The Single Almost Ruined It

It happens once in a while that a relatively “unknown” (to the mainstream audience, doesn’t mean they don’t have a large following necessarily) band gains traction with a radio single. It used to happen a lot more often when people actually listened to the radio. You know, back in the ’00s, ’90s, and before, when people actually listened to radio.

There have been a lot of bands I’ve loved from the very first single. Or music video (back when television music stations actually played music videos). But, there have been some I’ve found out I liked in spite of that radio single. Because sometimes record companies choose the one song on the album that appeals to the masses, but doesn’t necessarily sound like any of the rest of the album.

Take the Plain White T’s for example. This is the song that introduced them to the mainstream audience:

It was ok, but it doesn’t really sound like the rest of their stuff. It’s more “radio-friendly,” I guess you could say. For the record, this is one of my favorites of theirs:

That was from the album before “Hey There Delilah,” but a lot of the other songs from that same album sound like that, too. It seems the taste of fame from that song got to them a bit, because they released a couple other songs in that same vein. But for the most part they went back to making music that sounds like their own music. Unfortunately, many other bands tend to start homogenizing their music when their popularity starts slipping (*cough* Maroon 5 *cough*). Many newer bands just start out that way in hopes of becoming famous. But I don’t want to hear the same thing from every band out there.

Musicians, keep your individuality and style. The reality show, mass produced music may make you fans for a minute, but giving them something unique will bring you dedicated fans who will support you way past your fifteen minutes of fame.

Have you ever been turned off by a song you heard on the radio, only to find out the band or artist had better music? Do you think all the songs on the radio are starting to blend together? Or have I just been listening to rock/punk music way too long to appreciate the differences in today’s pop?


  1. All songs are starting to blend together for me. In the ’90s, all the rock bands I loved were all disappearing. So, I actually turned to Country music. And now, Country music is all sounding the same. All the new people sound the same. Luckily, I have over 15,000 songs on my iPod, and a lot of my rock groups have been coming back. They might not be topping the charts, but their music is as good as ever.

    • I feel the same way about a lot of the new music today. But I quit listening to radio when I was lucky enough to buy an older car that had a built-in iPod dock and six-cd changer, so I have basically been listening to the same alternative bands for that amount of time. The majority of my collection is from bands that were big in the 90s.

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