Radio Hits One: Nine Songs From 2012 That Should Have Been Huge

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The term "flop" in a musical context usually refers to an unsuccessful album. Although singles constantly perform above or below expectations, a song will rarely get a reputation as a flop unless there's a lot riding on it, such as a pre-release single from a big-name album. In 2011, Beyoncé's "Run the World (Girls)" and Lady Gaga's "Judas" failed to launch and became notorious stumbling blocks for two women who had up to that point experienced one success after another.

In 2012, no singles have fallen short of expectations in such a high-profile way, but hundreds of songs are constantly being lobbed at radio, and some great tracks get lost in the shuffle. Last year, I critiqued the singles campaigns of recent albums, suggesting how different tracks could have been released in a different order. But right now, I feel compelled to highlight some singles that simply deserved better, because by December, these songs will be long forgotten in lists that boil the year in pop down to "Somebody That I Used to Know" and "Call Me Maybe."

Jennifer Hudson feat. Ne-Yo and Rick Ross, "Think Like a Man"

Jennifer Hudson's two albums contained some good songs that were sizable hits on Billboard's R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, but it has always felt like her recorded output has been overshadowed by her Oscar, her personal tragedies, and her Weight Watchers commercials. When she released the star-studded title song for a romantic comedy that topped the box office in April—a track that was better than any song based on a movie based on a book by Steve Harvey had a right to be—it seemed like a slam dunk. Instead, it only reached No. 33 on the R&B chart, while the vastly inferior "Tonight (Best You Ever Had)" by John Legend and Ludacris ended up as the Think Like a Man soundtrack's biggest hit.

Nicki Minaj, "Stupid Hoe"

"Starships" has nearly equaled the crossover success of "Super Bass," and Nicki Minaj's star is still rising, but it's clear that Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded hasn't had the urban radio support of its predecessor. "Beez in the Trap," the album's biggest urban hit, peaked at No. 7 on the R&B chart, lower than all five of Pink Friday's hits. Meanwhile, Roman Reloaded's first buzz single, the divisive "Stupid Hoe," racked up huge "dislike" numbers on YouTube and peaked at No. 53. But the frenetic clapper, which hilariously compares Lil' Kim to Baby Bop, remains for me far and away the highlight of the project.

Foxy Shazam, "Holy Touch"

Earlier in the year, Foxy Shazam scored a rock-radio breakthrough with the ass-themed hit "I Like It." On the follow-up, the Darkness tour mates make their Queen influences even more overt, but the anthemic "Holy Touch" only grazed the Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart at No. 39. I wish I'd heard it on the radio more, if for no other reason than for the false-ending gag (not included in the video, unfortunately).

Coldplay feat. Rihanna, "Princess of China"

Rihanna's collaboration with Maroon 5 a few years ago tanked, and Coldplay frontman Chris Martin's work with Jay-Z and Kanye West didn't really set the world on fire, either. But Coldplay and Rihanna each have wider appeal than almost any pop acts in the world, so nobody is going to stop them from reaching across genres. I personally think "Princess of China" is pretty good, but the rest of the world shrugged. iTunes sales pushed the song up to No. 20 on the Hot 100 when Coldplay's album was released last year. But when it was officially released as a single in 2012, it stiffed, getting to only No. 24 on the Pop Songs chart and nowhere on the rock and R&B formats the artists often dominate.


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16 comments
lostprophyt
lostprophyt

Nothing Coldplay ever releases should ever be associated with the word "good." It makes a mockery of the word. 

rcrsmurf
rcrsmurf

The reason none of these songs were hits is because  while for the most part they're all inoffensive, a few are "okay",and maybe one or two are "good", but not a single one of them is "great".  

If you want to blame the music industry because these particular songs weren't hits, you need to evaluate why the music industry is promoting mediocre at best music, not blaming less well funded or promoted acts for producing the music people actually want to hear.

carl
carl

Who's the stupid hoe that wrote this shit?

reyndevil
reyndevil

To think ''Free' is one of the weakest songs off Haley's album.

 

STUPID HOE, REALLY?

kriskokidz
kriskokidz

am reading an excellent book titled "Save The Last Dance For Satan" by Nick Tosches, its about payola in the music business and traces thru the history of rock in roll, its a quick read (100 plus pages) informative and enthralling if you have any interest in music history thats the book to read. I recommend it to any person wondering what happened to-in the music business/industry. Hey.... was doesn't the Village Voice do an expose on songwriting and major labels, being that a majority of pop radio is pre-written by outside sources, rarely do listeners get original music written by the performer ( or as they like to call themselves" artists"), one "hit" song is generally written by unknown writers, and one "hit" song is often a compilation of multiple songs and hooks or melodies, collected by interns and staff at labels, constructed to fit the marketing strategy then shown to the performer to sing and act out "just so" in order to appeal to consumers. Do some research. And Rihanna actually sounds hallow in the song does she have any relation to the lyrics. Its a production. Does that explain why most other music never exists or survives to the public?

epac666
epac666 topcommenter

Every single one of these songs is dogsh*t.

Jack
Jack

Stupid hoe is only good for inducing a seizure. Otherwise it's pure shit and Minaj and the producers should never be allowed to make records again. 

katmandoodoo
katmandoodoo

 @Jack

 Oh Yes, but according to the Voice, it's more relevant than say a Led Zepplin song.

 

 

 

AlShipley
AlShipley

 @katmandoodoo  @Jack  I don't suppose there's any use in pointing out that I didn't write the Led Zeppelin post, or what it was actually saying, or that I was defending the Minaj song and not the seizure-inducing video.

Jack
Jack

 @AlShipley  @katmandoodoo It's more than just the video. it's as if Minaj is trying to create a whole new genre called anti-music. The experience of both listening to the song and watching the video is pure dread and anxiety that this is what it has come to and these are the people and music our totally debased consumer culture is producing. 

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