One of the frustrating things about being a pop fan is when you pick up an album by an artist that has more than it's share of singles or the very least that one song you just know would be a huge smash. Sometimes it's a song almost too good for the artist in question, sometimes it's one that never makes it to the charts due to the album flopping. Whatever the reason there are many a song that should have, could have, would have been huge. Here I'm starting what I hope can be a regular look at a handful of tunes that never quite got the glory they deserved. From singles that flopped to album tracks that never got a release at all, here is a chance to give a few songs a their moment in the sun.
(1) Breathe On Me - Britney Spears
|image via Coverlandia|
(2) Fire Bomb - Rihanna
|Image via Coverlandia|
Rihanna's Rated R was considered something of a commerical misfire despite being her best album yet. Rude Boy was the obvious smash hit of the set and a signifier for where RiRi would end up with her next release. The moody textures of Rated R yielded a few chart misfires (Rockstar 101, Te Amo) but it's hard to fathom why somebody at her label didn't give Fire Bomb a shot at chart glory. A huge stadium ready chorus, a yearning vocal from Rihanna and plenty of music video friendly imagery (just imagine the girls go on the road video that could have been. Sigh) make this pop-rock number one that could have shown another side to Rihanna's chart personality.
(3) Janet Jackson - Enjoy
The last decade has not been kind to the sales of former chart juggernaut Janet Jackson. I caught her recent live show in Dublin and was suitably blown away by the presence and energy Janet still exudes. Her hit-making powers may have diminished somewhat but Janet has had plenty of strong material over the last decade but post-Superbowl has found it hard to connect with radio programmers and a wider audience.
2008's Feedback almost turned the tide, managing a decent performance Stateside but never quite did the big business many expected it would. Enjoy, a cut from her underrated 20 Y.O. set, is in many ways the biggest missed opportunity of the bunch. A chirpy, euphoric slice of soul pop it's got an uplifting, cheery quality last seen in her late 90s megahit Together Again and a sleek groove that recalls her heyday. Enjoy would have been the perfect antidote to how Janet has been ignored by radio playlisters were it not for her then label Virgin getting cold feet with how the 20 Y.O. project had performed. It's a shame, Enjoy would have sounded great on advertisments, blaring out of radios and reswizzed for the clubs. As it stands it falls into a pile of lost classics provided by Miss Janet.
There are many many more tunes in this vein to think about so we'll hopefully look at some more soon. If you have some ideas feel free to suggest below.