Song: Tell Me You Want Me Back
Artist: Roland Gift, Birmingham, England
Album: Roland Gift, 2002
Notes: Scintillating solo cut from former Fine Young Cannibals front-man. Album deleted by daft record label, very rare.
Song: Someday Never Comes
Artist: Brandi Carlile, Ravensdale, Washington
Album: Brandi Carlile, 2005
Notes: Terrific folkish rock, served apprenticeship on Seattle coffee/club circuit, first discovered by Dave Matthews.
Artist: Prefab Sprout, England
Notes: Band led by hugely underrated Paddy McAloon. Top notch, never had any hits on Billboard Hot 100. Truly a crime.
Song: Don’t Bring Me Down
Artist: Sia, Australia
Album: Don’t Bring Me Down EP, 2003
Notes: Whispy, eerie, evocative, soulful trip-hop artiste. Also check out her work with Zero 7.
Song: Waiting For A Train
Artist: Flash & The Pan, Australia
Album: Pan-Orama, 1983
Notes: Weird and wacky new wave synth-pop duo of Harry Vanda and George Young - who both co-produced George’s brothers’ band, AC/DC.
Song: Don’t Get Me Wrong
Artist: Pretenders, Chrissie Hynde born in Akron, Ohio
Album: Get Close, 1986
Notes: Check out the marvelous video they filmed for this song - a la The Avengers tv series style.
Song: Me and Tennessee
Artist: Gwyneth Paltrow & Tim McGraw, Tinseltown and Nashville
Notes: Yes, it’s Country, but it’s strong. Written by Paltrow’s husband, Coldplay’s Chris Martin.
Song: If I Could
Artist: Blue Merle, Nashville
Album: Burning In The Sun, 2005
Notes: Band only around for three years, 2003 - 2006. Only released one complete album (and a bunch of EPs) which is packed with goodies.
Song: Lovesick Mistake
Artist: Erin McCarley, San Diego
Album: Love, Save The Empty, 2009
Notes: Extremely promising singer-songwriter, guitarist. Why on earth wasn’t this a hit? Featured once on ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ tv series then disappeared.
Song: Girl Like You
Artist: Edwyn Collins, Edinburgh, Scotland
Album: Gorgeous George, 1994
Notes: Big Modern Rock hit in mid-’90s. Samples an old drum track from the song ‘1-2-3’ by Len Barry from 1965.
Song: In This Life
Artist: Chantal Kreviazuk, Winnipeg, Canada
Notes: Classically trained pianist, multi-instrumentalist, sorely underrated.
Artist: Bob Seger, Dearborn, Michigan
Album: The Fire Inside, 1991
Notes: Lovely string arrangement. Legendary American blue-collar rocker, this was hit last chart single. 65 years old, still getting it done.
Artist: Angel Taylor, Los Angeles, CA
Album: Love Travels, 2009
Notes: I’ll keep playing her songs until she has a hit. Check out her album immediately.
Song: Don’t Break My Heart
Artist: UB40, Birmingham, England
Album: Baggariddim, 1985
Notes: Hidden nugget from heritage reggae act. A ‘UB40’ is the name of an unemployment benefit form in the UK.
Song: Touch Back Down
Artist: Catherine Feeny, Philadelphia
Album: Hurricane Glass, 2007
Notes: Based in Portland. Went completely unnoticed. Formerly signed to EMI for a while, but dropped. Why? My theory, as always: too good.
Song: Mr. Writer
Artist: Stereophonics, Wales
Notes: Growling whiskey-drenched lead vocals from Kelly Jones, written as an acerbic message to rock critics like me.
Artist: Suzanne Vega, Santa Monica
Album: Solitude Standing, 1987
Notes: Big hit, such a beautiful song, hard to believe that it lyrically deals with domestic violence and child abuse.
Song: On The Radio
Artist: Andy Stochansky, Canada
Notes: Top session drummer, brilliant singer-songwriter. ‘On The Radio’ - ironically never been played on radio before, unreleased corker.
Song: Bleed To Love Her (Live)
Artist: Fleetwood Mac, All over the map
Album: The Dance, 1997
Notes: A Lindsay Buckingham pearl. Check out the extraordinary ‘The Dance’ DVD showcasing innate chemistry between Lindsay and soul-mate, Stevie Nicks.
Song: I Know
Artist: Meaghan Smith, Canada
Notes: Vintage retro stylings a la Norah Jones. Promising talent, one of four sibling sisters - ironically the only one who can’t read music.
Artist: Randy Newman, Heaven
Album: Harps and Angels, 2008
Notes: Understated, underrated, under the radar - and now on the air - sad, simple sardonic genius. 12 superb solo albums.
Song: Wish I
Artist: Jem, Wales
Album: Finally Woken, 2004
Notes: Jemma Griffiths, insanely under-appreciated Welsh performer.
Song: Forbidden City
Artist: Electronic, Manchester, England
Album: RAise The Pressure, 1996
Notes: Biting breakup lyrics. One of the coolest ad-hoc bands ever formed, based around New Order’s lead singer, Bernard Sumner and former Smiths guitarist, Johnny Marr.
Song: True Faith
Artist: New Order, Manchester, England
Album: Substance 1987, 1987
Notes: tRUE faith is a career highlight. Check out the song’s video which makes the Blue Man Group look like an audition for American Idol.
Song: LA Song
Artist: Beth Hart, Los Angeles
Notes: Cinematic tale about a girl dealing with her demons and trying to make it in the city of angels. Number 1 in New Zealand, barely scraped chart in the US.
Song: Perfect Skin
Artist: Lloyd Cole & The Commotions, Buxton, England
Album: Rattlesnakes, 1984
Notes: From fabulous debut album. Cole plays a lot of golf with shock rock pioneer, Alice Cooper.
Song: Love At First Sight
Artist: The Gist, London, England
Album: Embrace The Herd, 1983
Notes: Quirky, completely unknown little indie gem, only recently made available on iTunes after years of deletion.
Song: Lost Along The Way
Artist: MoZella, The future of good music
Album: unreleased, extremely rare
Notes: A Lost & Found favorite artiste. There is no genre of music this amazing talent can’t write or perform.
Artist: Hall & Oates, Philadelphia
Album: Abandoned Luncheonette, 1973
Notes: Took three years to become a hit. Effortless blue-eyed soul from veteran hipsters. Produced by the legendary Arif Mardin - check out the DVD documentary on him, ‘The Greatest Ears In Town: The Arif Mardin Story’.
Song: Find The River
Artist: R.E.M., Athens, Georgia
Notes: While the band continues to lose its way, go back to this remarkable album to remember their best mellow work.
Song: Merchant Of Love
Artist: Joan Armatrading, St. Kitts, West Indies
Album: What’s Inside, 1995
Notes: Exquisite and deeply moving. I love Tracy Chapman - and it’s not her fault that this veteran singer-songwriter had all the bases covered 20 years before Tracy came along.
Song: Dead Hearts
Artist: Stars, Toronto, Canada
Album: The Five Ghosts, 2010
Notes: Dreamy ethereal indie-pop. Top band founded by Torquil Campbell and Chris Seligman - ‘Dead Hearts’ features female singer, Amy Millan.
Song: You Get What You Give
Artist: New Radicals, Grosse Pointe, Michigan (though not in the movie)
Notes: Modern rock smash from front-man, Gregg Alexander - been played more than one million times on US radio. Next song has never been played once - until now:
Song: Down With You
Artist: Ellie Lawson, London, England
Album: Philosophy Tree, 2005
Notes: Unknown perky folk-pop. Worth hearing her new album (though mostly reissues), ‘Lost Songs’.
Song: The Ghost In You
Artist: Psychedelic Furs, London, England
Album: Mirror Moves, 1984
Notes: You often hear ‘Love My Way’ or ‘Pretty In Pink’ - I think this is even better.
Song: Look What You’ve Done
Artist: Jet, Melbourne, Australia
Album: Get Born, 2003
Notes: Better known for their hard rock numbers, this very Beatles-esque gem lifts two lines from Fab Four’s ‘Sexy Sadie’.
Song: Climb On
Artist: Shawn Colvin, South Dakota
Album: Fat City, 1992
Notes: Simply outstanding, she’s been recording heavenly material for nearly 30 years. Perhaps the finest vocal phrasing in popular music.
Song: Just Say The Word
Artist: Josh Kelley, Augusta, GA
Album: Just Say The Word, 2006
Notes: Terrific, unheralded talent, why wasn’t this a hit? Married to Katherine Heigl; brother, Charles, is in Lady Antebellum (the group can’t hold a candle to Josh’s work).
Song: Rhythm of Love
Artist: Plain White T’s, Chicago, Illinois
Album: The Wonders of the Younger
Notes: Rare lead vocal by band’s guitarist, Tim Lopez. Fun video filmed in Point Mugu in southern California.
Song: I Try
Artist: Macy Gray, Canton, Ohio
Album: On How Life Is, 1999
Notes: Grammy-winning, her signature hit song was first featured in the 1997 Jennifer Aniston-starring movie, ‘Picture Perfect’ - two years before it was released.