Great songs that deserved to be hits but weren't

The antithesis of this thread; excellent songs that should have been major hits, but weren’t.

I’ll kick things off with Martin Briley “The Salt in My Tears”:
It did reach #36 and was Briley’s biggest hit, but should’ve been much huger.

Oh, that was a fun song and video! It’s in my everyday shuffle playlist. Great song to start off with.

I’ll throw one out that JUST came up on my shuffle. “Hyperactive” by Thomas Dolby. A little odd perhaps, but it fit in well in the early 80’s.

According to the Youtube comments (an authoritative source if ever there was one), this was written for Michael Jackson. I would have loved to see what that would have been like.

I’ll nominate the original recording of “I Can’t Let Go” by Evie Sands.

Fall on Me, by R.E.M.

Just about every song on Emitt Rhodes self-titled album would have been a pop hit if the record company hadn’t gone out of the way to set him up for failure. I’ll go with “With My Face on the Floor.”

Spirit had several. “I Got A Line on You” might have been a big hit, as would “Mr. Skin.”

I like the Kinks’ “Better Things” (1981) a lot. My recollection is that it got no radio play in the US, but that may have just been regional; according to Wikipedia, it reached #12 on the Billboard Rock Top Tracks chart and #92 on the Billboard Hot 100.

“Model Citizen” or “Finishing Touches” by Warren Zevon. Great, catchy songs, but both of them have lyrics that are not radio-friendly.

“Squire James” by Sanford and Townsend. Hands down the best song on their “Smoke From a Distant Fire” album. Everyone I know who’s listened to it thinks they would have lasted longer if they’d released it as a single instead of “Smoke” and done more songs in a similar style.

I think I’m better at the other thread. A lot of the music I really like, probably shouldn’t have been a hit - I don’t have the ear for a hit that some of you do. I usually spot a bad song right away, but hits are a tricky business.

Dire Straits released “Industrial Disease” as a single. I remember hearing it on the radio a bit when it came out but it didn’t get a lot of traction and I don’t think it ever charted. Great song, don’t know why it didn’t go anywhere.

‘Rain’ is one of the Beatles best songs and yet it was a B side to the very good Paperback Writer single.

“September Gurls” by Big Star is pretty much my quintessential pop song, but didn’t chart.

Cool! I don’t think I’d ever heard of him, or that song, before, but I like it. For some reason it reminds me of Richard X. Heyman in particular—and, in general, of the fact that, all too often, catchy, hooky guitar rock/power pop has gone underappreciated.

U2’s “Ultraviolet (Light My Way)” is (to me) a great song that has a sound like a lot of other U2 hits. It never charted, I suspect because so much else on “Achtung Baby” did.

It wasn’t released as a single, which I’m guessing is why it never charted. I definitely hear it a reasonable amount on the radio now that plays music from that era.

Some of songs mentioned in this thread (e.g., “Industrial Disease”) were album cuts that were played on album-oriented rock stations so they don’t qualify.

Prologue: “Stairway to Heaven” was never released as a single, either.

Styx’ “Sing For The Day” and Billy Thorpe’s “Children of the Sun” are two great songs that both stalled at #41.

It did make it to the closing credits of Grown Ups. Made my heart sing to hear it.

Tough thread if you’ve got peculiar musical tastes. Most of what I like (bare bones rock-n-roll) isn’t tossed in front of you by the broadcasters, and so unless someone ‘gives’ you a band you’re not going to find them. Naturally, such acts don’t make charts or get 'hits".

I’d say half the songs on Grave Disorder are solid additions to any upbeat playlist but most folks don’t agree (obviously).

Swing Tree by Discovery. It’s so damn catchy, seems like a perfect radio hit. I don’t think it was ever even on the radio.

The OP didn’t specify that he was only looking for songs that had been released as singles. That’s one way to interpret the thread, but not the only way.