‘Old music is the same as new music – it’s just a different way of delivering it’ – Jeff Lynne
One of my favourite things to do when I’m in the office on my own at work is stick the some 3500 songs on my phone on shuffle and see what occurs. Aside from the very frequent ‘thank god know one knows I’m listening to this‘ thoughts that pop up every 5 or 6 songs, I regularly find myself thinking ‘how the heckers was this not bigger/ever released – It’s SO GOOD’.
Here are 10 of those songs which I think are absolutely bloody brilliant, but most people have probably never heard:
1. Shed Seven – Speakeasy
Most Brits will know this song from the TV Advert for mobile phone company ‘The Link (‘At the link it’s easy’) but for me this was one of Shed Seven’s best singles, despite it only reaching number 24 in the UK charts back in 1994. It stands up musically next to the Blurs and Oasis’ of the time both in production and sing-a-longability (it’s a word, trust me). It’s a shame they never released more like this, or that this didn’t do better.
2. Louchie Lou & Michie One – Secret Fantasy
This song appears to be so rare and unheard of that it wasn’t even on YouTube until I uploaded it! Louchie Lou & Michie One are possibly most remembered for their 1993 hit Shout and a few duets they did with Suggs in 1996 but it’s this 1995 single that’s been on constant rotation in my ears for the past 20 years. Has great mid tempo pop beats and the perfect mix of soulful singing and Michie’s signature rapping.
3. Tegan & Sara – Don’t Confess
From the 2002 album ‘If It Was You’ this is the perfect ‘sitting on the bus whilst it’s raining staring longingly out the window’ type of song. Tegan and Sara are patchy for me, I either think they’re fantastic or rubbish, no in-between. This song definitely falls into the fantastic category and unless you’re a massive One Tree Hill fan (it featured in an episode in the first season) you’ve probably wasted many a miserable bus journey not knowing this song existed!
4. Hanson – Georgia
This is one of those songs that from the first note, you know you’re going to love it. Unreleased from their second album The Walk, it makes me want to drive a convertible through Arizona as the sun goes down. The piano at the beginning as beautiful and Taylor Hanson’s voice has really matured since the days he was Mmmbopping all over the place!
5. Jennifer Paige/Nick Carter – Beautiful Lie
Jennifer Paige never made any impact in the UK after her 1998 hit Crush and is very much considered a One Hit Wonder (although her follow-up to Crush – a single called Sober is also very good) she’s been steadily releasing music with varying degrees of success throughout the 2000’s. This song didn’t chart anywhere other than 49 in Austria and 19 in Germany even with everyone’s favourite blonde Backstreet Boy on board, which is a shame because their voices compliment each other well and it’s pretty damn catchy!
6. Electrik Red – Muah
You’d never have heard a peep from these girls if you live in the UK, and possibly won’t be that aware of them anywhere either, which baffles me as they’re so super talented! They met as professional dancers on the set of Ciara’s Like A Boy music video and recorded this song for their 2009 album How to Be a Lady: volume 1. It’s full of energy and sass and has been a constant on my running playlist for some years!
7. Paradiso Girls – Patron Tequila
They were supposed to be The Pussycat Dolls: The Next Generation and with this, their first single, they looked well on their way. This song could easily have been a lead single on a PCD album, especially with Eve and Lil Jon steering the good ship Paradiso and Robin Antin in charge of choreography. Lauren Bennett (the blonde one) has since joined girlband G.R.L but they haven’t exactly set the world on fire either, perhaps people just don’t like sexy ladies singing about getting pissed on tequila?!
8. Backstreet Boys – Bigger
This was released as the second single off the Backstreet Boys’ 7th album This is Us (one of their best albums in my humble opinion) and received very little if any promotion.It’s written by long time collaborator Max Martin and has got their signature sound written all over it. I genuinely believe had this song been released by One Direction or JLS it would have been huge, HUGE I TELL YA!
9. Sway – Level Up
Although this performed well on the UK R&B charts (reaching number 3 when it was released in 2012) it only got to the dizzy heights of number 43 on the official UK charts. I stumbled across it myself on a ‘Now That’s What I Call The Best Drive Album In The Galaxy Part 3 million’ type thing and it’s a shame you never hear it anywhere – good tune!
10. Robyn – Still Your Girl
Between Robyn being a pre-Britney pop princess in 1997 and a super cool electronica hipster in 2005, Robyn released the amazing album Don’t Stop The Music in 2002 (only released in Sweden initially) on which every song is brilliant. This was the song I heard first that introduced me to the album so remains my fave. I think if this album had been released farther afield and with the right promotion it would have done really well.
Thanks to Nick Bassett for the inspo, check out his brilliant pop music blog here