Every year, there are a ton of great songs that just never quite become hits. Whether they don’t have any radio support, are too specifically targeted to one demographic, too artistic, too frothy or are from artists that may be considered past their prime (at least according to radio and execs), there are always so many gems that deserved to be hits. So, with that in mind, here is a list of ten of my favorites songs released over the past year that should’ve hit it big….
First two honorable mentions..
“Secret Love”- Stevie Nicks
“I’ll Survive You”- BC Jean
…and now the list
Top Ten Songs that Should’ve Been Hits in 2011:
10. “The Best Thing About You is Me”- Ricky Martin & Joss Stone: this mid-tempo pop confection just didn’t fit with all the dance records that hit it big this year. It’s a shame AC radio didn’t support it more because it’s the perfect song for a summer day with a wonderful message. And the Jump Smokerz dance mix is incredible.
9. “When You Loved Me”- Richard Marx: this 80′s/90′s pop powerhouse is still making great music. Whether writing Grammy winning songs for Luther Vandross or hits for the likes of Nsync, he always has great melodies and moving lyrics. Check out this song that hit the AC top 20 but couldn’t cross over anywhere else.
8. “Bright Lights, Bigger City”- Cee Lo Green: I have no idea why this one didn’t hit. It’s got a great groove and followed the massive chart topper “Forget You”. He should’ve sang it on The Voice every week!
7. “Desperate Girls and Stupid Boys”- Kimberly Caldwell: this season 2 American Idol finalist has become more known for hosting tv shows than her pipes, but she made a great debut album that finally hit stores earlier this year. Unfortunately, despite almost hitting pop top 40 radio, this great single had to settle for being a moderate dance hit. Kimberly deserved better! Seriously, this song is totally delightfully addictive.
6. “Inside These Lines”- Trent Dabbs: this gorgeous moody rock ballad got some notice this summer in a featured dance on So You Think You Can Dance. If only Hot AC radio had picked it up, it could’ve been a smash… And it so belongs in a Grey’s Anatomy montage.
5. “The Story”- Sara Ramirez: covering Brandi Carlisle’s emotional masterpiece for the Grey’s Anatomy musical episode, Ramirez just killed it. The Tony winning actress/singer gave a breathtaking performance in the episode and this song was the highlight. While it spent a few weeks on the digital sales chart and briefly made the Hot 100, radio never got behind it. Why? I seriously love this song!… Well, at least she has a Tony and a job on one of the biggest shows on TV.
4. “Don’t Turn Out the Lights”- NKOTBSB: one of two new songs on their combined hits album by boy band super groups New Kids on the Block and Backstreet Boys, “Lights” was instant pop perfection. Apparently radio programmers thought of it as more of a novelty. With little support it peaked just outside the Hot 100. Despite this great track not getting its due, the group had the last laugh with a huge summer tour that grossed over $45 million.
3. “This Time”- Pia Toscano: my favorite contestant from this year’s American Idol was surprisingly booted far too soon. But she had the last laugh grabbing a record deal within days. It yielded this awesome first single that just missed the Hot 100. She has the look and an incredible voice, but it looks like she is still having trouble connecting to a mass audience. We’ll see if that changes when her debut album hits stores this winter.
2. “Collide”- Leona Lewis: after making a huge impression with her massive global smash “Bleeding Love” and successful debut album, Lewis has struggled to remain a player stateside. This first single from her upcoming third album was a # 1 in England and much of Europe but it fizzled on the pop charts here. It did hit the top of the dance charts though. I hope radio gets behind this talented artist’s new record when it drops in March or April. If ti’s as good as this fabulous track, we’re in for an awesome collection.
1. “Run”- Sugarland with Matt Nathanson: one of my favorite songs of the year period, “Run” is a wondrous blend of rock, country and pop by two fantastic artists. The song still could be a hit. After it was performed at the CMA Awards in November, it landed on the Hot 100 at #53 and started to garner country and Hot AC airplay. It has stalled a little since, so I’m worried. But the song, which came out this summer is simply brilliant and damn this performance below is just incredible. I deny you to not love this song!