Sheryl Crow's debut hit single "All I Wanna Do" is based on the poem "Fun" by the poet Wyn Cooper. It was a smash #2 pop single and earned Sheryl Crow Grammy Awards for Record of the Year and Best Female Pop Vocal. "All I Wanna Do" was also nominated for Song of the Year.
Ini Kamoze recorded his first album in 1984, but it was the 1994 hit song "Here Comes the Hotstepper" that made him an international pop star. The song extrapolates the "na na na na..." chorus from Wilson Pickett's classic "Land Of a Thousand Dances." "Here Comes the Hotstepper" was used in the soundtrack to the film Ready To Wear: Pret-a-Porter.
Film director Jonathan Demme asked Bruce Springsteen to record a song for his film about the AIDS epidemic Philadelphia. The result was "Streets Of Philadelphia," one of the most critically acclaimed songs of the year. It won an Academy Award for Best Song From a Motion Picture. "Streets Of Philadelphia" also won four Grammy Awards for Best Song, Best Rock Song, Best Rock Vocal Performance, and Best Song Written For a Motion Picture or Television.
"Mr. Jones" is believed to be an autobiographical song about Counting Crows' lead vocalist Adam Duritz and his good friend Marty Jones of the band the Himalayans who were musicians struggling to make it big. Adam Duritz has changed the actual words he uses in the song in concert based on various life events since the song first became a hit. "Mr. Jones" landed at #2 on pop radio charts and helped launch Counting Crows' debut album August and Everything After into the top 5.
Beck has said in interviews that when he was a coffeehouse and club performer the concentration of his audiences would often wander, so he sometimes would make up ridiculous songs to see if the audience was paying attention. "Loser" originated out of that tradition. It contains strong musical influences from folk and blues. Beck says he attempted to emulate the vocal style of Public Enemy rapper Chuck D. Reportedly, when he heard himself played back, he said, "Man, I'm the worst rapper in the world. I'm just a loser." That was the original of the song's chorus.
"Come To My Window" was Melissa Etheridge's first single released after coming out publicly as a lesbian. The song includes indirect references to issues related to her sexual orientation. It became one of Melissa Etheridge's most popular singles peaking in the top 5 of the adult contemporary chart and winning a Grammy Award for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance.
The soulful, sexy swing of "Bump 'n Grind" turned R. Kelly into a star. It climbed to #1 on the pop singles chart and spent a phenomenal 12 weeks at the top of the R&B chart. R. Kelly's personal public image may have been tarnished through the years, but songs like "Bump 'n Grind" maintain their sexy power more than 15 years later.
"Linger" became the Cranberries first major international hit single. The song features a lush string section and singer Dolores O'Riordan says that the lyrics are about her first kiss. "Linger" went to #3 in the Cranberries' native Ireland and climbed into the top 10 in the US and Canada as well.
The original version of "Wild Night" is the opening track on Van Morrison's album Tupelo Honey. John Mellencamp chose to cover the song in a version with neo-soul singer Meshell Ndegeocello. Their rocking take on the classic track climbed to #3 on the pop charts and topped the adult contemporary chart.