Richard Marx

Bottom Feeders: The Ass End of the ’90s, Vol. 55


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

Ricky Martin
“Maria” 1996, #88 (14 weeks) (download)
“The Cup of Life” 1998, #60 (16 weeks) and 1999, #45 (18 weeks) (download)

If Ricky Martin had come up in a trivia contest I would have told you his first charting single was “The Cup of Life.” After his split from Menudo, Martin released four Spanish language records and “Maria” appeared on his third disc, A Medio Vivir. It was the first time that he would record a Spanglish version of a tune to be released in the US. It happened again when Vuelve was released in 1998 and “La Copa de la Vida” was then recorded with a Spanglish version as well. Both tunes were then put on his self-titled English record in 1999 which of course made him a US sensation. He’s been off the map for a while though as he hasn’t released an English language record since 2005’s Life.

Rosco Martinez
“Neon Moonlight” 1994, #57 (10 weeks) (download)

Here’s an artist that I’ve never even heard of before. Rosco Martinez was a Cuban pop/rock artist signed to Zoo Entertainment. From what I can tell, Rosco released a Spanish language album for Zoo in ’94, then recorded those tracks again in English and added “Neon Moonlight” as well as three or four others for release of an English record that same year.

RichardRichard Marx
“Chains Around My Heart” 1992, #44 (13 weeks) (download)
“Until I Find You Again” 1997, #42 (20 weeks) (download)
“At the Beginning” 1997, #45 (20 weeks) (download)

According to Billboard, Richard Marx had enough hits to be the 143rd top ranked artist of all time. Personally, I tend to think of him as an ‘80s artist thanks to all three of his #1’s on the Hot 100 chart coming from his 80s records. But he had a heck of a chart run right through ’97 with seven more top 20 hits. Whether you like his brand of adult music or not, he did write some damn catchy tunes and has a great voice. “Chains Around My Heart” and “Until I Find You Again” are great examples of some of his finest work. “At the Beginning” was his duet with Donna Lewis from the movie Anastasia.

Marx is still making music today but if you really want to have a great time, follow him on Twitter @richardmarx – he tends to say whatever’s on his mind which makes for some fascinating conversations. And I’m not complimenting his music so he doesn’t rip me a new asshole either. He truly made some great tunes.

Master Ace Incorporated
“The INC Ride” 1995, #69 (16 weeks) (download)
“Sittin’ On Chrome” 1995, #84 (8 weeks) (download)

Masta Ace was a rapper named Duval Clear who was also a member of The Crooklyn Dodgers. “Sittin’ On Chrome” was probably the most memorable song he made thanks to a hell of a beat.

Master PMaster P
“Mr. Ice Cream Man” 1996, #90 (9 weeks) (download)
“If I Could Change” 1997, #60 (15 weeks) (download)
“Step To This” 1999, #88 (3 weeks) (download)

Master P had talent but it was in production, not rapping. In fact, I think he’s one of the worst rappers of decade. And as founder of No Limit records, he basically created a whole new style of rap in the ‘90s but he also had a ton of artists that were also less than talented like Silkk the Shocker, Mo B. Dick, Sons of Funk and others. All three of these tunes suck royally but none of them are as bad as his most popular song, “Make Em’ Say Uhh!”

Dave Matthews Band
“Crush” 1999, #75 (16 weeks) (download)

I’m actually confused at my own tastes as I listened to Under the Table and Dreaming and Crash endlessly for years. Now I can’t get anywhere near a Dave Matthews album.

  • Chuck M Miller

    actually, 1 of Richard Marx’s #1’s came from his 1987 debut (Hold On To The Nights). The other 2 came from Repeat Offender…

  • steed

    Fire my fact checker. Thanks for pointing that out – I’ve corrected it.

  • Mark Pollock

    I share your feeling about DMB — just deleted all of it from my music library and the cloud.

  • Eric S.

    Underrated is right. “Freak of the Week” is still one of my favorite songs of the 90s. Marvelous 3 should have been much bigger, but if you read Butch’s autobiography it’s the standard cautionary tale about the perils of the recording industry.

  • aaaa

    CHains Around my Heart was one of a few Richard Marx songs co-written with The Tubes’ Fee Waybill

  • steed

    I have it sitting at home but haven’t gotten to it yet. I have to pick that up next and find out more about it.

  • Brett Alan

    Bit of a memory with the Rosco Martinez record. I was a DJ at a top 40 station at the time…after the station switched to classic rock, I went to a high school for some promotional event and met a listener who specifically remembered me playing that song and asked about. I didn’t remember the song at all, but I later found the CD at the station and when I played it, it came back to me. I was able to give her the copy we had played on the radio. Not a bad song.

  • Helena Schnoor

    Hello guys!

    Starting tomorrow, 01/08, you can vote for the Supersong!! You can help choose the song that’ll be recorded by Ricky Martin for the 2014 FIFA’s World Cup!!!