1. Ring Ring by ABBA (1973) - This early tune by the Swedish quartet managed to make several world-wide charts, some to number 1. But it didn't chart in the states at all. It should have.
2. On and On and On by ABBA (1980) - A later track by the same group had all the makings of a hit (and the by now standard repeating title of many of their others), but only hit #90 in the US.
3. I'm Gonna Be Strong by Cyndi Lauper (1994) - According to Lauper, this is the song that got her a recording contract. Small wonder. I've always wondered what could have happened if Lauper had been a contestant on American Idol, and belted this out. It's amazing.
4. You Don't Know by Cyndi Lauper (1997) - As you can now tell, I have some favorite artists who have several songs I think should have been hits. This one was probably hampered by an album track that was slow and languid. This dance version is one of my favorites, a song about the stupidity of bigotry.
5. Quantum Mechanic by Thomas Dolby and Dr. Fiorella Terenzi (1994) - This great tune from the Gate to the Mind's Eye soundtrack always made me happy. And should have been released.
6. UMF by Duran Duran (1993) - One of several tracks from "The Wedding Album," something of a comeback album that did have a couple of hits. UMF stands for "ultimate mind f**k," thought the profanity is never uttered.
7. Only You by Pat Benatar (1997) - Again, a great album, chock full of great tunes, but it still couldn't revive Benatar's hit-making career.
8. Try by Billy Pilgrim (1994) - I saw this band when they opened for Melissa Etheridge on tour. I bought their album, and totally dug it. This is one of their best songs, and it turned up on a compilation or two, but didn't really go anywhere. Great harmonies.
9. Rock D.J. by Robbie Williams (2000) - This incredibly catchy dance tune was a hit around the world, but didn't manage more than #24 on the dance chart in the US. Maybe it had something to do with the gory, out-of-left-field video.
10. Little Bird by Annie Lennox (1993) - This is (along with a couple of other tracks that didn't chart) one of my favorite Lennox tunes. Amazing that I didn't do better.
And that will wrap it up for now. I realized as I was writing that there are many, many songs I listen to that were never hits but seemingly could have been. Give these a listen, and look forward to another edition. This one is worth a sequel.