It’s the final week of Bottom Feeders here at Popdose. It’s a sad moment for me in a way, as it’s taken up two years of my life, but I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. I loved going back and hearing all these songs that even I forgot about, and learning a ton of interesting facts from all you guys who read each installment.
Along the way we’ve had our Arthur Baker, Randy Jackson, and Nile Rodgers sightings, y’all, and we’ve spoken to Tia about her career. We also started the way-too-brief Ratt Appreciation Movement (RAM), introduced something called a “meltie,” and listened to hundreds of the worst tunes known to man. I hope you’ve enjoyed the series as much as I have. Keep rockin’ the ’80s tunes!
Be sure to read all the way to the bottom, because we have an awesome giveaway if you just answer a few Bottom Feeders trivia questions correctly!
For the final time, enjoy some more songs that stalled below the Top 40 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the 1980s.
“I’m in Love Again” — 1982, #45 (download)
I could definitely do without hearing Pia Zadora ever again, though it’s hard to argue that I wouldn’t like to see her. Known more as an actress than a singer, she started doing both the acting and singing gigs simultaneously around 1982, though she was good at neither. She had four country hits in ’79 and ’80 before “I’m in Love Again,” and her cover of “The Clapping Song” and “When the Rain Begins to Fall,” with Jermaine Jackson, gave her three in a row to hit the Hot 100. She even put out an album called When the Lights Go Out in 1988 with Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis behind the boards.
“More Bounce to the Ounce” — 1980, #86 (download)
Zapp consisted of the Troutman brothers: Roger, Larry, Lester, Tony, and Terry, with the latter holding the nickname of “Zapp.” “More Bounce to the Ounce” is certainly their most well-known track — cool as a motherfucker and sampled in one of the best rap songs of all time, 2Pac and Dr. Dre’s “California Love.”
“Who’s Behind the Door?” — 1983, #61 (download)
Zebra started out in 1975 but didn’t release their debut album until ’83. They were led by Randy Jackson (not that one!) and released three albums between ’83 and ’86. “Who’s Behind the Door?” comes from their self-titled debut, which is a little rock and a little spacey, as you hear here.
“A Certain Girl” — 1980, #57 (download)
I will fully admit that I know virtually nothing about Warren Zevon and never really had the desire to, either. If this crap is what typical Warren Zevon sounds like, then I really don’t need anything else from him. “A Certain Girl” was his second and final Hot 100 entry, off his album Bad Luck Streak in Dancing School.
This is it. We’ve reached the end of Bottom Feeders with Billy Gibbons, Dusty Hill, and Frank Beard, better known as ZZ Top. I’ve never been a fan of their Sam & Dave cover, “Leila,” but “Cheap Sunglasses” (both are from Deguello) is a classic, and one of their best before they got all slick.
“Sharp Dressed Man” is the group’s last song of the decade to not reach the Top 40, which is kind of amazing considering how well known it is and how much it’s still played 27 years down the road. Even later stuff, like the crappy “Velcro Fly,” off 1985’s Afterburner, hit the Top 40. ZZ Top performed the theme song to Back to the Future Part III in 1990, had a couple of hits in early ’91, and continued to show up on the rock charts up through their 1999 album XXX.
Best song: ZZ Top, “Cheap Sunglasses”
Worst song: Pia Zadora, “I’m in Love Again”
TOP 40 ONLY
Robin Zander (1), Frank Zappa (1)
To everyone who read and commented, thank you so much. It’s been a two-year journey that I’m sad to see end. But I appreciate everything you’ve given back throughout the series and all the comments you’ve left. I hope you’ve enjoyed it!
And now to celebrate! Thanks to the wonderful people over at Rhino Records, we’re giving away the ’80s studio output of New Order in remastered format! Holy shit! If you win, you’ll receive the two-disc remasters of Movement (1981), Power, Corruption & Lies (1983), Low-Life (1985), Brotherhood (1986), and Technique (1989) — all five, just by knowing your Bottom Feeders.
Below are three questions relating directly to this series. Answer all three questions and drop me a line by 11:59 PM EST Sunday. I’ll drop all the correct entries in a hat and pull out one name for the swag. You’ll be notified if you’re the winner!
Question #1: Name the artist and title of all three songs that make up my “Unholy Trilogy.”
Question #2: Name the artist with the most Bottom Feeders in the ’80s.
Question #3: Name the artist with the most Bottom Feeders in the ’80s who also never cracked the Top 40 in the decade.
Good luck to all!!