50 of Rock Music's Favorite Deep Cuts - Part Two (40-31)

Jun 6, 2007 (Updated Jun 15, 2007)

The Bottom Line Rock and Roll's Greatest Obscure Songs from the Biggest Names in Rock Music History. Part 2.

What do I mean by obscure? I'll tell you that I don't mean unheard demos, b-sides or anything like that. I'm just talking about songs that probably will not appear on the band's Greatest Hits albums. The songs that are ignored by radio, and the casual music listener in general. These are the lonely tracks that deserve a chance to be heard. Some people call them "Closet Classics" or "Deep Cuts" - these are the tracks that people may have missed along the way, so break out those old CDs you haven't played the whole way through and give these songs a listen.

The only rule I had made for myself, is that I will only list one song per band, which doesn't mean anything for you really, except it makes it a little more challenging for myself to have to choose which song to include on this list. One more thing, these songs are not in any real order.

40. Lost Paraguayos from Rod Stewart, Never a Dull Moment, 1972.

It seems to me that Rod Stewart's career has been minimized to a couple of handfuls of Greatest Hits collections and his studio albums are obsolete with the exception of maybe Blondes Have More Fun. His album Never a Dull Moment had a big single with You Wear It Well which propelled the album to #2 in the US charts. Lost Paraguayos is a big acoustic guitar song written by Rod Stewart and Ron Wood (Faces, Rolling Stones). It has a country/blues flavor with a real unplugged feel as did a lot of his music of the early 1970s. It short, this is one of the golden nuggets found in Stewart's early catalog.

39. Pretty from The Cranberries, Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can't We?, 1993.

The Cranberries, an Irish rock band, exploded into the media mainstream with their major label debut Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can't We?. The singles Dreams and Linger seemed to be everywhere. A song like Pretty can easily get overlooked amidst all the hype and excitement of this new force in rock music. Pretty is a short, beautiful song with just a clean electric guitar from Noel Hogen and re-affirming lyrics from lead singer Dolores O'Riordan. Dolores's haunting melody lines try to counter the simple lyric
Love, love - you say you want it, but you won't change me.
You're so pretty the way you are...

38. Retrovertigo from Mr. Bungle, California 1999.

Mr. Bungle, featuring Mike Patton (ex-Faith No More) on lead vocals, is a band that has only known obscurity and less than mild success. This doesn't reflect on the quality of the music that came out of the band. Mr. Bungle's three albums were for the most part, excellent, and I would urge everyone to give their small catalog of music a listen. Mr. Bungle's first two albums are quite eclectic; the band seems to jump from jazz to hip hop to heavy metal within the same song sometimes. With Patton's spot on vocals, this Bungle soup worked on many levels. With the release of Mr. Bungle's third and final album, California in 1999, the band seemed to try and lasso in all of the straying elements of their music and add a dose of Pop Rock to the mix and the result was a much more cohesive and accessible album of songs. On a song like Retrovertigo, written by bassist Trevor Dunn, the music transcends into the sublime. This is some of the most out-there, outlandish and outstanding music available and it boggles the mind why, despite a healthy underground fanaticism, this band went virtually nowhere.

37. Borrowed Time from Styx, Cornerstone 1979.

This is a great rocker from lead singer/keyboardist Dennis DeYoung and guitarist Tommy Shaw. It has all of the magic elements in there that make us love the band. Cornerstone is the album before Styx broke into the mainstream in a big way with 1980's Paradise Theater, yet the album churned out a #1 single with DeYoung's Babe. Borrowed Time was also released as a single, but hardly charted - it reached a dismal high of 63 in the Pop Singles charts. Most of the band's greatest songs will be found on their Greatest Hits albums, and Borrowed Time serves as a rare fantastic deep cut for Styx.

36. Overture from The Who, Tommy, 1969.

The Who has many obscure songs to choose from, mostly all we know of The Who are the big hits and the classics they play over and over again on the radio, (Pinball Wizard, You Better You Bet, Who Are You, Won't Get Fooled Again...etc). I love the Tommy album, both the original rock opera and the film soundtrack. Overture, the opening song is a powerful instrumental (except for two lines sung by Townsend toward the end) with some impressive acoustic guitar work from Pete Townsend. The 1969 Tommy album was released in the SACD (Super-Audio Compact Disc) 5.1 format in 2003, and if you have the electronics to play this disc, I promise - it's the only way to hear it.

35. Come On And Dance from Motley Crue, Too Fast For Love, 1982.

Motley Crue at one point were a force to be reckoned with. For a period of time that spans around the release of their first five studio albums, The Crue was one of the most loved, sought after metal band of the era, and they commanded their audiences and demanded respect from their peers and their fans. Their debut album, Too Fast For Love is absolutely loved by Motley Fans, but not too many others know about the loud, aggressive joy contained on this record. Come On and Dance is certainly an odd-ball especially compared with the rest of the album, or the entire Motley Crue back catalog. The song has a punk/power pop feel leftover from the 1970s, and with the zany background vocals it stands out as the most obscure song from the Crue. Not only is the song obscure, it's wonderfully catchy, it will leave you singing the chorus all day long.

34. All Hail Me from Veruca Salt, American Thighs, 1994.

Veruca Salt, fronted by two femme's Nina Gordon and Louise Post, were an alternative rock band in the mid 90s. The band enjoyed some success with their debut album American Thighs and a single Seether. For me, the band provided me with "alternative" form of modern musical entertainment while the whole world went Seattle grunge-loco, it was the female fronted bands that offered the best alternative, bands like The Cranberries, Belly, No Doubt, and of course Veruca Salt. Before the line-up changes and different variations of Veruca Salt began to take place, they released two amazing albums, American Thighs and Eight Arms To Hold You. Of course since then, the band itself had slipped into obscurity despite the occasional CD here and there being put out by "Veruca Salt." All Hail Me was the flip side of Seether, it's driving, tuned down to D, unrelenting groove meshes well with the ultra delicate female harmonies of Post and Gordon give the song an even harder edge to it. I wholly recommend their first two studio albums.

33. As Above, So Below from Tom Tom Club, Tom Tom Club, 1981.

When MTV was very new, they used to play Tom Tom Club's Genius of Love video all of the time. I thought it was one of the best songs ever, and I still do. Their self titles album is one of the best CDs I own. The band is a new wave/dace group made up mostly of Talking Heads members. As Above, So Below is enchanting from the taboo ritual described in the lyrics to the endless female chanting. The whole album is underrated and forgotten, and this song is one fine example why we should remember Tom Tom Club and the amazing music they created.

32. Fight Fire With Fire from Metallica, Ride the Lightning, 1984.

My brother J. has been helping me with this list of fifty songs; it's not as easy as it looks. He suggested I go with a song called Breadfan, I feel that it goes against the rules I set up for myself, and that the song is really a b-side, (although it was included on their Garage, Inc album). I decided to go earlier to their second album, released in 1984. Back in 1984 or 1986, Fight Fire With Fire could not be considered a deep cut by any means, because everyone was listening to their albums from start to finish, the band had no videos, no singles as they tried to convey an underground appeal. Now as twenty some odd years have gone by, Metallica is a band of videos and singles, and those days of Ride the Lightning and Kill 'Em All are long gone. When thrash metal was (sort of) in style - Metallica was all about playing the fastest riffs, having the fastest double kick drumming and the grittiest vocal growls in the business. Fight Fire With Fire is the epitome of early Metallica, and on an album like Ride the Lightning that's saying a lot. If you are unfamiliar with the track, it's time to get familiar.

31. Second Guessing from R.E.M., Reckoning, 1984.

I'm not that big of a fan of R.E.M., yet I cannot deny that the band has written some of the most melodic catchy songs ever. Big hits like Losing My Religion, Shiny Happy People and especially Everybody Hurts are simply amazing. There's an older song from the group that has always stayed with me, it's one of the first songs I heard from the band called Second Guessing. It's a quick, pure pop-rock song that seems very simple and only contains a verse repeated over again. The hook for me is the backing vocal from bassist Mike Mills. I'm not sure if Reckoning is an album that had any hit singles come off of it, and this song always places a picture in my mind of Michael Stipe with a lot of hair instead of the cue ball he dons now.

50 of Rock Music's Favorite Deep Cuts - Part One (50-41)
50 of Rock Music's Favorite Deep Cuts - Part Two (40-31)
50 of Rock Music's Favorite Deep Cuts - Part Three (30-21)
50 of Rock Music's Favorite Deep Cuts - Part Four (20-11)

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