Ten Songs That Should Have Been Hits (In No Order)
I'll Wait (Taylor Dayne)
From her Soul Provider album, writer Shep Pettibone all but handed Taylor Dayne a hit. So What Happened?
For those who don't know Pettibone was the writer / producer behind much of Madonna's late 80s / early 90s material. I can't imagine this song being a throw-a-way by Madonna.
Although peaking at Number 3 on Billboard's dance charts. it never made the Hot 100 chart.
My only guess it that after the weak showings of the lead single, a brilliant remake of Can't Get Enough Of Your Love (#20), and the pretty but too formulaic Send Me A Lover( #50), the public decided not to give her another chance
I Found Someone (Laura Branigan)
The third single of the Hold Me album this song peaked at #90 on the Hot 100 Chart. Although it managed to get to #25 on the Adult Contemporary Chart, it is a beautiful song that was completely overlooked.
That is until Cher remade it and took it into the Top 10 as part of her comeback as a singer. As much as I like Cher her version of this song pales in comparison.
The late Ms. Branigan has always been grossly underrated. Laura had a minor hits with The Power Of Love (#26) and How Am I Supposed To Live Without You (#12), which were later taken to #1 by other artists. She seems to have the misfortune of finding hits before their time has come.
Unfortunately, this song was excluded from her 1995 Greatest Hits CD. It is on the CD Hold Me which can be found often on eBay.
Tired Of Being Blonde (Carly Simon)
From her mid-80s album Spoiled Girl This song is about a woman giving up her good life and being rather proud of it.
Missing from the top 10 charts since 1977's Nobody Does It Better(#2), this song missed the charts entirely. It also helped make her first album for Epic Records her last.
Although Ms Simon was still having hits in the UK, she was still a year away from staging a comeback with 1986's Coming Around Again (#18).
This song marked the entrance of Ms. Simon into the video world and this song was played a lot on the newly established VH1 cable channel.
Excluded from her anthology package on Rhino Records you can often find this CD on cutout bins. At $5.99 get the CD just for this song.
Tied Up (Olivia Newton-John)
Written by John Farrar and Lee Ritenour, this song is unlike most ONJ singles. Perhaps that is why it barely climbed into the top 40, peaking at #38 on the Hot 100 Chart.
As a follow up to the God awful Heart Attack, I am in disbelief radio and fans ignored this tune while sending the coronary inducing Heart Attack to #3 on Billboard and #2 on Cashbox.
This song really begins the decline of Olivia Newton-John and she tried to transform her self from respected singer to "Queen of Smut," from which she never recovered. Her chart performances, now lingering in the lower realms of the Hot 100 Chart, excepting the song Twist Of Fate (#5) which gained a push from the reunion of her with John Travolta.
Available on Olivia Newton-John's CD Greatest Hits Volume 2 in America and Canada and Greatest Hits Volume 3 elsewhere.
Note to Fans:
Many additional CDs from Olivia were never issued in North America but can be found in import sections. This accounts for the discrepancy in CD numbering of greatest hits volumes.
Overjoyed (Stevie Wonder)
This song is really quite a nice song. Perhaps a bit overproduced, let's face it the constant waterfall and bird sounds are a bit much, but this song is much better than the formula songs Stevie put out throughout the 80s.
Although it managed to climb to Number 29, it never received the attention it deserved, overshadowed by the much schmaltzy I Just Called To Say I Love You and the danceable Part Time Lover.
It also marked the end of Stevie's chart career. Although he would go on to make successful albums his days of having chart hits were about to come to an end after 20 years. His last chart appearance being the uncredited vocal on That's What Friends Are For
Anything Is Possible6 (Debbie Gibson)
People need to give this singer a break and actually LISTEN to her. This song is available on the album of the same name.
After two albums oriented to the teen market Debbie or Deborah, as she's now known, teamed up with Lamont Dozier of Motown to create her most infectious song ever.
Climbing to 26 on the Hot 100 Chart an obvious backlash to her stopped this song dead in it tracks. Another reason the song possibly failed was it was on the single worst album Debbie has put out.
Since than Debbie has managed only to get back into the charts with Losing Myself a beautiful ballad that reached #86.
And if you haven't heard any song by her since Lost In Your Eyes you need to check her out. She has a weird way of putting one outstanding ballad on each of her albums so whatever you get you know you'll be getting one top notch song. In many ways Ms Gibson is more a songwriter than a singer in the Carole King mode.
To Anyone (Sheena Easton)
Sheena had a comeback in the early 90s. A radical departure from her "goody" image of You Could've Been With Me (#15), one of my personal favourites.
Sheena buffed up and sexed out with Babyface's The Lover In Me. Of all her songs The Lover in Me peaking at Number 2 was second only to Morning Train(Nine To Five), which went to Number 1.
This Song was off the follow up album, What Comes Naturally. The lead single of the same name peaked at #19. Sheena's comeback seemed confirmed, but that was her last chart entry.
To Anyone is actually one of Sheena's best efforts and Sheena sings this with pure angst. It is a hauntingly beautiful torch song written in part, by Matthew Wilder (He had a top 10 hit in the '80s called Break My Stride)
Wise Up (Amy Grant)
When her Christian influenced single Find A Way from her album Unguarded made it up the pop charts to #29, Amy Grant was on her way.
One of the most successful Christian artists, this song the third single from the album, was released far before her crossover success with Next Time I Fall (#1) and Baby, Baby (#1) and made it up to #66 on The Hot 100 Chart.
You could infer a Christian element from this song but only if you knew about Amy's background. This is a jazzy song that'll have your feet tapping.
Can't Wait All Night (Juice Newton)
Climbing to #66 on the Hot 100 Chart, Bryan Adams co-penned this song for Juice. Perhaps this one of the reasons it failed to make a dent. The song is really Rock rather than Country. It is also the best song on the album of the same name and unfortunately it marked the end of her career on the pop charts.
The following year Juice left Capital Records for her old label RCA producing a smash country album Old Flame.
Ms. Newton a country artist was always on the borderline with pop. Ironically her earliest successes like Queen Of Hearts (#2 Pop / #14 Country) and Love's Been A Little Bit Hard On Me (#7 Pop / #30 Country) charted much higher on the pop chart than on the country chart.
I Can't Say Goodbye To You (Helen Reddy)
No one ever expected much from this song. And it's a shame they didn't because it one hell of a song. Stalling out at #88 on the Hot 100 Chart it marked Helen's last appearance on any American Chart
In a stunning fall Helen Reddy, the most successful female solo artist of the first half of the 70s (sorry guys Karen Carpenter is technically part of a duo), found herself without a top 10 hit and only two modest hits in the latter half of the 70s. Only You Are My World and the disco Can't Hear You No More both top 30 hits, saved her from a complete shut out.
In the early 80s Helen put out two albums. This song was the lead single from the first. Her second and last 80s album was Imagination. This is actually quite a good album but would be totally forgotten if it didn't contain the song Heartbeat, which Don Johnson later took to #5 in the mid '80s.