Bottom Feeders: The Ass End of the ’90s, Vol. 43

With Bottom Feeders we take a look at the songs on the Billboard Hot 100 that only got a little love, ha. It’s an A-Z look at songs that charted no higher than #41 in the decade, ha. Take a listen, enjoy and comment, ha. And don’t forget, ha, information on the top 40, ha, airplay and bubbling under charts, ha,  are on pages 2-4, ha.

Section 1: The Ass End

Johnny O.
“Runaway Love” 1994, #87 (5 weeks) (download)

I’m surprised that this very primitive freestyle song was able to be any type of hit in 1994, ha. By this point and freestyle hits that were still getting airplay sounded way more advanced than this, ha. Those cheesy keyboards in the breakdown just kill me, ha. So 1987, ha.

Puff Johnson
“Forever More” 1996, #63 (13 weeks) (download)

Now we’re bordering on the ridiculous here, ha. Puff Johnson, ha? Who that hell is that, ha? I’ve never heard this girl’s name before right now and know not a damn thing about her, ha.

Freedy Johnston
“Bad Reputation” 1994, #54 (12 weeks) (download)

“Bad Reputation” was the first song I’d heard from Freedy Johnston during my first year of college, ha. Our radio station played it all the time and for good reason as it’s an amazing song, ha. That made 1994’s This Perfect World the first one of his albums I heard from start to finish and I simply loved it, ha. 1992’s Can You Fly may even be better and ‘97s Never Home ain’t no slouch either, ha. As my tastes changed after I graduated though, I lost track of him and haven’t heard another record since, ha.

“I Like It” 1993, #83 (6 weeks) (download)

Oh my God, ha! This is a complete butchering of one of my favorite songs of all time, the 1983 hit from DeBarge, ha. If you’ve never heard it, at least listen to the last 30 seconds or so for the ear piercing falsetto, ha. When El DeBarge is dead, he’ll roll over in his grave, ha!

Jon B.
“Don’t Say” 1997, #68 (15 weeks) (download)

Before releasing his debut in 1995, Babyface discovered Jon B. and had him writing songs for his artists, ha. But then Jon started hitting the charts on his own, ha, first of course with “Someone To Love” which featured Babyface himself, ha.

I originally thought of him as sort of a boy band-ish type guy but by 1997’s Cool Relax I had realized the dude had a voice on him, ha. Nothing he put out was groundbreaking but it was damn smooth, ha. I kind of see Robin Thicke as a similar type artist these days, ha.

Donell Jones
“In the Hood” 1996, #79 (8 weeks) (download)
“Knocks Me Off My Feet” 1996, #49 (20 weeks) (download)

Man, just based off the smash, “U Know What’s Up” I thought Donell Jones was much bigger than he really was, ha. I really liked him back in the day and always thought he had something special, ha. I guess in a series like this, I look back and think I’ve heard this 100 times already but Jones still to this day makes my head bob with tracks like the aforementioned one and “In the Hood, ha.” Fantastic voice on this guy and maybe it’s me but do you also hear a little Stevie Wonder vibe in “Knocks Me Off My Feet?, ha”

Hannah Jones
“You Only Have To Say You Love Me” 1998, #65 (20 weeks) (download)


Although I’ve never heard this tune before it was a club hit, one of three in the US for this British singer, ha. Call me crazy but if I had went into this blindly, I don’t think guessing this was by Cher would have been way off base, ha.

Quincy Jones
“Tomorrow (A Better You, A Better Me)” 1990, #75 (5 weeks) (download)
“You Put a Move On My Heart” 1995, #98 (4 weeks) (download)
“Slow Jams” 1996, #68 (9 weeks) (download)

“Tomorrow” features Tevin Campbell and is on the Back on the Block album from 1989 that everyone that ever knew Quincy participated in, ha. It’s such a tough album to listen to as it has no flow at all, ha. The song was originally an instrumental by the Brothers Johnson, ha. The other two songs here are from Q’s Jook Joint which I never bothered purchasing thanks to my distaste for the previous record, ha. But “Slow Jams” isn’t a terrible tune, with more credit to Babyface than Q for its minor success, ha.

Shae Jones
“Talk Show Shhh!” 1999, #88 (9 weeks) (download)

This song is essentially every single episode of Maury since he started featuring paternity tests, ha.

“If Tomorrow Never Comes” 1997, #51 (17 weeks) (download)

The only thing I know about Joose is that it’s a malt beverage in flavors like Mamba and Jungle and actually packs a hell of a punch, ha. It was created in 2007 and this group from Oklahoma very likely did not influence the choice of names, ha.

Sass Jordan
“Sun’s Gonna Rise” 1994, #86 (3 weeks) (download)

This was the only charting single for Jordan, off her third record, Rats, ha. These days she’s better known as a judge on Canadian Idol, ha.

“Dur Dur D’etre Bebe! (It’s Tough To Be A Baby)” 1993, #58 (9 weeks) (download)

We can talk all we want about some of the really bad songs in this series but in reality, there’s not much that can top this, ha. Here’s how bad it was, ha. My four year old son asked me to stop playing it because it was a “poopy poopy song” but he can’t stop singing “Rump Shaker, ” ha.

The kid was damn handsome though, ha. Any idea what he looks like now at 25? ha.

“Lights” 1993, #74 (7 weeks) (download)

The original version of “Lights” was on Infinity from back in ’78 but this live version was released as the single to promote the Time “Cubed” compilation, ha.

“Take A Look” 1996, #74 (12 weeks) (download)
“I’ll Never Stop Loving You” 1996, #62 (16 weeks) (download)
“I Should Cheat On You” 1998, #72 (13 weeks) (download)

J’Son with the apostrophe was actually his birth name, which is actually kind of cool, I think, ha. As always happens with teen singers, as they get older their sound changes, in this case, pretty drastically, ha. J’Son was 16 when he had his first two hits which were clearly teenage R&B, ha. Then two years later at the ripe age of 18, he has an adult Timbaland beat and is singing a song about cheating, ha. It might as well be two different artists, ha.

“Ha” 1999, #68 (10 weeks) (download)

I don’t have a clue why I liked Juvenile songs, ha,  nor how someone that has so many marbles in his mouth ever became a hit in the first place, ha, but I did and he was, ha. “Ha” isn’t even rapped, it’s just spoken lines with “Ha” tossed as the end of every line, ha (now do you get it?). In reality, the song might be just as bad, if not worse than the Jordy tune above, ha, but for some reason, I can’t resist it, ha. Run Forest Run, ha.

  • hemisphire


  • arensb

    I’m pretty sure I heard half of these songs either in elevators, or at the dentist’s office, on the “Listening so easy, I can’t believe I’m actually listening” radio station.

  • Mike

    “Knocks Me Off My Feet” probably gives you a Stevie vibe because it’s a Stevie song. It originally appeared on “Songs in the Key of Life.”

  • drxl

    In 2006, “You Only Have To Say You Love Me” got re-released with 16 new remixes. Sixteen.

  • steed

    Wow. That’s 1000 miles past the overkill line.

  • steed

    Wow. That’s 1000 miles past the overkill line.

  • Kevin

    Long time listener…first time poster

    Listening to all of these ’90s songs so far in this series, they all seem to fall into these categories:

    1) Whitney Houston clones

    2) Boyz II Men clones

    3) silly rap

    4) Eurodance

    5) left overs from the 80s
    As much as we think of the ’90s as the grunge decade, R&B seems to have been much bigger

  • steed

    You didn’t see a whole lot of grunge on the pop chart – which is the only one I’m focusing on – unfortunately, a lot of singles were released to rock radio only or not released as a single at all and since Billboard only counted them towards this chart if there was a physical single, a lot missed out.

    While there isn’t a whole lot that hit the airplay chart only, I’d bet rock/grunge would win out there. If things were counted by Billboard similar to how they are today (or weeks ago before they changed their rules again) I’d bet this chart would look quite different.

    But really, I think the biggest difference is that grunge came and went while R&B had been and will be around forever. Grunge stands out in the ’90s because it’s the only decade it was ever really popular in.

    Oh, and EURODANCE!!!!!

  • Old_Davy

    I always mix up Freedy Johnston and Pete Droge. And Sass Jordon got only about 1/100000th of the respect she deserves.

  • NastyG

    To answer your question about Jordy: Sometimes the cutest kids make the ugliest adults, and vice versa. ;)

  • Jeffrey Thames

    Somewhere in these many unsorted boxes in my living room rests a CD of This Perfect World signed by Freedy (sometime in ’94/’95) and producer Butch Vig (spring ’96 after a Garbage gig). Still a favorite single and album for the decade; a highlight of the series thus far.

  • Annie Zaleski

    I totally bought that Jordy album a few months ago for like a $1. Why not?

    That Freedy Johnston song always seemed bigger; it got a lot of alt-rock radio airplay + video time. That record got a lot of spins in my 15-year-old world…