My apologies for the shortened version this week, as I had some eye surgery last Tuesday and I can’t look at the monitor for long periods of time. Next week, it will be back to full size!
Section 1: The Ass End
“Don’t You Love Me” 1990, #78 (9 weeks) (download)
Well, “Don’t You Love Me” is more house music than Eurodance I think but this Italian group created a nice mix of both on their debut self-titled record. Not a big fan of the vocalist on this, a woman named Alysha Warren but the use of Jody Watley’s “Don’t You Want Me” worked out nicely.
The 4 Of Us
“Drag My Bad Name Down” 1990, #77 (5 weeks) (download)
I’m a little surprised to see these guys are still making music but they are planning on releasing a new album in 2012. They are essentially Brendan and Declan Murphy, Irish brothers that created some really catchy pop tunes. I’ve only heard 1989’s excellent Songs for the Tempted and 1992’s Man Alive but both are very worthy of your time.
“Have A Little Mercy” 1997, #46 (20 weeks) (download)
Being that the Olympics are about to start it’s only fitting that a group named 4.0 was on this countdown. However, as the U.S. judge, I’d give “Have A Little Mercy” a 7.5. They excelled in synchronized singing.
4 the Cause
“Stand By Me” 1998, #82 (5 weeks) (download)
I absolutely love this version of the classic R&B cover, “Stand By Me.” Everyone does a very standard version but these kids do a great job with the background harmonies and switch it up a little bit. Although this song has never really been on my radar, I have a feeling this is going to end up being one of my favorite tunes of the series.
“I’d Rather Be Alone” 1995, #44 (20 weeks) (download)
IV Xample were really nothing more than an All-4-One clone. But at least singer Dre Allen went on to have success writing and producing for rap artists right up until the current day. The group broke up after only one record.
Another perfect song for the start of the Olympics, it’s the “Redneck Games.” I was never a fan of Jeff Foxworthy because I’m simply not a redneck and didn’t quite understand what he was talking about as a young suburban youth. But today I find “Redneck Stomp” damn funny. I think my favorite one is “if you go to the family reunion to meet women…” As for the “Redneck Games” though I’d really rather just hear his comedy bit instead of having Alan Jackson sing a useless chorus.
“Infatuation” 1994 #92 (2 weeks) (download)
Forget about this one? Yeah, this was Jamie Foxx about a decade and a half before blaming it on the goose. Back in 1994 he was just Jamie Foxx the In Living Color actor. Now, he’s Jamie Foxx the Oscar winning actor and all around entertainer!
I really don’t have any words to describe the travesty of Aretha Franklin going the generic dance route of “A Deeper Love.” However, 1998’s album A Rose is Still a Rose is actually quite good. It’s an album that I passed on originally simply due to the cover art which makes it look like it’s going to consist of soul covers from the ‘60s. But instead it’s a modern hip-hop flavored record let by the terrific Lauryn Hill written title track. “Here We Go Again” has a Mariah Carey feel to it, no doubt because of at least two of the five writers, Jermaine Dupri and Trey Lorenz.
“Lean On Me” 1998, #79 (5 weeks) (download)
I’m not religious but it’s been hard to ignore the name Kirk Franklin over the years as he’s clearly God’s favorite R&B singer. I am however very confused over the multitude of projects/groups he’s been a part of seemingly all at the same time. “Lean On Me” featured gospel singer Crystal Lewis with the main vocal but then of course Bono, Mary J. Blige, R. Kelly and then his group The Family as well as his Nu Nation singers sang the background vocals. The record is billed to Kirk Franklin but God’s Property is on it as well making it a record with all of his groups on it at once. I’m not sure how he kept track of it all.
“Bizarre Love Triangle” 1994, #49 (15 weeks) (download)
Everyone knows this tune from the overlooked Australian band Frente. They released the excellent Marvin the Album in 1992 in their homeland when Mammoth picked them up and released it in the U.S. in 1994. This New Order cover wasn’t even on the original disc, tacked on to the international version at the end like a total afterthought. Kind of sad that Mammoth thought they were good enough for an international release but not good enough that they needed to release a cover to grab our attention. And I’m surprised this was a hit at all as it was all of two minutes long which I know as a DJ back then I simply hated as I had no time to even breathe while the song was on.