Bottom Feeders: The Ass End of the ’90s, Vol. 12
Bottom Feeders takes a look back at every song that hit the Billboard Hot 100 charts, but only if they didn’t crack the top 40. It’s not meant to be a comprehensive review of each tune or each artist, but rather my view of the music I grew up loving. It’s meant to bring back all the great and really crappy songs that have faded into oblivion over time for one reason or another And, the series is designed to get discussions going about the music. I don’t have expert knowledge of every song posted here but I want to hear from you with your memories of the tunes, comments about a artist or general thoughts.
Section 1: The Ass End
“Never There” 1998, #78 (17 weeks) (download)
I always liked Cake even though everything they did tended to sound the same after a while. I love “Never There” for the cool Moog sound throughout the song. It was off their third record, Prolonging the Magic.
“All the Way” 1990, #63 (7 weeks) (download)
Reggie and Vincent Calloway go down as another one of those fake one hit wonders for their #2 hit “I Wanna Be Rich” but “All the Way” is a fantastic funky tune that was the follow up to their big hit and the only other one that charted. However, their biggest musical contribution was forming Midnight Star in the late ‘70s and putting out one of my favorite tunes of the ‘80s in “No Parking On the Dance Floor.” They also wrote great tunes like Klymaxx’s “Meeting in the Ladies Room” and Levert’s “Cassanova” among many other fantastic R&B and funk tunes.
“Just Ask Me To” 1991, #88 (5 weeks) (download)
“Goodbye” 1992, #85 (12 weeks) (download)
“Strawberry Letter 23” 1992, #53 (9 weeks) (download)
“Alone with You” 1992, #72 (11 weeks) (download)
“Don’t Say Goodbye Girl” 1994, #71 (7 weeks) (download)
“Back to the World” 1996, #47 (9 weeks) (download)
“Another Way” 1999, #100 (2 weeks) (download)
Big fan of Tevin Campbell and it has nothing to do with his Prince association either. Quincy Jones was the one that discovered him but his first break was with the Prince produced “Round and Round” used in Graffiti Bridge. It ended up being the lead track off his debut record, T.E.V.I.N. which happens to be one of the best R&B albums of the decade. The team of Al B. Sure and Kyle West wrote and produced a lot of the record including tracks “Just Ask Me To” and “Goodbye.” Quincy Jones himself produced the cover of “Strawberry Letter 23” and Narada Michael Walden produced much of the rest of the record. Seven singles ended up getting released from it, all the way through the early part of 1993.
Campbell’s Second album, I’m Ready, wasn’t quite as good as the debut but was more diverse. The three top 20 tunes from the album were all written by Babyface, while Prince had a hand in four others including the airplay only, “Shhh.” The only song from that album here is “Don’t Say Goodbye Girl” which I’m sure the label expected to be a major hit having been written by Walden and Burt Bacharach.
Qwest spent a lot of money on the third record, Back to the World, bringing in Puff Daddy to write and produce on a handful of tracks but the result was a stale and uneventful record that didn’t get close to the quality of the previous two.
For his self-titled and final album, Quincy didn’t go all out this time and that actually worked better as the record is pretty damn fine. It didn’t generate any real hits though and his recording career was over. The last thing I heard about him was years ago when he was performing in the Australian version of Hairspray.
“Luchini aka (This Is It)” 1997, #50 (17 weeks) (download)
Camp Lo consisted of two muslim rappers from the Bronx, Salahadeen Wilds aka Sonny Cheeba and Saladine Wallace aka Geechi Suede. Their debut album – Uptown Saturday Night – is a smooth nod back to the late ‘70s early ‘80s with “Luchini” taking it’s sample from the 1980 Dynasty hit, “Adventures in the Land of Music.” Unfortunately, they didn’t release another album until 2002 and all momentum for the group was gone by then.
Cam’ron might be a good rapper but really he has a place in rap history mostly because he ended up having beef with what seems like everyone in the game. “Horse & Carriage” and “Hey Ma” (from 2002) might be the only songs that anyone remembers from him. But he also was part of Dipset which launched the careers of Jim Jones and Juelz Santana as well.
His first beef was a big one that went back and forth for years with Jay-Z, then had one with 50 Cent, then both Jones and Santana and then finally one with Kayne West which I don’t think Kanye ever fought back on.
C & C Music Factory/Clivilles & Cole/Freedom Williams
“Just a Touch of Love” 1991, #50 (14 weeks) (download)
“A Deeper Love” 1991, #50 (14 weeks) (download)
“Pride (In the Name of Love)” 1992, #54 (17 weeks) (download)
“Keep It Comin’ (Dance Till You Can’t Dance No More!)” 1992, #83 (6 weeks) (download)
“Voice of Freedom” 1993, #74 (4 weeks) (download)
Robert Clivilles and David Cole performed under so many different monikers that everything associated with the group is going under the C & C Music Factory banner.
Although their debut under this name sold five million copies in the U.S. alone, it would be the only true success they had as C&C Music Factory as the second album – Anything Goes! – barely had any hits.
In between the two, C & C released their dance cover of U2’s “Pride” but it was the B-side “A Deeper Love” that would chart higher in the end.
“Keep It Comin’” was a one off single from the Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie soundtrack.
“Voice of Freedom” is a solo hit from rapper Freedom Williams off his debut disc. He still goes on stage now and again as C & C Music Factory which has made Robert Clivilles relatively angry.
“You” 1994, #78 (16 weeks) (download)
Grunge’s low point.
Candyman’s debut album Ain’t No Shame In My Game generated the two singles you see above and his most well known tune, “Knockin’ Boots.” It’s a fantastic, fun sex filled record and it certainly seemed like he was on his way to a big career. However, as quickly as he rose to fame, he dropped as his follow up – Playtime Is Over – was a failure and he never recaptured the magic after that. However, give me any of the tunes of his debut anyday. Especially “Nightgown” since he samples my boy Prince.