Forgotten Classics: 5 Songs That Time Almost Left Behind

How many songs do people simply forget about? Unlike one-hit wonders, the artists below released dynamic records that—almost—faded away. Even before the streaming age, the amount of music released was overwhelming. With only so much bandwidth, it’s easy to forget about songs released years ago. 

Videos by American Songwriter

More than a nostalgia trip, these forgotten classics deserve to be remembered. 

1. “Wishing Well” by Terence Trent D’Arby

Terence Trent D’Arby, now known as Sananda Maitreya, released “Wishing Well” in 1987. A No. 1 single on Billboard’s Hot 100, “Wishing Well” was the second single from Introducing the Hardline According to Terence Trent D’Arby. The album is included in journalist Daryl Easlea’s book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. Introducing won a Grammy for Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male. Maitreya, to date, has not matched the critical or commercial success of his superb debut. 

Kissing like a bandit, stealing time
Underneath a sycamore tree
Cupid by the hour sends valentines
To my sweet lover and me
Slowly but surely
Your appetite is more than I knew
Sweetly, softly
I’m falling in love with you
Wish me love, a wishing well to kiss and tell
A wishing well of butterfly tears
Wish me love, a wishing well to kiss and tell
A wishing well of crocodile cheers, sing

2. “The Promise” by When In Rome

When In Rome had only one song in the U.S. Top 40. Before “The Promise” entered the chart, it was released as a 12” dance record. It was a hit in the clubs, reaching No. 1 on Billboard’s Dance Club Play chart. Unfortunately, When In Rome could not recreate the success with subsequent releases. Sturgill Simpson covered “The Promise” on his brilliant Metamodern Sounds in Country Music

If you need a friend
Don’t look to a stranger
You know in the end
I’ll always be there
And when you’re in doubt
And when you’re in danger
Take a look all around
And I’ll be there
I’m sorry but I’m just thinking of the right words to say
(I promise you)
I know they don’t sound the way I planned them to be
(I promise you)
But if you wait around a while I’ll make you fall for me
(I promise you)
I promise, I promise you, I will

3. “Misery” by Soul Asylum

Soul Asylum found mainstream success with their sixth album Grave Dancers Union (1992). The Minneapolis band won a Grammy for Best Rock Song in 1983 for “Runaway Train.” They released Let Your Dim Light Shine in 1995. Though it did reach No. 6 on the Billboard 200, it wasn’t as well received as Grave Dancers Union. Frustrated Incorporated, indeed.

Frustrated, Incorporated
I know just what you need
I might just have the thing
I know what you’d pay to see
Put me out of my misery
I’d do it for you, would you do it for me?
We will always be busy making misery

4. “Buffalo Stance” by Neneh Cherry

Swedish-born singer Neneh Cherry released “Buffalo Stance” in 1988. A Top 10 single in the UK and the U.S., the hip-hop dance track was a global hit for Cherry. She created a late-’80s feminist street anthem that in many ways defined the sound of the era’s hip-hop and dance. “Buffalo Stance” is a multi-genre declaration of independence. 

No money man could win my love
It’s sweetness that I’m thinking of
We always hang in a Buffalo Stance
We do the dive every time we dance
I’ll give you love baby not romance
I’ll make a move nothing left to chance
So don’t you get fresh with me

5. “Super Bon Bon” by Soul Coughing

Irresistible Bliss was released in 1996. Though it was Soul Coughing’s second album, “Super Bon Bon” was an introduction for most fans. Mike Doughty delivers poetry over an infectious groove he dubbed “slacker jazz.” Bliss was a mix of alternative hip-hop and new wave. The New York band blends improvisation with hip-hop samples and noise. Experimental and oddball, Soul Coughing’s catalog is worth remembering. 

Move aside
And let the man go through
Let the man go through
Move aside
And let the man go through
Let the man go through
If I stole 
Somebody else’s wave to fly up
If I rose up
Up with the avenue behind me
Some kind of verb
Some kind of moving thing, something unseen
Some hand is motioning
To rise, to rise, to rise

Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for BAM

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