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Author Topic: Songs that should have been hits  (Read 366 times)

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Hombre_de_ningun_lugar

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Songs that should have been hits
« on: August 06, 2015, 03:17:00 PM »

Whenever You're Ready (The Zombies). Released as a single on September 1965; reached #110 in US. One of the best singles of the Zombies, with a catchy melody, beautiful harmony vocals and a great performance. It should have been the return of the Zombies to the high positions of the charts, but it seems that people preferred less talented acts like Herman's Hermit and Dave Clark Five.

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Break On Through (The Doors). Released as a single on January 1967; reached #126 in US. One of the most famous songs of the Doors, but this was never manifested in the charts. The band certainly saw a big potential in this song, releasing it as their first single and the opening track of their debut album. Actually the song is included in most greatest hits collections of the Doors despite its poor performance in the charts. Perhaps early 1967 was not a suitable moment for this single; it probably would have reached much higher in 1968.

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Alone Again Or (Love). Released as a single on January 1968; reached #123 in US. Why this song was not a hit is a big mystery. It has lovely acoustic guitars, capturing ascending vocals and a magnificent orchestrated middle. It even fit perfectly to its time, but the public just didn't buy it.

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« Last Edit: August 06, 2015, 04:24:30 PM by Hombre_de_ningun_lugar »
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Bingo Bongo

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Re: Songs that should have been hits
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2015, 05:45:51 PM »

Just the Beatles alone, I always wondered why soooo many of them didn't make it to the 1962-1966 Red Album, like  "I Saw Her Standing There", "I Should Have Known Better", "If I Fell" and many others.........
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Mr Mustard

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Re: Songs that should have been hits
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2015, 12:30:12 AM »

Great idea for a thread Hombre!

Your three examples:

Zombies - for me they could never convincingly pull off that chirpy, catchy, happy-go-lucky style (a la Herman's Hermits) nor the high octane, adrenaline pumping, party stompalongs (a la DC5) which the sixties pop pickers loved. More talented perhaps. But so much LESS charismatic and "entertaining" in a showbiz sense. Not being mean but the singles-buying masses just didn't go in for the subtler stuff back in '65. What The Zombies, like The Yardbirds, did well was the sort of slightly darker, more sombre seasoning. "She's Not There" and "Heart Full Of Soul" are brilliant but bordering on morbid and I think Joe Public could only stomach small doses of those kind of records in those days.

Doors - I think you are 100% correct - ahead of its time as a singles release and like you I believe it would have been a stormer had they unveiled it in '68. Certainly time has been good to it and it deserves its place on those "Best Of" compilations irrespective of chart placing. There is a myth that everything and everyone was hip and cool by '67. Not so! Even The Beatles couldn't push their cutting edge "Strawberry Fields Forever" past Engelbert!!!

Love - I've said before that I don't "get" the kudos of "Forever Changes" - but I've always felt "Alone Again Or" is a very good track. Why not a hit? Like The Doors in my opinion - a bit ahead of its time but also too "studenty" (a bit too serious and full of itself). It didn't need much tweaking, just a small injection of fun...but of course, that would have been cringeworthy and uncool. Nevertheless, by keeping those lovely acoustic guitars and the brassy orchestral middle - but pepping up the ascending vocals and adding a gimmicky bullwhip, Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Titch brought us "The Legend Of Xanadu" and hey presto! Number one hit!

I will now have to go away and think of some examples of my own!
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Hombre_de_ningun_lugar

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Re: Songs that should have been hits
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2015, 01:39:19 AM »

Thanks for your comments Mr. M.

I think the Zombies' "Whenever You're Ready" had potential for being a hit in late 1965, beyond your solid arguments. I think the problem was not the song, I guess Joe Public just lost interest in the band. As a curious fact, the B-side of this single, "I Love You", was a hit in 1968 (reached #14) by the Californian group People!.

About 1967 you're right, the music was hip, but the general public really digged it later in 1968, or at least after Sgt. Pepper's and the summer of love. Just see "Born To Be Wild", released as a single in June 1968 (reached #2), I think it's more or less the same style of "Break On Through", but the air of the respective times made the difference.

And I don't think that "Alone Again Or" was ahead of its time, in this case I think people were ready for a song like this. I guess the problem here was a bad promotion, and actually the band was having internal problems at that point.

I wait for your own examples!
« Last Edit: August 07, 2015, 01:41:18 AM by Hombre_de_ningun_lugar »
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nimrod

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Re: Songs that should have been hits
« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2015, 01:51:35 AM »

This is one of the catchiest songs Ive ever heard, a bit country, a bit folky, shouldve been a hit but BJH never charted either in Uk or USA - Poor Boy Blues


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« Last Edit: August 07, 2015, 01:59:07 AM by nimrod »
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nimrod

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Re: Songs that should have been hits
« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2015, 01:58:33 AM »

Or their reworking of Nights In White Satin (as a tribute to The Moody Blues) - Poor Mans Moody Blues

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Mr Mustard

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Re: Songs that should have been hits
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2015, 10:25:34 PM »

Never understood how this - which topped the charts in the USA - was merely the B Side of a single which failed to crack the top ten here in the UK...

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Mr Mustard

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Re: Songs that should have been hits
« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2015, 10:44:15 PM »

Still on a "movie theme" errrr... theme.... how come THIS single didn't even chart? the group were arguably at their peak with "Mighty Quinn" reaching number one and a brace of other top ten hits in the same year (1968) - yet this went nowhere!?  I love it (great film too)!

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Hombre_de_ningun_lugar

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Re: Songs that should have been hits
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2015, 07:59:58 PM »

That Manfred Mann's song is interesting, I haven't listened to it before.

Another example I'd mention is "Bluebird" by Buffalo Springfield. The single only reached #58 in 1967, but it's a signature song of the band.

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« Last Edit: August 09, 2015, 08:02:51 PM by Hombre_de_ningun_lugar »
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Klang

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Re: Songs that should have been hits
« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2015, 08:17:08 PM »

Another example I'd mention is "Bluebird" by Buffalo Springfield. The single only reached #58 in 1967, but it's a signature song of the band.

I'd say that got a lot of play on FM radio, but no, I guess it didn't do anything on the mainstream charts.

 roll:)

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