Former child actor Alanis Morissette appeared kicking and screaming in the pop mainstream with this frank song about the aftermath of a nasty romantic breakup. It was the first single from her smash breakthrough album Jagged Little Pill. Red Hot Chili Peppers Flea and Dave Navarro play bass and guitar respectively on the song.
This dark depiction of the city by rapper Coolio was named the top single of the year in the Village Voice's annual Pazz and Jop poll of critics. Prior to the release of "Gangsta's Paradise," Coolio was best known for a more humorous approach to rap. The song spent 12 weeks in the top 2 of the Billboard Hot 100 and was named the best selling single of the year.
"Fantasy" was the lead single for Mariah Carey's fifth studio album Daydream. She bridged pop and hip hop by including raps from Ol' Dirty Bastard. The song's hook is anchored in a sample from Tom Tom Club's "Genius Of Love." "Fantasy" became only the second single to debut at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 after Michael Jackson's "You Are Not Alone."
Seal's "A Kiss From a Rose" won Grammy awards for Record of the Year and Song of the Year. It was originally released in 1994, but it became a major pop hit when included on the soundtrack to the film Batman Forever. The song was certified gold in the US for sales of over 500,000.
"Waterfalls" was TLC's biggest pop hit spending seven weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song's frank referencing of drug problems and HIV helped it become one of the most critically acclaimed pop songs of the year. "Waterfalls" was nominated for a Grammy award for Record of the Year.
"In the House Of Stone and Light" amounts to successful pop songwriter Martin Page's moment out front in the spotlight. He co-wrote the pop smash hits "We Built This City" by Starship and "These Dreams" by Heart with Elton John songwriting collaborator Bernie Taupin. "In the House of Stone and Light" topped the adult contemporary chart and reached the top 15 on the pop singles chart. However, Martin Page never followed the success with another major hit as an artist.
Scottish singer-songwriter Edwyn Collins recorded "A Girl Like You" as a tribute to Iggy Pop. The single includes vibraphone work from the Sex Pistols' Paul Cook. The result was a top 10 pop hit in the UK and a top 40 pop hit in the US. Edwyn Collins' career suffered a severe blow when he was struck by a cerebral hemorrhage in 2005. However, he has since returned to recording with two more albums.