Almost Hits

Almost Hits: Jackson Browne, “In the Shape of a Heart” from Lives in the Balance (1986)

Almost Hits: Jackson Browne, “In the Shape of a Heart” from Lives in the Balance (1986)

Jackson Browne’s 1986 single “In the Shape of a Heart” was a big hit in certain circles. It went to No. 10 on the adult contemporary chart, but rose to only No. 70 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Almost Hits: Laid Back, “White Horse” (1983)

The shocking and tragic death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman has put a spotlight on a growing heroin epidemic in America.

Almost Hits: Journey, “Lights” (1978)

Almost Hits: Journey, “Lights” (1978)

Hard to believe that last week Journey’s Infinity had become thirty-six years old; I can still remember how fresh and exciting the album sounded when I first heard it.

Almost Hits: Gino Vannelli, “Black Cars” (1985)

Almost Hits: Gino Vannelli, “Black Cars” (1985)

Canadian pop crooner Gino Vannelli’s big era was from the mid-70s to the turn of the 1980s. However, like Yes — and this might be the only similarity to Yes — he put out an album in the middle of the ’80s that was not a return to form, but instead a sort of rebirth

Almost Hits: Bob Dylan, “Not Dark Yet” from Time Out of Mind (1997)

Almost Hits: Bob Dylan, “Not Dark Yet” from Time Out of Mind (1997)

For me, “Not Dark Yet” is the best thing Bob Dylan had done in ages, this perfect enigma from a guy who’s made a career of such sleights of hand.

Almost Hits: Hindu Love Gods, “Raspberry Beret” (1990)

Almost Hits: Hindu Love Gods, “Raspberry Beret” (1990)

The Hindu Love Gods may sound like the name of some obscure alt-rock band, but that was hardly the case. In short: it was R.E.M. with Michael Stipe replaced with Warren Zevon.

Almost Hits: Yes, “Shoot High, Aim Low” (1987)

Almost Hits: Yes, “Shoot High, Aim Low” (1987)

Jon Anderson and Trevor Rabin join us to discuss an era when Yes was suddenly expected to craft hit singles — leaving canny updates like this one often completely overlooked.

Almost Hits: The Music Machine, “The People In Me” (1967)

Almost Hits: The Music Machine, “The People In Me” (1967)

Hailing from Los Angeles, California, the Music Machine included lead singer and rhythm guitarist Sean Bonniwell, lead guitarist Mark Landon, bassist Keith Olsen, organist Doug Rhodes and drummer Ron Edgar.

Almost Hits: Bobby Caldwell, “Coming Down From Love” (1980)

Almost Hits: Bobby Caldwell, “Coming Down From Love” (1980)

Here’s the answer to that question, “what to do for an encore after such a note-perfect quiet storm groove tune as ‘What You Won’t Do For Love’?”

Almost Hits: Hall and Oates, “It’s Uncanny” from No Goodbyes (1977)

Almost Hits: Hall and Oates, “It’s Uncanny” from No Goodbyes (1977)

It’s not always easy to find an unfiltered moment like this from Hall and Oates — a pairing that has become so closely associated with genre-jumping mixtures of street-corner soul with modern new-wave verve.