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
“World” (as it was simply called on Republic) was a song that didn’t immediately make an impact on me upon first listen but over the years I’ve grown to realize what an underrated song it really is. “Bizarre Love Triangle” is great as well of course and this re-release of the 1986 tune, trying to catch the fleeting few final moments of Frente’s success with the track, was the only time it charted in the Hot 100.
“I Need Love” 1992, #96 (2 weeks) (download)
I have to admit that I had no idea Olivia Newton-John charted in the ‘90s with anything other than the “Grease Megamix”, most likely because this track is so damn bad. One of 4 new tracks on Back To Basics, her first really comprehensive greatest hits collection, she tried to turn herself into this sultry dance-pop star and failed pretty miserably. “I Need Love” surely goes down as one of the worst songs of this series.
Greg Nice and Smooth B flowed great together and probably should have had a bigger career in the end. Their flaw was that they brought nothing new to the table. But the line “Sometimes I rhyme slow, sometimes I rhyme quick…” is a line that has been used again in multiple songs and thus “Sometimes I Rhyme Slow” has become their most famous song.
I always liked Stevie’s music solo and with Fleetwood Mac but never thought her lyrics were all that great. However, I can’t blame the cheesy words in “Sometimes It’s A Bitch” on her. The first single off of her best of disc, Timespace, this was written by Billy Falcon and more notably Jon Bon Jovi. Musically, the song is fine but it wasn’t helped by the horrible video either.
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“Push the Feeling On” 1993, #80 (15 weeks) (download)
“Push the Feeling On” is one of those tracks that could have only been made in the ‘90s. This was a Scottish studio project led by DJ John Reid. Interestingly enough, Reid also wrote, “A Moment Like This,” Kelly Clarkson’s first single!
“Whutcha Want?” 1994, #50 (17 weeks) (download)
1994 was the perfect time for Nine to spit some rhymes as his gritty voice fit right in with Onyx who had just been all over the radio. Although, like Onyx, that grimey voice only goes so far and ended up being a little one dimensional in the end. “Whutcha Want?” is a pretty fantastic rap song though.
Trent Reznor and Nine Inch Nails are one of my favorite bands ever, so I’m a little biased here but all three of these tunes are fantastic. NIN was always more of an MTV band than made for radio, especially when you release something like “March of the Pigs” as your introduction to The Downward Spiral. The biggest surprise though is that “Closer” only made it to #41. Being a child of the MTV generation, this is one of the iconic songs of the decade and while it makes sense why radio didn’t really get behind it, it’s still shocking.
“Rodeo” 1995, #77 (18 weeks) (download)
95 South is famous for “Whoot, There Is It” which was on the chart at the same time as Tag Team’s “Whoomp (There It Is).” “Whoot” actually hit first and even more amazing is that the word “Whoot” stuck around in daily vocabulary. 95 South also never made a song with the Muppets and had another hit with “Rodeo,” so between the two, these guys are the winner!
“Lithium” 1992, #64 (9 weeks) (download)
If you lived under a rock in the ‘90s and your only frame of reference was the Billboard Hot 100, then Nirvana comes off as just your average rock band with a few minor hits. Ha, right.