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 2-3.
Section 1: The Ass End
Toad the Wet Sprocket
“Something’s Always Wrong” 1994, #41 (20 weeks) (download)
Toad the Wet Sprocket intrigued me as a teen from nothing more than the name initially but then I found out musically they were pretty damn great. Toad fit into my Live / Gin Blossoms-era just perfectly and while I haven’t listened to them in years, hearing this song again always put a smile on my face. Love the video too.
To Be Continued…
“One on One” 1994, #70 (7 weeks) (download)
To Be Continued…had sort of a jazzy laid back vibe to their hip-hop. As far as I know, they only released one record, 1993’s Free To Be, and while I listened to it back in the day, nothing stuck in my mind other than the overall vibe. This is a really good song and it kind of surprises me that it wasn’t a big hit.
“The Lion Sleeps Tonight” 1994, #51 (13 weeks) (download)
Reissued in 1994 because of the Lion King, it marked the first time the Tokens had hit the chart since 1970.
Tone Loc featuring El Debarge
“All Through the Night” 1991, #80 (7 weeks) (download)
If Tone Loc and El Debarge couldn’t make a hit, who could? No, really, I think it was inevitable that Tone Loc would never hit the charts with anything serious after “Wild Thing” and “Funky Cold Medina” were such major tunes. It’s a good thing too, otherwise, Tone likely would have been a broke cashier at this point. I wonder if anyone still owns his second and final album, Cool Hand Loc?
As much as Tony! Toni! Tone! were critically acclaimed, I still don’t think they get enough credit for what they brought to the scene in the decade. They blended R&B, Hip-Hop and Soul with ease, played live instruments and created some of the catchiest tunes of the decade. Every time I see the Roots play, I think back to these guys. And the Roots have the same critical acclaim and even less hits to their name.
1993’s Sons of Soul is really the album to get if you are unfamiliar with the group as it had a mess of their big hits but the lesser known final record, House of Music, is an absolute gem of a disc.
“The Ghetto” 1990, #42 (14 weeks) (download)
“I’m a Player” 1993, #85 (3 weeks) (download)
“Money in the Ghetto” 1994, #90 (3 weeks) (download)
“Cocktales” 1995, #69 (9 weeks) (download)
“Gettin’ It” 1996, #68 (10 weeks) (download)
“Call Me” 1997, #90 (3 weeks) (download)
“Invasion of the Flat Booty Bitches” 1998, #51 (10 weeks) (download)
I’m excited to finally talk about “Tina Tina the Sperm Cleaner.” Well okay, not really, but that is one of the best lines in the filthy “Cocktales” song which I also find kind of funny that it peaked at 69. Anyway, Too $hort never had a top 40 hit of his own (he was on “Bossy” by Kelis which hit #16) but the West Coast rap scene owes a lot to him as he portrayed the ghetto pretty accurately in a lot of songs. The ghetto and fucking. That’s what Too $hort brings to the table, still to this day.
Total were never my thing but listening to these tunes now, they definitely had talent. “When Boy Meets Girl” is a very good song. They only had two albums but got nine hits from them and were the R&B face of Bad Boy Records for the latter part of the decade.