Billy Ray

Bottom Feeders: The Ass End of the ’90s, Vol. 19

With Bottom Feeders we take a look at the songs on the Billboard Hot 100 that Casey Kasem never got to announce. It’s an A-Z look at songs that charted no higher than #41 in the decade. Take a listen, enjoy and comment. And don’t forget, information on the top 40, airplay and bubbling under charts are on pages 2-4.

Section 1: The Ass End

Cypress Hill
“How I Could Just Kill A Man” 1992, #77 (7 weeks) (download)
“The Phuncky Feel One” 1992, #94 (8 weeks) (download)
“We Ain’t Goin Out Like That” 1994, #65 (7 weeks) (download)
“Throw Your Set In the Air” 1995, #45 (18 weeks) (download)
“Boom Biddy Bye Bye” 1996, #87 (3 weeks) (download)
“Tequila Sunrise” 1998, #70 (7 weeks) (download)
“Dr. Greenthumb” 1998, #72 (4 weeks) (download)

If you’ve never heard anything but the singles from Cypress Hill you really should pick up the debut self-titled record from B-Real, Sen Dog and DJ Muggs. It featured the double A-side single “How I Could Just Kill A Man/The Phuncky Feel One” as well as great songs like “Hand on the Pump” “Pigs” and “Psycobetabuckdown.” That album was unlike anything else out at the time and with it, Cypress Hill became one of the first groups of the rap-rock era.

They followed that up with the commercially successful Black Sunday which gave the world “Insane in the Brain” (insane in the membrane!). “We Ain’t Goin’ Out Like That” (also referenced as “I Ain’t Goin’ Out Like That”), “When the Shit Goes Down” and “Hits from the Bong” are also fantastic songs.

Temples of Boom is where it started unraveling for Cypress Hill though. The beats were darker, the choruses not quite as sing along and you kind of knew the next track was going to be about weed. None of the singles (“Throw Your Set in the Air” “Illusions” and “Boom Biddy Bye Bye”) were memorable and for the first time they seemed to be moving sideways rather than pushing the genre forward.

Cypress Hill IV was certainly better than III but only the singles were really that interesting. In fact, “Dr. Greenthumb” may be one of their best songs.

After “Greenthumb” they didn’t have another hit until 2010 when they reunited after a six year split and released the album Rise Up. “Armada Latina” was the best song in years from them but including both Marc Anthony and Pitbull on it seemed a little bit too much of a calculated move to get a hit (which still didn’t happen as it only bubbled under).

Billy Ray Cyrus
“Could’ve Been Me” 1992, #72 (9 weeks) (download)
“She’s Not Crying Anymore” 1993, #70 (9 weeks) (download)
“In the Heart of a Woman” 1993, #76 (10 weeks) (download)
“Busy Man” 1999, #46 (17 weeks) (download)

Here’s something really scary. In the soundscan era, Billy Ray Cyrus’ debut album (Some Gave All) spent more weeks at #1 than any other record, at a whopping 17. It also sold nine million copies in the US along and more than 20 million worldwide.

The weird problem with Billy Ray Cyrus is of course that “Achy Breaky Heart” is the butt of many conversations today. Because of it, he was never able to duplicate that success on the pop charts. However, in the country world he still maintains a decent career and charts tracks from every album that he releases. He’s no Garth Brooks but he’s also not the joke people make him out to be. His harmless country tunes are somewhat generic but not bad in any way.

And really, I’m more upset that he gave us Hannah Montana than I am with “Achy Breaky Heart.”

Daft Punk
“Around the World” 1997, #61 (20 weeks) (download)

Here’s another case of perception not really matching reality (or maybe the charts not reflecting reality). I heard “Around the World” a million times and saw the video ever ten minutes on MTV back in the day. Daft Punk’s debut (Homework) really was the first time that I (and a lot of people) found house music quite accessible. So to see that it only reached #61 is a bit of a shock. And the equally delicious “Da Funk” only bubbled under.

Dakota Moon
“A Promise I Make” 1998, #69 (13 weeks) (download)

So many things were just a little bit off with Dakota Moon otherwise, these guys had the talent to make it. I mean, Dakota Moon screams female country group, not R&B (and they did have a slight country feel though). They played their own instruments and while “A Promise I Make” is a fantastic song, it comes across as the group not knowing if they wanted to sound like the Backstreet Boys or early ’80s AC artists. They had no real identity and thus only made it through two albums. Truly a shame to waste this talent.

Damage
“Love II Love” 1997, #82 (4 weeks) (download)

Here’s another group whose name doesn’t convey their type of music. Damage certainly doesn’t sound like the name of a soulful R&B group. But here we are with their only hit “Love II Love” which is harmless and average at best, done by a hundred other groups. I had no idea what the song was coming into this week and totally wasn’t expecting this sound. Damage is the name of a rock group, not this. I think the lesson learned this week is that bands really should think about the name of their group and what kind of vibe it gives off.

Michael Damian
“What A Price To Pay” 1991, #60 (8 weeks) (download)

I’m completely dumbstruck how Michael Damian had five charting songs in his career. One, maybe, but five? And “What A Price To Pay” was off the follow up disc to his big success, Where Do We Go From Here, not just charting on momentum only.

Damian Dame
“Exclusivity” 1991, #42 (12 weeks) (download)
“Right Down To It” 1991, #90 (6 weeks) (download)

Not to be confused with ‘80s and ‘90s rapper Dana Dane, Damian Dame were a male-female hip-hop duo with a ton of talent. They go down in history as the very first act signed to the label created by Babyface and LA Reid – LaFace Records. “Right Down To It” therefore is the first track from the label with the signature “LaFace sound.” I always thought that Damian had a better voice than Dame but together they were a great fit.

It was lack of talent or promotion that derailed the group, instead it was the death of Debra “Dame” Hurd in a moped accident in 1994 right before they were supposed to record a second record. Two years later Bruce “Damian” Broadus died from colon cancer. In an eerie moment, both of them died on the same day, June 27th, two years apart.

(Note: Web info says they died on the same date. The Billboard Hot 100 book says that Dame died on July 4th which would make it not that eerie at all. I’m going with web info though as Joel Whitburn’s staff tends to lack some accuracy in their notes sections.)

Damn Yankees
“Coming Of Age” 1990, #60 (12 weeks) (download)
“Come Again” 1991, #50 (10 weeks) (download)
“Silence Is Broken” 1993, #62 (10 weeks) (download)

Do you really need to listen to anything from the Damn Yankees other than “High Enough?” Actually, maybe the answer is you need to listen to everything but that song but seriously, while Damn Yankees were solid, they weren’t anything spectacular and frankly, I always get a chuckle when I think of how wussy this is for the Nuge. But Ted Nugent, Jack Blades and Tommy Shaw had a good idea getting the band together but without the greatest results in the world. Meanwhile, I would love to hear how some unknown drummer named Michael Cartellone felt pounding away at the skins behind three well known rock dudes (and how many times Uncle Ted shot at him.)




  • Jen.S

    Dave:

    I agree with your recommendation of the first Cypress Hill CD. After Black Sunday came out, I bought the first disc as a cut-out for $1. While I never listen to Black Sunday anymore, I still occasionally listen to the entire first CD in one sitting. It’s a great disc.

    Jen S.

  • http://www.bastardradio.com steed

    Personally, I like Black Sunday but I’m in the same boat as you. I will occasionally get out the debut but the first time I pulled out the second disc in what had to be a decade, was writing this up. It just doesn’t hold up as well.

  • matracas

    WOW “Throw your set in the air” only made it to # 459? I didn’t know the charts went that far.

  • Old_Davy

    dada – one of the best groups no one has ever heard. Someone should do a Popdose guide.

  • http://www.bastardradio.com steed

    Ha. That’s the bubbling really far under chart.

  • TuffGong

    “Throw Your Set In The Air” — the source of one of the lamest rap feuds in history.

  • kingofgrief

    Puzzle was oft-repeated at home and in transit for me twentyish years ago.

  • kingofgrief

    Ty Taylor of Dakota Moon is currently fronting a throwback R&B outfit called Vintage Trouble. I spun their first single about a month back on Sound Awake.

    Daft Punk saw their fair share of SA play with their first two albums, the second in particular. A #61 showing for “Around the World” is baffling, considering how much it blew up in Houston and (as you mentioned) MTV. But it did top the Hot Dance Club Play chart, as did “Da Funk”.

    I believe I still have the CD singles for “Insane in the Brain” and “We Ain’t Goin’ Out Like That”, but I never picked up a full-length,. I guess the next time the first two albums blow through work I’ll at least make room on the hard drive.

  • Elysium

    As I read this, I was playing Vintage Trouble, how funny was that? In any case, Vintage Trouble got some buzz at SXSW this year, I saw them play a showcase opening for Lionel Richie, Polica, the-Dream and others. They were good. Also of note, Lionel’s music director was a man who bottom fed in both the 80s and 90s, Chuckii Booker. Capping off the bottom feederness of the show was Kenny Rogers presence for one song.

  • http://digitaldreamdoor.com/pages/best_songs-Power-Pop.html Brett Alan

    Billy Ray no longer holds the Soundscan era record. Adele’s 21 has spent 23 weeks at number one.