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100 Greatest Songs of the 90s

2009-04-17
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Okay, for this list (adapted from VH1), it’s harder to bold/italicize, but these are my criteria: 

  • bold is a song I can sing parts of, recite the lyrics, or recognize within the first line on the radio. 
  • italics is a song I am familiar with and may be able to “sing” the title line, but couldn’t really follow along in karaoke if I had to.
  1. Nirvana – “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (1991, #6 US)
  2. U2 – “One” (1991, #10 US)
  3. Backstreet Boys – “I Want It That Way” (1999, #6 US)
  4. Whitney Houston – “I Will Always Love You” (1992, #1 US)
  5. Madonna – “Vogue” (1990, #1 US)
  6. Sir Mix-A-Lot – “Baby Got Back” (1992, #1 US)
  7. Britney Spears – “…Baby One More Time” (1999, #1 US)
  8. TLC – “Waterfalls” (1994, #1 US)
  9. R.E.M. – “Losing My Religion” (1991, #4 US)
  10. Sinéad O’Connor – “Nothing Compares 2 U” (1990, #1 US)
  11. Pearl Jam – “Jeremy” (1991, #79 US)
  12. Alanis Morissette – “You Oughta Know” (1995)
  13. Dr. Dre (featuring Snoop Doggy Dogg) – “Nuthin’ but a “G” Thang” (1992, #2 US)
  14. Mariah Carey – “Vision of Love” (1990, #1 US)
  15. Red Hot Chili Peppers – “Under the Bridge” (1991, #2 US)
  16. MC Hammer – “U Can’t Touch This” (1990, #8 US)
  17. Destiny’s Child – “Say My Name” (1999, #1 US)
  18. Metallica – “Enter Sandman” (1991, #16 US)
  19. Beastie Boys – “Sabotage” (1994)
  20. Hanson – “MMMBop” (1997, #1 US)
  21. Celine Dion – “My Heart Will Go On” (1997, #1 US)
  22. Beck – “Loser” (1994, #10 US)
  23. Salt-N-Pepa with En Vogue – “Whatta Man” (1993, #3 US)
  24. House of Pain – “Jump Around” (1992, #3 US)
  25. Soundgarden – “Black Hole Sun” (1994)
  26. Eminem – “My Name Is” (1999, #26 US)
  27. Counting Crows – “Mr. Jones” (1993)
  28. Ricky Martin – “Livin’ la Vida Loca” (1999, #1 US)
  29. Vanilla Ice – “Ice Ice Baby” (1990, #1 US)
  30. *NSYNC – “Tearin’ Up My Heart” (1998)
  31. Radiohead – “Creep” (1993)
  32. BLACKstreet – “No Diggity” (1996, #1 US)
  33. Spice Girls – “Wannabe” (1997, #1 US)
  34. Third Eye Blind – “Semi-Charmed Life” (1997, #4 US)
  35. Oasis – “Wonderwall” (1995, #8 US)
  36. C+C Music Factory – “Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)” (1991, #1 US)
  37. Green Day – “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)” (1998)
  38. Christina Aguilera – “Genie In A Bottle” (1999, #1 US)
  39. Goo Goo Dolls – “Iris” (1998)
  40. Color Me Badd – “I Wanna Sex You Up” (1991, #2 US)
  41. Spin Doctors – “Two Princes” (1993, #7 US)
  42. Collective Soul – “Shine” (1994, #11 US)
  43. En Vogue – “My Lovin’ (You’re Never Gonna Get It)” (1992, #2 US)
  44. The Fugees – “Killing Me Softly With His Song” (1996)
  45. Hootie & the Blowfish – “Only Wanna Be With You” (1995, #6 US)
  46. Shania Twain – “You’re Still the One” (1998, #2 US)
  47. Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch – “Good Vibrations” (1991, #1 US)
  48. Matchbox Twenty – “3 A.M.” (1997)
  49. Jewel – “Who Will Save Your Soul” (1996, #11 US)
  50. Alice in Chains – “Man in the Box” (1990)
  51. 2Pac (featuring Dr. Dre and Roger Troutman) – “California Love” (1996, #6 US)
  52. Sugar Ray – “Fly” (1997)
  53. Naughty by Nature – “O.P.P.” (1991, #6 US)
  54. Joan Osborne – “One of Us” (1995, #4 US)
  55. Fiona Apple – “Criminal” (1996, #21 US)
  56. L.L. Cool J – “Mama Said Knock You Out” (1990, #17 US)
  57. Jay-Z featuring Amil and Ja Rule – “Can I Get A…” (1998)
  58. Sophie B. Hawkins – “Damn, I Wish I Was Your Lover” (1992, #5 US)
  59. Weezer – “Buddy Holly” (1994)
  60. Bell Biv DeVoe – “Poison” (1990, #2 US)
  61. Sheryl Crow – “All I Wanna Do” (1993, #2 US)
  62. Live – “I Alone” (1994)
  63. The Notorious B.I.G. featuring Mase & Puff Daddy – “Mo Money Mo Problems” (1997, #1 US)
  64. The Presidents of the United States of America – “Peaches” (1995)
  65. Digital Underground – “The Humpty Dance” (1990, #11 US)
  66. Edwin McCain – “I’ll Be” (1998, #5 US)
  67. Deee-Lite – “Groove Is In The Heart” (1990, #4 US)
  68. Will Smith – “Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It” (1998, #1 US)
  69. Korn – “Freak on a Leash” (1998)
  70. Jamiroquai – “Virtual Insanity” (1997)
  71. Arrested Development – “Tennessee” (1992, #6 US)
  72. Barenaked Ladies – “One Week” (1998, #1 US)
  73. Marcy Playground – “Sex and Candy” (1998, #5 US)
  74. Cher – “Believe” (1999, #1 US)
  75. Kris Kross – “Jump” (1992, #1 US)
  76. Blues Traveler – “Run-around” (1995, #8 US)
  77. Ice Cube – “It Was a Good Day” (1992, #15 US)
  78. Lenny Kravitz – “Are You Gonna Go My Way” (1993)
  79. Meredith Brooks – “Bitch” (1997, #2 US)
  80. Right Said Fred – “I’m Too Sexy” (1992, #1 US)
  81. Paula Cole – “I Don’t Want to Wait” (1997, #11 US)
  82. Geto Boys – “Mind Playing Tricks on Me” (1991, #23 US)
  83. The Breeders – “Cannonball” (1993)
  84. Snow – “Informer” (1993, #1 US)
  85. Cypress Hill – “Insane In The Brain” (1993, #19 US)
  86. The Cranberries – “Linger” (1993, #8 US)
  87. Billy Ray Cyrus – “Achy Breaky Heart” (1992, #4 US)
  88. Duncan Sheik – “Barely Breathing” (1997, #16 US)
  89. Liz Phair – “Never Said” (1993)
  90. New Radicals – “You Get What You Give” (1998, #37 US)
  91. Sarah McLachlan – “Building a Mystery” (1997, #13 US)
  92. Public Enemy – “911 Is a Joke” (1990)
  93. Lisa Loeb – “Stay (I Missed You)” (1994, #1 US)
  94. Fastball – “The Way” (1998)
  95. Montell Jordan – “This Is How We Do It” (1995, #1 US)
  96. Nelson – “(Can’t Live Without Your) Love and Affection” (1990, #1 US)
  97. Prince & The New Power Generation – “Gett Off” (1991, #27 US)
  98. EMF – “Unbelievable” (1991, #1 US)
  99. Missy Elliott – “The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)” (1997)
  100. Gerardo – “Rico Suave” (1991, #7 US)

Hmmm… it was much harder to do this list: felt more revealing than any of the other lists, brought back a ton of memories, and because I never really prioritized music in my life so it’s hard to recall things.  I realized that most of my italics are from songs that I’ve gone back to listen to or heard post-90s– not songs that were the actual soundtrack of my life.  And I’m sure BC will point out that the reason I don’t know more than half the songs on this list is because I was listening to the LITE station at the tender age of 13 🙂

  • Bold – 33
  • Italics – 11
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One Comment leave one →
  1. Mallory permalink
    2009-04-19 11:28 PM

    Bold 28.
    No Italics. That’s sad. But in my defense, all these are mainstream, and I hardly ever row down that stream.

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