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
“How Did I Get By Without You?” 1995, #89 (8 weeks) (download)
Man, listen to this song. Wow. Now this is exactly why John Waite is one of my favorite singers of all time. I always wish he would have created music with a little more backbone behind it but these mid-tempo pop numbers were his forte. Shit though, this is 1995, long past when Waite should have had a hit song on the pop chart and a long four years after his final hit with Bad English. If this had been released in 1987, I’d bet it would have went top 10 at minimum.
“What’s It To You” 1993, #73 (15 weeks) (download)
“Then What?” 1998, #65 (18 weeks) (download)
“She’s Always Right” 1999, #74 (6 weeks) (download)
“Live, Laugh, Love” 1999, #74 (11 weeks) (download)
Steel drums? Flamenco music? This pretty boy wanted to be Jimmy Buffet, didn’t he? Clay Walker was very consistent in his harmless, even sort of fun brand of country pop.
“I’m Already Taken” 1999, #42 (14 weeks) (download)
This track was a remake of Wariner’s very first hit, in 1978.
Although it isn’t surprising to see Warrant here, it is for “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” at least, as that got good airplay on MTV. “Blind Faith” is actually a decent song – the final of four singles from Cherry Pie, which is still a sweet record.
Shame they ended their hit making career with the shitty remake and horrible video for “We Will Rock You” take from the Brian Dennehy movie Gladiator.
“Do You See” 1994, #42 (13 weeks) (download)
Warren G had seven solo hits and all but this one went top 40. Because “Regulate” was so damn good, you kind of forget that he had a more than decent run at the charts for a half decade or so.
Dionne Warwick and TheHipHopNationUnited
“What the World Needs Now Is Love” 1998, #87 (2 weeks) (download)
Sure, sure, this was a Dionne Warwick tune. It’s credited to her but had so many guest artists that she was barely on it. TheHipHopNationUnited featured Big Daddy Kane, Bobby Brown, Coolio, Flesh-n-Bone, Mic Geronimo, Ray J, Kurupt, Tyrese and more.
“Give It To You” 1993, #90 (2 weeks) (download)
I didn’t actually know Martha Wash had a solo hit but even still I’ve always felt a little sorry for her. She sang on some of the best dance songs of this decade like “Everybody Everybody” by Black Box and “Gonna Make You Sweat” by C & C Music Factory but went uncredited and unfeatured in the videos because of her weight. But maybe I shouldn’t feel too sorry because she sued and won royalties and then put this record out because of that recognition.
“Bring It On” 1998, #63 (13 weeks) (download)
Here’s another one of these generic male R&B artists that really could have been anyone back in the day. Interestingly enough though, this song hit the charts seven years after his only other hit, “Kissing You” – which is remarkable for someone this generic.
“What I Need” 1995, #82 (4 weeks) (download)
I’m not familiar with this song from Crystal Waters, though “Gypsy Woman” is still a pretty great tune. This was the follow up single to “100% Pure Love” from her second record, Storyteller.
“Precious Love” 1990, #87 (3 weeks) (download)
“I Want You” 1991, #61 (15 weeks) (download)
“Your Love Keeps Working On Me” 1993, #100 (2 weeks) (download)
“Off the Hook” 1998, #73 (13 weeks) (download)
Jody Watley had a good run with Shalmar in the late ‘70s, early ‘80s and then a lot of success as a solo artist from ’87-’90 but this was pretty much the end of it. Both her self-titled record and Larger than Life were great albums but starting with 1991’s Affairs of the Heart, the songs became boring and performances almost felt phoned-in to an extent. For the purpose of this series, it’s great to finally see another true bottom feeder, with “Your Love Keeps Working On Me” holding down that #100 spot!