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
While there was certainly a decent amount of reggae on the charts in the ‘90s, the reason these two hit were because of the recognizable samples. I mean really, unless you are super familiar with reggae, how in the world can you understand more than a handful of words in each of these tunes? But “Wings of the Morning” certainly benefited from the remix version here, with Method Man rapping, ‘Lil Jon producing (though this isn’t really a typical ‘Lil Jon sound) and the sample of Otis Redding’s “Hard To Handle.” Both tunes are off his 5th record and major label debut, Prophecy.
“Do You Feel Like I Feel?” 1991, #73 (6 weeks) (download)
For some reason when I sing this in my head I put it to the tune of the Christmas tune, “Do You Hear What I Hear?” Thank God it has nothing to do with that. Instead, it’s a pretty rockin’ pop song. I do like the tune quite a bit in fact, probably way more than I liked most stuff from the Go-Go’s but it’s missing something to take it to the next level. The chorus has always struck me as not being quite catchy enough and the breakdown near the end isn’t very good but as a whole I think it was one of her best solo tracks.
If these were the only songs I knew from Mary Chapin Carpenter I think I’d be shocked to know she was such a successful country singer.
“Passionate Kisses” was the third single from Come On, Come On which sold four million copies in the US. It was a cover a song Lucinda Williams wrote for her self-titled 1988 release and is probably the song that people remember the most from her. It won two grammys.
“Shut Up and Kiss Me” was the first single from her follow up record, Stones in the Road. It also won her a Grammy for Country Female Vocal. It might be me but parts sound very much like “Werewolves in London.”
Her third and final single on the Hot 100 was “Almost Home,” one of the new tracks on her 1999 hits record, Party Doll and other Favorites.
“So Close” 1993, #95 (2 weeks) (download)
I don’t hear “So Close” too often but the intro always dupes me into thinking Donna Summer’s “Last Dance” is coming up. Instead, I get simple generic R&B.
“Not On Your Love” 1995, #97 (2 weeks) (download)
Boy, here’s a name that has stuck with me over the years. No, I’m just kidding. Other than knowing he’s a country artist from Tulsa, Oklahoma I have no clue who this dude is.
“Strawberry Wine” 1996, #65 (10 weeks) (download)
“We Danced Anyway” 1997, #72 (9 weeks) (download)
“Did I Shave My Legs For This?” 1997, #85 (6 weeks) (download)
“Absence of the Heart” 1998, #83 (2 weeks) (download)
There must be something country in the water this week. Although I’ve said I wasn’t a country fan back in the ‘90s, even I know some of these tunes. “Strawberry Wine” and “We Danced Anyway” were two of her biggest charting tunes on the country side and “How Do I Get There” was actually a #1 country tune. I don’t actually remember “Did I Shave My Legs For This?” but it’s certainly a title that stands out, right? But it’s really, 1998’s “Absence of the Heart” that most non-country fans like me know. I would have figured it was a cover or that other people covered it later as it’s that familiar to me but I can’t find evidence of that and she co-wrote the song so it’s definitely hers.
“Feel the Groove” 1991, #66 (10 weeks) (download)
Of all the Eurodance tunes that stuck around over the years, this is one that hasn’t. And the simple reason is because it’s just not that good. The beat isn’t anything special and Myrelle Tholen’s vocals are pretty weak. It probably charted because every Eurodance tune seemed to chart in 1991 but this deserves the fate it got of fading away.
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Cause & Effect were initially Sean Rowley and Robert Rowe, a duo from California. They released their debut in 1990 on an indie label, then got picked up by Zoo who reconfigured the disc and re-released it in 1992. That record felt a little behind the times in 1992 as it sounded more like late ‘80s Depeche Mode or Camouflage.
In ’92, Sean Rowley had a heart attack during a soundcheck caused by a severe asthma attack, and died. Rowe decided to keep the band going and added their tour drummer Richard Shepherd full time and Keith David Milo to replace Rowley on keyboards.
1994’s follow up record – Trip – was another slab of synth pop with definite Depeche Mode touches as well as a little New Order now and again but also updated their sound to be slightly more in touch with the dance music and synth pop of the day. “It’s Over Now” came from that album and despite only hitting #67 is still an extremely recognizable tune. Neither record was great though and thus the group never really hit it big time.
“Feels Like Heaven” 1993, #71 (8 weeks) (download)
“Even A Fool Can See” 1993, #68 (13 weeks) (download)
“(I Wanna Take) Forever Tonight” 1995, #86 (8 weeks) (download)
“You’re the Inspiration” 1997, #77 (10 weeks) (download)
Look, I’m one of those assholes that will fight you to the death if you say “Glory of Love” sucks. And I love Peter Cetera’s voice on all his tunes. But starting with “After All,” his 1989 duet with Cher, there’s very little that I can justify from him.
“Feels Like Heaven” is a decent tune but doesn’t even remotely use the funktastic voice of Chaka Khan well at all. And “Forever Tonight” is a duet with actress Crystal Bernard of all people. I don’t know much about the personal life of Peter Cetera but I hope he was at least tapping that, otherwise it feels like he shot a dart at some pictures and decided he wanted to do a duet with the woman it landed on. And the remake of “You’re the Inspiration” is bullshit compared to the fantastic original version. Az Yet performed the melodies as payback for Cetera joining them for their biggest hit, a cover of Chicago’s “Hard To Say I’m Sorry.”
Changing Faces featuring Jay-Z and R. Kelly
“All of My Days” 1997, #65 (12 weeks) (download)
This song was originally featured in the movie Space Jam but then included on Changing Faces second album, All Day, All Night. Even with verses from Jay-Z and the smooth vocals of R. Kelly it couldn’t save what would end up being their most generic single.
“Mad Izm” 1995, #54 (12 weeks) (download)
This New Jersey rap duo had potential after being discovered by KRS-One. “Mad Izm” featured him and was quite catchy but give it a listen – the thing you notice right away is how much better KRS is than either of the guys in the group. That’s never a good sign when you have to follow it up with tracks that the best rapper isn’t on.