Bottom Feeders: The Rock End of the ’80s, Final.

Written by Bottom Feeders, Music

Three years and a couple thousand songs later, Bottom Feeders comes to an end with the letter Z from Billboard Rock Charts.

So folks, the end is here.  It’s been more than three years, with only a handful of weeks off that Bottom Feeders has run on Wednesday mornings. We started with numbers 41-100 of the Billboard Hot 100 chart and then moved right on to the rock chart.  It’s now time to take a little break. As mentioned last week, it may be the end of the series, or it may come back in the future.  But for now, we move on. But check out Digging For Gold which is going to replace the series on Wednesday mornings. The first post is already up!

A big thanks to all of you that commented, participated and shared music with me over the years.  I owe a big thanks to King of Grief, who introduced the “meltie,” never failed to catch a “fire/desire” rhyme and even did Bottom Feeders themed radio shows over the past few years.

But enough of this sentimental crap, let’s get to the letter Z!!  Here’s the final week, looking at the rock charts with songs that failed to cross over to the Hot 100.

Zebra
“Tell Me What You Want” 1983, #29 (download)
“Bears” 1984, #15 (download)

Hey, we’ve finally got another Randy Jackson sighting here! Well, okay this isn’t the leader of the dawg pound but rather the singer and guitarist of early ‘80s rock band, Zebra. “Tell Me What You Want” was from their self-titled debut which is a solid rock record. Their second album – No Tellin’ Lies – was much weaker than the first, not nearly as rockin’ or as catchy. “Bears” is the third track on that album. They released 3V in 1986 which is a very underrated record, then were dropped by Atlantic records and didn’t release another studio recording until they reunited in 2003.

Warren Zevon
“Let Nothing Come Between You” 1982, #24 (download)
“Sentimental Hygiene” 1987, #9 (download)
“Detox Mansion” 1987, #44 (download)
“Run Straight Down” 1989, #30 (download)

I’m not sure I can say I like Warren Zevon because I just don’t think I get his brand of humor but I actually do think at least two of his ‘80s albums are really good. Bad Luck Streak In Dancing School features most of the Eagles, Jackson Browne and Linda Ronstadt among others and 1987’s Sentimental Hygiene which featured all of R.E.M. (later leading to the Hindu Love Gods album), Don Henley, Flea and Bob Dylan simply playing harmonica on “The Factory.” The title track features Neil Young on lead guitar.

I have yet to hear 1982’s The Envoy or 1989’s Transverse City – is it worth picking them up?

ZZ Top
“Tube Snake Boogie” 1981, #4 (download)
“Pearl Necklace” 1981, #28 (download)
“Got Me Under Pressure” 1983, #18 (download)
“TV Dinners” 1983, #38 (download)
“Can’t Stop Rockin’” 1985, #8 (download)
“Delirious” 1986, #16 (download)
“Woke Up With Wood” 1986, #18 (download)

I’m glad we end the series with a group as badass as ZZ Top. Of course, it would have been nice if we were talking ‘70s as the rock songs from their slick period in the ‘80s weren’t quite as good as the crossover tunes.

“Tube Snake Boogie” and “Pearl Necklace” are both from El Loco – the last ZZ Top record to feature that rawer ‘70s rock sound. “Got Me Under Pressure” and “TV Dinners” come from Eliminator. Neither tune is as good as “Legs” or “Sharp Dressed Man” but “Pressure” at least fits in with them. “TV Dinners” is probably the worst song ZZ Top released in the ‘80s.

“Can’t Stop Rockin’” is the best of the three Afterburner tunes here, while neither “Delirious” or “Woke Up With Wood” live up the ZZ Top standard.

Quick Hits
Best Song: ZZ Top, “Tube Snake Boogie”
Worst Song: ZZ Top, “TV Dinners”

Appeared in the rock chart and Hot 100
Robin Zander (1): “Surrender To Me”
Frank Zappa (1): “Valley Girl”
Zebra (1): “Who’s Behind the Door?”
ZZ Top (7): “Gimme All Your Lovin’” “Sharp Dressed Man” “Legs” “Sleeping Bag” “Stages” “Rough Boy” “Velcro Fly”