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I remember first hearing Orgy's "Blue Monday" song for the first time. I was 12 years old and had managed to sneak away in order to listen to some music on the net for the first time. It was a song that really resonated with me, and when I saw the music video, I was blown away.
Honestly, my whole life changed when I heard that song.
Within a matter of years, I started dressing in black. I managed to find ways to listen to Rammstein, Deadsy, and yes, VNV Nation, too. It was a time where I really began to discover myself in the best way possible. Orgy, if you really think about it, is one of the most underrated bands of its kind.
That being said, there are plenty of really under appreciated artists that deserve way more recognition and applause than they received.
Jellyfish was a band that was borne way out of its time, and that's actually the only reason that they didn't become a household name. The band was known for creating happy, psychedelic music that was strongly reminiscent of bands like the Beatles.
The problem was, they were formed in the 90s—right in the middle of the grunge scene. Their music was stellar, but unfortunately, just wasn't released at a time when they would get the attention they deserved. They eventually broke up, citing artistic differences.
Even with the chips stacked agains them, they still managed to get a pretty good hit from "New Mistake." Go ahead, try to sing this without feeling happy. It's impossible. This band is truly one of the most underrated bands of the 90s.
The Moody Blues
Oh, if we are going to talk about underrated bands of the 60s, this one really deserves a lot more accolades than they get. Yes, you probably remember "Knights in White Satin," that one song that still occasionally makes rounds on radios, but this band did so much more than a single hit.
The Moody Blues were hugely successful during this era, and had more musical talent than many of their more famous counterparts. A single spin of any of their albums will be more than enough proof to convince you of this.
The fact that they're not recognized as one of the greatest bands of all time alongside contemporaries like Led Zepplin is pretty shocking, all things considered.
The Pixies were their own unique brand of punk rock, in their own unique way. The surf rock band rebelled against the status quo of the time while regularly adding a playful edge to their beachy, borderline flirty music.
Sure, they have a somewhat underground following, and most people remember "Here Comes Your Man," but they really are severely under appreciated. Even if you're not a surf rock fan, you have to admit that they were one of the most severely underrated bands of their time.
Roxy Music is one of those bands that should have seen several Top 40 hits, but never got the backing they needed in order to become successful. Record labels, for one reason or another, just didn't dig the glam rock music pioneers.
During the 70s, Roxy Music helped usher in the punk movement, the glam rock movement, and the new wave movement. They were legitimately years ahead of their time, and their lead singer was known as one of the best dressed rockers of the time.
A lot of indie bands have Roxy Music to thank for their sound. If you listen to "More Than This," you'll see where bands like Joy Division and Echo and the Bunnymen got their inspiration. That's right—Roxy Music.
Nero and the Gladiators
If you're a fan of retro music like Dion or Elvis, then you are probably well-aware of the fact that there are tons—and I mean tons—of underrated bands from the 50s and early 60s. Few bands are quite as unsung as Nero and the Gladiators.
This group never really made it to the big leagues but had a cult following for decades because of their epic instrumental talent. Surprisingly, the people in this band still occasionally play concerts from time to time. I guess that's what a love of music can do!
My personal selection from this group would have to be their epic surf rock cover of the classical music piece, "In the Hall of the Mountain King."
Remember that one glam rock band who sung "Bang a Gong (Get It On)?" Yeah, that was T. Rex, and they were far from the one-hit wonder most people assume that they were. This band had plenty of hits in the United Kingdom, and remained one of the most criminally under appreciated rock bands in music history.
T. Rex had serious rockstar swagger, an amazing sound, and yes, epic stage presence. Though their "Bang a Gong" music video is a great example of what made them great, you really should listen to songs like "Cosmic Dancer."
If Morrissey loved them enough to make covers of their songs, you can bet that they had serious talent.
Back in the 80s, music had seriously creative moments. There were major names like Michael Jackson that were defining pop. The goth rock and new wave movements were in full swing. Hip hop really got its start during the era, too.
With all the wild music that came out, it's easy to overlook a lot of epically talented rock bands. Let's Active was a victim of this type of oversight, and truth be told, their sound was very apropos for their time period.
They offered up a jazzier, more new age sound, similar to REM—and I think we can all get behind that. Their music was basically a soundtrack to my college years, and while they have a seriously powerful cult status, they never got the mainstream love they deserved.
The Butthole Surfers
Hyper-experimental and totally drug-addled, The Butthole Surfers were never meant to get mainstream fame. Even so, their reputation as far as indie bands go is understated and underrated.
Most people know them for "Pepper" and "Shame of Life," but they really did push the limits with their work. I mean, really, how many bands do you know have a drummer that would regularly light their cymbals on fire?
In terms of stoner rock, they are seriously kings. If you want to hear a really good stoner rock song, check out their music video for "Who Was In My Room Last Night?"
Also known as Scraping Foetus Off The Wheel, Foetus was one of the most innovative, underrated bands of the 80s. This band was the brainchild of J.G. Thirlwell, and you probably know him as the guy who made the theme song for The Venture Bros.
His main project was a massively awesome mix between industrial and jazz. Even though his work was released in the early 80s, no other band has come close to imitating that epic sound since.