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
“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.
“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.
“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!
“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.
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”
“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.
“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.
“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.
“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.
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.