The Unknown, Understated, and Underrated: Ten Powerful Songs You Should Listen to More

I'm not giving a list of obscure bands and unknown songs. The list is just songs that are under appreciated in the catalogs of these great bands.

Scorpions, "The Sails of Charon"

In 1977 the Scorpions had not hit their height of popularity and had a slightly different lineup. One huge difference is guitar player Uli Jon Roth. "The Sails of Charon" starts off with the best intro guitar solo ever. Everything Uli does is well crafted but the work in this song is one of the top guitar masterpieces. The rest of the song has solid vocal rhythm and great overall groove.

Guns N' Roses, "Estranged"

I know they were one of the biggest bands at the time of the songs release but recently the song doesn't have the same lasting effects as the rest of their hits and it should. After the song's soft entrance and Axl's barely audible vocal lines the song breaks into an immense guitar melody that set a tone and pace for the rest of the first half. The song takes a beautiful turn for the second half which becomes lighter and piano driven.

Candlebox, "Don't You"

For some reason Candlebox gets this reputation of being this soft band of the grunge era. I disagree. "Don't You" is the first song off of their debut album and it set a tone that is maintained throughout. This song is hard rock/ blues at its best. The vocal performance is gargantuan and the recording is also monstrous.

Soundgarden, "Like Suicide"

One of the most underrated songs from their most popular album. Chris Cornell's lyrics in this song are woven brilliantly and his vocal performance pushes the theme into your brain. The music accompaniment adds a beauty to the despair of the subject matter.

Live, "White, Discussion"

I just love the wide open groove and vocal rhythm of this tune and definitely the forgotten single from this album.

Type O Negative, "Be My Druidness"

No band can deviate from groovy to depressing to lighthearted to agonizing seamlessly and all in one song like Type O can. This song is a great example of that talent.

Pearl Jam, "Tremor Christ"

After their debut album I never feel like Pearl Jam put out another solid effort. I am not a fan of their "Vitalogy" album with the exception of this gem. "Tremor Christ" is haunting. The minimal approach, vamping guitar work, the vocals drowned in reverb make this song a ghostly entity that consumes you as a listener.

Red Hot Chili Peppers, "Warped"

Many Chili fans believe "One Hot Minute" was a weak departure from its predecessor "Blood Sugar Sex Magic." I could not disagree more. Dave Navarro's work on this album added a heavier side to the funk rock Chilis. "Warped" is the greatest illustration of that. This song packs a punch and morphs into a exquisite short outro piece. This song was the perfect choice to start this album and its first but underrated single.

Nevermore, "Dreaming Neon Black"

If you want an enormous vocal performance the title track of Nevermore's 1999 album is for you. When Warrel Dane sings you feel his agony and Jeff Loomis is pure power and finesse as a guitarist. This song is a genius blend of frailty and virtuosity.

Rival Sons, "Manifest Destiny PT. 1"

One of the most prolific new rock bands of the past ten years at their best. Slow, droning intro and verses with an explosive chorus. To top it off this song has a guitar solo that could belong on the "Band of Gypsys."


Josh Johnson
http://mammothorband.com