I’m quite certain that everyone thinks that their “era” of music is the best…even those from the ’70’s. I’m no exception. The other day Le Clown posted this, about the superiority of 80’s music. I have to agree that all the songs he listed are truly great ones. I have to disagree that there wasn’t anything good about the 90’s…music wise.
Before I continue I want you all to know that I have a very eclectic love of music. Don’t be surprised if you see a boy band, rap song, heavy metal, country, or jazz. You won’t see all of those, but don’t be surprised nonetheless.
What you won’t see – because it’s a no brainer. Michael/Janet Jackson – U2 – Madonna – No Doubt – Aerosmith – Genesis/Phil Collins. (Seriously, check out how many songs Genesis has out during the 90’s!)
What you won’t see – because I would rather shove an ice pick in my ear than listen to them. Jane’s Addiction – Nirvana – Pearl Jam – Smashing Pumpkins – Creed. Sorry guys…my list, my rules.
I decided the best way to do this was to list a song for each year. After each selection there are a list of honorable mentions. Please don’t make fun of me for these. Here we go.
Thunderstruck – AC/DC – 1990 – I mean what better way to start the list…and the decade for that matter. The build-up this song offers is perfect for both situations.
Notable Mentions for 1990: Cradle of Love – Billy Idol. Epic – Faith no More. Freedom ’90 – George Michael. Hard to Handle – The Black Crowes. Higher Ground – Red Hot Chili Peppers. I Go To Extremes – Billy Joel. King of Wishful Thinking – Go West. The Joker – The Steve Miller Band.
Walking in Memphis – Mark Cohn – 1991 – Alright, lets slow things down a little. Everyone knows this song…but not Mark Cohn – Now you do. He mentions Elvis too, which is a plus.
Notable Mentions for 1991: Losing My Religion – R.E.M. Bring the Noise – Public Enemy and Anthrax. Don’t Let the Sun Go Down On Me – George Michael and Elton John. Enter Sandman – Metallica. Give it Away – Red Hot Chili Peppers. Live and Let Die – Guns N’ Roses. Something to Talk About – Bonnie Raitt. The Unforgiven – Metallica.
Life Is a Highway – Tom Cochrane – 1992 – Time to bring up the energy again. What went for Mark is the same for Tom. And he’s Canadian. Gimme, Gimme, Gimme, Gimme…Yeah!
Notable Mentions for 1992: How Do You Talk To An Angle – The Heights. Killing in the Name – Rage Against the Machine. Man on the Moon – R.E.M. Nothing Else Matters – Metallica. November Rain – Guns N’ Roses. Tears in Heaven – Eric Clapton. Walking on Broken Glass – Annie Lennox.
Hey Jealousy – Gin Blossoms – 1993 – A song about nothing? I’m in! I love the fact that he’s just talking to a girl…and says “Anyway” so much. This is the first song that feels like what the 90’s were.
Notable Mentions for 1993: Are You Gonna Go My Way – Lenny Kravitz. Can’t Help Falling in Love – UB40. Sober – Tool. Creep – Radiohead. Easy – Faith No More. Everybody Hurts – R.E.M. I’m Gonna Be(500 Miles) – The Proclaimers (1988 originally). Mr. Jones – Counting Crows. The River of Dreams – Billy Joel.
I Alone – Live – 1994 – This may be the best song on the entire list. Throwing copper is one of my favorite records from this time. I like the easy-going – leading into heavy emotion.
Notable Mentions for 1994: Basket Case – Green Day. Buddy Holly – Weezer. Found Out About You – Gin Blossoms. Hold My Hand – Hootie & The Blowfish. I’ll Stand by You – The Pretenders. Longview – Green Day. Loser – Beck. Zombie – The Cranberries. Machinehead – Bush. Stay (I Missed You) – Lisa Loeb. The Most Beautiful Girl in the World – Prince.
Counting Blue Cars – Dishwalla – 1995 – This is a typical 90’s song…but it always stuck in my mind. I like the line “Tell me all your thoughts on God…Cause I’d really like to meet her.”
Notable Mentions for 1995: Back for Good – Take That. All Over You – Live. Breakfast at Tiffany’s – Deep Blue Something. Bulls on Parade – Rage Against the Machine. Wonderwall – Oasis. Good – Better Than Ezra. Hook – Blues Traveler. Hurt – Nine Inch Nails. Roll to Me – Del Amitri. Let Her Cry – Hootie & The Blowfish. Lightning Crashes – Live. One of Us – Joan Osborne.
Desperately Wanting – Better Than Ezra – 1996 – I really like songs about people remembering doing something. And this band was way better than that other one…Ezra. (Norm McDonald joke from that time.)
Notable Mentions for 1996: Barely Breathing – Duncan Sheik. Breathe – Prodigy. Change the World – Eric Clapton. Give Me One Reason – Tracy Chapman. If You Could Only See – Tonic. Until It Sleeps – Metallica. What I Got – Sublime. Cumbersome – Seven Mary Three.
All For You – Sister Hazel – 1997 – Fun! I love this song and still consider it my favorite from High School. You might notice another thing – the re-emergence of the Side Burn. I was right there with all of them.
Notable Mentions for 1997: Flagpole Sitta – Harvey Danger. Good Riddance (Time of Your Life) – Green Day. Everlong – Foo Fighters. Tough Year
The Way – Fastball – 1998 – Yeah, this song always felt half retro – half 90’s. I like it. And you will notice…more side burns. I’m for it!
Notable Mentions for 1998: Closing Time – Semisonic. Lullaby – Shawn Mullins. Turn the Page – Metallica. Fuel – Metallica. Got You (Where I Want You) – The Flys.
I Walk Alone – Oleander – 1999 – I can’t help loving this song. I don’t know why. This band also covered Boys Don’t Cry. In that video you can see the lead singer’s baby blue eyes – and maybe get lost in them.
Notable Mentions for 1999: Ana’s Song (Open Fire) – Silverchair. Everything You Want – Vertical Horizon. My Own Worst Enemy – Lit. You’re a God – Vertical Horizon.
How does your decade stack up? (I made sure not to include too many links…as not to take away from the videos provided. Sorry about that, but I know you can find what you need just fine.)
If you are looking for a music podcast that can offer many, many, many songs and artist that you may not know of – turn to All Time Top Ten – Hosted by Ben Eisen.
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