Warning: I tend to get quite into it when I talk about music I like, so be prepared for potentially tl;dr inducing descriptions as to why all these tracks are awesome.
Being very passionate about music I have a pretty wide taste in it and I'm open to pretty much anything on the one condition that I find it to be genuinely musically good in its own way. My music library has everything from rock to rap to ska to electro to jazz, and many seemingly bizarre fusions such as the country/gospel/acid house stylings of the Alabama 3 - but that's a story for another day. Naturally some of these artists are on the twenty feet underground in a sealed, dark nuclear bunker in the desert side of obscure, but it would be completely untrue to say there aren't plenty of popular artists, both new and old whom I love. Although many don't, many artists and bands do get famous for good reasons.
However, when I hear these artists played on the radio, the DJs seem to forget that they did more than a few songs - their most successful singles, usually - and so many brilliant album tracks and b-sides, or even just forgotten singles, are missed out. If someone only owns a best-of (i.e. 'the ones that sold the most that people will pay to have again') album by one of these bands, which in my view doesn't necessarily stop them from being a proper fan, they could miss out on these forever.
So I present you my list of 5 of my favourite lesser known songs by popular bands. I would ideally have it descending numerically, but apparently Blogger doesn't agree with that idea.
- Muse - Crying Shame
Crying Shame is the B-side to the Muse single Supermassive Black Hole, a simple yet awesome song which now has unfortunate associations with a certain vampire love story film. Muse have a habit of writing good B-sides, but this one is arguably as good as or better than the single it came with. It has an awesome, catchy Muse mix of cool riffs and melodic bits, and is notable for being one of the few instances where Matt Bellamy swears in a song. And that falsetto note at the end is pretty rad.
(A/N: At this point I also discovered that Blogger doesn't like me breaking my lists up with text, so all of the entries will be numbered 1.)
- Dire Straits - Wild West End
You'll be hard pressed to find any person who's slightly musically aware that hasn't heard the classic Sultans of Swing or the Dire Straits' other famous songs, but to truly appreciate how awesome they are and how awesome each of the members, not just frontman and lead guitarist Mark Knopfler is it's necessary to listen to the album tracks, as there's only so far the three compilations with near-identical track lists will get you. This song here is from their first, self titled album, and like much of their earlier work has a fairly laid-back, natural feel as if the band were sat playing in the room. This song is fairly simple but although none of the instruments is playing anything too stunning in itself, the end result is much greater than the sum of its parts. Add some half-spoken lyrics describing a simple day of life in London and you get some of the most beautiful music I've ever heard. I'd highly recommend you listen to all of this album though, as well as the follow-up Communiqué, which is slightly more produced but still has a similar feel. There's not a bad track on either of them but if you're worrying it's all gonna' be too slow-paced for you I'd also like to show the opener to the first album, Down To The Waterline, which is another favourite of mine. Granted, none of this is exactly music to mosh to, but it's not all slowed down ballads.
- Jamiroquai - When You Gonna' Learn (Didgeridoo)
I'm perhaps pushing the term 'well-known' a bit here, as though Jamiroquai are a world famous band and have charted many singles in the UK including a number 1, I doubt everyone reading this is familiar with their music - I've only recently discovered them myself. I'm also pushing the boundaries of 'under-rated' as this one did fairly well for their first single and is pretty popular among fans, but if you've heard it played on any radio station recently please let me know, so I can find the radio DJ who played it and propose to them.
This song is the first track from Jamiroquai's stellar first album Emergency On Planet Earth, which you have no reason not to listen to as it's absolutely brilliant. Their other stuff is all good too, but I'm still working my way through their discography so I can't fully compare. This song also has, as far as I know, the only didgeridoo break in popular music.
- The Rolling Stones - Rocks Off
Considering this song was both the opening track to and a single from the legendary Stones album Exile On Main St., and the fact that it's freaking awesome, I cannot for a second fathom why on Earth it failed to chart anywhere except for France of all places. This is a rare example of France being superior to every other country, as to me this track is the epitome of everything I love about The Rolling Stones. What's not to like?
- Red Hot Chili Peppers - Turn It Again
This is the penultimate track from the double-album Stadium Arcadium, and although the first half of the song sounds much like a typical Chillies track (which is not at all a bad thing) with the usual set of nonsensical lyrics from Anthony Keidis, at about 4 minutes the solo kicks in. And I perhaps classify it among some of the most awesome solos ever and easily the best on the whole album. It sounds like a fairly standard John Frusciante solo at first, but then it builds up into a long, epic, overdubbed riff fest with about 8 guitar tracks. I can only hope they have the balls and resources to attempt it live one day, though the world may just explode.
Anyway, there's my list from 1 to 1 of 5 of my favourite tracks you probably haven't heard before from bands you probably have. These are by no means the only tracks of this nature from these artists and there are many other artists I like with similar circumstances. I hope you've enjoyed the songs and haven't been put off by my copious amount of words.