Album tracks that should have been singles

See this thread all the time around the net but this is my blog so I’m free to butt in here.  These songs all should have been singles but weren’t because of loss of bottle, labels/managers who think they know better, bad luck, tin ears etc.

Elvis Costello – What’s So Funny ‘Bout Peace, Love & Understanding

Sort of was and wasn’t and was and wasn’t again which makes it aggravating.  Written by Nick Lowe, he originally recorded it with Brinsley Schwarz who made it a single which no one bought.  When Nick became Elvis’s producer, he persuaded his charge to record it which he did blowing the original away and Lowe stuck it on the B side of one of his solo singles.  Then it reappeared on the US version of Elvis’s Armed Forces LP and everyone raved about it, a video was made but after the Ray Charles incident and the failure of Accidents will Happen it was canned.  Still turns up on all his best ofs.

Beck – Pressure Zone

From his Midnite Vultures album, this is a great mashup of electro noise and sleazoid southern rock good for both dancefloor and radio.  But it was ignored.

Fischer Z – Going Deaf For A Living

A cultish act trying push an album beyond their core fans, Fischer mainman John Watts came up with this utter earworm about the strain of gigging for 20 to life.  A couple of good tracks did see release but for some baffling reason not this.

Kate Bush – Them Heavy People

Kate was bullied into her second album by EMI way too early but if it was going to come out so soon, it needed a good advert.  Hammer Horror was interesting but not what was required.  This was and became so famous when later parodied by Pamela Stephenson on NTNOCN that most people think it was a single and big hit.

David Bowie – Joe The Lion

David was finding chart action hard to come by since blasting off for planet Eno.  Heroes itself had faltered at #24 over here, the only track that could have followed it from the LP was this hard art rock tune with a great riff.  Sadly, the dog turd that was Beauty & The Beast won out and killed the momentum once again.

The Clash – Train In Vain

Slung together after the rest of London Calling for an NME flexi that never happened, the Clash’s joyous take on funky soul cried out to be a early 1980 single to nab them that elusive top 10 hit.  Only in Holland, where I guess Edam’s People did a great routine to it on Tulip Of The Pops.

The Darkness – Friday Night

2.55 of fabulously infectious pop metal that got thumbs up all round, a promo was pressed, a video was made…then it stayed where it was.

Radiohead – Electioneering

Savage broadcast on all frequencies with squalling guitars and oil drums, ideal for the year Blair zero.  It’s creators did not agree and did not give it a day pass.

Cheap Trick – He’s A Whore

It rocks! It’s rude! It’s not going out dressed like that!  While it might have gained some punk points in the UK, it would have been buried without a funeral in the ultra-conservative US market. If a banned single is never released does it make a sound?

The Who – Little Billy

Pete Townshend wrote this ultra-catchy pop tune for the American Cancer Society who baulked at its unsentimental message – smoke and you die!  That all four member of the Oo loved their fags at this time was neither here nor there.  As there was no album released that year (1968) the novelty Small Faces impression Dogs filled the gap and Little Billy became an odd sod, poor kid.

Anymore for anymore?


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