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Published on December 11th, 2013 | by Gerry Galipault

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Shoulda-Been-Hits: The “Bubbling Under” Edition, Part 1

When the “Bubbling Under the Hot 100” chart debuted in Billboard’s June 1, 1959, issue, it was introduced as an indicator of “Tomorrow’s Hits.”

Some songs had a short “Bubbling Under” life and moved their way up to the Hot 100 singles chart; others languished in “Bubbling Under” and never “graduated” to the big time. You’d be surprised at how many of them you would recognize; others are simply favorites of audiophiles and nothing more.

Billboard halted the “Bubbling Under” chart in 1985 (for whatever reason) and resumed it in 1992.

I have thumbed through chart expert Joel Whitburn’s “Bubbling Under Singles & Albums” book for songs that shoulda been hits but never were. File these greats under our Shoulda-Been-Hits list … with more to come.

A

ABBA
“One of Us” (1983; reached No. 3 in the U.K.)

A-HA
“Dark Is the Night For All” (1983; reached No. 19 in the U.K.)

AMBROSIA
“Can’t Let a Woman” (1976)

TORI AMOS
“Cornflake Girl” (1994; hit No. 4 in the U.K.)

B

BADFINGER
“Apple of My Eye” (1974)

THE BAND
“The Shape I’m In” (1971)

BEASTIE BOYS
“Sabotage” (1994; reached No. 19 in the U.K. as the B-side of “Get It Together”)

BJÖRK
“Human Behaviour” (1993; made it to No. 36 on the U.K. chart)

DAVID BOWIE
“Ashes to Ashes” (1980; went No. 1 in the U.K.)

THE BYRDS
“I’ll Feel a Whole Lot Better” (1965)
“Chestnut Mare” (1970; reached No. 19 in the U.K.)

C

THE JIM CARROLL BAND
“People Who Died” (1980)

VALERIE CARTER
“Ooh Child” (1977)

THE CHEMICAL BROTHERS
“Block Rockin’ Beats” (1997; peaked at No. 1 in the U.K.)

MARSHALL CRENSHAW
“Whenever You’re On My Mind” (1983)

THE CURE
“The Lovecats” (1984; reached No. 7 on the U.K. chart)

D

DADA
“Dizz Knee Land” (1993)

DAFT PUNK
“Da Funk” (1997; went Top 10 in the U.K.)

DESMOND DEKKER
“You Can Get It If You Really Want” (1970; written by Jimmy Cliff)

DEVO
“Beautiful World” (1981)
“Freedom of Choice” (1980)
“Through Being Cool” (1982)

DIGABLE PLANETS
“Where I’m From” (1993)

DINK
“Green Mind” (1995)

THE DOORS
“Break On Through (To the Other Side)” (1967)

DURAN DURAN
“Perfect Day” (1995; made the Top 30 in the U.K.)

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About the Author

Gerry Galipault debuted Pause & Play online in October 1997. Since then, it has become the definitive place for CD-release dates — with a worldwide audience.



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