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.
Since I go alphabetically through the Billboard charts, it’s inevitable that some weeks will be good and some weeks will be bad just by the sheer luck of things. There have been a handful of really bad weeks in the series but this is the first week yet that I really dislike almost straight through. What do you think?
Section 1: The Ass End
New York girl Rockell has released two albums (her last being in 2000) but has released random singles here and there right up to the present. All three of these songs came off her debut album, What Are You Lookin’ At? which actually didn’t come out until ’88. “Can’t We Try” is the most memorable of the three, if only because it’s a cover of the Dan Hill tune.
If people remember Rodney O & Joe Cooley at all, it’s usually for their early old school ‘80s sound on songs like “This Is For the Homies” and “Everlasting Bass.” This duo from L.A. took on that gangsta vibe by the time 1993 rolled around but without the street lyrics. A track like “U Don’t Hear Me Tho’” which samples Parliament’s “Flash Light” for the 10,000th time is not one of the best representations of their sound.
I love funk as much as the next geeky white dude and while I can’t deny that Roger and/or Zapp were highly influential, there’s a point where the talk box got annoying. That was probably around the late ‘80s, so a “Mega Medley” really irks me. For me, something like “Slow and Easy” is actually easier on the ears these days than anything else from Zapp and Roger simply because the talk box is used sparingly to enhance the song rather than as the main vocal. Don’t get me wrong, there aren’t too many more influential funk tunes than “More Bounce To the Ounce” but I just don’t think I needed that sound for every damn song.
The Rolling Stones
“Almost Hear You Sigh” 1990, #50 (9 weeks) (download)
“Highwire” 1991, #57 (7 weeks) (download)
“Love Is Strong” 1994, #91 (5 weeks) (download)
“Out of Tears” 1994, #60 (15 weeks) (download)
“Saint of Me” 1998, #94 (4 weeks) (download)
Of all the great groups that I’ve never been able to get into, The Rolling Stones are the one that baffles me the most. They have a sound that fits right into my wheelhouse and yet they’ve never done a heck of a lot for me. That said, I’m not the best judge of these tunes but other than “Love Is Strong,” does anyone really care about their ‘90s output?
Linda Ronstadt (with Aaron Neville)
“When Something Is Wrong with My Baby” 1990, #78 (6 weeks) (download)
I really don’t know a whole lot about Linda Ronstadt. I’ve heard her ‘80s records because I collected them but other than that, she was always just way too “adult” for me. However, I’ve learned more about her this past week than ever since she’s come out and told the world she has Parkinson’s disease.
“Lick It” 1995, #72 (15 weeks) (download)
If I had written this months ago, I would have tried to get in touch with Roula to see what she thinks about this song today and/or if she put the message into practice.
“Lick It” was on the 20 Fingers record but was credited to Roula when it was released as a single. While “Lick It” wasn’t the most subtle message (still more subtle than “Short Dick Man”, it wasn’t anything compared to the next time I saw those words in a title, Khia’s “My Neck My Back (Lick It)” which may go down as one of the all-time dirtiest singles.
I was a huge fan of Roxette was a few years. I spun their second album – Look Sharp – endlessly between ’89-’90 and while Joyride in ’91 wasn’t as good, it built off the momentum and was a huge success as well. At that point I lost track of them thanks to songs like the ones above which pale in comparison to their major hits. They are still releasing albums today though I’m not even sure they are available in the US. From what I’ve read, none of them are very good.
“I Love Music” 1993, #76 (7 weeks) (download)
“I Love Music” was Rozalla’s third and final charting single. This is from the movie Carlito’s Way and while I’ve never seen it to know how it’s used in the flick, this would probably be one of the last tunes I would have expected to be associated with a movie like that.