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Top 10 Songs of 1996

The Best Pop Hits


1996 was a year with a number of wistful, melancholy hits including Everything But the Girl's "Missing," the Fugees remake of "Killing Me Softly," Smashing Pumpkins' "1979," and Collective Soul's "The World I Know."

1. Everything But the Girl - "Missing"

Courtesy Atlantic

In the late 1980s and early 1990s Everything But the Girl were best known as a jazz and folk oriented duo having twice reached the top 40 of the adult contemporary chart in the US. The song "Missing" was first recorded as a guitar-based track, but then remixer Todd Terry was given the track to create a record for clubs. The result ultimately was a worldwide smash. It spent more than a year on the pop chart in the US peaking at #2. It changed the direction of Everything But the Girl's music as well. Four #1 dance hits followed in the US.

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2. Blackstreet - "No Diggity" featuring Dr. Dre

Blackstreet - No Diggity
Courtesy Interscope

Teddy Riley's new jack swing collided with the beats and raps of Dr. Dre, and a classic track was born. The accompanying video was directed by star music video creator Hype Williams. "No Diggity" topped both the pop and R&B charts ending up as one of the top 40 pop hits of the decade.

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3. Smashing Pumpkins - "1979"

Smashing Pumpkins - 1979
Courtesy Virgin

Smashing Pumpkins surprised fans and critics alike by incorporating more looping and sampling into their music on "1979." The result was an unqualified success and gained a nomination for Record of the Year at the Grammy Awards. "1979" was the final song of 56 written for the group's double album Melon Collie and the Infinite Sadness. It hit #1 on the modern rock and mainstream rock charts as well as peaking at #12 on the Billboard Hot 100.

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4. Fugees - "Killing Me Softly"

Fugees - Killing Me Softly
Courtesy Ruff House

Critically acclaimed hip hop trio the Fugees broke into the pop mainstream with this remake of Roberta Flack's classic hit. It went clear to #2 on the pop chart and ultimately was certified double platinum for sales. It hit #1 in the UK and was the best selling single of the year.

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5. Collective Soul - "The World I Know"

Collective Soul - The World I Know
Courtesy Atlantic

Collective Soul's hit single "The World I Know" is perhaps as remembered for his dramatic and ultimately uplifting music video as it is for the music. The clip directly addresses adult suicide. "The World I Know" was a multi-format hit reaching the top 10 on the modern rock and mainstream rock charts as well as the top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100.

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6. Los Del Rio - "Macarena"

Los Del Rio - Macarena
Courtesy RCA

"Macarena" originated with the Spanish pop group Los del Rio and gradually spread to become a phenomenon around the world. It spent 14 weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 and became the hottest dance craze of the decade. The popular Bayside Boys remix notably sampled the laughter of Alison Moyet from Yaz's hit single "Situation." Billboard named "Macarena" the second biggest Billboard Hot 100 hit of the decade.

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7. Tracy Chapman - "Give Me One Reason"

Tracy Chapman - New Beginning
Courtesy Elektra

Tracy Chapman brought classic twelve bar blues back into the spotlight with her hit "Give Me One Reason." It went to #3 in the US and #1 in Canada. Tracy Chapman earned Grammy Award nominations for Record of the Year and Song of the Year as well as winning the Grammy for Best Rock Song.

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8. Quad City DJ's - "C'mon N' Ride It (The Train)"

Quad City DJs - C'mon Ride It (The Train)
Courtesy Quadrasound

Jacksonville, Florida based trio Quad City DJ's brought the Miami bass movement into the spotlight with party classic "C'mon N' Ride It (The Train)." The song peaked at #3 on the pop singles chart and received a platinum certification for sales.

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9. Dishwalla - "Counting Blue Cars"

Dishwalla - Counting Blue Cars
Courtesy A&M

"Counting Blue Cars" by the rock group Dishwalla was one of the biggest multi-format hits of the year climbing into the top 5 at pop, adult contemporary, modern rock, and rock radio. No one can forget the hook line, "Tell me all your thoughts on God..."

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10. Oasis - "Wonderwall"

Oasis - Wonderwall
Courtesy Creation Records

"Wonderwall's" aching romanticism has made it one of the most popular songs of the career of British rock leaders Oasis. In the UK it frequently shows up in polls related to the top songs of all time. "Wonderwall" is the group's only top 10 hit in the US.

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