Bottom Feeders: The Ass End of the ’90s, Vol. 68
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
“Turn It Up” 1991, #66 (6 weeks) (download)
The members of Oaktown’s 3.5.7. were background dancers for MC Hammer and of course back in the day Hammer had to have his hand in everything, so he turned them into a group. They essentially were supposed to be the female equivalent of him but they really turned out to be better dancers than singers/rappers. By 1991, the quartet was down to a duo and their music became more focused on dance beats than hip-hop.
“Don’t Look Back In Anger” 1996, #55 (14 weeks) (download)
Oasis is another band that if you just look at the Hot 100 chart, you’d think they were just an average group but mod rock, MTV and tabloids were their big successes. It’s hard to deny the fact that (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? still holds up today as a fantastic record.
O.C. featuring Yvette Michelle
“Far From Yours” 1997, #81 (3 weeks) (download)
O.C. deserved a better fate than one minor hit. Omar Credle was a good rapper with intelligent rhymes but just never had the best material. “Far From Yours” is a good song that could have used a much better chorus to be a hit.
“The Emperor’s New Clothes” 1990, #60 (9 weeks) (download)
As you can imagine, Sinead O’Connor is not really my cup of tea. There’s no doubt that “Nothing Compares 2 U” is a haunting song but past that, I never really found anything else of hers that I wanted to bother with. For me, back in 1990 at least, she was just a little weird (as evidenced by the odd “dancing” in the video for “The Emperor’s New Clothes”
The Offspring are such an interesting band for me. I mean, Smash was a fantastic album but they released it at a time when the music scene was changing. Ixnay on the Hombre fit the mold of Smash but was a little more commercial. But then 1998 rolled around and they started making joke songs like “Pretty Fly (For A White Guy).” I honestly never knew what to make of the band past this point. I liked both these singles and many more from them but at the same time it was hard to think they didn’t sell out. Going back and listening to these today, it’s like somewhere between punk and Smashmouth and that’s not really cool at all. So I still don’t know that I really understand how I should feel about them. All I know, is that they still have hit singles on the rock charts making them somewhat still relevant, which is flat out amazing since you already know exactly what every single is going to sound like.
No, that’s not a typo at all. The O’Jays had hits in the ‘90s. Granted, these minor ones were the only two and “What’s Stopping You” is a pretty crappy track but “Baby You Know” is damn fine. I’m not even 100% sure who was in the lineup at this time but it made sense for radio to play them since the thousand generic soul acts of the time owed a piece of their success to them.
I don’t know that ODB was a great rapper in any traditional sense but he sounded like no one else. From his random breaks into singing to the fact that he rhymes like he’s about to go ballistic on your ass or laugh until he pisses himself, he’s one of the most unique rappers to ever be in the game. For how serious the Wu Tang Clan took themselves, Dirty always came off as both angry and the prankster of the group.
“You’re Not Alone” 1997, #56 (20 weeks) (download)
I really didn’t know that Olive had any hits until now. I remember playing this one at my college station a lot, as well as other tracks on their debut, Extra Virgin. It was a nice fit somewhere between Portishead, Massive Attack and Enigma.
“All True Man” 1991, #43 (11 weeks) (download)
Here’s another artist that I wouldn’t have expected to see show up in the ‘90s. O’Neal was a master of the funk and “All True Man” shows that smooth ‘90s funk update that a lot of artists did in the late ‘80s and first few years of the next decade. I’ll still take “Fake” over this any day but I can’t argue with this track either.
It must be nice to be Shaq and have the pull to be able to record so many songs with so many legitimate rappers when you’re barely average. But I tell you, his verse in “What’s Up Doc?” with Fu-Schnickens is still one of my favorites of the decade. “Biological Didn’t Bother” is his attempt to be a serious rapper and fails pretty miserably but the theme from the legendary movie Steel (“Men of Steel” with Ice Cube, B Real, Peter Gunz & KRS-One) is actually very good.
One Heart At A Time
“One Heart At A Time” 1998, #56 (20 weeks)
Although I’ve said I wasn’t into country at the time, I’m not sure why I never heard this song before. It’s kind of hard to miss an All-Star benefit song of any genre but I did. You know what though, if they really wanted to raise money (in this case for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation) they would have made a better song. Participants include: Garth Brooks, Billy Dean, Faith Hill, Neal McCoy, Olivia Newton-John, Victoria Shaw, Bryan White and motherfucking Michael McDonald!!!
Unfortunately, I don’t seem to have an mp3 for this song, so I will direct you to the video on youtube that has the song (and the video is a collage of Clay Aiken photos). Yep, thank me later.
And this is the most obvious break to end a post I’ve had in this series….