Bottom Feeders: The Ass End of the ’90s, Vol. 81
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
Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band
“Blue On Black” 1998, #78 (10 weeks) (download)
It’s hard not to be impressed by Kenny Wayne Shepherd, just 20 years old when this song hit. He was pretty damn refined for his age and had a nice bluesy touch to his rock songs. I remember loving this song when it was out and while I still think it’s good, all I hear is the sound Staind morphed into when they realized their hits had to be ballads.
“The Message” 1992, #75 (7 weeks) (download)
Shinas was a Canadian actress whose biggest role was playing the fiancée of Brandon Lee’s character in The Crow. She was in the scene where Lee got shot and killed.
Shyheim aka the Rugged Child
“On and On” 1994, #89 (6 weeks) (download)
“On and On” is a pretty heavy topic for a 14 year old kid. Shyheim wasn’t rapping about missing the bus for sure. He was one of the few Wu-Tang affiliate members that actually had a hit record, even if this was minor.
“Happy Days” 1993, #86 (5 weeks) (download)
“I Can Go Deep” 1994, #71 (15 weeks) (download)
“Hooked On You” 1995, #54 (18 weeks) (download)
“Don’t Rush” 1996, #91 (3 weeks) (download)
“Meeting In My Bedroom” 1999, #62 (13 weeks) (download)
Silk was another one of those R&B groups that I spun like crazy on the way to school. Most of my days for months at a time were spent with Silk, Shai, Joe Public, Boyz II Men etc… and unlike most of these groups, I actually bought the second Silk record as well so they had two chances with me. However, it’s been a long time since I heard any of the tunes above and today they sound quite generic to my ears.
Silkk the Shocker
“Just Be Straight with Me” 1998, #57 (16 weeks) (download)
Jesus Christ, this is horrible. A rap remake of “Just Be Good To Me” by S.O.S. band, the whole thing flows so damn awkwardly. But Silkk the Shocker was the brother of Master P, so he had a career waiting for him there. The most interesting thing about this track is that the chorus is sung by Destiny’s Child, which means Beyonce is on this track, not marking her finest moment in music.
“The Obvious Child” 1990, #92 (5 weeks) (download)
Although “The Obvious Child” is a cool tune and very much in the vein of Graceland, I’m still surprised that in 1990 enough radio stations gave this spins to have it chart in the Hot 100 but then again, it didn’t take that much to hit #92 if a few major stations played the tune.
“Play My Funk” 1994, #72 (6 weeks) (download)
I have no idea what happened to Simple E (Erica Williams) after “Play My Funk” became a hit off the soundtrack to the movie Sugar Hill. But E had a smooth flow and could sing too, so it’s weird she didn’t have any other songs on the chart.
“She’s A River” 1995, #52 (9 weeks) (download)
I was a fan of Simple Minds in the ‘80s but they went through a rough patch for a long time, starting with 1989’s Street Fighting Years. Beginning with that record, at least six albums in a row got poor reviews until 2005’s Black and White 050505 finally garnered some positive comments. “She’s A River” was one of the few good tracks off Good News from the Next World which is the place I gave up on the band altogether.
“Stars” 1992, #44 (14 weeks) (download)
Simply Red’s ‘80s momentum lasted a little bit longer than Simple Minds. 1991’s Stars and 1995’s Life were decent records with the former actually being very listenable in the end. “Stars” is a pretty great record, then and now. The video though, not so good.
“Deep, Deep Trouble” 1991, #69 (6 weeks) (download)
Man, I almost forgot about The Simpsons record from 1991. I wish I had kept the CD through all my purges. I’d love to listen to it today and see if I like it still. I know back in the day I listened to it a lot but I was also a teenager.
“Take My Advice” 1992, #86 (5 weeks) (download)
I’ve never heard anything from Kym Sims before but I was a not a club kid either. She was big in those club and in the UK.
“The Note” 1998, #90 (6 weeks) (download)
Another country ballad to hit the tail end of the chart in 1998.
“Jump On It” 1996, #97 (3 weeks) (download)
Haha. This is an absolutely horrible tune from Mix-A-Lot, his last grasp effort to get another hit after “Baby Got Back” but in the end, his one hit is the song that’s going to pay him for the rest of his life. None of his music after that point was really any good.
“Know What You Mean” 1998, #76 (7 weeks) (download)
Sister 7’s album, This is the Trip was a big hit at my college station in ’98 but Patrice Pike’s voice never really did much for me. I still find “Know What You Mean” kind of dull.
I’ve told you before that I have a soft spot for the hitmakers from the Miami Bass scene in the ‘90s and 69 Boyz fit into that category as well. Neither of these tunes are better than “Tootsee Roll” but “Kitty-Kitty” is still pretty awesome. And while I was playing basketball in high-school, the phrase “hoop all in your face” was used quite a bit as I was getting my ass handed to me.
I know you’ll be disappointed that I can’t seem to find the MP3 for “Kitty-Kitty” so you’ll have to deal with the video.
“Wasted Time” 1992, #88 (3 weeks) (download)
I still cling to the thought that if Sebastian Bach had continued working with Dave Sabo and Rachel Bolan over the years that Skid Row could still be putting out good music today. “Wasted Time” is from Slave to the Grind which is a fantastic record. Subhuman Race followed which was a different direction but a vicious record. Since it wasn’t a hit, the group split up. But I still love Sebastian Bach for being an unabashed champion of hard rock music.