Singers You Thought Were A Joke But Turned Out To Be Impressive

Back in the 80s there was a singer Samantha Fox and she had a few hits like “I Wanna Have Some Fun,” and “Touch Me”

I liked those for what they were, dancable 80s songs, but didn’t think much of it.

Then I ran across some of her CDs in the 99¢ bin at a used CD store. I bought them and I must say, she’s is really good. I thought the CDs would be good for a laugh or something, but she does a really good job singing.

I’m not saying she’s in the class of Karen Carpenter in terms of voice, and perhaps she sounded so good to me because I expected so little from her to begin with, but in all, she is good.

I was wondering have any of you heard an artist and not expected much but bought their CD and were taken aback at how good they were able to come off
[edit note: I put this in wrong forum, I already asked the moderator to move it to Cafe Society]

Moved to Cafe Society at OP’s request.

it wasn’t her music that appealed to me as a teen. :smiley:

I’d put David Cook in this category. I think people like to disrespect him based on his American Idol win, but he can SING, in an age where a lot of successful artists are studio singers (their voices are more a product of studio techniques than natural talent). I don’t particularly like his brand of music (straight-ahead rock and roll), but I like listening to him just because of his voice. I’m really curious to see what he does when he comes out from under the AI umbrella.

Not necessarily impressive as a singer, but I always assumed Justin Timberlake was a no-talent hack of some sort due to his boy band origin, but he was a terrifically entertaining host of Saturday Night Live.

I also have to say Justin Timberlake, but I actually do like him as a singer. My wife turned me on to some of his solo stuff when we were still dating. Like you, I was expecting the same type of overly saccharine, bubble gum-sounding, boy band crap NSync did in the '90s, but I was pleasantly suprised. His stuff has a bit of edge to it and is really good as far as pop music goes.

J’adore David Cook here, too.

Tom Jones: Seemed like a novelty act the first time I saw him (on Ed Sullivan?), since he wore clothing like the Tom Jones from the movie.

The Beatles: Too much adulation from all the girls, and the hair was weird. The “yeah, yeah, yeah” lyrics didn’t do much for me either and I figured they were a flash in the pan.

Rolling Stones: Jagger was just too repulsive, as were the rest of them. I first saw them on TV on (I think) Dick Cavett, who made a derogatory comment about them after their number.

Bob Dylan: I mean, c’mon. The guy couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket. Once you get past that to the poetry, different story.

I’ll second David Cook and add Chris Daughtry. He did a concert after a ballgame here and I thought “what the heck, let’s checkhim out” and it was a great show, the crappy accoustics of the venue notwithstanding.

I have to admit I kinda liked Debbie Gibson’s stuff. YMMV.

Another Timberlake vote here. It was his appearance at ‘SARSstock’ that did it for me - not only was his performance very good, but he showed himself to be a class act in his reaction to the rude-ass audience.

The thing about Gibson is if you look at her CDs MYOB and Deborah she really has a tremedous amount of talent writing songs.

She really has a lot of songwriter talent in the mode of Carole King, but no one knows because they stopped listening after her second CD.

I remember Billboard’s review of her CD “Think With Your Heart,” where they said “It’s a crime that no one is listening to her, 'cause she’s got a lot to say and the talent to say it well.”

Joanna Newsom sounds like a member of the Lollipop Guild on helium. But I have to admit, her album Ys won me over. More or less.

You could say the same of Kris Allen. I wasn’t particularly impressed by his appearance on Idol, but his studio recordings for Idol were impressive.

Lady Gaga.

The first time I saw one of her videos I thought she was a one-hit-wonder novelty act. But the more I see and hear of her stuff, the more impressed I am by her talent.

Back around 1976 or so, I remember seeing Leon Redbone for the first time on “SNL.” At first, I thought his act was some kind of joke. About the midway point, I realized, “This isn’t a joke… this weirdo is actually singing ‘Shine On Harvest Moon’.” And right around the time he finished, I found myself thinking, “Wait a sec… am I imagining things, or was that actually kind of… good? Even VERY good?”

That’s exactly what I came in here to say. ‘Poker Face’ sounded so produced to me, and in the video, she seemed to be trying so hard to be sexy that it just didn’t come off, but each song I hear impresses me more. ‘Bad Romance’ is my current earworm. It does help that it clicked with me that she’s a performance artist, and a very clever one at that.

He did a few things on Idol that I really liked, too.

I thought Kylie Minogue was an hilariously untalented bimbo way back with “Locomotion”.

Today, less so.

Yes, and yes. I really doubt I’m the target audience for her music, but I’m really impressed by her.