You May Only Know One Song, But These Five Groups Are Worth a Second Look

thebreedersbannerSome bands have been around forever, amassing solid record after solid record and generally pleasing their modest but devoted group of fans. To be honest, as a former member of a band with around 12 fans, having a solid following is far more important than a “hit song,” especially in the era of Album-Oriented-Rock. All of these bands have their share of die-hards, as well as a whole career worth of great material. The casual fan may only know one song, but these five bands have, at the very least, an entire album that is worth a listen.

5. Blur

The Hit: You may not know the title “Song 2,” but you certainly know the “Woo-Hoo” chorus.

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This was the British group’s biggest hit in the U.S. Too bad it’s a throwaway joke song, by the band’s own admission. “Song 2” is Blur’s parody of the grunge-influenced music that was so popular in the 90’s.

Keep Digging: Why not check out “Country House”? This ode to self-reliance, reminiscent of the Kinks and Bowie, is much more indicative of Blur’s actual sound.

4. Butthole Surfers

The Hit: “Pepper,” from 1996, rose to Number 1 on the Modern Rock Charts. Here it is, in case you haven’t heard it. You have, though.

Keep Digging: It turns out that the Texas group has been around since the mid-80’s. The Surfers have been widely acclaimed for both their absurdist and disturbing music and their sometimes dangerous stage shows. Why not check out one of their earlier songs? Yes, some of their material is almost unlistenable…

..If you’re a coward.


3. New Radicals

The Hit: Surely you’ve heard “You Get What You Give.” It was inescapable for a time.

Keep Digging: The group’s whole 1998 album “Maybe You’ve Been Brainwashed Too” is chock-full of pop gems like this. Check out “Someday We’ll Know.”

2. The Breeders

The Hit: “Cannonball” is an awesome song. I still find myself tapping out the click-clack rhythm of the intro when I get nervous. Dayton, Ohio’s Deal sisters have unleashed a scuzzy alt-rock classic that still feels nice and fresh 20 or so years later.

Keep Digging: Check out “Doe,” from their 1990 album “Pod.”

1. Ben Folds Five

The Hit: “Brick” was very, very popular. Especially when you consider the fact that it is almost certainly a song about abortion. A song like this hasn’t landed since Elton John’s “Benny and the Jets and the Abortions.” It’s also kind of a dour song for a band that has a lot of whimsical, more upbeat material. Christ. Look at that sweater. Folds is serious as fuck right now.

Keep Digging: For my money, it doesn’t get any better than BFF’s fast, fierce and funny 1995 self-titled record. There are a few slower numbers, but Folds hasn’t really discovered schmaltz yet at this point. Don’t worry, he will. Check out the scenester anti-anthem, “Underground.”

Hey, this was fun, right? Send me your examples of bands that are worth a second look!

Photo credit: By Quique from Barcelona, España (The Breeders @ Summercase 2008) [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

One comment to “You May Only Know One Song, But These Five Groups Are Worth a Second Look”
  1. This is great. I’m really excited because The Breeders are in the studio now. Verdict on the songs so far… I hear that they’re great. Sounds like that reunion got the creative spark going again. Also, don’t be afraid to check out to check out her solo series. Equally great material.

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