Bottom Feeders: The Ass End of the 90s, Vol. 65


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 and 3.

Section 1: The Ass End

Me’Shell Ndegeocello
“If That’s Your Boyfriend (He Wasn’t Last Night)” 1994, #73 (6 weeks) (download)

A funky lady with a great voice, I’m realizing right now that other than this track and her collaboration with John Mellencamp on “Wild Night,” I’ve never heard anything else from her. I highly doubt going back to listen to her albums would interest me these days but she’s unique and I tend to like artists that bring something different to the table. Props to her too because she has epilepsy which can be triggered by flash photography so being a performer must be quite difficult.

Youssou N’Dour & Neneh Cherry
“7 Seconds” 1994, #98 (4 weeks) (download)

I remember hearing “7 Seconds” on the radio and being dumbfounded how any radio station would play it since it was mostly sung in French and N’Dour’s native language of Wolof. I guess this was his one crack at hitting the US market with his music. However, most of us will remember him for his backing vocals with Peter Gabriel on “In Your Eyes.” Not only is he still extremely popular in Africa but he’s currently the Minister of Tourism and Culture of Senegal.

Robbie Nevil
“For Your Mind” 1991, #86 (4 weeks) (download)

Although “For Your Mind” was a little more pop oriented than the funky soul of his earlier works, I have a bit of a soft spot for it and Nevil in general really. In terms of being a hit solo artist I think he didn’t get the respect he deserved but since he’s written music for a slew of major artists over the years, they certainly recognize the talent he has.

icons of music 010608Aaron Neville
“Don’t Take Away My Heaven” 1993, #56 (20 weeks) (download)
“The Grand Tour” 1993, #90 (5 weeks) (download)
“Can’t Stop My Heart From Loving You (the Rain Song)” 1995, #99 (1 weeks) (download)

It’s really odd for me to go from the adult pop of “Don’t Take Away My Heaven” to the country twang of “The Grand Tour” and right back into pop after it.

Once we moved past the hits with Linda Ronstadt, his pop tunes sort of fall in line with the type of music the Bee Gees were putting out to resurrect their career. But I’m shocked that “The Rain Song” only hit #99 for one week. I would have bet that was a top 10 hit if I didn’t have the Billboard bible in front of me.

New Born
“Falling In Love” 1993, #97 (2 weeks) (download)

So is this why we have people having babies at 12 these days? In 2013, this would be shot on a cell phone and posted on youtube for people to marvel over. Then this kid would show up on America’s Got Talent and well…you know the rest. As it was, in 1993 Sammy Sanford was just a little 9-year old boy with a cute smile and was apparently (at least in song) falling in love with some little girl.

New Edition
“One More Day” 1997, #61 (10 weeks) (download)

The reunion of New Edition featuring all six members made total sense at the time as all their careers were stalling by this point. The hype was tremendous and the album debuted at #1 but then egos took over. I have to think that being relegated to backup vocals on quite a few tracks didn’t suit Bobby Brown well (and the drugs didn’t help) and during the reunion tour they group kind of broke down and didn’t mesh as well as they could have.

Nkotb_face_the_music_coverNew Kids on the Block/NKOTB
“Let’s Try It Again” 1990, #53 (8 weeks) (download)
“Dirty Dawg” 1994, #66 (6 weeks) (download)

Since I’m not a girl, I didn’t follow their every move back in the day,  but I listened like everyone else. One thing I never liked was their ballads as I don’t think Joey or Jordan had the chops to pull them off then (now, is a different story) and that’s plainly evident on “Let’s Try It Again.”

Then they tried reinventing themselves by ditching Maurice Starr and having Donnie and Jordan write most of the material. Over the years, Donnie Walhberg had written most of his brother Mark’s material and you started to see some more of that hip hop vibe taking over when they shortened their name to NKOTB and featured songs like “Dirty Dawg” which, while an okay tune, just really didn’t fit the image they were known for. Frankly in 1994, I’m not sure there’s anything they could have done to keep their career alive.

Troy Newman
“Love Gets Rough” 1991, #92 (4 weeks) (download)

Back in the day I really thought Troy Newman had a shot at making it to the big time. Perfect rock sound for the ‘90s, great voice and a look that definitely fit in with the times. But aside from this song, he didn’t have any other success in the US. Info on the web isn’t the easiest to come by but apparently he died in 1997.

  • kc

    I normally love – adore – delight in these posts, and this one is no different. Except!! Meshell Ndegeocello?? Drop everything and run, don’t walk, to your nearest internet connection and get going, man! She is just bloody brilliant – her 90s material is great and perhaps what she’s best known for, but it’s not like she hasn’t been busy over the past few decades. Her latest album is an homage to Nina Simone and nobody does it better, baby. Check out her work with Basement Jaxx or Talib Kweli, too. She’s unique, and it is just not possible to not be interested in what she does.

  • http://www.bastardradio.com steed

    Alright – see, that’s how you convince me to check someone out.

  • Michael Wo

    Her album Devil’s Halo from a few years ago is front to back awesome – kind of dark and weird. It’s got a FANTASTIC cover of Ready for the World’s “Love You Down.”

  • Michael Wo

    Her album Devil’s Halo from a few years ago is front to back awesome – kind of dark and weird. It’s got a FANTASTIC cover of Ready for the World’s “Love You Down.”

  • jbacardi

    I recommend Bitter. It’s a low-key minor masterpiece, with a beautiful cover of Hendrix’s “May This Be Love”.

  • Rockhound

    Thanks for another good post. And thanks for the Me’Shell Ndegeocello comment. She really is terrific. I love “Who Is He and What Is He to You” from Peace Beyond Passion (1996), a Bill Withers song. She did 3 Motown songs on the 2002 album Standing In The Shadows of Motown. And she’s on a great 2011 electronic dance song, “Tonight” by Miguel Migs. As usual, even in a supporting role, she makes the song her own.

  • Rockhound

    The latest from New Kids On the Block, “Remix (I Like The)” is pretty good. An item in the Boston Globe says “In a fair world, that song and a few others would find a home behind Bruno Mars and Justin Timberlake on pop radio but, Wahlberg says with a laugh, ‘The flip side of that is we had some of the biggest hits in history that, in a fair world, maybe shouldn’t have been. I’m saying, some of our hiits were a little dicey in the past, and it all balances out.'”