Simple Man: Songs That Weren't Popular Until Decades Later????

Yer Blues

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Messages
9,250
I've been playing that song at gigs since I was 15.... that was in the 90s though. It's been popular as long as I can remember.

Don't Stop Believing I don't remember being popular until the Sopranos. But, I'm not a huge Journey fan or really a good barometer of what's popular. It seemed like after hearing the song on the show I started hearing it everywhere.
 

WesDocJimi

Silver Supporting Member
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1,381
I have known Simple Man since the late 70s but had never heard
of Wonderful Tonight until I started doing weddings in the 90s
 

pcutt

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1,781
Simple Man was on the radio in my area in 73-80 with roughly the same frequency as their other hits. It was particularly a favorite of young guys who looked to the "common man" type of writer for their cultural and moral foundation.
 

TonePilot

Member
Messages
5,554
I prefer the studio version because of the ****ing killer vocal hook in the chorus: "kind of man". Most live clips I've heard he saves his voice and bails on the high notes.
That's true. That's why I mentioned you have to go way back in the YouTube archives to find one that is in the same tuning as the studio version.
 

TonePilot

Member
Messages
5,554
When did you hear the live version?

When I hear it on the radio now, is that what I'm hearing - a live version (there's no audience noise or anything to lead one to believe it's anything other than a studio cut)?
It was when I saw them at a concert about a year before Covid hit. I loved the live version and then worked with the band to reproduce it. I don't think I've ever heard it on the radio. I also bought their double CD after the concert which is them live from a venue in Florida.
 

Smashies

Gold Supporting Member
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2,836
Not sure if I’m changing the subject too much, but while on the topic, consider this, Per Wiki: “American Girl” was released as a single and did not chart in the United States, but peaked at No. 40 in the UK for the week ending August 27, 1977. It was re-released in 1994 as the second single from Petty's Greatest Hits album and peaked at No. 68 in the U.S. Cash Box Top 100.
 
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DGDGBD

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,564
I was thinking about this the other day, then I saw "She's a Rainbow" in the Stones thread.

Simple Man.

That's a song I NEVER heard in my life before. I grew up on rock radio which at the time played everything from Elvis to current releases. I started becoming "aware" around 79 ish - I remember my sister listening to Life in the Fast Line and Another Brick in the Wall.

I always had 2 to 3 local rock radio stations and I heard a big helpin' of Skynyrd - I even heard plenty of the things you don't hear commonly anymore - Workin for MCA, Gimme Back My Bullets, Whiskey Rockarolla - I mean those got plenty of airplay in olden days along with the mega-hits - SHA, 3 Steps, Got that Right, Name, Breeze, Freebird, and so on.

But I NEVER ever heard "Simple Man".

So what gives? Was it popular around the country and my local radio stations just banned it or something?

Or was there some event that made it popular decades after its release - inclusion in a movie or commercial?

I hear it weekly now - in as much rotation as the others (and more than those other 3 "rare" ones I mentioned).

I remember this car commercial that had "She's a Rainbow" - now that's a song I had never heard either and only ever heard it on this commercial. I've heard it a couple of times on the radio since then but not with any regularity - not the level of Simple Man.

I'm trying to think of a few others I had never heard before that are now seemingly popular - as if they've been as popular all along though I can't think of anything off the top of my head.

Oh - actually - Long Way to the Top if You Want to Rock and Roll - that's not a song I had ever heard. Heard Jailbreak a lot more :).

I never heard the song until we met some pipers who wanted to do a song with our band, so there you go. I've heard it a couple of times...

Did these get re-released, or released on a "box set" (or modern equivalent) that some how got them recognition they didn't previously have. I did find this:

The song is one of Lynyrd Skynyrd's most popular songs. Since the song became available for digital download, it has become Lynyrd Skynyrd's third best-selling digital song after "Sweet Home Alabama" and "Free Bird." It has sold 1,333,000 copies in the U.S. as of November 2013.

But why? Nice song, but was it associated with something else that made it rise to such belated heights?
we're probably the same age maybe a few years older and i had the same experience as you with Simple Man. But I did know and hear She's a Rainbow quite a bit.
 

Wyatt Martin

Member
Messages
3,689
I have wondered something similar recently and the conclusion I came to is top 40 radio only plays the hits when they are hits. A song may only be in rotation on radio for 3 to 6 months or a year but once it drops off the charts the song disappears. Those songs don't resurface again until after roughly 20 years go by and it qualifies for classic rock/country radio for example.

Just my opinion anyway.
 

Jake E. Lynch

Member
Messages
194
I was thinking about this the other day, then I saw "She's a Rainbow" in the Stones thread.

Simple Man.

That's a song I NEVER heard in my life before. I grew up on rock radio which at the time played everything from Elvis to current releases. I started becoming "aware" around 79 ish - I remember my sister listening to Life in the Fast Line and Another Brick in the Wall.

I always had 2 to 3 local rock radio stations and I heard a big helpin' of Skynyrd - I even heard plenty of the things you don't hear commonly anymore - Workin for MCA, Gimme Back My Bullets, Whiskey Rockarolla - I mean those got plenty of airplay in olden days along with the mega-hits - SHA, 3 Steps, Got that Right, Name, Breeze, Freebird, and so on.

But I NEVER ever heard "Simple Man".

So what gives? Was it popular around the country and my local radio stations just banned it or something?

Or was there some event that made it popular decades after its release - inclusion in a movie or commercial?

I hear it weekly now - in as much rotation as the others (and more than those other 3 "rare" ones I mentioned).

I remember this car commercial that had "She's a Rainbow" - now that's a song I had never heard either and only ever heard it on this commercial. I've heard it a couple of times on the radio since then but not with any regularity - not the level of Simple Man.

I'm trying to think of a few others I had never heard before that are now seemingly popular - as if they've been as popular all along though I can't think of anything off the top of my head.

Oh - actually - Long Way to the Top if You Want to Rock and Roll - that's not a song I had ever heard. Heard Jailbreak a lot more :).

I never heard the song until we met some pipers who wanted to do a song with our band, so there you go. I've heard it a couple of times...

Did these get re-released, or released on a "box set" (or modern equivalent) that some how got them recognition they didn't previously have. I did find this:

The song is one of Lynyrd Skynyrd's most popular songs. Since the song became available for digital download, it has become Lynyrd Skynyrd's third best-selling digital song after "Sweet Home Alabama" and "Free Bird." It has sold 1,333,000 copies in the U.S. as of November 2013.

But why? Nice song, but was it associated with something else that made it rise to such belated heights?
It was a very popular and much loved Skynyrd song when I was growing up in the 70's and I know some country band covered it a few years ago. It is one of the first lead guitar parts I ever learned.
 

Noise Under The Floor

Platinum Supporting Member
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12,321
Speaking anecdotally, I remember ‘Simple Man’ being in the regular and overplayed rotation on the classic rock stations in my area well before the Shinedown version came out.
I do too, but that cover seemed to get it even more overplayed. There is a local station here that plays everything from classic rock to modern recent releases. I got subjected to it at work. They would play both versions within an hour of each other. :facepalm
 

Mark Ray

The RockTrain
Platinum Supporting Member
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5,763
We get it requested quite often. We don't ever plan to play it, but do if requested and the tip bucket goes "BING."
 

gtrdave

Silver Supporting Member
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5,793
We get it requested quite often. We don't ever plan to play it, but do if requested and the tip bucket goes "BING."

I'm still surprised how often we get Simple Man as a request. Being a long-time Skynyrd fan, I'm happy to play it although I do like the Skynyrd deeper cuts much more.
 

A-Bone

Montonero, MOY, Multitudes
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
104,733
Speaking anecdotally, I remember ‘Simple Man’ being in the regular and overplayed rotation on the classic rock stations in my area well before the Shinedown version came out.

I do too, but that cover seemed to get it even more overplayed. There is a local station here that plays everything from classic rock to modern recent releases. I got subjected to it at work. They would play both versions within an hour of each other. :facepalm

I don't think I've ever heard Shinedown.
 

minimal fretwear

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
498
I also think the original got more attention after Shinedown did their cover.
I think you are right. Speaking for myself, I had totally forgot this song until a band I was in wanted to do a cover of the Shinedown cover. Just now, I put "simple man" into YouTube search, and the first thing that came up for me was the Shinedown version.

The thing about their cover is it wasn't an ironic one like the Faith cover Limpbiscuit did. I think people heard the cover, liked it, then liked the original too.
 

Mark Ray

The RockTrain
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
5,763
Here's another tidbit about Simple Man, at least around here. Many "well lubricated" folks like to ask if they can come up and sing it. Our answer is usually a hard "NO.
 




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