Bottom Feeders: The Ass End of the ’90s, Vol. 48
With Bottom Feeders we take a look at the songs on the Billboard Hot 100 that only got a little love. 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
“There She Goes” 1991, #49 (10 weeks) (download)
The La’s have some sort of legendary cult status because of this song in particular – after all, they only released one album. They formed in ’84 but didn’t release their only album until 1990 after numerous false starts and tons of band members coming and going. And while it isn’t really my style, I have to admit that that self-titled record is pretty damn good and flows so smoothly thanks to the majority of tracks being under three minutes long.
“James Brown Is Dead” 1992, #59 (20 weeks) (download)
“James Brown Is Dead” goes down in history as being the first rave song to hit the Billboard Hot 100. The group was formed by Dutch radio host Wessel van Diepen, who would also be the “mastermind” behind the Vengaboys later on in the decade. While everyone is familiar with this type of sound now – for this series, it certainly is unique.
“What U On” 1998, #85 (7 weeks) (download)
LaTanya has a great, sensual voice but she could have been the best vocalist ever and she still would have been outshined by Twista. Well, maybe outshined isn’t the word but Twista’s crazy speed on his raps take over everything he touches. I listen to “What U On” and forget that LaTanya’s even on the track every time Twista spits something.
Latin Alliance featuring War
“Lowrider (On the Boulevard)” 1991, #54 (11 weeks) (download)
Way back in “A” I mentioned about how every Latin hip-hop group in the ‘90s seemed to have to cover either “Low Rider” and/or “Tequila” to get their cred and it fits right here. The Latin Alliance was Kid Frost’s project and A.L.T. was part of it. Mellow Man Ace also guests on this track. At least this isn’t a straight cover, though the original is still enough for me.
“Never Too Busy” 1996, #89 (4 weeks) (download)
Kenny Lattimore always had that smooth R&B sound and put out some pretty great singles, even if “For You” is heard at way too many weddings. His albums didn’t vary in sound that much and therefore ‘96s self-titled album and ‘98s From the Soul of Man just ended up being a little too long and tedious for me to really enjoy. Since that point though, he married Chante Moore and has released albums as a duo with her, moving from R&B to gospel and jazzier material.
“Can’t Let Go” 1997, #55 (15 weeks) (download)
Man, I’ve never heard of Laurnea before nor her record label – Yab Yum. “Can’t Let Go” isn’t anything more than middle of the road R&B, so this isn’t surprising.
Billy Lawrence (and yes, Billy was her real name I believe) was a beautiful woman and a great singer. Her debut – One Might Say – was good but didn’t showcase her talent very well but ‘97s Paradise was quite smooth and catchy and really thrust her into the spotlight for at least a brief period of time. “Come On” is really a great tune, which features MC Lyte with a rap and since I’m a huge fan of hers, that makes it even better for me.
“Stay Forever” 1993, #52 (2 weeks) (download)
If you didn’t think Teddy Riley was everywhere in the ‘90s, here’s a perfect example that he was. Riley co-produced Joey Lawrence’s debut album and made him into this New Jack Swing artist that was laughable at best. I owned some terrible music in the ‘90s and I’ve already admitted to owning and listening to that Jeremy Jordan record a lot but did any dude buy this? Better yet, does any dude still have it? If so, you need to comment and explain yourself. And do so using lots of “Whoa’s.”
My new year’s resolution is to not waste my time commenting on traditional country songs here. Let’s see if I can stick to that.
“Beware Of My Crew” 1995, #75 (20 weeks) (download)
If you aren’t familiar with the L.B.C. Crew you should know just by the name that Snoop Dogg had something to do with it. These guys were sort of his attempt to toss a lot of young MC’s together and get them quickly on the radar. Apparently he thought some of the members were better than others as this song is “featuring Tray D and South Sentrell” even though they were part of the crew and neither has more of role in this song than anyone else – well, at least I think not because none of these rappers ever made a name for themselves outside of this tune so it’s not like you can tell one from the other.
Frank Farian sighting, ya’ll. Yeah, this was a Farian creation which featured German rapper Robert Haynes and Swedish singer Kayo Shekoni (the female voice).
I’m a little surprised to see “Tonight Is the Night” here because I remember hearing it a lot back in the day but maybe that’s an illusion since it was released in late ’95 to promote La Bouche’s debut album (the track featured La Bouche’s singer) and then was re-released in late ’96 when Le Click’s album was about to be released.
“The Theme (It’s Party Time)” 1997, #55 (18 weeks) (download)
This is a weird backwards gender post – will a “Billy” being a female and both a “Tracy” and “Tracey” being male. At least a more famous “Tracey” – Mr. Ice-T was smart enough to pick a more rap like name. Tracey Lee however, went with his given moniker and got his 15 minutes of fame with this one track, though his lone album – Many Facez – was pretty solid for the time. Lee didn’t release any more records and ended up becoming a lawyer instead.
Legacy of Sound featuring Meja
“Happy” 1993, #68 (12 weeks) (download)
More eurodance, this time from the Swedish group Legacy of Sound which featured Meja and Anders Bagge. Meja would go on to have a nice career in Sweden and Bagge was a judge on three seasons of Swedish Idol.
Leila K with Rob‘n’Raz
“Got To Get” 1990, #48 (11 weeks) (download)
Although this was more on the pop side of the eurodance spectrum, it’s still considered it, making this week the most eurodance we’ve had in one post.
Leila K was discovered by Rob’n’Raz when she was singing in a contest and snatched her up to a contract. I’m not sure if I like this tune so much because of Leila herself or because of the sample of “A Love Bizarre” by Sheila E. Maybe I’m just fascinated that Prince let anyone use his music.