Bands you grew up with that you loved but never made it big...

Inspired by a recent thread…

As a child of the '70’s (born in 1962), and who loved music, I was astonished to learn that, when I went to college in 1980 in upstate NY, many, OK, MOST, of my friends (other than those few from Baltimore) had never heard of Crack The Sky…

We loved them, they played a lot of local Baltimore/OC places and were featured frequently on local radio…originally from WV, they developed a strong regional following that never translated to national/international success…and I have no idea why…

So, what band did you see/hear as a teenager, that you loved, rocked out to, but beyond your region, never caught on?

social distortion and ot an extent bad religion ………even people who lived in LA/OC who didn’t like 90s punk rock knew about both of them outside of so cal not so much………

The '80s band Zebra were big in NYC, especially on Long Island. I’m not sure if they got much national exposure. I would go see them whenever they played in Brooklyn.

Dangerous Toys
Goatmans Bridge

I grew up in the 1980s, and was into a lot of the heavy metal bands that were around during that time. Most sucked, to be honest, but there were a few that had some real talent yet never made it big. One that comes to mind is Metal Church. Another was a Cincinnati-based band called CJSS formed by guitar wizard David T. Chastain.

I grew up in Nowhere, MD, saw them on MTV in the 90s (maybe after The Offspring broke big, but don’t recall exactly). Social D had a big hit on rock radio at the time (“I Was Wrong” which also crossed over to the Hot 100; I just Wiki-Disco’d) and I remember Bad Religion getting press and prominent placement in my local record stores. Also remember “The Walk” and “21st Century Digital Boy” in heavy alt rock radio rotation. Both bands were on major labels and had Gold albums. My local Central Ohio alternative rock station plays "Ring of Fire,“Story of My Life,” “Ball and Chain”, and newer songs like “Machine Gun Blues.” Social Distortion and Bad Religion weren’t The Backstreet Boys and NSync but they are known national acts.

When I read the thread title I thought of Crack The Sky. I’m from Baltimore, eight years older than you. The Ravyns also came to mind. They had a song, Raised On The Radio, that was part of the soundtrack for Fast Times At Ridgemont High, and one album on MCA Records. They never made it past the local hero stage.

“Just an all American boy
I’ve got my favorite toy”

Lotsa MD people here, apparently.

I may be older than you guys, but Kix, out of Baltimore were a great metal band that never really grew past the mid-Atlantic region. A little national success that never blew up big.

Also, when I was older, Mary Prankster. The Queen of the Baltimore/DC punk scene, she never quite got the wild fame she deserved. Hell, she played parties at my house a few times when the occasion called for it.

Sonics, Wailers, Don and the Goodtimes, all from the Pacific NW. It was a huge deal to see them live in the 60’s. Never heard of them after I graduated from high school.

Detroit in the 70s… Even skipping Motown artists (or this post’ll get too long), what a great time in a great city for ballsy rock ‘n’ roll.

Now, some of my favorites have faded into obscurity (SRC, The Up, The Frost) or utter, total obscurity (Hey, Whiz Kids and The Checkmates, where are you now?)

But most achieved mid-range fame (Mitch Ryder, Rare Earth, The Romantics, Brownsville Station, Commander Cody, MC5…). And of course, some became legendary (Alice Cooper, Grand Funk, Glenn Frey, Bob Seger, Ted Nugent, Iggy Pop).

Ron Wood had Alice Cooper on his radio show and they did atribute to Detroit. They loved it in the 70s… Tonight at Cobo Hall… The Faces, Iggy & The Stooges, MC5 and Alice Cooper… for four dollars!

Bonzo Dog Band. Great musicians and showmen, and highly influential in the UK. Never had any success in the US – they were too strange.

“Surfin’s not my life…”

Another Balto-ish band was Facedancer. A friend of mine commented thusly: Facecancer? I have all their album!

Growing up in Pittsburgh, I loved Pittsburgh’s very own SPUDS (special people under docor’s supervision).

They still play a show or three every year. For some reason punk bands have staying power.

Or the 90s scene in Baltimore/Washington. For a while in about 1995 I thought we’d be the next Seattle.

Fighting Gravity
Velocity Girl
Emmet Swimming
Jimmy’s Chicken Shack

Hell, earlier…

Minor Threat
Bad Brains
Tommy Keene
Rites of Spring
Insect Surfers

The Sonics are touring; their last album was great.

I am a punk/metalhead so lots of bands I grew up on never made it big. Some are big rep- & influence-wise but never made any money and a few are big like Social D is big: huge within their genre and known outside of it as well.

I dunno how not-popular Social D and Bad Religion were. They were on the radio here in Cleveland.

I was/am really into a Michigan ska band called Mustard Plug. I saw them several times when they rolled through Cleveland. Granted, ska itself was fleeting but most of the great bands who were doing it hard-core didn’t get any exposure. I’m super excited that Mustard Plug is opening for the Mighty Mighty Bosstones here in August!

My boyfriend and his dudes were/are all totally in love with the band Hum. They had one hit song - “Stars” (“She thinks she missed the train to Mars, she’s out back counting stars.” - you know it) but somehow these boys in bumfuck Ohio became their biggest fans and listened to their music like gospel. They even started their own band playing Hum-inspired songs.

I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. I wouldn’t say I loved Faith No More, the only album I own by them is The Real Thing, which came out when I was 19. In 2002 or 2003, I was watching some VH1 “Top 500 One-Hit Wonders” type of thing, and FNM with “Epic” was featured. I was like wait, what?? They were all over the radio all through the 90s!

The next day I brought this up with a co-worker from New York, who had only been in the area for a couple of years. He said that yes, outside of the Bay Area, FNM was a one-hit wonder. The only song he was familiar with was “Epic” before moving to the Bay Area. Huh.

Toronto, 1967. The Ugly Ducklings. I have no idea if they got any airplay outside of Canada.

Uncle Vinty

The Cavedogs were a great Boston band in the late 80s. They got signed to Enigma, andf had two LPs. The drummer is doing soundtrack music in LA (Mr Show)