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'90s Songs

The Very Best in Songs of the '90s


There are a wide variety of musical genres represented in the best pop songs of the '90s. The decade began with hip hop experimentation and the emergence of massive pop superstar Mariah Carey. The decade closed with a surge in teen pop and the arrival of another of the top female performers of all time, Britney Spears.

Top 100 Songs of the '90s

Courtesy Columbia

These are the top 100 most representative pop songs of the decade of the 1990s. Use this as your beginning guide to the music of the era.

Top 10 Songs of 1990

Sinead O'Connor - Nothing Compares 2 U
Courtesy Chrysalis

In 1990 dance music had recovered from its dive underground in the wake of the end of disco. This was also a golden era of hip hop experimentation with sampling.

Top 10 Songs of 1991

R.E.M. - Losing My Religion
Courtesy Warner Bros.

Manchester, England made its presence known with a new invasion of British artists on the US pop charts. Dance music was about to step aside in favor of a noisier form of popular music.

Top 10 Songs of 1992

Nirvana - Smells Like Teen Spirit
Courtesy DGC Records

Although grunge stood up and became noticed in 1992, it was also a year in which some of the most enduring pop ballads of recent years were released. This list is an example of just how broad the general public's taste can be in pop hits.

Top 10 Songs of 1993

Proclaimers - (I Wanna Be) 500 Miles
Courtesy Chrysalis

The gap between dance-oriented pop music and noisy, grunge alternative rock grew even wider in 1993. This made for an exciting tension in the music marketplace.

Top 10 Songs of 1994

Sheryl Crow - All I Wanna Do
Courtesy A&M

More traditional rock made itself known in 1994. Melissa Etheridge broke through into the mainstream with her gutsy, raspy voice. The Counting Crows introduced their brand of storytelling rock, and John Mellencamp covered Van Morrison with one of his most memorable hits of the decade.

Top 10 Songs of 1995

Alanis Morissette - You Oughta Know
Courtesy Maverick Records

We had never known sheer female rage unleashed on the pop charts like that of Alanis Morissette with her debut hit "You Oughta Know." On the other end of the spectrum Lisa Loeb expressed a quieter, but not necessarily any less powerful frustration.

Top 10 Songs of 1996

Everything But the Girl - Missing
Courtesy Atlantic

One of the biggest worldwide dance hits of all time, the "Macarena," stands out from the crowd in 1996. However, there are plenty of other top songs to remember from the year including Everything But the Girl's more downbeat, but equally intoxicating dance hit "Missing."

Top 10 Songs of 1997

Smash Mouth - Fush Yu Mang
Courtesy Interscope

1997 is the year in which bubblegum pop suddenly seemed relevant again with the appearance of brother band Hanson and the UK's assertive and bubbly Spice Girls. The death of Princess Diana also generated the world's biggest pop hit single of all time.

Top 10 Songs of 1998

Madonna - Ray of Light
Courtesy Warner Bros.

In 1998 a boy band emerged that will help rewrite teen pop history. In addition, we heard just what powerful music true superstars of dance and hip hop could create.

Top 10 Songs of 1999

Britney Spears - ...Baby One More Time
Courtesy Jive Records

A female star who would become a true icon in the next decade released the most memorable pop song of 1999. It was also a year in which a legendary pop star introduced vocal technology to the mainstream that would have a major sonic impact in the next decade.

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