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Thread started 04/23/20 10:28am

SantanaMaitrey
a

Famous songs that were not big hits

There is a thread on the Prince forum about Prince's biggest Billboard hits and 1999 is at # 20. It always surprised me that this song wasn't a big hit when it was first released because it's one of his most famous songs.
Another example is Love and Happiness by Al Green, which didn't even make it into the top 100 in 1977.
Any other examples of famous songs that were never that big on the charts?
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Reply #1 posted 04/23/20 10:36am

alphastreet

Madonnas Holiday missed the top 10, and so did Janet pleasure principle. And Britney’s I’m a slave for you missed the top 20
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Reply #2 posted 04/23/20 12:00pm

MickyDolenz

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George Thorogood - Bad To The Bone
KISS - Rock n Roll All Nite
The JB's - Pass The Peas
Stevie Wonder - Isn't She Lovely
AC/DC - Back In Black

Lead Belly - Rock Island Line

Etta James - At Last
Kraftwerk - Trans-Europe Express
Black Sabbath - Iron Man
Herbie Hancock - Chameleon

Muddy Waters - Hoochie Coochie Man

Billie Holiday - Strange Fruit

many popular Christmas songs weren't hits

For 65 years straight, the #1 genre in music, selling wise, was rock n' roll worldwide. Last year (2017) in June, it got de-crowned by hip hop. Hip hop is the #1 genre. It's hip hop - rock - country - pop or pop - country. ~ Pras
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Reply #3 posted 04/23/20 1:18pm

SantanaMaitrey
a

Haha, Mick, I knew you would respond! Isn't She Lovely is a good example, I think everybody can sing along to that.
Hoochie Coochie Man, another good one, picked up by so many rock bands that it's become a classic.
And yeah, Strange Fruit, another classic. And a tragic one.
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Reply #4 posted 04/23/20 1:39pm

TrivialPursuit

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alphastreet said:

Madonnas Holiday missed the top 10, and so did Janet pleasure principle. And Britney’s I’m a slave for you missed the top 20


Not quite. "Holiday" was #1 on the US Dance Chart.

"The Pleaure Principle" was #1 on the US R&B.

I'm not even sure those charts exist now, but they were there then and they were huge songs. They were hits. To think "Holiday" was a 'miss' on the charts feels terribly short-sighted. I lived in Oklahoma City, a terribly conservative place in the Reagan 80s and that song was everywhere.

Not totally surprised about "I'm A Slave 4 U" though. It felt like that period was so oversaturated with pop diva wannabes, boy bands, etc., that for anyone to chart at all was a near miracle. Plus, these were the days of Napster etc. The effect of downloading was already showing on the charts and in sales.

Just when U think U've got more than enough, that's when it all up and flies away.
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Reply #5 posted 04/23/20 1:57pm

slyjackson

alphastreet said:

Madonnas Holiday missed the top 10, and so did Janet pleasure principle. And Britney’s I’m a slave for you missed the top 20

Really? so weird it has everything to be a hit, what a shame and yet, is regarded as a classic now and one of her signature songs.

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Reply #6 posted 04/23/20 2:11pm

slyjackson

SantanaMaitreya said:

Haha, Mick, I knew you would respond! Isn't She Lovely is a good example, I think everybody can sing along to that. Hoochie Coochie Man, another good one, picked up by so many rock bands that it's become a classic. And yeah, Strange Fruit, another classic. And a tragic one.

It wasn't even a single, right?

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Reply #7 posted 04/23/20 6:47pm

gandorb

Don't Stop Me Now by Queen peaked at #86 in the US Billboard chartsin 1979,but now is the #1 all time streamed song from that year!

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Reply #8 posted 04/23/20 7:09pm

Comser

The Electric Slide by Marcia Griffiths only reached #51 on the Billboard Hot 100
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Reply #9 posted 04/24/20 11:14am

SoulAlive

“Wishing On A Star” by Rose Royce.Released in late 1977,it only reached number 52 on the R&B charts eek Despite this,it has been covered by numerous artists and is one of Rose Royce’s most famous songs.
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Reply #10 posted 04/24/20 11:29am

kitbradley

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Here are a couple I can think of right off the top of my head.

Jean Carn - "Don't Let It Go To Your Head" - Peaked at #54 R&B. Now considered a classic and her best known song.

Teena Marie - "Portuguese Love" - Peaked at #54 R&B. Now considered a classic and one of her most well-known songs.

"It's not nice to fuck with K.B.! All you haters will see!" - Kitbradley
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Reply #11 posted 04/24/20 2:38pm

slyjackson

Al Green, Sly and The Family Stone and Bob Dylan whole careers, which is a crime. They have made such beautiful and incredible music that they should have hits by the hundreds.

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Reply #12 posted 04/24/20 3:55pm

MickyDolenz

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ZZ Top - La Grange
Z.Z. Hill - Down Home Blues
Al Wilson - The Snake
Smokey Robinson - Quiet Storm (a radio program was named after this song)
Bob Seger - Old Time Rock n Roll
Sugarhill Gang - Rapper's Delight
Johnnie Taylor - Last Two Dollars
Sir-Mix-A-Lot - Posse On Broadway
Yello - Oh Yeah
Soul Searchers - Ashley's Roachclip

Jackson 5 - Who's Lovin' You
Jackson 5 - All I Do Is Think Of You (mainly because of the Troop version)
Jermaine Jackson - Castles Of Sand
Clarence Carter - Strokin'
O'Jays - Brandy
O'Jays - Cry Together
Mel Waiters - Hole In The Wall
Herb Alpert - Route 101
Mr. C The Slide Man - Cha Cha Slide
Stevie Wonder - Happy Birthday

Jean Knight - My Toot Toot

Celia Cruz & Johnny Pacheco - Quimbara

Kool & The Gang - Summer Madness

For 65 years straight, the #1 genre in music, selling wise, was rock n' roll worldwide. Last year (2017) in June, it got de-crowned by hip hop. Hip hop is the #1 genre. It's hip hop - rock - country - pop or pop - country. ~ Pras
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Reply #13 posted 04/24/20 6:32pm

looby

I don't know how famous they were, but it seems to me that a lot of Prince songs that I loved like Sometimes It Snows In April, Still Would Stand All Time, Strollin' Elephants and Flowers, and so many more, that were not big hits on the charts, but to those that were big Prince fans.

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Reply #14 posted 04/24/20 6:45pm

torontodj

i always assumed Herbie Hancock's Rockit was a huge hit on the Hot 100 but was shocked to learn it only reached #71, yet it was number one on the Dance Charts and hit #6 on the R&B charts. Strange.

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Reply #15 posted 04/24/20 10:17pm

SoulAlive

slyjackson said:



SantanaMaitreya said:


Haha, Mick, I knew you would respond! Isn't She Lovely is a good example, I think everybody can sing along to that. Hoochie Coochie Man, another good one, picked up by so many rock bands that it's become a classic. And yeah, Strange Fruit, another classic. And a tragic one.

It wasn't even a single, right?



Nope,”Isn’t She Lovely” was never released as a single but radio stations couldn’t resist it.The song got a lot of airplay back then.
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Reply #16 posted 04/24/20 11:38pm

Wolfie87

If I was Your Girlfriend of course!

I know that we are a Prince community. But guys, it won the best song contest that Moonbeam compiled among the fans. That says it all. And yet, it never got proper recognition around the world. Still to this day too risque.
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Reply #17 posted 04/25/20 6:08am

MotownSubdivis
ion

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"Reasons"- Earth, Wind & Fire
"No Parking on the Dance Floor"- Midnight Star
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Reply #18 posted 04/25/20 1:38pm

slyjackson

Wolfie87 said:

If I was Your Girlfriend of course! I know that we are a Prince community. But guys, it won the best song contest that Moonbeam compiled among the fans. That says it all. And yet, it never got proper recognition around the world. Still to this day too risque.

It should have been a rare number one just as Famiy Affair was back in the day, I mean who would have thougt such a song wiould get to number one spot.

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Reply #19 posted 04/25/20 3:50pm

MickyDolenz

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Willie Hutch - After The Party
Willie Hutch - I Choose You

Lynyrd Skynyrd - Freebird
Bishop Bullwinkle - Hell To The Naw Naw
Creedence Clearwater Revival - I Heard It Through The Grapevine
Peggy Scott-Adams - Bill

N.W.A. - F The Police
Marvin Sease - Candy Licker
Iron Butterfly - In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida
The Time - The Bird
The Clash - Should I Stay Or Should I Go
Lenny Williams - Cause I Love You
Rick James & Teena Marie - Fire And Desire

Led Zeppelin - Stairway To Heaven

For 65 years straight, the #1 genre in music, selling wise, was rock n' roll worldwide. Last year (2017) in June, it got de-crowned by hip hop. Hip hop is the #1 genre. It's hip hop - rock - country - pop or pop - country. ~ Pras
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Reply #20 posted 04/28/20 7:12pm

RJOrion

"Love's Holiday" - Earth Wind & Fire


...somehow wasnt even a single...but any real R&B fan and most hiphop fans know this iconic song.
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Reply #21 posted 04/28/20 7:18pm

RJOrion

MotownSubdivision said:

"Reasons"- Earth, Wind & Fire
"No Parking on the Dance Floor"- Midnight Star



wow...i always somehow assumed "Reasons" was released as a single...there's even a live version on Gratitude in addition to the studio verson on Thats The Way Of The World...so yeah you nailed it with that one.
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Reply #22 posted 04/29/20 10:12am

MotownSubdivis
ion

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RJOrion said:

MotownSubdivision said:

"Reasons"- Earth, Wind & Fire
"No Parking on the Dance Floor"- Midnight Star



wow...i always somehow assumed "Reasons" was released as a single...there's even a live version on Gratitude in addition to the studio verson on Thats The Way Of The World...so yeah you nailed it with that one.
Shocked me to when I found that out. Same with Stevie's "Isn't She Lovely".

In retrospect, you can't help but wonder why they didn't put these tunes out as singles. They got "hit" written all over them but maybe, just maybe that makes them hold up that much stronger as songs.
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Reply #23 posted 04/29/20 10:50am

RJOrion

MotownSubdivision said:

RJOrion said:




wow...i always somehow assumed "Reasons" was released as a single...there's even a live version on Gratitude in addition to the studio verson on Thats The Way Of The World...so yeah you nailed it with that one.
Shocked me to when I found that out. Same with Stevie's "Isn't She Lovely".

In retrospect, you can't help but wonder why they didn't put these tunes out as singles. They got "hit" written all over them but maybe, just maybe that makes them hold up that much stronger as songs.



i remember when Boogie Wonderland came out as "I Am" first single...i liked it no doubt.. but once i got the album, i felt like there were 3 or 4 songs that could/should have been the lead single. But Maurice and Philip Bailey have both said there was pressure from CBS Records to serve up "Boogie Wonderland" first because that uptempo disco vibe was so commercially viable back in 78-79...Philip said the group wanted "Let Your Feelings Show" to be first single...shit i wouldve picked "Cant Let Go" as the first release...there are times i think "Cant Let Go" is their greatest song ever
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Reply #24 posted 04/29/20 11:29am

MotownSubdivis
ion

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RJOrion said:

MotownSubdivision said:

Shocked me to when I found that out. Same with Stevie's "Isn't She Lovely".

In retrospect, you can't help but wonder why they didn't put these tunes out as singles. They got "hit" written all over them but maybe, just maybe that makes them hold up that much stronger as songs.



i remember when Boogie Wonderland came out as "I Am" first single...i liked it no doubt.. but once i got the album, i felt like there were 3 or 4 songs that could/should have been the lead single. But Maurice and Philip Bailey have both said there was pressure from CBS Records to serve up "Boogie Wonderland" first because that uptempo disco vibe was so commercially viable back in 78-79...Philip said the group wanted "Let Your Feelings Show" to be first single...shit i wouldve picked "Cant Let Go" as the first release...there are times i think "Cant Let Go" is their greatest song ever
"Can't Let Go" slaps. I could've rode with that as a single.

Looking back at that era of music, there's just an abundance of album cuts across many genres that had single potential. I wasn't alive until Soundscan was the norm but I love how radio DJ's back then would help to make these songs unofficial hits. Us young cats grow up listening to and loving these songs, assuming they were high charting back in their day but then are taken aback by either their low charting peak or never being released as singles. That's one of the things that makes music fun.

Though I don't like counting streams as sales, it's nice that today it's set up more for the people to decide what's a hit and what isn't. Lots of the stuff they power to hit status is another story though.
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Reply #25 posted 04/29/20 2:43pm

purplethunder3
121

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RJOrion said:

MotownSubdivision said:
Shocked me to when I found that out. Same with Stevie's "Isn't She Lovely". In retrospect, you can't help but wonder why they didn't put these tunes out as singles. They got "hit" written all over them but maybe, just maybe that makes them hold up that much stronger as songs.
i remember when Boogie Wonderland came out as "I Am" first single...i liked it no doubt.. but once i got the album, i felt like there were 3 or 4 songs that could/should have been the lead single. But Maurice and Philip Bailey have both said there was pressure from CBS Records to serve up "Boogie Wonderland" first because that uptempo disco vibe was so commercially viable back in 78-79...Philip said the group wanted "Let Your Feelings Show" to be first single...shit i wouldve picked "Cant Let Go" as the first release...there are times i think "Cant Let Go" is their greatest song ever

I wore that vinyl album out; not a bad song on it.

"Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything." --Plato
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Reply #26 posted 04/30/20 11:55am

phunkdaddy

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Zoom - Commodores

Love's Train - ConFunkShun

Fire And Desire - Rick James and Teena Marie

Rock That! - EWF(Every high shcool band and College band including mine played it)

Don't laugh at my funk
This funk is a serious joint
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Reply #27 posted 04/30/20 11:58am

phunkdaddy

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RJOrion said:

MotownSubdivision said:
Shocked me to when I found that out. Same with Stevie's "Isn't She Lovely". In retrospect, you can't help but wonder why they didn't put these tunes out as singles. They got "hit" written all over them but maybe, just maybe that makes them hold up that much stronger as songs.
i remember when Boogie Wonderland came out as "I Am" first single...i liked it no doubt.. but once i got the album, i felt like there were 3 or 4 songs that could/should have been the lead single. But Maurice and Philip Bailey have both said there was pressure from CBS Records to serve up "Boogie Wonderland" first because that uptempo disco vibe was so commercially viable back in 78-79...Philip said the group wanted "Let Your Feelings Show" to be first single...shit i wouldve picked "Cant Let Go" as the first release...there are times i think "Cant Let Go" is their greatest song ever

Definitely my favorite from the album. That interlude before it is perfect with Maurice on

the Kalimba.

Don't laugh at my funk
This funk is a serious joint
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Reply #28 posted 04/30/20 12:17pm

RJOrion

phunkdaddy said:

Zoom - Commodores


Love's Train - ConFunkShun


Fire And Desire - Rick James and Teena Marie


Rock That! - EWF(Every high shcool band and College band including mine played it)



"ZOOM"


damn Bruh...thats another GREAT one... and being a EW&F fanatic, i didnt even like the Commodores...I looked at them like Bulls fans looked at the Knicks..but i couldnt front on "Zoom"..i had to put my loyalty aside for that joint
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Reply #29 posted 05/01/20 1:28pm

SoulAlive

It's shocking that this well-known song was never released as a single.Rick was OK with that,though."If you wanted to play it,you had to buy my whole album",he said biggrin

phunkdaddy said:

Fire And Desire - Rick James and Teena Marie

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