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 2-4.
Section 1: The Ass End
A Few Good Men
“Have I Never” 1996, #76 (10 weeks) (download)
Maybe inspired by the movie (or maybe not), A Few Good Men were a four piece R&B group on LaFace records and without a doubt have that typical LaFace sound. I wish their first single, “Tonite” had done something other than bubble under because I would have rather been talking about a song that sampled songs called “Treat Her Like a Prostitute” and “Lick the Balls” (both by Slick Rick).
“Hey Man Nice Shot” 1995, #76 (7 weeks) (download)
It’s a good thing that I don’t normally let lyrics get in the way of my listening experience. Unless it’s totally cheesy or amazingly cool, I’m really into it for the music more than the lyrical content (and maybe that’s why I like metal or maybe is a result of enjoying that genre) and Richard Patrick and his rotating musicians kick some major ass. His lyrics on the other hand are laughably bad. They’ve gotten better over the years but over the first few Filter records it’s like they were written by a fourth grader. And it wasn’t cheesy shit, or randomness for the sake of being different. It was Patrick attempting serious lyrics but including words and phrases that made no sense and/or lines that seem like they ended in the middle of a thought. And it really doesn’t bother me in terms of enjoyment but they certainly stand out in the grand scheme of things.
While songs like “Hey Man Nice Shot” and “Take a Picture” were hits for the group, I don’t think they ever got as big as they should. Both Short Bus and Title of Record are great releases that show off both their rock and pop side, while The Amalgamut and The Trouble with Angels are louder rock records. They are supposed to be releasing their sixth record – Gurney and the Burning Books – relatively soon. I can’t wait.
Fine Young Cannibals
“I’m Not Satisfied” 1990, #90 (3 weeks) (download)
It’s pretty disappointing that a fantastic band like the Fine Young Cannibals only released two records before their demise. Roland Gift with David Steele and Andy Cox from the English Beat had fantastic chemistry together and Gift had a pretty great, unique voice.
“I’m Not Satisfied” was the fifth of six singles released from the amazing Raw and the Cooked, their final record. Gift released a solo record in 2002 and hinted earlier this year on BBC Radio that a new solo record might be in the works.
“Oooh This I Need” 1991, #90 (4 weeks) (download)
I think the only reason I listed to Fiorillo’s second record (I Am) is because it was recorded at Paisley Park and included a couple of Prince songs on it. I’ll give anything Prince worked on at a least one shot. You can certainly hear all the influence of the purple one on this tune.
After hitting #5 with “Love of a Lifetime” is was a long shot that Firehouse would have a big hit with anything but a ballad going forward and that’s how it played out, with “When I Look Into Your Eyes” hitting #8 and “I Live My Life For You” hitting #26. The three above are at least pretty decent tunes and I’m sure the band isn’t complaining about making money off “Love of a Lifetime” but it would have been nice to hear the rock songs on the radio more often.
“Save Me” 1991, #74 (6 weeks) (download)
I recognize the name and “Save Me” but oddly enough I don’t know that I’ve ever heard her #11 hit, “How Can I Ease the Pain.” She was an R&B singer out of Brooklyn, NY that released just one solo record called So Intense. Nasty G will probably also recognize her as Xena when she released a track called “On the Upside” back in ’83.
Tricia Leigh Fisher
“Empty Beach” 1990, #72 (8 weeks) (download)
While I’ve never heard this song and didn’t really know that Tricia Leigh Fisher was a singer, I have heard of her simply because she’s the daughter of Eddie Fisher and Connie Stevens and the half-sister of Carrie Fisher!
Five (or 5ive) wasn’t really that different from the Backstreet Boys on some tunes and *Nsync on others but they certainly didn’t have the same level of success in the US as the other groups did.
The group was formed in the UK by the same guys that put the Spice Girls together but they only lasted a total of three albums, the last two of which Simon Cowell was the executive producer for.
I’m really unsure why neither of these songs were a bigger hit in the states, both co-written by Max Martin and having the same feel as all the other boy bands of the time. I mean if O-Town could get hits, Five should have had many more other than the one they are known for, “When the Lights Go Out.” I certainly think these guys were more talented than the Backstreet Boys at least.
The Flaming Lips
“She Don’t Use Jelly” 1994, #55 (20 weeks) (download)
Holy shit have the Flaming Lips changed over time. “She Don’t Use Jelly” isn’t exactly the most straightforward song in the world but it’s downright plain compared to the bizarre stuff that Wayne Coyne comes up with these days. I have to admit that I’ve never been a fan or even tried to understand what goes through the head of someone that releases music on a flash drive inside a gummy fetus. And I totally don’t get the appeal of Yoshimi or any of the other oddballs in the Flaming Lips catalog but to each his own. They are certainly unique so I give them respect for that.
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The Flavor Unit MCs
“Roll Wit Tha Flava” 1993, #86 (4 weeks) (download)
This is a pretty weak song for such a strong group of rappers. The Flavor Unit MC’s were a group assembled by the CEO of Flavor Unit records, which happened to be Queen Latifah. The track features Heavy D, Treach, Dres from Black Sheep, the Fu-Schnickens, Freddie Foxx and the Almighty RSO. The only good rhyme on the record is from Dres. Everything else is pretty sad on this one.
“Landslide” 1998, #51 (20 weeks) (download)
Hard to believe after all these years of hearing 100 covers of this song and the original version so much that the 1975 studio version was never a hit. The only time this song charted for Fleetwood Mac was with this live version right here.
I was reading Dee Snider’s autobiography recently and there was a point in there after Lita went solo where Snider supposedly told her make sure she rocks out without selling sex to push the product and well, we know where that advice went.
I really think Ford was/is quite talented and she could have been the voice of female metal if she hadn’t gone all pop and threw her boobs in everyone’s face. I’m not arguing with that as for some reason I still think she’s a very attractive woman and maybe she needed to do it back in the day but I’d like to think she was talented enough to breakthrough as a solo artist based on her ability alone.
I’m not a big fan of “Hungry” but “Shot of Poison” is a damn fine pop-rock song. But that would be the last charting moment for her and any bit of credibility she had left was thrown out the window with 2009’s Wicked Wonderland – a raunchy sex filled romp completely influence by her then husband Jim Gillette that was laughably bad. Now divorced from him, she’s trying to get back to her roots and repair fix that faux pas with a good old rock record, Living Like a Runaway.
“Until the End of Time” 1995, #42 (16 weeks) (download)
Lou Gramm came back for their 1994 record, Mr. Moonlight (after leaving in ’87) but Rick Wills and Dennis Elliot had left which contributed to the lack of quality tunes on the record. Everything on it, including “Until the End of Time” sounds uninspired and forced and after it, the ceased to release any more records. Apart from a little cooling off between members now and again, I don’t think the group ever actually broke up though and of course, released an album in 2009 with Kelly Hansen on vocals.
Forest For the Trees
“Dream” 1997, #72 (3 weeks) (download)
Forest for the Trees was the project of cut-and-paste producer Carl Stephenson who co-produced Beck’s Mellow Gold. That’s important because the self-titled release from Stephenson has been compared to that record and Odelay for its collage of different sounds throughout the disc.
For Real certainly had talent as you can hear in the a cappella “You Don’t Know Nothin’” and were nominated for a Grammy and a Billboard Music Award and won a Soul Train award but after they released Free in 1996 they only recorded a few more songs and never put out another album.
“Ninety Nine” 1998, #59 (16 weeks) (download)
John Forte began his career as a writer and producer for the Fugees and was part of the Refugee Camp as refers to at the end of this track. He is definitely a talented dude but his career stalled after he was arrested for possession of cocaine and spent seven years in prison.