Music has taken many twists and turns over the centuries, and in the past six decades, rock in particular has undergone numerous changes in style, perception and artisanship. Throughout its metamorphosis, thousands of songs have been recorded and produced, 99% of which never make it to the radio, or if they do, their airplay life is short-lived thanks to the next-best hit song that replaces it. Many of these pearls are lost, afterthoughts, phantom songs that people might think “sound familiar” but yet they can’t name who or when the song came out, or if they had actually heard it or not.
Many of these musicians had so many hit songs that it just wasn’t feasible to play them all on the radio. But back in the 60s and 70s and straight through to the 2000s, albums were put on and played front-to-back. These songs, while not receiving a ton of airplay or widespread acclaim, were heard and were likely marveled over for a time. But usually the diehard fans are the only ones that will remember these songs and dust off old records or CDs every now and then, listening and remembering.
For most, turning on a classic rock station will just turn on familiarity. Great songs like “Don’t Stop Believin”, “Livin on a Prayer” and “Bohemian Rhapsody” come on every day, but “Sweet and Simple”, “Wild is the Wind” and “Stone Cold Crazy” are songs that will never be played. One could be forgiven for not knowing any of these songs. They are great songs, but didn’t captivate the nation like the hit songs from the same artists. When the bands played these on tours, the audience might half-listen, or might take a break to get a drink, or talk to those around them rather than really listen to the song as the work of art that it is.
This site is designed to bring a Rock Pearl to the forefront, every day of the year, until I run out of songs to post. If I run out, I’ll ask some new people to jump in and find some new ones. I’ll also introduce entire bands that are also Rock Pearls in that they made some amazing music but just couldn’t break into an extremely competitive music scene during their time period. If you haven’t listened to bands like City Boys, Taxxi, or Sniff N’ the Tears, you’re in for a fun four (or maybe many more) minutes when you click on the link.
Please enjoy, reach out with suggestions, but most importantly, keep listening and keep your mind open!
Matt Harris, Rock Pearls Founder