I recently viewed VH1s top 100 songs from the nineties and was a little offended that they think that the 90s was filled with a bunch of one-hit wonders. There was not one artist on the list that appeared more than once, and I thought this was absurd. I also hated the way that I knew what the top song was going to be long before it was ever revealed. It seems that the powers that be believe that Generation X can be summed up in one song by Nirvana, and somehow this band never produced another song worthy of note. So I went on-line to see what other people thought, and the lists were similar without many surprises, so I wanted to propose a list of the top one-hundred songs from the 90s that weren’t titled “Smells like Teen Spirit”. Keeping in true 90s fashion, the list that is presented is not always mainstream, and might have a few entries that you might not agree with but I don’t care. There is a bigger picture that needs to be made, and a message for all from my generation needs to hear. So here is the start of the list:
100 – Cantaloop – Us3
How can you go wrong with a great beat, smoothly delivered raps, and music from Blue Note records. This was destined to be a hit that still brings back memories of summer sunshine, and happy parties.
99 – Corn Flake Girl – Tori Amos
Tori Amos shocked the world with her song about her and a gun, but it was this song that really stuck with me throughout the nineties. Its catchy beats, and dark lyrics still haunt me to this day. Plus you never get to hear it on the radio anymore, so when you do hear it, it brings you back to the moment when this song was everywhere on the radio.
98 – Sex and Candy – Marcy Playground
Yes, the 1990s produced some one-hit wonders that everybody thought would be bigger based on their first offering. “Sex and Candy” was one of these songs, and even though it was the only true hit from the band, it was too good of a song to exclude it from this list.
97 – One Headlight – The Wallflowers
The big rock stars from the 60s had children who were starting to come of age during the 1990s. Many of them tried to follow in their parents’ footsteps with limited success. Jakob Dylan decided not to use his father’s name as he made his name in the world. Of course, it only took one hit before that idea disappeared and everybody started to see this young man emerge from his father’s shadow. This song was the most memorable, even breaking into some of the hard rock radio stations that stayed clear away from anything belonging in the alternative market.
96 – Kiss from a Rose – Seal
It took a movie for this song to finally take off, but the vocal arrangement is still outstanding and makes you want to hear more as soon as the song closes up. It simply a heart wrenching song that will never be forgotten.
95 – Are You Going My Way – Lenny Kravitz
The music from the 90s was not only about the music. It was also about the music videos being produced. It was the golden age for this medium, and this Lenny Kravitz track was the perfect example of how good a music video could be. Everybody wanted that room in their basement, and the Hendrix guitar rifts that went long with the song made this the best track he ever produced.
94 – Lightning Crashes – Live
Throwing Copper was the album that never went away as it produced hit after hit and this was probably the biggest one among them. It is hard to forget this song even after the first listen.
93 – Virtual Insanity – Jamiroquai
Another example of how a video could really sell a song. I remember watching it over and over again trying to figure out how they did it. Now that I know, it isn’t that exciting, but it still looks really cool. Add one of the funkiest songs from the 90s to it and you have a recipe for success.
92 – Crackin’ Up – Revolting Cocks
Before electronic music became a mainstay this song hot the airwaves. It was usually regulated to the late night rotation and the video played on 120 Minutes a couple of times, but this was the experimental music that made the nineties the nineties.
91 – Sweet Pain – Blues Traveler
Before their fourth album came out, Blues Traveler was already creating a strong following with their previous albums and the one that was probably the most underrated was Travelers and Thieves, but this album contained an amazing gem with the great ballad.