I Can't Believe It's Not A Top 40!

sadchild

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It came up in another thread that there are a lot of top 40 songs that are long forgotten (except for in when heard in countdown shows or "hey remember this one?" features).

Yet there are many classic songs (or at least still-pretty-well-known-today) that never made the top 40.

Here is a collection of them I started a while ago. Feel free to add to it! I bolded the ones that really surprised me.

#99
Cure "In Between Days"
Weird Al "Fat"

#98
Lightning Seeds "The Life Of Riley"
Metallica "Sad But True"
New Order "Bizarre Love Triangle"

#97
Bon Jovi "I'll Sleep When I'm Dead"

#95
Greg Lake "I Believe In Father Christmas"
Young The Giant "Cough Syrup"

#93
Aimee Mann "That's Just What You Are"
Guns N Roses "Nightrain"

#92
Van Morrison "Moondance"
Tom Petty "Into the Great Wide Open"

#91
MGMT "Kids"
Talking Heads "Once In A Lifetime"

#90
Beth Hart "LA Song"
Metallica "King Nothing"

#89
Indigo Girls "Galileo"
Motley Crue "Home Sweet Home"
ZZ Top "Cheap Sunglasses"


#87
Depeche Mode "Master And Servant"

#86
REM "Pop Song '89"

#84
Sting "Englishman In New York"
Rodney Dangerfield "Rappin' Rodney"
U2 "All I Want Is You"

#82
Lindsey Buckingham "Holiday Road"
Metallica "Wherever I May Roam"

#81
Paul Simon "Graceland"
U2 "I Will Follow"

#80
Limp Bizkit "Nookie"

#78
Cake "Never There"
Modern English "I Melt With You"
Radiohead "High And Dry"

#77
Billy Joel "Lullabye (Goodnight, My Angel)"

#76
Filter "Hey Man Nice Shot"

#74
Police "Message In A Bottle"
Who "My Generation"


#73
Boomtown Rats "I Don't Like Mondays"
Jack Johnson "Flake"
Red Hot Chili Peppers "Give It Away"
Sarah McLachlan "Possession"

#72
Peter Gabriel "Don't Give Up"
XTC "The Mayor Of Simpleton"

#71
Cure "Pictures Of You"
Herbie Hancock "Rockit"

#69
Red Hot Chili Peppers "Californication"
REM "It's The End Of The World As We Know It"

#68
Peter Gabriel "Solsbury Hill"

#67
James Taylor "Carolina On My Mind"
Porno For Pyros "Pets"


#66
10,000 Maniacs "These Are Days"

#65
Jimi Hendrix Experience "Purple Haze"
Tori Amos "Silent All These Years"

#64
David Bowie "Rebel Rebel"
Nirvana "Lithium"


#63
Band "The Weight"
Todd Rundgren "Bang The Drum All Day"
Traveling Wilburys "End Of The Line"
U2 "Sweetest Thing"

#62
Bow Wow Wow "I Want Candy"
Cheap Trick "Surrender"
Waitresses "I Know What Boys Like"

#61
Def Leppard "Bringin' On The Heartbreak"
James "Laid"

#59
Matt Nathanson "Come On Get Higher"

#58
Blink 182 "What's My Age Again"
Wall Of Voodoo "Mexican Radio"


#57
Billy Joel "The Downeaster Alexa"
David Gray "Babylon"

Mary Chapin Carpenter "Passionate Kisses"

#56
Beatles "I Am The Walrus"
Republica "Ready To Go"
Van Halen "Hot For Teacher"


#55
Garbage "Only Happy When It Rains"
Van Halen "Right Now"


#54
Huey Lewis & The News "But It's Alright"
Talking Heads "And She Was"


#53
Beatles "If I Fell"
U2 "New Year's Day"
Weird Al "Amish Paradise"

#52
Indigo Girls "Closer To Fine"

#51
Eminem "Stan"
Marcia Griffiths "Electric Boogie"

#50
Genesis "Taking It All Too Hard"
Queen "I Want It All"

#49
Beatles "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da"
Bonnie Raitt "Have A Heart"
James Taylor "Mexico"

La's "There She Goes"
Romantics "What I Like About You"
Squeeze "Tempted"


#48
Coldplay "Yellow"
Peter Gabriel "Games Without Frontiers"


#47
John Travolta "Greased Lightnin'"

#46
Billy Idol "Rebel Yell"
Weather Girls "It's Raining Men"


#45
Buster Poindexter "Hot Hot Hot"
Clash "Should I Stay Or Should I Go"
Traveling Wilburys "Handle With Care"


#44
10,000 Maniacs "Trouble Me"
Barenaked Ladies "It's All Been Done"
John Fogerty "Centerfield"

Rush "Tom Sawyer"

#43
Bob Seger "Katmandu"
Live "Selling The Drama"


#42
Cranberries "Dreams"
Natalie Imbruglia "Torn"
Rolling Stones "You Can't Always Get What You Want"


#41
Beatles "From Me To You"
Bob Seger "Rock And Roll Never Forgets"
Cars "Good Times Roll"

Cars "It's All I Can Do"
David Bowie "Changes"
Elton John "Tiny Dancer"
Huey Lewis & The News "Workin' For A Livin'"
Nine Inch Nails "Closer"

Psychedelic Furs "Pretty In Pink"
ZZ Top "La Grange"
 

scotchandcigar

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I'll have to come up with some, but I Melt With You is mind-boggling.

BTW, a "perfect" one-hit wonder is Pop Muzik by M. It went to #1, and the band never had another charting song.
 
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scotchandcigar

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Pete Townshend's brilliant solo debut Empty Glass contained "Let My Love Open the Door", which was top 10, and "A Little Is Enough" was also a radio hit, but only reached #72.
 

Jon

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Centerfield never made the Top 40. That's like his most well known song as a solo artist. But not the one he got sued for, by his own record company, for copying his own song!
 

scotchandcigar

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Didn't know about that one. Fascinating story! Thanks for mentioning it.

That's crazy, but the backstory is that CCR signed away everything to that record producer, before they became famous. Fogerty and company made nothing for 20 years on their own music. That producer is the biggest scumbag around.
 
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Channel98

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A rock trio called the Doors formed in 1965 in Los Angeles. Some of you may have heard of them. Lead singer Jim Morrison is one of about five hundred singers who died at age 27. Anyway, the Doors' second single, Light My Fire, was number one for three weeks in July-August 1967. Their first single, Break On Through, got to #21 on the KHJ Boss 30 and #30 on the KFWB Fabulous Forty. It was also played on KRLA, which had an all-request format in 1967. I'm surprised the song didn't do better here in Los Angeles but I figure the radio stations' music directors finally listened closely to the lyrics and objected to the line "She gets high," then decided to drop the song from the playlist. Break On Through didn't even make the national Hot 100. In the first week of April, it debuted at #126 on the Bubbling Under chart – and the following week it was gone. Yet it's been a staple of classic-rock radio for half a century!

 
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sadchild

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I think The Doors is my least favorite band of all time - well, least favorite successful band, to be clear. I've seen some local acts on the same bill as me that could barely get through a song, so they'd be worse.
 

scotchandcigar

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I think The Doors is my least favorite band of all time - well, least favorite successful band, to be clear. I've seen some local acts on the same bill as me that could barely get through a song, so they'd be worse.
I can't argue with personal taste, but they were one of the biggest bands of all time for a lot of reasons. I'd take them any day over any of those successful glam rock hair bands, or power ballad bands. Morrison had a great voice and charisma, and Ray Manzerak was an iconic keyboardist.

I despise a lot of the bands posted in these threads, but I usually don't mention it. Except for Nickelback.
 

IdRatherBeSkiing

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I'm really not that into 60s rock being The Doors or The Beatles. I like The Rolling Stones songs from the 60s but they seem to be the exception to the rule.
 

sadchild

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The Doors seem to be my Achilles heal. My cousin can't stand CCR. A friend of mine can't take AC/DC. A guy I work with hates Guns N Roses. I wonder if most people have that one really successful, classic, legendary band that they just can't take.
 

sadchild

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Adding three more to the "I Can't Believe It's Not A Top 40" list:

#42 Missing Persons "Destination Unknown"
#42 Missing Persons "Words"

#45 Cheap Trick "If You Want My Love"
 

Channel98

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The Beach Boys' first single, Surfin', stalled at #75 in March 1962. Nine months later, 409 was on the chart for only one week, at #76. It was the B-side of Surfin' Safari, which got to #14. (In Los Angeles, Surfin' Safari went to number one on the KFWB Fabulous Forty and 409 reached #23.)

In 1966, producer Phil Spector made a deal with Ike Turner: "Stay out of the studio while Tina records River Deep – Mountain High and give me total control of the production. I'll pay you $20,000 and put your name on the label." The recording got only to #88 on the Hot 100. It was re-released in 1969 and got no higher than #112 on the Bubbling Under chart.

 
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Jon

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I think The Doors is my least favorite band of all time - well, least favorite successful band, to be clear. I've seen some local acts on the same bill as me that could barely get through a song, so they'd be worse.
Some of there songs are alright (Roadhouse Blues is a rocker, and Riders on the Storm is pretty good) but they are massively overrated.
 
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