Bands that deserved better than they got

Again from an old newsgroup post, dated November 7, 2004. I went through a period of mild obsession with this subject — bands that I thought produced great music that nobody else seemed to have heard of. I wanted other people to name unknown bands they loved, so I could check them out and maybe add them to my own collection.

Nobody did, except the late Bud Webster, who provided too long a list for me to deal with; this was my response:

Okay, that didn’t work. Bud dumped a whole list on us (and he may be right about every single one of them, since I’ve never heard any of them), and no one else said much of anything. Let’s try it again, with rules.

You can only name bands that had at least one album released on a major label.

You cannot name bands that had an album go platinum — the Knack is not eligible, for example. (And they cut their own throats with their inept second album, anyway — they didn’t deserve better.)

You cannot name more than three bands, so choose carefully.

Any band listed must not merely have been neglected, but must have been good enough to deserve national fame and fortune; as an arbitrary cut-off, they must be unquestionably superior to Green Day in musical ability.

And a band that only had one or two good songs doesn’t count, no matter how good those one or two are — call this the Romeo Void rule.

So, again — I’m starting off with Grace Pool, a stupendously good alternative band that put out two albums before finally breaking up in 1992. They had the misfortune to come from the same town as 10,000 Maniacs and to have a female lead singer, so they were seen, completely incorrectly, as a Maniacs imitator. They were, in my humble opinion, far superior to 10,000 Maniacs.

And there’s Divinyls, considered a one-hit wonder in the U.S. even though “I Touch Myself” is just an average cut for them. I’m told they did make it big in Australia.

So what have you got?

4 thoughts on “Bands that deserved better than they got

  1. Nellie McKay – – writes lyrics likes They Might Be Giants, sings like Doris Day, and has released on Verve, which is a major label.

    I recommend looking to Youtube for “Clonie” and “Bodega” to get a feel for her music.

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