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
“The Rush” 1992, #73 (7 weeks) (download)
“Little Miracles (Happen Every Day)” 1993, #62 (10 weeks) (download)
“Heaven Knows” 1993, #94 (3 weeks) (download)
“Always and Forever” 1994, #58 (18 weeks) (download)
“Love the One You’re With” 1995, #95 (2 weeks) (download)
“Going in Circles” 1995, #95 (2 weeks) (download)
“Your Secret Love” 1996, #52 (13 weeks) (download)
“I Can Make It Better” 1996, #80 (10 weeks) (download)
From 1981 until his death in 2005, Luther Vandross had 32 songs hit the Hot 100 and if you listen to them as a whole body of work, you’ll find the definition of consistency. Every album cover was simply a shot of Luther with a different border around him. Every song was R&B through and through – mostly quiet storm material but every now and then an upbeat tune to get people dancing. Maybe it’s because he had such a great voice and presence that I tend to ignore the fact that 75% of his catalog might as well just be the same song sung in a different key but even so, lord, the man was good.
“Right Now” is a surprise to see here but I guess everyone saw the video 1000 times a day, so maybe that’s why it seems like a bigger hit than it was. I’m not at all surprised “Not Enough” barely made a dent though. From Balance, this was essentially them trying to make another “Right Now” – I mean, listen to the song when the guitars kick in. It’s basically the same chord progression. Balance was a just a sea of sappiness and might be just as bad as Van Halen III in the end.
Over the years I’ve softened my stance on Vanilla Ice. I mean, he was a product of the times and was probably just as good a rapper as Marky Mark was back in the day. To the Extreme really wasn’t that different in 1991 and actually might be an okay record if you strip away the joke he became. It really was the poor choices he made in his quick career that derailed him. The movie Cool as Ice in 1991 was so bad that it prevented him from even having a follow up record. And the “Ninja Rap” – I mean, God. His legacy is what it is and based on the fact that everything he’s released since that point has sucked beyond belief says that his talent was suspect after all but I still think To the Extreme is a listenable representation of the era.
(I was doing a quick Wikipedia check on him to see what his last album was and saw one of my favorite lines ever…. “Ice is a Juggalo and a vegetarian.”)
The Vaughan Brothers
“Tick Tock” 1990, #65 (9 weeks) (download)
Let’s face it, while “Tick Tock” is a good song, it only charted because it was part of the last recording session for Stevie Ray Vaughan before he died in a helicopter crash. The Vaughn Brothers record was recorded with his brother Jimmie and featuring Doyle Bramhall on drums and Nile Rodgers on guitar. “Tick Tock” was co-written with Jerry Lynn Williams who was famous for writing songs with Eric Clapton and Bonnie Raitt. Listening to this now – man, I just hear John Mayer.
“Boom, Boom, Boom, Boom!!” 1999, #84 (6 weeks) (download)
Hands down, without one doubt in my mind, “Boom, Boom, Boom, Boom!!” was the #1 Eurodance song of the decade. The Party Album! is insanely catchy, even if it’s a little silly.