Section 1: The Ass End
“I’m Dreamin’” was totally my jam. I had this obsession with the New Jack City soundtrack back in ’91 as I remember listening to that and some Living Colour pretty much every other day for months. Never really paid much attention to Christopher Williams after that point though and I didn’t even know about “Every Little Thing U Do.”
I remember seeing this video for the first time in 1992 and being confused that this voice was coming out of this muscular dude with dreads. But aside from that, this is a damn good tune and listening today, I hear a lot of Raphael Saadiq in this.
Sometimes we yanks don’t know good music if it slapped us over the head – Robbie Williams is a great example of this. Once he split with Take That, he released three solo records (Life Thru a Lens, I’ve Been Expecting You and Sing When You’re Winning) and a sort-of comp (The Ego that Landed) that are simply fantastic bubbling pop records. For at least a half decade he was one of my favorite artists – great voice and really quite a funny dude even though he often came off as a total asshole. Why we never embraced him, I will never understand. Well, except for the total asshole part.
“Give Him A Love He Can Feel” 1993, #87 (7 weeks) (download)
I was never a big fan of this cut as the whole beat feels kind of awkward. The tune would have been much better with a simple straight forward dance beat.
“The Comfort Zone” 1991, #62 (12 weeks) (download)
“Work To Do” 1992, #52 (11 weeks) (download)
“The Way That You Love” 1995, #67 (7 weeks) (download)
“Where Do We Go From Here” 1996, #71 (14 weeks) (download)
I think it’s totally fair to have been skeptical of Miss America putting out records at the beginning but we all found out very quickly that she really could sing. She hasn’t had a hit in a long time, since she went from dance-pop in the late 80s and early 90s to more of a classic R&B feel but between her acting and singing career, the Miss America Pageant seems to have gotten one right.
The Williams Brothers
“Can’t Cry Hard Enough” 1992, #42 (18 weeks) (download)
Andrew & David were the twin nephews of Andy Williams. They had a hit in 1974 when they were just 15 and then this ballad in 1992. I surprise myself with this one as I think it’s a fantastic song.
“Can’t Get Enough” 1998, #49 (10 weeks) (download)
Here’s another one of those “what were they thinking” moments when they “accepted” the name Willie Max, as a trio a sexy ladies. These three sisters got their start as Smith Reflections and were opening up for Tony! Toni! Tone!. Rafael Saadiq decided to help mold them into superstars and ended up changing their name to Willie Max instead. While I love Mr. Saadiq’s music, I have to question his judgment with that horrible moniker.
Willi One Blood
“Whiney, Whiney (What Really Drives Me Crazy)” 1995, #62 (11 weeks) (download)
What a fucking horrible song. This was featured in Dumb and Dumber and is one of those moments where you look at the tracklist on a soundtrack and check off the filler artists/tunes. Yet for some reason this white dancehall singer that lucked his way onto a hit film’s CD actually got a minor hit out of it. It defies all explanations.
Not that there’s anything wrong with it but Mark Wills is one of those artists that will be forever in the minds of random people thanks to a mix CD of love songs, hearing one of his tunes at a wedding or funeral and/or playing bland music for military groups. 98 Degrees remade “I Do” and took it to #13 a year later.
BeBe & CeCe Winans
“I’ll Take You There” 1992, #90 (6 weeks) (download)
I never had any reason to listen to BeBe & CeCe and as gospel singers, they didn’t have much chance to cross over into the mainstream. What I’m mostly surprised at, is that their cover of “I’ll Take You There” was off their fourth album. Frankly, I feel like I’ve been hearing about these two since the day I was born so the fact that they only had four albums out by ’92 is fascinating.
Alright, let’s face it. Winger really wasn’t that bad of a group. If Kip Winger kept his shirt on and was your average ugly ass rock star, they wouldn’t have been a laughing stock – not that I’m saying they would have been highly regarded musicians in any light – but they might at least get the same amount of half-assed respect that say, Skid Row do.
“99 Worlds” 1990, #78 (4 weeks) (download)
I can totally see this song being made by the J. Geils Band and while Wolf made some critical acclaimed solo records, I still think that they paled in comparison to the majority of J. Geils releases.