Bottom Feeders: The Ass End of the ’90s, Vol. 49
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
“Hey Now (Girls Just Want To Have Fun)” 1995, #87 (5 weeks) (download)
It was pointed out that I missed this in last week’s post and maybe that was for good reason. This is a total shit stain on a great career. It was performed in concert first with Redbone’s “Come and Get Your Love” interpolated within. Then she recorded it for her hits package Twelve Deadly Cyns… and Then Some before being used over the closing credits to To Wong Foo.
“Into Your Arms” 1993, #67 (14 weeks) (download)
The Lemonheads took a long time to catch on not having a hit until their 5th record and second major label disc, It’s A Shame About Ray. Surprisingly too, that everyone knows their cover of “Mrs. Robinson” but that only charted on the Mod Rock chart. It only bubbled under on the Hot 100. “Into Your Arms” was a college radio staple in 1993 but that’s really the extent of their success. Evan Dando’s drug problem contributed to the demise of the band but he reformed the band in 2005 and they are still putting out music now.
“Little Bird” 1993, #49 (12 weeks) (download)
I’ve always liked “Little Bird” because of her singles, it’s probably the closest to her Eurhythmics sound than any of the adult contemporary songs she would put out. I’m still a big fan of “Walking On Broken Glass” and others but this one really has stuck with me. I guess it has with others too, as she performed it at the closing ceremonies of the 2012 Olympics.
“Fulton St.” 1997, #90 (2 weeks) (download)
Leschea was part of Masta Ace Incorporated for their few years of existence and released just one album which was big in New York but virtually nowhere else.
Here’s another band that was huge at my college radio station. This was my sophomore year at WTSR and the music director at the time was totally into this type of music so Letters to Cleo was a monstrous band for us. I’m glad I was around to absorb this all in and while this overall sound never became my thing, I did like the girly pop that had some rock riffs in it. I bet if we could locate chart information from back then, “Awake” would have been in the top 10 of 1995 for us. Fuck, I remember playing it all the time like it was yesterday.
Levert was Sean and Gerald Levert, both the sons of the O’Jays Eddie Levert joined by Marc Gordon. Frankly, I didn’t know these songs existed. They had a nice run on the R&B charts but after the flat out fantastic “Cassanova” in 1987, I stopped paying attention. Seems like the group is still together however it consists of no one named Levert now since both Gerald and Sean passed away already.
Gerald split from Levert in 1991 to go solo and released nine solo records, two with LSG and one with his dad before he overdosed in 2006. Gerald was a little too quiet storm for my tastes but “Already Missing You” with pops Eddie, is a fantastic song.
“Without Love” 1996, #41 (15 weeks) (download)
Dream Pop was never my thing at all and therefore I never paid much attention to Donna Lewis. “I Love You Always Forever” was hard to ignore though. “Without Love” not so much.
(We’ll discuss her Richard Marx duet when we get to him.)
“Drowning In Your Eyes” 1992, #72 (9 weeks) (download)
Although I’m not a huge fan of this song in particular, Ephraim Lewis’ neo-soul sound is often compared to Seal and from the sound of his lone album (Skin), if he continued on the path, he might have had a pretty great career. He died in 1994 after jumping off a balcony (however that’s disputed as some say he was tazed by police and fell to his death).
I am not ashamed at all to say that Huey Lewis & the News are one of my favorite bands of all time. Sure, they were a bar band done good and “Hip To Be Square” is a little silly but these cats made fantastic music as a whole. These came from Four Chords and Several Years Ago which was a cover of blues songs that influenced the group. It wasn’t the greatest effort they’ve put forth for sure, however the cover of J.J. Jackson’s “But It’s Alright” is irresistible and one of my favorite songs of the decade.
“If I Can’t Have You” 1998, #70 (4 weeks) (download)
If you looked at a picture of the group from 2009, you’d never realize that these guys with full sleeve tattoos were part of a boy band. “If I Can’t Have You” is one that has fallen off the radar thanks to two of the best songs in that genre, “Summer Girls” and “Girl on TV” (and yes, I did just say that).
LSOB were a Mexican rap duo with the fantastic monikers of “One Dope Mexican” and “Don’t Try To Xerox.” You probably remember “On A Sunday Afternoon” and “Hey D.J.” simply because of the samples used.
The Lightning Seeds
“The Life Of Riley” 1992, #98 (2 weeks) (download)
Man, I had totally forgotten about the Lightning Seeds. Something tells me I should go back and listen to more of these guys as they are probably one of those bands that I’d appreciate more now than I did when I was a teenager.