Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Second best

I really need to expand on this thought at another time, but it's late and I'm scrounging about for something to post today, so half-formed thoughts will have to suffice for the time being.

Maybe it's the non-conformist or contrarian in me, but I've always had a soft spot for secondary singles in pop music, especially if the artists aren't known for many hits. The song in question may be the follow-up release to a massive success, or it might just be one that goes mostly unremembered when a subsequent tune becomes a smash.

For instance, a-ha will always be known for "Take On Me". It's the song and video from the Norwegian band that you can guarantee will be played during any program looking back at the '80s. While their second single didn't duplicate a climb to the top of the charts, peaking at #20 on the Billboard Hot 100 isn't too shabby. But do you know "The Sun Always Shines on T.V."?

I won't go so far as to call it superior, but it's a pretty good pop song in its own right. Through the years it just never had a chance to get out of the shadow of that first single and its landmark video.

And I haven't even mentioned their James Bond theme song. I had to stumble upon it to remember that they recorded it. That the song failed to chart in the U.S. probably explains why. I may not have heard it since 1987.

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