Maybe its just me and my anal attitude to popular music, but I genuinely like a band or track more when its unpopular. It feels like its mine, and no one else’s. More special, more brilliant. I can still appreciate popular music when its good, but I wouldn’t say I love them, they are merely good. I don’t feel any passion towards it.
So what happens when a good track becomes popular. It hits the radio, gets played 10 or 20 times a day. It hits the clubs, if its suitable, and lots of drunk people dance away the night to it. Every night of every weekend, for several months, even years. Decades in some cases. They earn the title Classic. Or Anthem maybe. Look at some of the classic tracks that get playing in your average club or pub on a Saturday night. Bon Jovi, Livin’ On A Prayer. Guns ‘n’ Roses, Sweet Child O’ Mine. Aerosmith, Walk This Way. Springsteen, Born In The USA. Bryan Adams, Summer of ’69. Journey, Don’t Stop Believin’. Don Mclean, American Pie. Lynyrd Skynryd, Sweet Home Alabama. The Proclaimers, I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles). Even The Ghostbusters theme. Music that I would term “Bishopstown Bar music” (for the locals). These are the kind of songs that you would happily call a classic, but a little part inside of you groans when you hear them come on. Of course, the drunk part of you sings along or rushes to the dance floor (guilty as charged, many a time), but thats besides the point. A more sober person would skip any one of these tracks on their iPod (not that I have The Ghostbusters theme on my iPod!) because you’ve heard them too much.
When thinking of the above list I did come across a few others, a small, select few, which would fit the criteria of overplayed club classics, but for some reason I don’t hate these one quite so much. I’m thinking about Michael Jackson, Billie Jean and Beat It. Queen, Don’t Stop Me Now. Thin Lizzy, The Boys Are Back In Town. Maybe its just my own choices and tastes. Or just that these overplayed classics are a step above the rest.
And what of the future. There are a few songs that are capable of falling under this spell. Songs that are possibly future classics but that are already overplayed in their short lifetimes, so what will become of them in 5 or 10 years time? The Fratellis, Chelsea Dagger. Kings of Leon, Fans, Sex On Fire. Kaiser Chiefs, I Predict A Riot. Mundy, July and Galway Girl. Coldplay, Viva La Vida. Franz Ferdinand, Take Me Out. The Killers, Mr Brightside. Maybe even MGMT, Electric Feel – although I still have lots of love for this band.
So I am here to propose a new wave of classics. Songs that, in my opinion, are classics and have been underplayed in recent times, but would not be out of place on a Saturday night. The likes of Chuck Berry, Johnny B Goode. Boston, More Than A Feeling. The Commitments, Mustang Sally. Edwin Starr, War. Elton John, Crocodile Rock and I’m Still Standing. Europe, The Final Countdown. Joan Jett, I Love Rock n Roll. Journey, Any Way You Want It. ZZ Top, Gimme All Your Loving. Marc Cohn, Walking In Memphis (not that Cher shite). Phil Collins, Easy Lover. Ram Jam, Black Betty. The Knack, My Sharona. Starship, We Built This City. The Temptations, You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling – maybe just for that Top Gun moment, when lots of drunk guys will (attempt to) serenade the embarrassed girls.
But then if these songs get played more, don’t they just become the same overplayed classics that I’m trying to get rid of? The vicious cycle continues.
What are your overplayed or underplayed nightclub classics?