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:
“Power Of Love” 1991, #47 (10 weeks) (download)
Deee-Lite were a dance group that just happened to unleash one of the catchiest pop songs of the decade on us in the form of “Groove Is In the Heart.” “Power of Love” was the dancier follow up tune which really had no shot of being a hit after “Groove” was so massive. The trio of Super DJ Dmitri, Towa Tei and Lady Miss Kier put out a total of three records then split up to do their own thing. All three are now DJing in various places around the world.
“Sweet Lullaby” 1994, #78 (8 weeks) (download)
Looking back, my musical tastes were just so different two decades ago. I remember walking to school listening to the debut Deep Forest CD all the time. These days I wouldn’t get near this type of music. Having listened to it so much, it was initially surprising to me that “Sweet Lullaby” didn’t chart higher and it was the only song the group got on the Hot 100 but listening today, it was eclectic enough for the time that I’m surprised any radio stations played it.
There was also some controversy surrounding the song as the vocals are actually a lullaby called “Rorogwela” sung by Afunakwa and part of the UNESCO Musical Sources collection of tunes. Deep Forest claimed they had the rights to the song which was later proven in court to be untrue. “Sweet Lullaby” hasn’t stood the test of time, so no harm no foul?
The ‘90s were an odd time for Def Leppard. I certainly think of them as an ’80 band, but 1992’s Adrenalize garnered them another five hits on the big daddy of the charts. I guess I forget that while everyone talks about the four year delay between Pyromania and Hysteria, the gap between the latter and Adrenalize was five years. This time of course it was because Def Leppard had become one of the biggest bands in the world and had about three years of hits from the previous record.
In ’95 The Vault was released to tide people over until the next record. The cheesy “When Love & Hate Collide” was the only new song on the disc, so it sort of had to be the single unfortunately. I know a lot of people think Hysteria is a pretty lightweight record but to me, it still holds up great to the tunes of the time. Adrenalize had some great tracks and was quite catchy overall but it certainly lacked some punch. After that though, both 1996’s Slang and 1999’s Euphoria were complete flops marking one of the biggest fall from graces a rock band has ever had. Neither record was good but neither bad enough to not chart anything on the Hot 100. “Promises” came close in ’99 but that’s about it.
The only thing I think I’m really shocked about at this point is that Def Leppard can’t get another hit. With the number of arena ballads they had and the success of “Two Steps Behind” from the soundtrack to Last Action Hero, you’d think they could parlay that some movie success but it hasn’t happened.
Degrees of Motion
“Do You Want It Right Now” 1992, #94 (2 weeks) (download)
Degrees of Motion were a pretty generic dance group out of New York consisting of Biti, Kit West, Balle Legend and Mariposa. This was their only crossover track off their self-titled debut, which I believe is their only album.
“My Heart Will Go On” 1998, #58 (17 weeks) (download)
It’s completely obvious why this charted but the real question is how did I not know this ass turd existed before right now?
De La Soul
“Breakadawn” 1993, #76 (5 weeks) (download)
De La Soul is one of those groups that pushed rap forward without ever really becoming a mainstream success. If you like rap at all you know the name as the group that gave the world “Me Myself and I” in 1989 and helped to change the face of intelligent rap. They’ve released seven records and all but AOI: Mosaic Thump in 2000 were fantastic. By the time The Grind Date came out in 2004, they sort of had this Roots vibe to them. Intelligent, innovative and critically loved but commercially shunned.
“Breakadawn” is simply a fantastic song that samples the intro to “I Can’t Help It” by Michael Jackson and “Quiet Storm” by Smokey Robinson. PM Dawn used the same MJ sample for “Paper Doll” as well.
Chaka Demus & Pliers
“Murder She Wrote” 1993, #57 (17 weeks) (download)
There was a point where I was really into the reggae on the radio in the ’90s and this is one of those songs that was in heavy rotation for me. Listening to this in 2012 tells me exactly why I ended up liking Shaggy in the ’00s. I’m also taken back to 1994 when I would sing the chorus every time I saw Angela Lansbury.
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“All Cried Out” 1996 #72 (11 weeks) (download)
I think it’s time to start Adam Marano sightings in this series. Seems like every dance artist out of Philadelphia in the decade had some connection to Marano and Denine is no different. She was on his Viper records and this Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam cover was her only Hot 100 hit after “I Remember You” bubbled under two years eariler. I know the dance community loved Marano but for me, so far nothing in this series that he’s been a part of has been even worth a second listen.
This is dance music and she’s from Europe but I can’t really call this Eurodance!!!!!!…..I liked Cathy Dennis and her brand of dance-pop for a little while but that kind of faded away with her second record in 1993 when she became more of a pop artist than a dance one. “Irresistible” is so many light years away from “Touch Me (All Night Long)” and most of the More To This album that is might as well be another artist. On her third record she went to Brit-pop therefore changing her sound three times for three records which didn’t help sell records.
Seeing as how she’s written some major pop tunes since that point, maybe it wasn’t all her fault. The US audience would recognize at least four tunes from her – “Can’t Get You Out Of My Head” performed by Kylie Minogue, “Toxic” by Britney Spears, “I Kissed A Girl” by Katy Perry and the theme to American Idol!
“World In My Eyes” 1990, #52 (10 weeks) (download)
“Walking In My Shoes” 1993, #69 (8 weeks) (download)
“Barrel Of A Gun” 1997, #47 (5 weeks) (download)
“Home” 1997, #88 (3 weeks) (download)
“Only When I Lose Myself” 1998, #61 (9 weeks) (download)
The dudes in Depeche Mode only released three albums in the decade, 1990’s Violator, 1993’s Songs of Faith and Devotion and 1997’s Ultra. Violator is probably the most perfect record they ever made but I also think Songs of Faith and Devotion is remarkable as well. The third single from that record – “Condemnation” is my favorite Depeche Mode song of all time.
I remember being highly excited for Ultra’s release but “Barrel of a Gun” just wasn’t a very good song and unfortunately it not only led off the record but was the first single. “Home” and “It’s No Good” were better tracks but there was nothing nearly as good as the songs on the previous two records. “Only When I Lose Myself” came from their greatest hits record – a fantastic look back at their career, but with this pretty dull new track tacked on to it.
“Feel So High” 1995, #67 (11 weeks) (download)
This is a bit confusing for me. “Feel So High” was on her debut disc, 1992’s Mind Adventures. It was released as a single in the UK twice peaking at #13 the second time around. The 1994 follow up – I Ain’t Movin’ – didn’t have this song on it until it was released in the US in 1995 and showed up as the third track on our version of the disc. What’s confusing of course it that it really isn’t a great song and I’m unsure who thought the US audience would really need to hear it or better yet, why there was nothing else as good as “You Gotta Be” on the record.
“Energy” 1996, #70 (9 weeks) (download)
Not much to say about this. Generic. But maybe you feel his energy?
“Better Than Me” 1999, #99 (1 weeks) (download)
Yet another one-hit wonder with the record companies trying to get the next Aliyah, Toni Braxton, Brandy clone.