Occasionally you come across songs that are so good, so powerful, and so unknown. There are a couple of reasons for this: a) they come from obscure artists; or b) they are forgotten tracks on an otherwise popular album by a major artist.
Whatever the case, here’s a list of some of my favorite songs you’ve probably never heard of:
- Never Been Any Reason by Head East. When a song comes from an album with the title Flat As A Pancake, you know you’re headed for obscurity. Except this relic from the 70s is a great song — infectious groove, strong bass line, and surprising vocal harmonies at the end. I have no idea what it’s about, but who cares?
- Hawkmoon 269 by U2. It comes from the Rattle & Hum album, which most critics and even some fans panned. I liked it. And I love this underrated song: driving drums, memorable riff, and soaring vocals. How can I not like a piece that sings “like a preacher needs pain . . . I need your love”??
- I Still Believe by The Call. OK, nobody has ever heard of The Call. Even in the 80s, this pseudo New Wave band struggled for notoriety. It never came. But this song deeply influenced my return from spiritual wilderness into passion for God. The Call was one of the first groups that showed me you don’t have to be a “Christian” band to sing about profoundly Christian things. Through this song, I realized that I still believed as well.
- For All The Wrong Reasons by Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers. Yeah, some of the Heartbreakers called the song Re-Falling for its resemblance to Free Fallin’. But this track off 1991’s Into The Great Wide Open still features Petty at his haunting, ironic best. It is so unknown, however, that the best YouTube link is a cover by some guy with a guitar, backing track, and camera.
- Everything Is Different Now by Don Henley. By 2000, when this song came out, Don Henley was so much yesterday’s news that no one paid attention. They missed a great song. Who would have ever thought than an Eagle would give such an indictment of the libertine life and an endorsement of marriage? The gospel choir brings the song to an unexpected, exalted conclusion. Even better live.