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Published on September 2nd, 2015 | by Gerry Galipault

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Shoulda-Been-Hits: The Modern Rock Tracks Era, Part 1

Quick, can you name the first song to top Billboard’s Modern Rock Tracks chart when it debuted on Sept. 10, 1988?

Siouxsie & The Banshees’ “Peek-A-Boo.”

Back then, the chart was intended for fans of underground, less-mainstream music. Like virtually everything, nothing lasts forever: Billboard dumped the Modern Rock Tracks chart in 2009 and renamed it Alternative Songs.

What’s the difference? Who knows … but that’s not going to stop this look back at the early days of Modern Rock Tracks. Pause & Play digs deep into the past charts, searching for the long-forgotten “hits,” ones that made a splash on the Modern Rock Tracks chart but never reached Billboard’s pop Hot 100.

File these greats under our Shoulda-Been-Hits list … with more to come.

Click and hear for yourself.

A

AZTEC CAMERA
“The Crying Scene” (1990)

B

PATO BANTON
“Baby Come Back” (1994; with Ali and Robin Campbell of UB40)

BEASTIE BOYS
“Body Movin'” (1998)

THE BEAUTIFUL SOUTH
“We Are Each Other” (1992)

ADRIAN BELEW
“Pretty Pink Rose” (1990; with David Bowie)

“80s Alternative”“Forever 90s”“Now That’s What I Call The 1990s”

THE B-52’S
“Channel Z” (1989)

BIG COUNTRY
“The One I Love” (1993)

BIG WRECK
“The Oaf” (1998)

THE BLUE NILE
“The Downtown Lights” (1990)

BOOK OF LOVE
“Alice Everyday” (1991)

BILLY BRAGG
“Sexuality” (1991)

JEFF BUCKLEY
“Last Goodbye” (1995)

BUFFALO TOM
“Sodajerk” (1993)

KATE BUSH
“Love and Anger” (1989)

“Joel Whitburn’s Rock Tracks: Mainstream Rock 1981-2002” (Hardcover)

C

MERYN CADELL
“The Sweater” (1992)

THE CARDIGANS
“My Favourite Game” (1998)

CATHERINE WHEEL
“Black Metallic” (1992)

CAVIAR
“Tangerine Speedo” (2000)

THE CHARLATANS UK
“The Only One I Know” (1990)

THE CHILLS
“Heavenly Pop Hit” (1990)

THE CHURCH
“Metropolis” (1990)

COCTEAU TWINS
“Carolyn’s Fingers” (1988)

JULIAN COPE
“5 O’Clock World” (1989)

CORNERSHOP
“Brimful of Asha” (1997)

ELVIS COSTELLO
“… This Town …” (1989)

CROWDED HOUSE
“It’s Only Natural” (1991)

JULEE CRUISE
“Falling” (1990)

THE CURE
“A Letter to Elise” (1992)

D

THE DANDY WARHOLS
“Bohemian Like You” (2000)

THE DARLING BUDS
“Crystal Clear” (1990)

“Gimme Indie Rock: 500 Essential American Underground Rock Albums 1981-1996”

E

ELECTRONIC
“Get the Message” (1991)

F

FAITH NO MORE
“MidLife Crisis” (1992)

FATBOY SLIM
“Weapon of Choice” (2001)

BEN FOLDS FIVE
“Song For the Dumped” (1998)

G

THE GO-BETWEENS
“Was There Anything I Could Do?” (1988)

GUSTER
“Airport Song” (1998)

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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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