by George Heymann

More long-lost forgotten songs

by Jon Pompia

This continues a list of the best songs you’ve (likely) never heard, or haven’t in ages. Although amazingly badass, these songs remain criminally underappreciated, due to many factors which I cannot fully explain (effects of time, lack of promotion, dearth of today’s crappy music , etc.

“Short People,” Randy Newman. Catchy fun and actually taking a jab at people who judge others based on trivial things like height. Features a couple of Eagles on the background vocals, too.

“On and On,” Stephen Bishop. One of those transcendent, slightly melancholy ballads that, well, endures on and on. Like a laid-back California ocean breeze over your heart.

“Hooked on a Feeling,” Blue Swede. A cutting edge update of a song originally, and dully, performed by BJ Thomas. Whoever decided to slip that epic “Ooga shocka, ooga ooga” catchphrase into the mix should have earned an Emmy.

“Tired of Toein the Line,” Rocky Burnette. Like a blissfully driven line shot into left field, this guitar-driven ditty appeared out of nowhere in 1980. Amazing guitar riff, a driving rockabilly-type beat and Orbisonish vocals are hallmarks of this, an international smash.

“Hold On,” Ian Gomm. Gomm, an obscure English songwriter, became un-obscure overnight once this diamond-in-the-rough hit the airwaves. Driving bass, airy acoustic guitars and insightful lyrics make this a keeper.

“Popcorn,” Hot Butter. Dit, dute, dit, dute, du, du, dute. Dit, dute, dit, dute, du, du, dute. I’d like to give you some lyrics to refresh your memory, but there are none.
This super-catchy instrumental, a huge hit in 1972, actually was a remake of a song created a few years earlier. As the title indicates, the bouncy, dancing notes do recall the sound of kernels in a popper fueled by techno music.

“Venus,” Shocking Blue. Although brought into the modern age by Bananarama, “Venus” in its original form this is goddess-like.
An addictive beat, with a nifty organ/guitar riff throughout, “Venus” helped this Dutch foursome move millions of albums in the 60s.
The fact that lead singer Mariska Veres’ looks were as hot and sultry as her voice didn’t hurt matters one bit either.
She had it…yeah, baby, she had it.
RIP, goddess Mariska.

“Fox on the Run,” Sweet. As a youngster, I was entranced every time this masterstroke hit the airwaves, thinking that this was probably the greatest song ever.
Slow synth buildup, stomping drums and power chords, and a cascading harmony part right before the chorus kicks in. Rivalled only by the band’s “Ballroom Blitz” in greatness.

“Stealin,” Uriah Heep. One of several classic tunes from another under-recognized group. Slowly builds from a throbbing bassline into a full-fledged rockfest. The hookline, “Stealin’ when I should have been buyin,'” is without peer.

“Handle With Care,” Traveling Wilburys. Why “Centerfold” by J. Geils Band is a staple of classic rock stations and this isn’t is totally beyond me. Great guitar line, melody and lyrics, and the biggest legends in music, including an ex-Beatle.


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One Response

  1. dannyduluoz says:

    I had actually forgotten about “Short People” I loved that song in high school when I would volunteer at the local radio station. Traviling Wilburys will always have a place in my heart. Thanks for the memories.

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