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The farther away an item becomes in the overall historical timeline, the more condensed its entry becomes. The same goes for music. Several artists are known today for their biggest hit and only for their biggest hit, despite scoring several Top 40 entries. This list attempts to correct that injustice. When a DJ says they’re going to play Crowded House, is there any mystery about what song is coming up? Sadly, no. God, I’d love to run a radio station for a week.
Anyway, here is my list of songs that were once successful but have since been lost in the mists of time. Anyone who lived through the era will surely know everything here, but for you young ‘uns, perhaps this will serve as a reminder that when it comes to a band’s career, there is almost always more to the story than just a footnote.
“The Sun Always Shines on TV,” A-ha (Highest chart position #20, from the album Hunting High and Low)
Always preferred this song to “Take on Me.” It’s dark, it’s elaborate, and sweet Jesus, listen to that note that Morten Harket hits in the opening.
“Lessons in Love,” Level 42 (highest chart position #12, from the album Running in the Family)
Of course, I’m assuming anyone even remembers Level 42’s biggest hit, “Something about You.” Sigh. Getting old sucks.
“Think,” Information Society (highest chart position #28, from the album Hack)
After reading an obnoxious column for “Entertainment Weekly,” my wife sent the album this came from, titled Hack, to the column’s author, “pop culturist” Joel Stein. I wonder if he ever listened to it.
“Real, Real, Real,” Jesus Jones (highest chart position #4, from the album Doubt)
Ideally, I’d be putting “International Bright Young Thing” in this slot, but that didn’t crack the Top 40. But “Real, Real, Real” will do just fine.
“Love Is Alive,” Gary Wright (highest chart position #2, from the album Dream Weaver)
Oddly enough, this was actually a bigger hit than “Dream Weaver.” They both peaked at #2, but this stayed on the charts for 18 weeks, compared to “Dream Weaver’s” 14. If anyone knows where I can find the full-length version of the 3rd Bass track “Wordz of Wizdom” that samples this song, drop me a line.
“(Forever) Live and Die,” Orchestral Manoevres in the Dark (highest chart position #19, from the album The Pacific Age)
I never know, I never know, I never know why this song was left behind.
“Candy,” Cameo (highest chart position #21, from the album Word Up)
Not only were these guys funky, but the guitarist could play, bro. And he gets exactly 16 beats here to show it.
“The Love Parade,” the Dream Academy (highest chart position #36, from the album The Dream Academy)
Don’t let the title fool you: this is a dark little tune. “They’re lonely together when they’re not apart / If feels like she’s holding on to someone else in the dark.” Ow.
“When the Lights Go Out,” Naked Eyes (highest chart position #37, from the album Naked Eyes)
The band had four Top 40 entries…and yet this song did not make the final cut of their first hits compilation. Um, sure.
“It Ain’t Enough,” Corey Hart (highest chart position #17, from the album First Offense)
Sing to me, fish lips.
“Stick Around,” Julian Lennon (highest chart position #32, from the album The Secret Value of Daydreaming)
You can keep “Too Late for Goodbyes.” I’ll take this.
“Sanctify Yourself,” Simple Minds (highest chart position #14, from the album Once Upon a Time)
Hell, no one even mentions “Alive and Kicking anymore,” and that song was huge.
“Since You’ve Been Gone,” the Outfield (highest chart position #31, from the album Bangin’)
The beginning of the end for the Outfield, which is a pity, because I found this much more tolerable than that damn song about Josie.
“One in a Million,” Romantics (highest chart position #37, from the album In Heat)
Oddly enough, the Romantics’ most well-known song, “What I Like about You,” peaked at #49.
“Sign Your Name,” Terence Trent D’Arby (highest chart position #4, from the album Introducing the Hardline According to Terence Trent D’Arby)
So he never lived up to the whole better-than-Sgt. Pepper nonsense. But that’s not to say he didn’t have his good points.
“Wonderful,” Adam Ant (highest chart position #39, from the album Wonderful)
A lovely acoustic entry from the autumn of Mr. Goddard’s career. Pity he had to go nuts like that.