Bottom Feeders: The Ass End of the ’90s, Vol 84.

BF90With 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. Another short one this week but we’ll get back to full posts soon!

Section 1: The Ass End

ArtistThe Smithereens
“Blues Before and After” 1990, #94 (2 weeks) (download)

Having attended college in New Jersey, Pat DiNizio is kind of a local hero to college DJs in that area. It’s actually kind of hard to fathom how this great power pop group from the Garden State put out their first release all the way back in 1980.

I’ve often thought the Smithereens suffered from being too good. 1988’s Green Thoughts and 1989’s 11 both seem ahead of their time (and I still enjoy them more and more each time I listen). If “Blues Before and After” came out a few years later, I think it would have been a bigger hit than it was. Same thing with “A Girl Like You” which hit in 1989/1990. When I hear that song, I think ’93-ish, not 1989. Although ‘92s “Too Much Passion” was their final charting hit, The Smithereens have continued to make music and as of 2011 have thirteen studio records under their belt.

“Mind Blowin” 1995, #75 (8 weeks) (download)
“Strawberries” 1998, #49 (17 weeks) (download)

You know what’s mind blowin’ for me? That this lady could have four songs on the radio (two bubbling under) and yet I’ve never heard of her. I was very in tune with popular music at this point in my life and I just find it hard to believe that anyone that had more than one hit flew under my radar.

There are two very different songs here – “Mind Blowin’” being a rap tune, of which Smooth has a sound very similar to MC Lyte and then “Strawberries” that’s a slow sensual burner instead. The latter is actually a damn good tune.

Patty Smyth
“I Should Be Laughing” 1993, #86 (4 weeks) (download)

Although Patty Smyth was a rocker, after Scandal I never really did get into her. “I Should Be Laughing” is a fine song but definitely was not my thing in 1993 or now.

Sneaker Pimps
“6 Underground” 1997, #45 (22 weeks) (download)
“Spin Spin Sugar” 1997, #87 (13 weeks) (download)

Sneaker Pimps hit right at the time I was music director at WTSR. As a station we fully embraced the trip-hop movement with Portishead, Tricky, Massive Attack etc… and if we could dig up charts from back in 1997, I’m almost certain that Sneaker Pimps debut – Becoming X – would be in the top five for the year. I don’t remember hearing “Spin Spin Sugar” too much from back in those days but “6 Underground” was spun to death on pretty much every show we had.

ArtistSnoop Dogg
“Woof” 1999, #62 (12 weeks) (download)
“Bitch Please” 1999, #77 (9 weeks) (download)

This was the point where Snoop left Death Row and moved to No Limit records instead. He put out three albums on Master P’s label, starting with Da Game Is To Be Sold, Not to Be Told which has to go down as the shittiest album Snoop has put out. You can hear on “Woof” how his sound completely change to the dirty south beats that Master P laid claim to in this era and in no way did this suit Snoop at all. Master P must have realized this as the next two records featured big name producers and brought Dr. Dre back into the mix after he was totally absent on that first No Limit record. Although “Bitch Please” wasn’t a big hit, it had that sound Dre has been known for over his entire career.

“This Is How We Party” 1998, #51 (12 weeks) (download)

Right now is the first time I’ve heard this song since 1998. S.O.A.P. were a Danish duo of female rappers. I’ve never heard their album but “This Is How We Party” sounds very much like something the Backstreet Boys would have released. It makes sense that at one point they were the opening act for one of their tours.

Jill Sobule
“I Kissed A Girl” 1995, #67 (11 weeks) (download)

What more needs to be said about this song other than…irresistible.

  • DwDunphy

    Soho hit #14 with “Hippychick” — The musical equivalent of getting a strand of beef jerky stuck between your teeth.

  • aaaa

    Patty Smyth and DOn Henley hit #2 with Sometimes Love Just Ain’t ENough, although it probably was mentioned back when Don Henley appeared in Bottom Feeders a few months ago.

  • aaaa

    I played online Scrabble one time with a woman who claimed to be a member of Snap. I didn’t get her name.

  • Jake89

    One of the best things about the 90’s is the variety of genres that came out of that time. I loved the Trip Hop stuff that came out then and miss the sound very very much. Thankfuly Morcheeba still puts out an album every now and again. Would be a worth post about the history, if Popdose got the chance. :)
    Sneaker Pimps-6 Underground- is one of the top 5 trip hop songs forsure of the 90’s. Anytime I play the song, people instantly like it. Its compostion just sounds very unique, with a glimance of pop add to the top.Never tire of it.

  • steed

    Yes, I try to only mention them once and this was in the H’s.

  • steed

    Fun fact of the day!

  • George

    Both “Sometimes Love…” and “I Should Be Laughing” co-written by Smyth and Glen Burtnick, who’s probably here somewhere also (like in the B’s–need to catch up with your previous posts since I made aware of your page via a mention on the Smithereens’ Facebook page.
    I think you’re spot on with The Smithereens being ahead of their time with their songs. They also would have gotten more attention had Madonna actually recorded “Blood and Roses” and Belinda Carlisle been the female vocal on “A Girl Like You”…. which was the plan. Yet they still rock on and sound as good as they ever did. They opened a few dates for Tom Petty (!) this summer.

  • Rob Wynne

    “Six Underground” was one of my favourite songs at the time, and I still fall into it’s groove every time I hear it.

    “Watch this space; I’m open to falling from grace.” is a brilliant lyric.

  • ElCartero

    “Spin Spin Sugar” was one of those songs that became a hit mainly due to its remix. Here it is…