Five tragically underrated pop artists from the 1960s

You should still be listening to these 1960s artists today.

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The 1960s were the breeding ground for what would become most of the subgenres we know of pop and rock music now. Punk came from garage bands and so did metal. Better production technology and techniques turned into the ultra-produced pop singles of today.

But because there was so much experimentation, many popular bands came and went quickly. Plus, because recording contracts were so heavily incentive-laden for the company itself instead of the musical artist, some musicians simply could not afford to keep producing music. This is criminal - sometimes literally so - but at least we can still enjoy the recording of most of these bands.

Of the five artists that follow, only the first one might have made more money off songwriting than their own records, due to the early contracts they signed. But each artist is worth still listening to. You might even find some acts to add to your rotation of music.

Underrated pop artists from the 1960s you should still be listening to

Tommy James and the Shondells

One might wonder how Tommy James could ever go unnoticed. Perhaps it is because he wrote so many great tracks and so many of them were also covered by other excellent musicians. "Mony, Mony" might be known more for Billy Idol now, while "Crimson and Clover" may be more well-known by Joan Jett. But James created an amazing number of hits.

"I Think We're Alone Now," "Crystal Blue Persuasion," and "Sweet Cherry Wine" were all winners. James and the Shondells sold over 100 million records and had 23 singles certified gold. But how many people do you know now say, "I just bought a Tommy James vinyl! Woo-hoo!" But the records are all worthy of listening to.

Plus, if you have your own band, you might choose about 10 Tommy James songs and re-work them into emo classics. Seriously. You might not think the idea works, but it will.