Ask Billboard: What Songs Should've Been, & Should Be, Singles?

Billboard

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WITH ADELE'S "WATER UNDER THE BRIDGE" now officially the fourth single from 25 (it goes to radio tomorrow, Nov. 14), "Ask Billboard" asked you on Twitter: What songs should've been - or still should be - singles, by Adele and other artists.

It's always a fun topic that could go back to the days of The Beatles ("Happy Just to Dance With You"? "Here, There and Everywhere"? Almost anything from Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band?) A newer twist, though, in the digital era: in the past, the reach of album cuts was essentially restricted to the sales of their parent albums. Thanks to iTunes, YouTube and various streaming services, the playing field is more level for all songs, even if radio play is still a major element in a song's mass appeal. Some songs that could've been or still could be singles boast monster global YouTube views sums, as noted below.


Here's what you came up with on Twitter. First, let's tally the many responses for Adele songs, ranked by those that received the most mentions:

1, "All I Ask" (from 25)
2, "Love in the Dark" (25)
3 (tie), "He Won't Go" (21)
"One and Only" (21)
"Remedy" (25)
"Turning Tables" (21)

Before "Bridge" has even gotten a chance to begin its run as a single, you're also anticipating "Ask," co-written by, among others, Bruno Mars. "Remedy" sounds good to me, too, and the ballad has already received some adult alternative airplay.


Also a nice nod to "Turning Tables," which might've been a fifth smash from 21; it's drawn 45 million views of its official live video, above. (Both "Tables" and "Remedy" were co-written by Adele and Ryan Tedder.)

Beyond Adele, here are some of your tweets about other artists' album cuts with single potential never realized:

• @KatyPerry's "Walking on Air" (a No. 34 Billboard Hot 100 hit, as a PRISM preview cut), "Legendary Lovers" & "Hummingbird Heartbeat"!
RISE ‏@lillyandtilly

• I love @ladygaga's "Monster" and @taylorswift13's "Enchanted," both great!
Trevor ‏@mrtrevz21

• @carlyraejepsen "L.A. Hallucinations" / @CHVRCHES "Playing Dead" / @elliegoulding "Only You" / @kelly_clarkson "The War Is Over"
Brian. ‏@BOSBrian02368

• My two favorite album cuts: "Monday Morning" by Fleetwood Mac and "Sweetie Pie" by Dionne Warwick
Rambler Gambler ‏@RamblerGambler1

• Bon Jovi's "Never Say Goodbye" should have been fourth single from Slippery When Wet. And, I think "Love and Affection" would have made a better single from Hysteria than, say, "Women."
The Music Nation ‏@TheMuzicNation

All great choices (and, as a big Chvrches fan, I fully agree on the mention above; the Def Leppard one, too). How about, in honor of 25's newest radio offering, and a likely big hit in the new year, 25 more songs that should've been - or still should, and could, be - singles? (Agree, disagree or chime in with more in the comments section below, by tweeting @gthot20 or by emailing askbb@billboard.com.)

Bastille, "Laura Palmer"

Beyonce, "Daddy Lessons." Despite Beyonce's performance of the Lemonade song with Dixie Chicks on the CMA Awards Nov. 2, Columbia, as of now, has no plans to release it as a single, including to country radio.

Justin Bieber feat. Halsey, "The Feeling"

Garth Brooks, "Wrong About You"


The Chainsmokers, "New York City." Similarly from Columbia, no word yet on a follow-up to "Closer" (featuring Halsey), but WHTZ (Z100) New York is spiking this song (from The Chainsmokers' Bouquet EP), perhaps the most commercial anthem for the market since Jay Z and Alicia Keys' "Empire State of Mind."

Kelly Clarkson, "Just Missed the Train"

Drake, "Feel No Ways"

Fifth Harmony, "Squeeze"

Florida Georgia Line feat. Backstreet Boys, "God, Your Mama, And Me"

Lady Gaga, "Eh, Eh (Nothing Else I Can Say)." The Fame introduced Gaga with four smashes, including her breakthrough No. 1 "Just Dance" (featuring Colby O'Donis). The four singles are tracks 1-4 on the set. "Nothing" is fifth, perhaps a sign that it could've followed as another big hit.

Selena Gomez, "Me & the Rhythm"

Ariana Grande, "Just a Little Bit of Your Heart"

The Head and the Heart, "Turn It Around"

Kesha, "Kiss 'n' Tell"

Madonna, "Joan of Arc." One of the best pure-pop songs from Billboard's 2016 Woman of the Year, and one well-crafted and timeless enough that it would've fit on True Blue or Like a Prayer.

Bruno Mars, "Marry You"

Katy Perry, "International Smile"

Rihanna, "Never Ending"


Sia, "Big Girls Cry." "Elastic Heart" followed "Chandelier" from 1000 Forms of Fear, with both songs solid hits, reaching Nos. 17 and 8 on the Hot 100, respectively. Could this melodic, atmospheric ballad (with a whopping 174 million worldwide YouTube clicks) have been even bigger? (Stop concealing things we love about you, Sia!)

Britney Spears, "Slumber Party"

Taylor Swift, "You're Not Sorry"

Justin Timberlake, "Gimme What I Don't Know (What I Want)"

Twenty one pilots, "Hometown"

Carrie Underwood, "You Won't Find This"

The Weeknd, "False Alarm." "Starboy" (featuring Daft Punk) is still making a play for No. 1 on the Hot 100, and atop Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs for six weeks running, but "Alarm," with its official video already out (and up to 41 million global YouTube views and counting) could sound loudly as one of the biggest hits of early 2017.