Here’s Four Great Album Tracks That Deserved to Be Singles

Whenever an artist releases a new album, there’s always one major question on their mind: which songs will become singles? Enterprising artists often try to release whatever songs they believe are the most commercially viable to the radio. Some artists ignore that rule of thumb – Lana Del Rey once released a nine minute epic to the airwaves – but most do not. Since many great songs did not get a single release, let’s look at four that deserved one.

Ariana Grande in Los Angeles, California | Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

‘Gods & Monsters’ by Lana Del Rey

Lana Del Rey arrives for the 2018 LACMA Art+Film Gala | CHRIS DELMAS/AFP/Getty Images

Even in a discography filled with dark and eerie songs, Lana Del Rey’s “Gods & Monsters” is one of her creepiest tracks. From its evocation of the biblical story of Lucifer to its haunting melody, few of Lana Del Rey’s songs are this arresting or disturbing. In typical Del Rey fashion, she also manages to cram in references to Jim Morrison, Oscar Wilde, and Friedrich Nietzsche in a four minute song. While the track never garnered a single release, Lana did include it in her striking musical short film, Tropico. The track got a little more attention when it was covered by Jessica Lange in an episode of American Horror Story. Whether sung by Lana or Lange, it remains a stirring lament over lost innocence.

‘Moonlight’ by Ariana Grande

Ariana Grande attends Billboard’s 13th Annual Women In Music Gala | ANGELA WEISS/AFP/Getty Images

 Ariana Grande might be one of the biggest stars of the present, but she’s always kept one foot in the past. “Moonlight” is a great example of this. The 1960s girl group-inspired song proves that Ariana could have been a member of the Ronettes or the Angels if she was born in an earlier decade.  Ariana’s love songs are often a touch risque but “Moonlight” is a track that you can probably listen to with your grandma around – it might just remind her of a date she had back in the day at the malt shop.

‘Monster’ by Lady Gaga

Lady GaGa arrives to the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards at Radio City Music Hall | Photo by Stephen Lovekin/FilmMagic

After the release of her debut album, The Fame, Lady Gaga decided to show off her darker side with the follow-up EP, The Fame Monster. The sort-of title track of that EP, “Monster,” embodies the themes of the record in one succinct take. It’s dark, insecure, sensual, and has a driving 1980s baseline that Depeche Mode and the Eurythmics wish that they had written. Since the song was released during Lady Gaga’s peak period as a pop provocateur, one can only imagine what sort of bizarre, memorable music video she could have thought up for this track. Sadly, after releasing four songs from the 8-track EP as singles, Gaga apparently decided that this era of her career shouldn’t overstay its welcome and she decided to move on to her next album.

‘The Harold Song’ by Kesha

Kesha at Madison Square Garden | Photo by Brian Ach/WireImage

Coming in the middle of an EP of dance tracks with a snarky sense of humor, “The Harold Song” was a welcome change of pace for Kesha. The power ballad showed off her voice and her writing chops. She lyrically mourned for a dead relationship in a way that showed off more sensitivity than a song like “Tik Tok” or “Your Love Is My Drug.” The song quickly became a fan-favorite but it wasn’t until “Praying” that Kesha was able to release a more sensitive track to the radio.