Bottom Feeders: The Ass End of the ’90s, Vol. 26

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

“Chorus (Fishes In the Sea)” 1991, #83 (11 weeks) (download)
“In My Arms” 1997, #55 (8 weeks) (download)

The thing that makes Erasure such a great band in my opinion is their ability to both evolve their sound over time and still keep that signature Erasure sound in play. And as you see here whether it be uptempo pop or a ballad, Andy Bell’s vocals are smooth as hell and an absolutely perfect match for Vince Clarke’s music. Here’s hoping Erasure never stops cranking out the tunes

Eric B. & Rakim
“Juice (Know the Ledge)” 1992, #96 (4 weeks) (download)

Amazingly, this was the only charting song for Eric B. & Rakim not “Don’t Sweat the Technique” or “Follow the Leader.” Not “Eric B. Is President” nor “Paid In Full.” It’s kind of silly when you think about it in terms of the history of rap music since so many artists look back and praise Rakim for having a tremendous flow. Together they released four records which are all front to back must listens for any fan of hip-hop.

The Escape Club
“Call It Poison” 1991, #44 (10 weeks) (download)

“Call It Poison” was from the band’s third and then final album, Dollars & Sex. They still had the momentum from Wild Wild West and fit right in with the still popular INXS, EMF and Big Audio Dynamite crowds. The reunited and put out a new album in 2005 called Cloud 10 which was kind of new age-y, broke up again, then reunited again in 2009. Earlier this year they release Celebrity to the knowledge of pretty much no one.

Gloria Estefan
“Oye Mi Canto” 1990, #48 (7 weeks) (download)
“Cuts Both Ways” 1990, #44 (14 weeks) (download)
“Seal Our Fate” 1991, #53 (7 weeks) (download)
“Can’t Forget You” 1991, #43 (13 weeks) (download)
“Always Tomorrow” 1992, #81 (6 weeks) (download)
“I See Your Smile” 1993, #48 (17 weeks) (download)
“Reach” 1996, #42 (20 weeks) (download)
“You’ll Be Mine (Party Time)” 1996, #70 (10 weeks) (download)
“Don’t Let This Moment End” 1998, #76 (2 weeks) (download)

Wepa! Gloria Estefan is ranked as the 21st biggest artist of the decade thanks to 17 charting singles. I kind of lost track of her after say, 1990 or so when she went from releasing fun dance pop singles with the Miami Sound Machine to becoming more of an adult artist with mostly ballads as hits. She was in the spotlight for songs like “Coming Out of the Dark” “Music of My Heart” with *NSync and of course, “Turn the Beat Around.” I only remember hearing the bigger hits on the radio, though it never seemed like she wasn’t in the spotlight. I know she’s a complete legend in the Latin music scene so if you are into that, you’ll disagree agree with me here but I don’t think any of these nine songs are worth going back to on any regular basis.

Melissa Etheridge
“Like the Way I Do” 1995, #42 (20 weeks) (download)
“Angels Would Fall” 1999, #51 (11 weeks) (download)

It took me way too long to learn that Melissa Etheridge was a badass singer. Album wise, I’ve only listened to the ‘80s discs and they were awesome but in terms of this decade, all her singles were excellent. Mostly pop but a little rock and much kick-assed-ness, I’d almost bet that if I took the time to listen to her catalog, she’d probably be one of my favorite female artists of all time. I know it doesn’t take much to get to that spot with me but it says something since I normally hate female artists.

Faith Evans
“Ain’t Nobody” 1996, #67 (16 weeks) (download)
“Kissing You” 1996, #67 (16 weeks) (download)

I never really knew what to make of Faith Evans. Was she talented in her own right? Was she really mostly known as Mrs. Biggie Smalls? Would she have had any success in her solo career had Biggie not died? Her biggest hits certainly came after the Notorious B.I.G.’s death while she was still under contract to Bad Boy and Puffy and the double A-side single above is not one/two of them.

“Heartspark Dollarsign” 1996, #85 (7 weeks) (download)
“Father of Mine” 1998, #46 (29 weeks) (download)

I know a lot of people think Everclear is the lowest of lows but early on in their career I thought they were kind of decent. They were never really a favorite of mine but I listened to Sparkle and Fade and So Much For the Afterglow a ton. These days, Art Alexakis is almost a parody of himself and by the time you read this, Everclear will have released a new album. This is surely a case of being totally unaware that it’s time to hang it up.

(Note: I’ve listened to Invisible Stars just once since it was released last week and it at least sounds like Everclear back in the day instead of whatever mess Alexakis recorded in the past few years.)

  • nathan_az

    I’ve never been a Gloria EsteFAN, but “Reach” is a rare example of a song that’s supposed to be inspirational (it was the theme of the 1996 Summer Olympics) that is actually effective. The tacked on percussion at the end is kinda brilliant, IMHO.

  • Keith Creighton

    Gloria Estefan is a beautiful and talented woman, but you just may have found the most beautiful picture of her ever taken. I scored the “Cuts Both Ways” cassette from the prize closet when I was a radio promotions intern – had such a crush.

  • Matt Hinrichs

    “Hooch” by Everything was a new one for me, had to check it out on YouTube to see if it was something I heard back then but forgot. Nope. Never heard of it. Then again, I lost track of pop music after ’96 or so.

  • Annie Zaleski

    “Hooch” was big in that kind of jammy, kind of hip-hop, kind of 311-y way. Apparently, it was in the Adam Sandler flick “The Waterboy.” That explains it all.

  • steed

    I lump them in with bands like Len, Citizen King, The Flys, that group that did the Tangerine Speedo song (or something close) – probably closer to Wheatus too… still a bit surprised it went all the way to #4.

  • cmmmbase

    Actually, “Hooch” by Everything made it to #34, not 4 on the airplay chart. The group that did Tangerine Speedo was Caviar…

  • steed

    That’s a moment of blindness on my part, missed both the “3” and the airplay designation in the book. And yes, Caviar…I continually forget them even though I still own that CD.

  • cmmmbase

    Hooch was still lingering on the charts when the switchover to allowing album cuts to hit the Hot 100 in December of 1998, so technically they also peaked at #69 on the hot 100.

  • NastyG

    This week is dire, and too much Gloria Estefan puts me to sleep. But I just had to say that i think thou doth protest too much – it seems like every week you talk about how much you hate female vocalists, but every week you praise at least one on here, and these are their lesser hits! ;)

  • aaaa

    Here We Are peaked at #6 in 1990 for Gloria Estefan