90 – Slide Away – Oasis
Before Oasis remade the Beatles song that they never wrote, they had a whole album full of edgier tunes and epic rock masterpieces. The name of the album even had more creativity behind it than the one that broke them, Definitely Maybe. This track from the album was one of the catchier songs that even made it on to the radio even though it clocked in at over six minutes.
89 – Waterfalls – TLC
In an age when gangsta rap and ballads ruled the R & B charts, this gem came out that blew them all away. Not only was it an amazing tune, but it had a social message to it that forced you to listen.
88 – Ray of Light – Madonna
During the 80s, I could be often heard talking about how Madonna had destroyed music and she was nothing more than an image selling sex, and I wished she would just go away. But then I heard this song and I couldn’t deny the creative genius that went behind it. It was the perfect dance song to help usher in the age of electronic music, and it was pretty awesome to dance to at the same time.
87 – Semi-Charmed Life – Third Eye Blind
Right when you started to think that alternative music was losing its edge because it was being taken over by big music corporations, Third Eye Blind came out with this song. It had a fun beat to it, and I remember playing it at many weddings because of guests requesting it, but I always had a smile on my face when I played it. Listen to lyrics some time and you will understand why.
86 – Unbelievable – EMF
Before the alternative music move really took off, a song from the genre would find itself on mainstream radio. The punky rock tune from the English band EMF was one of these songs. To this day, I want to get up and dance every time I hear this song on the radio.
85 – Better Man – Pearl Jam
Some people might claim that Pearl Jam, not Nirvana, was the most important band from the 90s. They had a music style all their own with a front man whose growling vocals were the most original since Robert Plant. Combine in the fact that his lyrics rival those of Bob Dylan’s and you have a force to deal with. This is one of those songs that present a picture of a character that only Eddie Vedder could write about. It has also become the sing-along at every one of their concerts.
84 – Otherside – Red Hot Chili Peppers
When the Red Hot Chili Peppers released Californication right before the end of the century, they were already a force to be dealt with, but people wondered if the best material they had written had already come. This was before John Frusciente rejoined the band, and Anthony Kiedis reached a new level with vocals. This track highlights both of their achievements in one of the beand’s best songs.
83 – November Rain – Guns ‘n Roses
Guns ‘n Roses will always be known as the band that created that bridge between the big hair bands of the 80s to the more substantial music of the early 90s, and this ballad was part of that connection. It went against the rules of radio airplay time by clocking in at almost nine minutes, but still had the solos and mighty vocals reminiscent of the time when rock held little substance. Without this song, a lot of the songs on this list would have never been heard.
82 – Just – Radiohead
If you have never seen the video for this song, go watch it on YouTube right now. It tells a story that will have you scratching your head for months. Add into that, one of the gritiest guitar rifts ever, and you have one of the best songs from any decade that nobody has ever listened to.
81 – 911 is a Joke – Public Enemy
Before “Cop Killer”, this song put to the forefront one of the biggest problems in America still persisting to this day. Public Enemy always had a social and political voice, and this song highlighted it better than any of their others.