We asked you for your favourite Lost Geniuses last week: musicians you think are unfairly swept under the carpet, or not given the recognition they deserve. Here’s 30 of your suggestions. @forwardtony thinks The Cooper Temple Clause “were way beyond their time. ‘See This Through and Leave’ is an underrated bitter sonic assaut!.”
@Rustymonupod wants The Butthole Surfers to get more kudos, labelling them as “one of the greatest art rock bands of all time” before arguing that “they should be one of those reformed festival headlining bands.” The band, who have been through 11 bass players and counting, last performed back in 2011.
The Auteurs, writes@Poisoned_Apathy, were “one of the most unique bands of the 90’s. Kinks’ wit meets T.Rex’s glamour.” The band split in 1999 as Britpop drew to an end. Lead singer Luke Haines released a book in 2009 which referred to fellow bandmate James Banbury only as “the cellist” throughout. No hard feelings then?
Another “lost band of the 90s”, @warrenjonhughes loved The Longpigs. “They never get mentioned but ‘The Sun Is Often Out’ is still a cracking album.” NME gave it 7/10 when it was first released and were impressed with lead singer Crispin Hunt who “boasts the messianic qualities of Piotr Adorable and the howling sixth-form lyricism of Delicatessen.”
@Poisoned_Apathy also remembers Tim Buckley as having an “incredible voice, incredible lyrics” and being a “restless innovator.” The Californian singer-songwriter unfortunately died aged 28 from a heroin overdose and has since been somewhat overshadowed by his son, Jeff.
@laprettyvisitor suggests The Hollies don’t get the attention they deserve, despite spending 231 weeks on the UK singles charts during the 1960s. “As a whole , such an underrated band with some beautifully crafted pop songs in their back catalogue.”
@AlexSNorris wants Sparklehorse to be given a higher plinth in popular culture. Mark Linkous is “The master of melancholy” he writes. Known for catchy album titles, such as debut-release ‘Vivadixiesubmarinetransmissionplot,’ the duo hail from Richmond, Virginia.
@mdrnlifeisrbsh agreed with our mention of Wire but still thinks Graham Coxon is “very underrated.”
@liambradford thinks Lindsey Buckingham is “one of the most underrated guitarists of all time.” Despite penning such classics as ‘Go Your Own Way’ and ‘The Chain’ for Fleetwood Mac, Buckingham would never emulate the band’s level of success during his solo career.
Rory Gallagher is an “Instigator, innovator and forward thinking,” writes @Joel_jhf. The Irishman was known for his flamboyant stage performances and bare Stratocaster, stripped of its paint from extensive touring and also from when it was left abandoned in a rainy ditch for days after being stolen from the back of a tour van in Dublin.
Another forgotten favourite is Donovan. Having emerged from the British folk scene to appear at both Woodstock and the Isle of Wight festivals, you would have thought he’d be a name to remember. “He is the Beck of the Sixties” @supatyp claims.
Originally known as Cecil Ingram Connor III, Gram Parsons founded the Flying Burrito Brothers and worked with the Byrds before he died of an overdose in 1973. @MrMarkCopeland claims he “bridged the gap between country and popular rock music and seminal influence on The Stones and beyond.”
@pipedown27 agreed with us on Sixto Rodriguez going as far to say that “if his music had taken off earlier he’d be a superstar. Lyrical genius.”
@WadeyWade thinks Earl Brutus “should have been the Mud of the 90s”. They were known for their raucous live shows, with their last album released in 1998. They returned for a one-off live date at Hammersmith Working Men’s Club in London on 7 April 2004 which also featured a DJ set from Mani. The profits were donated to Ken Livingstone’s London Mayoral election campaign.
@angrymaggie believes The Cardiacs are “criminally underrated.” With 10 studio and five live albums, there’s plenty to be listening to. Unfortunately all current activity has been put on hold after lead singer Tim Smith suffered a stroke in 2008. “No part of your favourite pop star’s intellect or personality has been found to be absent whatsoever,” he reassured fans.
@clairebcoulton loves Queenadreena, citing Katie Jane Garside as an “incredible front woman.” The band formed in 1999, releasing 2002’s ‘Drink Me’ through Rough Trade. Katie and guitarist Crispin Gray reportedly fell out, with the former saying she now “doesn’t know where [Crispin] is.” Their last album ‘Dijn’ was released in 2011 but the group refused to promote it.
Bonehead tweeted us to suggest…. Bonehead.
@transgressiveHQ say “all credit to Nick Drake” but prefer Tim Hardin. The American dropped out of college at 18 to join the marine corps and spent time in Vietnam where he is said to have discovered heroin. He went on to write ‘Reason To Believe’, made famous by Rod Stewart, and died aged 39 of an overdose. The song “Black Sheep Boy” is biographical, telling the story of his return to heroin.
Thea Gilmore is “one of the best British songwriters of the past 15 years; some of her work is almost Dylan level and yet ignored beyond Radio 2,” writes @ryan_simmonds.
@seenitheardit1 are digging some of “today’s wittiest and sharpest lyricists” from the Mountain Goats. The band are known for their Lo-Fi approach, releasing LPs in cassette or vinyl 7″ formats as part of a Boom-Box recording series.
@KeatsianOrphan thinks that Andy Partridge is a “criminally underrated writer.” Besides his work with XTC, Partridge has also released original demos under his own name as part of the ‘Fuzzy Warbles’ album series on his record label, APE House. “Check out Senses Working Overtime, Rook, & Mayor of Simpleton,” he writes.
@Ange_Cat remembers Kirsty MacColl as “a great singer and songwriter who was taken from us far too young.” Besides being carted out every Christmas to shout profanities at Shane MacGowan on ‘Fairytale in New York’, MacColl released five solo albums and also worked with the Smiths. She died in a power boating accident in 2000.
The Dirty Pretty Things had “potential festival headliner status,” tweets @meganmcnally. Fronted by ex-Libertine Carl Bârat, the band was short-lived but had some moments to remember including a drunken appearance on Soccer A.M. which led Noel Gallagher to compare Bârat’s ramblings to his brother Liam’s singing.
@RichLew82 doesn’t think The Music received “the praise they deserved before disappearing after a couple of albums.” The band, formed in 1999, were once described by NME and Steve Lamacq as “the best un-signed band in Britain.” The band struggled to record a fourth album and played a series of farewell shows before front man Brian Harvey left. He would go on to collaborate with the Streets.
Lee Mavers “is inarguably the best songwriter,” boldly claims @echdee. Achieving success with The La’s and particularly ‘There She Goes’, the frontman gained a reputation as an eccentric perfectionist. He retreated back to Liverpool as a recluse after the band’s only album.
Matthew Barlow’s suggestion of Mark Kozelek resulted in resounding nods of approval from the NME office. “He is an absolute genius who is only on the fringe of being known.” The prolific songwriter has fronted both the Red House Painters and Sun Kil Moon. He also appeared as a musician in Steve Martin’s 205 film, Shopgirl where he performed ‘Lily and Parrots’ (a Sun Kil Moon song) live.
Brett Smith-Daniels thinks Paul Kossoff “was one of the greatest guitarists EVER!” He died in 1976, en route to New York from a heroin-related heart attack. As guitarist for Free, he was responsible for epic solos and a whole generation of teenagers learning guitar in their bedrooms. His epitaph simply reads ‘All Right Now.’
@cloudyahhh17 thinks Sahara Hotnights make “consistently great albums, but never managed to break onto the US market.” After 6 LPs, they’re still going but are known most within Sweden.
@stuartmwrites rates The Only Ones as lost geniuses. “Nearly 30 years of silence, a brief, tantalising return a few years ago, and then…?”Hhaving last played in 2012, The Only Ones are known to have written new material, which they played live but was never officially released. Mysterious.
Akala is “an actual genius,” writes @LBLKMN. Also known as ‘Black Shakespeare’ or ‘The Rap Rock Electro Kid’, he’s the little brother of Ms. Dynamite. In 2006, he was the first rapper to perform a headline concert in Vietnam, and has also toured with Nas and Damien Marley.