It’s easy to find songs when they’re given their proper due. Some great songs, though, never quite got the respect that they deserve. Below are five of the most underrated songs of all time, songs that deserve a little more respect than they got upon release.
1. I’m Still Standing:
It’s really hard to call any song by Elton John underrated, but this one probably counts. This song got a ton of airplay, but it never really ranked up there with Elton’s classics. The song is almost ridiculously catchy and has all the elements that made some of Elton John’s biggest hits catch fire, but it never made it higher than #12 on the US charts. While that’s an amazing showing for almost anyone else, it’s a bit of a letdown for Elton. The song still stands up to criticism today, which can’t be said for some of his other better-rated work.
Nirvana’s relatively tiny catalog is full of not only hits but some all-time classics. If you were alive during the early 1990s, you probably not most of them by heart. One you might not remember, though, is Breed – a brutally fast and musically complex piece that feels at odds with a lot of the band’s other work. The fact that it’s so often forgotten is a real shame, as it was a tantalizing look at just how good Nirvana really was.
3. So Lonesome I Could Cry:
While the Hank Williams, Sr. version rightfully gets a lot of praise from fans, it’s the Johnny Cash cover that has been overlooked. It’s not surprising, of course – it came out on American IV: The Man Comes Around which was full of amazing covers. In fact, it was destined to be overlooked the moment that Cash’s cover of Hurt was recorded. Even with that said, this is an amazing cover that deserves much more attention than it ever got. Fortunately, fans of Cash’s later work can still find this song with relatively little effort.
4. Matthew Good Band:
If you’re looking for something fantastic and didn’t spend a lot of time listening to MTV2 during the late 1990s, you might have overlooked this song. The Matthew Good Band’s opus is a fantastic alternative track, one that got relatively little rotation as it was lost in the pre-millennial shuffle. It’s a shame, too, as the song’s solid structure and outstanding chorus really stand out on repeat listens. Unfortunately, the song has largely been forgotten by all but a few diehards. It’s a good example of a great song that was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
If you know the Runaways at all, it’s probably from Cherry Bomb. Thunder, though, is a similarly snarly piece of fun that’s actually a bit better from a technical standpoint. While those that remember the band today probably spend more time thinking about the individual members’ later careers and the whirlwind that surrounded their personal lives, Thunder remains one of the best overall rock songs from the 1970s.
Joshua Gruss is the Chairman, CEO and founder of Round Hill Music.