Favorite obscure rock/pop songs

Too many to list.

I’m going to wait this one out and see what others post and append if no one else lists any of my favorites.

If everyone else does the same, this thread will drop like a rock, which it just might do no matter what.

I do love “Jackie Brown” by John Mellencamp. It’s his only song that speaks to his home state of Indiana. Very stereotypical but also very true IMHO.

This probably doesn’t qualify as obscure Pop/Rock, more like really obscure Folk/Weird, but my all time favorite, play at my funeral song is A Very Cellular Song by The Incredible String Band.
amoebas are very small…

I, too, have dozens. I love obscure songs.

Some off the top of my head:

“Electric Sailor” by Kak
“Fresh as a Daisy” by Emitt Rhodes
“Hush Hush” by the Siegel-Schwall Band
“Kings and Queens” by Renaissance (no, not that Renaissance. The other one.)
“21st Century Schizoid Man” by King Crimson
“Birdman” by Macdonald and Giles
“The Hedgehog Song” by the Incredible String Band (since koeeoaddi mentioned them.
Any song by the Bonzo Dog Band
“Licks Off of Records” by Martin Mull
“Mabel” by Procol Harum
“Mother’s Lament” by Cream
“Hey Bulldog” by the Beatles
“Apeman” by the Kinks
“Lather” by the Jefferson Airplane
“In a Broken Dream” by Python Lee Jackson, with guest vocalist Rod Stewart
“Whammer Jammer” by the J. Geils Band
“Hey, St. Peter” by Flash and the Pan (actually, anything by them, especially, “Make Your Own Cross,” “Media Man,” “Atlantis Calling,” “Captain Beware,” and “Welcome to the Universe.”)

I’ll quit for now.

Elephant Gun - David Lee Roth, Billy Sheehan, & Steve Via

“The Full Cleveland” - Starbuck (the Atlanta-based band that gave us “Moonlight Feels Right”)

**The Angel Song **- SRC

Phoenix - Wishbone Ash

Sabre Dance - Love Sculpture

Something in the Air - Thunderclap Newman

I forgot a great one:

Wichi Tai To - Jim Pepper

You and Your Sister - Chris Bell

Day of the Monkey - The Lilys

Yeah, Jackie Brown is good tune. Depressing as hell, but a good tune.

“Shame About Ray” is one of my favorite Lemon Heads tunes. Fairly obscure.

Melanie Sparks is a very obscure indie artist. Check out “San Francisco” here: http://www.melaniesparks.com/music/sob.htm

“Song for America”: Kansas–their absolute best tune, released two albums before Leftoverture and went nowhere on the charts, and only Wheatheads know it.

“Unhappy Birthday” : The Smiths–kind of dark

“Flood”: Jars of Clay

My “Sleeping Bag” 's on Fire: Beck–Hard not to bust out laughing after even the 500th play. What makes it worse is that it rhymes.

“Besame Mucho:” The Beatles

Steely Dan: “Dirty Work”–the story of my younger sister’s life; very sad “King of the World,” “Rose Darling” and “Don’t Take me Alive”

Supertramp: “Crime of the Century” and “Another Man’s Woman”

Queen: “Sail Away Sweet Sister,” Theme to “Flash Gordon” and “The Wedding March,” a very tender screaming electric guitar solo

Billy Sheehan from Blues Traveler?

Since I mention Blues Traveler…“Whoops” comes to mind. Far too long for radio play, too many transitions for general consumption. Intricate and beautiful.


I think many of mine will qualify but

Tian tang - Tengger

will be hard to beat.

Well, them and people with the Greatest Hits album. I agree, though. Spectacular song.

Right on as far as the Steely Dan album tracks.

Others include I’m Only Sleeping by The Beatles and the unfit-for-airplay fare by David Allan Coe.

Mercury, by The Clarks.

I really should hate this song, based on the way it sounds on a first listen – it’s straight-forward, meat-and-potatoes rock 'n roll, which ordinarily bores me to tears.

The things is, the lyrics are a brilliant, almost Joycean, paen to hermetic philosophy, which, if you’ve ever been around me when I’ve got a skinful of beer (or something else that starts life on amber waves of grain,) you’ll know is something that gets me pretty damned excited.

The very definition of obscure, perfectly camouflaged by simple power-chords.

And they get extra points for being from West Virginia.

Terminal, by Rupert Holmes.

Strange story about this song.

In 1978 I heard the song on a local album rock station, but didn’t catch the name or artist.

In 1979 I caught the last half of the song on tape on an NBC Radio Network fill feed, so at least I had a piece of the song, even though I had no idea who or what is was.

1998, I posted on another message board some of the lyrics, and a poster came up with the answer, so I went out and found the album on CD.

20 years trying to find the song…and it’s a good one.


And Kansas has released at least 8 compilation albums featuring this tune :smack: : a (LIVE) album", two versions of their Greatest Hits, a boxed set, that London Symphony Orchestra collaboration and two other compilation albums released this year.

Weak explanation: some fans who will purchase every release in a band’s catalog containing all-new material but who aren’t quite completists will not purchase compilations, even those containing a couple of new (and oftentimes forgettable) songs. Ergo, Kansas compilations weren’t part of my consideration set.

I stand corrected.

“Heart of Darkness”

Well, before they scored a few hits like “Spy in the House of Love” and “Walk the Dinosaur” (and before Don Was became a highly successful producer), Was (Not Was) put out a brilliantly eclectic album called “Born to Laugh at Tornadoes.” It featured a host of unexpected guest vocalists (from Mitch Ryder to Mel Torme to Ozzy Osbourne to Dougie Fieger of the Knack), playing every imaginable rock/pop genre.

Most people I know have never heard of the album… so I’d dsay every song on it qualifies as a favorite obscure song.

“I was into whips and chains
she was into pain
I’d beat her ass black and blue
when she called my name”

From “Finger Fucking Sally” David Allen Coe

And that is the weak stuff.