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 and 3.
Section 1: The Ass End
“The Ways of the Wind” 1993, #54 (11 weeks) (download)
“Downtown Venus” 1995, #48 (8 weeks) (download)
“Sometimes I Miss You So Much (Dedicated to the Christ-Consciousness)” 1995, #55 (5 weeks) (download)
“I Had No Right” 1998, #44 (10 weeks) (download)
PM Dawn is not only one of my favorite bands of all time but I’d rank them up there as one of the most underrated groups of all time as well. It’s not like they didn’t have their share of hits but it’s also not like they ever come up in discussions of the best groups of all time and I’m saying they belong there.
They originally got rejected by record labels because people thought they were too much like De La Soul of which I can only understand because they have intelligent lyrics but really, they are an extremely unique band. Prince Be’s raps were always interesting because he worked with such a mellow tones that it always came across as very smooth. They used samples that weren’t the norm and mixed a lot of rock into their sound. Depending on your perspective that was either pretty cool, or a little quirky.
Of the Heart, Of the Soul… and The Bliss Album…? are virtually perfect in every way and their third record, Jesus Wept is damn fine as well. It wasn’t until they decided to name their fourth record Dearest Christian, I’m So Very Sorry for Bringing You Here, Love, Dad that it all understandably went downhill.
In 2000 they released Fucked Music as a download only which strangely took them into a bit of a harder edge of hip-hop. The album was good but it wasn’t really PM Dawn. In 2002, they released a single called “Amnesia” which was one of the best of their career. But then in 2005 Prince Be had a massive stroke. He still soldiered on though and if you check out their appearance on Hit Me Baby, One More Time back in the same year, you’ll notice he had to be helped down the staircase and sat the whole time because most of his left side was paralyzed. In 2009 he had a second stroke and got an infection in his leg which then had to be amputated. Prince Be doesn’t perform these days but his cousin Doc G. goes out every now and then and performs the hits.
“Stand” 1993, #50 (10 weeks) (download)
In the midst of glam metal and the running joke that was named “Unskinny Bop” came “Stand” which is probably the closest they came to breaking away from that hair metal label. Think what you want about Poison and their cheese factor over the years but they made catchy tunes. And Bret Michaels alternates between laughable and great business man. Hell, if it wasn’t for Bret, Poison wouldn’t be able to go out on tour and make tons of money still to this day.
Porno For Pyros
“Pets” 1993, #67 (10 weeks) (download)
Jane’s Addiction was a group that I was never able to fully get into, so Porno For Pyros never did much for me either. I’ve owned the debut record a few times oddly enough though – selling it in various purges and then buying it again for a buck later down the line. I’ve never even heard the follow up – Good God’s Urge.
“Sour Times” 1995, #53 (9 weeks) (download)
Speaking of albums I’ve owned a few times, I’ve purchased Dummy no less than seven times throughout my CD collecting years. Just like the Porno For Pyros disc, I’d sell it in a purge and then buy it again. I’d sell it because I never listen to it and then I’d hear “Sour Times” and realize that I just purged the best trip hop album ever made. I’ve learned my lesson now though and it stays in my collection permanently. I still believe the statement I just made as well – Portishead’s Dummy is the greatest trip hop album in existence.
“How Deep Is Your Love” 1995, #93 (5 weeks) (download)
I bought the debut Portrait record simply because I was really into new jack swing in the early ‘90s but outside of that record, I’ve never heard anything but the singles from them. Generic R&B like “How Deep Is Your Love” really never did much to further their career.
“I Wasn’t With It” 1998, #85 (9 weeks) (download)
Every time I see the name Jesse Powell (which admittedly isn’t often) I confuse him with Kevin Powell, the writer, activist and Real World cast member. Jesse Powell was not that dude, though if he was, his career might have been bigger.
“Night In My Veins” 1994, #71 (8 weeks) (download)
Eh. I was never a Pretenders fan to begin with, so I don’t even think I’ve ever heard 1994’s Last of the Independents in full. “I’ll Stand By You” was impossible to get away from but “Night In My Veins” didn’t really do a whole lot for the band (which wasn’t nearly the same as the Pretenders from the ‘80s).
Pretty In Pink
“All About You” 1991, #96 (3 weeks) (download)
The only thing really notable about Pretty In Pink was that they were led by the daughter of Chaka Khan, Milini. These teens probably thought that meant instant success and while it didn’t, I am surprised they didn’t have more than this since “All About You” is actually a pretty good tune.
Maxi Priest was one of the first mainstream artists to focus on Reggae Fusion as a genre and really put himself in position to be the superstar of that genre thanks to “Close To You.” However, his albums weren’t really that great and the number of great singles he had were limited as well, as you can hear with “Groovin’ in the Midnight” which isn’t a good tune at all.
“New Power Generation” 1990, #64 (5 weeks)
“Insatiable” 1991, #77 (7 weeks)
“Sexy M.F.” 1992, #66 (4 weeks)
“The Morning Papers” 1993, #44 (11 weeks)
“Pink Cashmere” 1993, #50 (9 weeks)
“Purple Medley” 1995, #84 (2 weeks)
“Gold” 1995, #88 (2 weeks)
“The Greatest Romance Ever Told” 1999, #63 (13 weeks)
Read some of that because otherwise I could wax poetic about my favorite artist for far too long. What I will say is that my favorite song from Prince (“Sexy M.F.”) from my favorite album of his (The Love Symbol) is right here because I’m sure radio didn’t know what to do with it.
(Note: All of these songs are easily obtainable and since Prince is notorious for threatening to sue and stuff like that, I’m not going to post any of these. Sorry folks, dig them up if you want them)
“Gotta Be…Movin’ On Up” 1998, #90 (5 weeks) (download)
Yep, PM Dawn’s Prince Be had a solo hit! Well, sort of. The song was made for the movie Senseless and features Kymani Marley singing near the end. The interesting thing though is that the video was credited to the group and DJ Minutemix appears in it as well. So why the single was billed as a solo track is unknown to me.
Prince Markie Dee & the Soul Convention
“Typical Reasons (Swing My Way)” 1993, #64 (14 weeks) (download)
It’s a total shame that “Typical Reasons” didn’t do more on the charts. Prince Markie Dee was a great rapper but this song was likely hurt by the fact that it was a serious tune which was hard to market for him after years of creating funny tunes with the Fat Boys.
“Smack My Bitch Up” 1997, #89 (7 weeks) (download)
“Smack My Bitch Up,” the song that made The Prodigy notorious and the song that pretty much destroyed their career. Although they claim that the song was about doing anything full force and without boundaries, not too many people bought that and it was banned in a lot of places. It also didn’t help that the original uncensored video is softcore porn, shot from the perspective of someone that has done drugs and has been drinking all night and then goes home and screws a prostitute (and that person turns out to be a woman). Either way, a memorable song for sure.
“Can’t Truss It” 1991, #50 (15 weeks) (download)
One of, if not the most pioneering groups in hip-hop history had just two songs hit the Hot 100. 1994’s “Give It Up” hit #33 and “Can’t Truss It.” This tune was from Apocalypse 91… The Enemy Strikes Black, which was the third brilliant record in a row for Public Enemy and the very last time you could say that about one of their records.
It’s really hard to listen to a song called “Stairway To Heaven” that isn’t a cover of the legendary Zeppelin tune. It’s just one of those titles that should never be used again.
“Delicious” 1998, #66 (12 weeks) (download)
I wish there was a different video for this song. “Delicious” was a great, sexy song, with a hot lead singer and a video that killed all boners.
Pure Sugar was a trio that featured Jennifer Starr on vocals but more notably Richard “Humpty” Vission as the DJ.