UnSung Musical Groups

Here is a list of musical groups that are certainly well known but not necessarily well appreciated. They’ve produced many hits and are overlooked as the cream of the crop. Essentially these are groups that I would play far more often than the radio plays their songs.

The Kinks

Pete Quaife, Dave Davies, Ray Davies, Mick Avory.

Pete Quaife, Dave Davies, Ray Davies, Mick Avory.

Let’s be clear and understand that the Kinks were started in 1964 which was essentially the same time the Beatles and the Stones were in their hey day. I don’t think many people would argue that the Kinks were more significant than either of these groups because they weren’t. Their music gets lost in this time period due to being overshadowed. They are like Dominique Wilkens. Back in college I would listen to the Kinks for hours and just enjoy myself and the music. They have received plenty of notoriety and are in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame but aside from Lola, All Day and All Night, and You Really Got me, it’s safe to say you probably haven’t heard much of their music. A few personal faves are David Watts, Living on a Thin Line, Come Dancing, Catch Me Now I’m Falling, Waterloo Sunset (my all-time fave), and Sunny Afternoon. I could easily name another 10 that are worth listening to. This group deserves more mention than they get.

Boston

1976 Version of Boston

1976 Version of Boston

Boston fascinates me because you don’t hear any of their songs from any album but the first one and there’s one single from the second. Boston’s first album Boston, ranks as the best-selling debut album in U.S. history with over 17 million copies sold. It has 8 songs and every song (maybe not Something About You) gets radio play today. The next album, Don’t Look Back, really only had Don’t Look Back as a single, and I’ve heard A Man I’ll Never Be a couple of times through radio play. Boston premiered in 1976, Don’t Look Back in 1978, and then Third Stage was 1986 and nothing came of it except Amanda. The band battled with legal troubles throughout and never reached the peak of their debut album. It’s unreal to think that a group could produce one of the best albums of all time and then never get back to that point. Rock critics strictly hold longevity against them considering they weren’t able to continue making first class music throughout, which I understand. Somehow, someway, they were able to come together at one time and be a staple of radio for the next 30+ years. I always liked Hitch a Ride.

Dire Straits

Mark Knopfler, David Knopfler , John Illsley, and Pick Withers (drums and percussion).

Mark Knopfler, David Knopfler , John Illsley, and Pick Withers (drums and percussion).

Dire Straits were formed in 1977 and Mark Knopfler is essentially the group which he proved with his successful solo career. Their most popular album, Brothers in Arms, has sold over 30 million copies which is tremendous. I can’t think of a song they’ve made that I’ve gotten tired of hearing. Every time Money for Nothing comes on I know the little faggot is a millionaire. In Sultans of Swing I know guitar George knows all the chords and Harry’s got a daytime job and is doing alright. Romeo and Juliet is perhaps my favorite love song and I don’t like love songs. Still today I hear Dire Strait songs that I listen to for the first time and find myself wanting to the know the titles so I can listen to them again. Skateaway, So Far Away, and Lady Writer all are songs I won’t switch away from. The group disbanded in 1987 and Knopfler went on to do solo projects and film soundtracks which ended Dire Straits. In 2007, Knopfler said he did not miss the global fame that came his way at the height of the band’s success, explaining that “It just got too big”. It’s a shame because he had an awesome, distinguished voice and could rock the guitar.

The Cure

Simon Gallup, Jason Cooper, Reeves Gabrels, Robert Smith,   Roger O'Donnell

Simon Gallup, Jason Cooper, Reeves Gabrels, Robert Smith, Roger O’Donnell

Everyone starts with Just Like Heaven and Friday I’m In Love. These songs will catch and people will delve deeper into Pictures of You, Love Song, Boys Don’t Cry, and Close to Me. If you are still getting into the Cure at this point, you’ll start hitting some wonderful songs that don’t make the airwaves as often as those infamous jams. A few personal faves are Lullaby, Fascination Street, The Caterpillar, and Why Can’t I Be You. This band isn’t a few hit wonder considering it’s estimated they have sold 27 million albums as of 2004. They are a staple of New Wave music and made classic music throughout the late 70’s and into the 80’s. I find myself listening to more of the Cure now than I ever have and won’t stop until I get sick of them. Robert Smith, the lead singer, seems a bit kooky.

By |2013-11-26T23:16:32-05:00November 26th, 2013|Music|0 Comments

4 Bands With Staying Power

Bands that I’ve heard over a long period of time and don’t get tired of their music are the artists I’m praising with this post. These artist’s songs are played everyday and I will usually not change the station when I hear them on the radio. There are tons of artists who I consider good artists but when I hear their music, I want to change the song. Some examples for me are Tom Petty, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, and Sublime. I’ve heard the songs so much that I don’t like them anymore because I’m worn out. This list will contain bands whose music has been around for decades and who I will still listen to (almost) no matter what the song.

Men At Work
Men At Work
Men at Work is an Australian rock band who achieved international success in the 1980s. They are the only Australian artist to have a simultaneous No. 1 album and No. 1 single in the United States (Business as Usual and “Down Under” respectively). The group won the 1983 Grammy Award for Best New Artist, and have sold over 30 million albums worldwide.

Only two of their three albums produced notable songs but I think they are dynamite. Business as Usual produced Who Can it Be Now, Down Under, and Be Good Johnny. Cargo had Dr. Heckyll and Mr. Jive, Overkill, and It’s a Mistake which are all good songs. None of these songs have lost interest to me and I’ll listen through the albums from time to time because they are upbeat and put me in a good mood.

Huey Lewis and the News
Huey Lewis and the News
Huey Lewis and the News are an American pop rock band based in San Francisco, California. They had a run of hit singles during the 1980s and early 1990s, eventually scoring a total of 19 top-ten singles across the Billboard Hot 100, Adult Contemporary and Mainstream Rock charts.

The hardest song for me to listen to by Huey is The Power of Love. I find most of their music to have well thought out lyrics and nice rhythm. Some major hits are Do You Believe in Love, Heart and Soul, I Want a New Drug, the Heart of Rock and Roll, If This is It, Stuck with You, Hip to Be Square, and Jacob’s Ladder. Perfect World or Walking on a Thin Line are my favorite off songs.

The Cars


The Cars were at the forefront in merging 1970s guitar-oriented rock with the new synth-oriented pop that was then becoming popular and which would flower in the early 1980s. The Cars started fresh with their debut album The Cars which went on to go platinum in late 1978. The Cars’ debut album was called a “genuine rock masterpiece” by Allmusic.

I keep finding new Cars songs that I like. Their hits being My Best Friends Girl, Moving in Stereo, You’re All I’ve got Tonight, Just What I Needed, Drive, Dangerous Type, Let’s Go, Good Times Roll, Shake it Up, Tonight She Comes, and You Might Think. If you aren’t familiar with any of these songs, then you’ve never given the Cars a chance. They are all classics and at some point in your life are worth knowing.

Dire Straits
Dire Straits
They also became one of the world’s most commercially successful bands, with worldwide album sales of over 120 million. Dire Straits won numerous music awards during their career, including four Grammy Awards, three Brit Awards—winning Best British Group twice, and two MTV Video Music Awards. The band’s most popular songs include “Sultans of Swing”, “Lady Writer”, “Romeo and Juliet”, “Tunnel of Love”, “Private Investigations”, “Money for Nothing”, “Walk of Life”, “So Far Away”, “Your Latest Trick” and “Brothers in Arms”.

My favorite band on the list. Brothers in Arms is one of the best Albums of all time. Even Mark Knopfler’s solo songs are great. I listened to What It Is on repeat for a few days straight. Songs worth listening to that Wikipedia didn’t mention are Skateaway, So Far Away and Expresso Love. No song of theirs that comes on the radio deserves to be changed. I even noticed that Mark Knopfler did the score for the movie Wag the Dog which I didn’t watch all the way through. Solid band.

By |2013-05-06T22:32:00-04:00May 6th, 2013|Music|1 Comment

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