Section 1: The Ass End
“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.
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.
“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 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.
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.
“I Kissed A Girl” 1995, #67 (11 weeks) (download)
What more needs to be said about this song other than…irresistible.