By way of an introduction, it is best pointed out at the outset that underrated does not imply unheard of and unknown bands – it primarily means those bands that never made it as big as they were supposed to. Thus, some of the bands on this list may be popular on your playlist, but they figure here because they failed to click with the masses.
1. Third Eye Blind
This band made it to the Billboard countdown for four consecutive years from 1997 to 2000 – but you never hear them on the radio, rarely get to see their videos on TV, and almost none of the people you meet have heard them. Yet, when you pick up their debut album, you are blown away by their music.
2. Hanoi Rocks
This Finnish band was formed in 1977 and they continued to play for around eight odd years, before disbanding after a series of misfortunes in 1985. They never made it to the big labels but their music has its own cult following, swearing by their offbeat melodies and sound tones.
Тhis band is synonymous with the hit ‘Love Hurts’ but no one knows any other song by them. This typical rock band of the seventies has several great numbers which have even been covered by other artists like the Guns N’ Roses. Yet, you don’t hear of any die-hard Nazareth fan who has their complete discography.
4. The Dandy Warhols
Debuting in 1995, this American band cannot be called a rock band, for their music defies genre. They have released only a handful of albums in the past fifteen years and have remained media shy. Although their tracks are all too familiar (what with them being used in TV shows and movies all the time) very few have heard of them and really heard them.
5. Talking Heads
This band has explored almost every type of music there was to explore in the eighties. They have had Billboard numbers almost every year starting from 1979, and have had several hit albums. Yet, they never gained celebrity status, and seemed to disappear into oblivion.
6. Black Label Society
This heavy metal band had an awesome sound and some superb compositions when they started out. However, as their story progressed, their members seemed to move into other popular bans, one after and another, and their sound got lost in the mist. They had it in them though.
7. Soul Asylum
Although they had been around on the music scene, Soul Asylum made their first Billboard debut only in 1993 and their second and last in 1995. They have had the popular hits “Runaway Train” and “Misery” but no one seems to know anything else about them. Their albums however reveal a fresh sound and great numbers.
8. Gentle Giant
This was a progressive rock band from the UK in the seventies and their gigs were particularly known for the level of orchestration and complexity. They however slipped in between the cracks somewhere in their efforts to redefine popular music.
9. Toad the Wet Sprocket
Barring their odd name, everything about this American alt rock band is fabulous, except maybe the fact that they broke up in 1998 after being in the business for 12 years. Their best hits are ‘Walk on the ocean’ and ‘Fall Down’.
10. Collective Soul
Okay, so many of us have heard of this one, but how many know all of their numbers and swear by their name? Face it, this is one of those band that could have made it really big – but didn’t.