There are plenty of stories and TV shows celebrating the 1-hit wonders like Wild Cherry, Modern English, Primitive Radio Gods. (3 of my favorites from each of the last 3 decades) Well, how about the artists who have doubled that output. The six I have listed have had other good songs, but only 2 would hit the charts. I’m sure there are others I’m missing; so feel free to list them in the comments section. Remember, only classic rock selections.
Gerry Rafferty- Is there a better saxophone solo on a classic rock song than “Baker Street”? The mellow sounds of “Right Down the Line” are almost as good.
Stealer’s Wheel- Ok, this is kind of cheating, as the voice and main writer of this band is Gerry Rafferty, but the band does have a different sound. “Stuck in the Middle with You” is my favorite song of all-time and I felt this way before I heard it played while Michael Madsen slices an ear in Tarantino’s “Reservoir Dogs”. The other song that charted by this band is an overlooked gem entitled “Star”, which is as good as anything Badfinger or the Rasberries did in emulating The Beatles.
Gary Wright*- Now what says the 70’s better than Dream Weaver? It practically shines a strobe light on the decade. Off of the same album, came a white funky gem entitled “Love is Alive”, which matches anything Steve Winwood did during his solo career.
Al Stewart- Sure Al is no Rod Stewart, but I would match his 2 best tunes with anything bleach-blonde streaked Rod the Mod ever put out. Has there been any singer sound like a bigger British poofter than Al Stewart? I say listen to “Year of the Cat” or “Time Passages” and then try to tell me that the current band Keane wasn’t heavily influenced by his singing style.
Golden Earring- “I’ve been drivin’ all night, my hands wet on the wheel”. Now name me a song that kicks ass driving at night more than “Radar Love”? You can’t do it. 8 years later, this Dutch band came back with an equally unique rocker “Twilight Zone”. Actually they have a couple other good songs like “Clear Night, Moonlight” and “Devil Made Me Do It”, but the 2 that charted stand out above all the rest of their work.
10CC- How a band can come up with 2 incredibly great songs like “I’m Not in Love” and “Things We Do for Love”, but not have anything else on their greatest hits release that is even listenable is a complete mystery. Band members Godley and Crème broke off and had a minor hit “Cry”, which was played a lot on MTV because of it being the first video to morph human faces. (The same effect was used later by Godley in the video he directed of Michael Jackson’s “Black and White” video.)
****** PLEASE LOOK AT THIS DEFINITION OF CLASSIC ROCK.******
I’m sure there’s more out there. Name ’em in comments.