Section 1: The Ass End
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.)