girls Just Want To Have Fun at work, before my last vacation. Only to have a co-worker laugh and say Cindy Lauper???? While giving me the, thats so uncool look.
Pffffft what do they know.
 
  • #3
turbo
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Oddly enough, in some situations, people WANT to hear songs that they know by heart. That worked out well when I was running open-mike jams, because when new musicians would sit in, they would already be familiar with those songs, even if they didn't have the chord changes, etc, down pat. Good examples are Wild Nights and Brown-Eyed Girl by Van Morrison, Mustang Sally by Wilson Pickett, and Black Magic Woman (I preferred the Peter Green original, but threw in some Santana licks for the crowd since most people only know the cover version).
 
  • #4
JasonRox
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I love lots of new songs and hit tunes. Almost all of them that come out.

But I also like lots of music you'll never or rarely hear on the radio.
 
  • #5
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I wouldn't say "Baker Street" is underrated. Who doesn't like that song?
 
  • #6
Evo
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I wouldn't say "Baker Street" is underrated. Who doesn't like that song?
Baker street is one of my all time favorites. The entire album is good. Viacom keeps taking the video down. :grumpy:

My Sharona is one of the catchy songs like "Lola" by the kinks.

Other greats - "What I like about you" by the Romantics and "I'll melt with you" by Modern English
 
  • #7
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2. The Knack "My Sharona" - One could easily dismiss this one-hit wonder, but damn if all the stars just didn't converge for one brief moment to produce this gem. Again, great lyrics (especially now that we know the actual story on who "Sharona" was and why this tune was written), amazing melody with lots of hooks, and then there is that guitar rift. This song remains as one kick-*** tune.
I absoluteley LOVE this one :!!)

Though until now I didn't know I have to ashamed for it, I always thought everbody thinks it's a cool song :blushing:
 
  • #8
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I wouldn't say "Baker Street" is underrated. Who doesn't like that song?
Me. :biggrin:
 
  • #9
turbo
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I wouldn't say "Baker Street" is underrated. Who doesn't like that song?
Evo is right - that Gerry Rafferty album is 10's all through. If you likes Stealer's Wheel you would love that album - the musicianship, the writing, the production values, are all top-notch. I wore out a copy and had to buy another one. I haven't bought a CD version, though I should - I hardly ever fire up my turntable and I have 300+ albums from the 60's and 70's just collecting dust.
 
  • #11
Chi Meson
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Gerry Rafferty got his start by joining with wee Billy Connelly. The latter started telling funny stories onstage. Stories got longer and funnier and soon people were coming for the stories. Rafferty though he could do better, and I guess they both did.

And yes, Baker's Street has no faults. One of the best songs ever.

I'm a bit embarrassed to admit I like The Cure's "In Between Days."
 
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  • #12
turbo
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That Rafferty album ("City to City" for those that don't know), has songs that are up-tempo, songs that are contemplative, love songs, songs about separation (being on road), etc. They all grew on me in one way or another - something that does not often happen to me with albums/CDs.
 
  • #13
WarPhalange
Smoke On The Water!!!
 
  • #14
turbo
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Little Wing has escaped some of the curse of "too popular" because after Jimi died, Eric Clapton and Stevie Ray covered it at different times, bubbling it up into radio play-lists for a 2nd and 3rd time. The best part was that both covers were individualized to the performers - enough-so that although Jimi's version got additional air-play in the wake on the covers, there really wasn't radio-hit-fatigue because each version had great stuff going for it.
 
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  • #15
hell I love pop music. but when it's unapologetically pop. like Justin Timberlake or Madona. Some catchy-a** tunes. if I'm flipping through TV and his song is on I'll probably stop to listen.

What I can't stand are all the mediocre over-produced neo-rock-pop-punk-metal-emo bands who are kidding themselves into thinking they are real artists. I can't remember the last time I turned on MTV and heard a guitar that actually sounds like a guitar. All of these s*tty bands like Hedley or Metro Station or whatever just make me want to puke... you can just picture the board room meeting behind every hit when they decide "O yea, they should swear in this song and wear black makeup; that'll totally sell in the 12-year-old angsty teen-queen market."

bleh.

Meanwhile, while they make millions, real bands are working off their a**ess for 10% of what they make if they're lucky.

I equally hate the hypocrisy in the "indie" scene. they complain of MTV not playing "real music," but as soon as an indie band makes it big, they somehow stop being as cool? — I'm glad that bands like MGMT, Radiohead, Queens Of The Stone Age, Arcade Fire, etc. get to make some money and gain popularity; at least there is *some* hope for a good band to make it big.

/rant
 
  • #16
Math Is Hard
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I hate to say it, but I can't stand Celine Dion. Her voice is almost painful to me. Same with Whitney Houston.

I do like the Knack, though. I like Michael Jackson, too - I especially liked songs he sang as a kid.

A popular song I really liked was "Don't You (Forget about me)" by Simple Minds. The other day I heard it on TV as a commercial (for a department store I think). They had changed it into a cheery poppy little jingle. I wanted to start crying.
 
  • #17
turbo
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I hate to say it, but I can't stand Celine Dion. Her voice is almost painful to me. Same with Whitney Houston.
You can add Mariah Carey to that list for me.

There are some killer female vocalists out there, and I would put Natalie Mains of the Dixie Chicks right up there with the best of them. Allison Krause is very good, too, though she tends to push the high end of her range at times. Still the live double-CD of AKUS gets a LOT of play around here. It doesn't hurt that Jerry Douglas was the featured dobro player on that album or that Dan Timinski is a really hot flat-picker with a fantastic baritone voice.
 
  • #18
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how about one of the worst songs ever written, but it'll still get stuck in your head and your find yourself humming or singing along. MMmm-Bop
 
  • #19
JasonRox
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how about one of the worst songs ever written, but it'll still get stuck in your head and your find yourself humming or singing along. MMmm-Bop
Haha, that song was fun!

I still have it in my playlist I think. It's somewhere anyways.
 
  • #20
You can add Mariah Carey to that list for me.

There are some killer female vocalists out there, and I would put Natalie Mains of the Dixie Chicks right up there with the best of them. Allison Krause is very good, too, though she tends to push the high end of her range at times. Still the live double-CD of AKUS gets a LOT of play around here. It doesn't hurt that Jerry Douglas was the featured dobro player on that album or that Dan Timinski is a really hot flat-picker with a fantastic baritone voice.
Fiona Apple - Criminal

I think she's too sexy. And she'd look sexy too if she gained some weight.
I almost didn't want to here this song any more when it first came out since it was played so damn much.
 
  • #21
Math Is Hard
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Fiona Apple - Criminal

I think she's too sexy. And she'd look sexy too if she gained some weight.
I almost didn't want to here this song any more when it first came out since it was played so damn much.
I loved that whole album. "Shadowboxer" was a really great song, too.
 
  • #22
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You can add Mariah Carey to that list for me.

There are some killer female vocalists out there, and I would put Natalie Mains of the Dixie Chicks right up there with the best of them. Allison Krause is very good, too, though she tends to push the high end of her range at times. Still the live double-CD of AKUS gets a LOT of play around here. It doesn't hurt that Jerry Douglas was the featured dobro player on that album or that Dan Timinski is a really hot flat-picker with a fantastic baritone voice.
For the most part I don't like female singers. In fact, the only thing worse than a female singer is a female comic. Not that I'm sexist or anything.
 
  • #23
I loved that whole album. "Shadowboxer" was a really great song, too.
I still have the CD and listen to it occasionally.

Tribdog said:
For the most part I don't like female singers. In fact, the only thing worse than a female singer is a female comic. Not that I'm sexist or anything.
I love female singers who have a sultry bluesy sounding voice. Not many others besides. Like I don't care for the Dixie Chicks and often find Gwen Stephanie annoying. I liked some of Stevie Nicks' songs and Nina Simone is wonderful.
 
  • #24
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but you agree that female comics suck, right?
 
  • #25
Math Is Hard
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but you agree that female comics suck, right?
Did you like Gildna Radner? I thought she was really funny. I agree with you that most of the female comics performing now are not very funny. I think there are many good female comedy writers, but the ones doing stand-up are mostly awful.
 
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