The Other Top 100 Songs from the 90s – 20 – 11

20 – Soma – The Smashing Pumpkins

It might be the English teacher in me, but this song about the drug from Aldous Huxley’s novel about the world we live in really hits home with me. I loved it the first time I listened to it, and I have never gotten bored with every time I get to listen to it again.

19 – My Name Is – Eminem

A complete unknown who burst on the scene towards the closing down on the century, Eminem would eventually become the star that we know him as today, but it started off with this raunchy, obnoxious track that was fun and at the same time brilliant.

18 – Breathe – Prodigy

A few bands emerged quickly during the start of the electronic movement in music, and Prodigy was the one that demonstrated the most power with this song with hypnotic beats yet with still enough of an edge to make the blood in your veins to pump faster.

17 – Hey Man, Nice Shot – Filter

The bassline from the very start of this song gets me excited to hear the rest of it, but when I first heard the song I had no idea what it was about. When I found out it was about Robert Dwyer, the power behind the song became more meaningful. It is a song that should be played at a lot of politician rallies today, and maybe they will get the hint that they should start working for us and not themselves.

16 – Been Caught Stealing – Jane’s Addiction

When the 90s started, Jane’s Addiction was already well established in the underground rock clubs, but it was this song that brought them to the limelight. It also set the tone for the rest of the decade as this was the song that allowed so many other alternative artists to break through to the mainstream.

15 – Song 2 – Blur

If you would ask me who won the British Invasion medal for being the best rock band, Oasis or Blur, I would have to give it to Blur. They pushed the boundaries with their music more than Oasis did and this is the best example of how it can be done and still be commercially viable.

14 – Jeremy – Pearl Jam

This was the song that caused Pearl Jam to decide to no longer make any music videos because it pushed them into a place in the music world where they no longer felt comfortable, but was it really the video that did this or the power of the song that went with it? Jeremy’s story is tragic and one that we will never be able to forget thanks to this song.

13 – Paranoid Android – Radiohead

Radiohead produced another great groundbreaking video with this song, but the song itself took you on a journey. Often hailed as the “Bohemian Rhapsody” of the 90s, the three movements of this song blend so well together that takes the song from just another pop tune to an epic musical experience rarely reached in songs.

12 – Drown – The Smashing Pumpkins

Finding the complete version of this song is difficult because it is not on any of the greatest hits the band has put out. Instead, you need to look for the soundtrack to Singles which is the only place where the song first got released, but it is well worth the search because this is by far the best song the Smashing Pumpkins ever wrote.

11 – Tennessee – Arrested Development

This song always felt like summer. Every time I hear it I want to just go outside and have a backyard bar-b-q with a few of my closest friends. The mellow vibes makes your head bob up and down as the corners of your mouth push out to a smile.

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The Other Top 100 Songs from the 90s – 30 – 21

30 – Charlie Brown – Widespread Panic

On the surface this might appear to be just another song playing tribute to Charles M. Shulz’s most iconic cartoon character, but a closer listen will reveal that there is a darker tale behind this song from one of the 90s greatest jam bands.

29 – Doo Wop – Lauryn Hill

Lauryn Hill changed the rap game with the release of The Miseducation of. It showed that soul could blend with rap to create an amazing sound and women didn’t have to be nasty in order to sell records. “Doo Wop” was the song that set the standard is still one of the best dance tunes out there today.

28 – Longview – Green Day

This song just proved that no subject was taboo during the 90s. Also, outside of San Francisco, it was the introduction to a band that would make a huge impact on the rock with world. The bassline is also one of the most original in all of pop music.

27 – Bitter Sweet Symphony – The Verve

Even though they never made a dime off of the song, there is not one person that does not think that the simple cello melody does not belong to this band. It is the perfect song from the 90s to show the unfounded bitterness that many people felt during the decade.

26 – Yellow Ledbetter – Pearl Jam

If you get to see this band live, this is the song that they end more than half of their shows with. Half way through the iconic guitar melody that Mike McCready plays, he will bust into another classic rock tune. I have versions of him playing music from the Who, Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix, all of which shows that this song belongs up with the likes of the classics. The strange thing about the song is it never appeared on an album except for some obscure greatest hits.

25 – River of Deceit – Mad Season

If you have never sat down to listen to the only Mad Season album out there, you are missing one of the best albums ever made during the 90s. It features some of Layne Staley’s best vocal recordings as well as bringing in some of the biggest musicians from the Seattle area such as Mike McCready, John Baker Saunders, and Barrett Martin. This is the most haunting and greatest song off of the album.

24 – You Get What You Give – New Radicals

This was the only big hit from this band, and it is still unforgettable. It features a catchy piano melody and lyrics that rip into the decadent behavior of some of the bigger pop stars of the time. It is a great representation of what a person can do if they put their mind to it, and it is even better when Gregg Alexander ran away from the limelight after it became such a success.

23 – Sabotage – Beastie Boys

The Beastie Boys picked up their instruments for this song to prove to the world that a rap song could have original music with it. The screaming lyrics were a lot of fun as well. Bring in one of the best videos ever directed by Spike Jones and you have one of my favorite Beastie Boys tunes.

22 – Lie in Our Graves – Dave Matthews Band

What I love the most about the Dave Matthews Band is the fact that their early lyrics represented this Carpe Diem mentality. They begged for you to go out and live your life before it was gone, and this was one of the best examples of that philosophy. I also really like the ending of the song; it has such a joyous spirit behind it.

21 – Hunger Strike – Temple of the Dog

What happens when you combine two of the greatest grunge bands, Pearl Jam, and Soundgarden, together? You create a super group that nobody else will ever be able to match again. Add in the fact that you have two of the best vocalists, Eddie Vedder and Chris Cornell, and you would be amazed at well these two harmonize together.

The Other Top 100 Songs from the 90s – 40 – 31

40 – Basket Case – Green Day

From the opening shout to the very last moment Billy Joel Armstrong finishes quickly strumming his guitar there is nothing else you can do but sing along because this is really a song about you, whether you want to admit it or not.

39 – Karma Police – Radiohead

Once again,, Radiohead stunned the world by demonstrating that they could combine an awesome song with an amazing video. Both of them left you wondering what you had just experienced which proves why this band was on the top of the music ladder during the release of OK Computer.

38 – Killing Me Softly – The Fugees

This is another of the remakes to appear on the list, and once again it might have been an improvement on the original. Even though Lauryn Hill delivered the lyrics with as much soul as the original, it was the additions of the words, “One time, two times,” which made this version stand out from the original.

37 – Hurt – Johnny Cash

Even though the previous song on this list took a great tune and reintroduced it to the world, Johnny Cash took this Nine Inch Nails song and shot it into the stratosphere. He recorded this song shortly after June Carter’s death and you feel the same pain he felt as you listen to the track.

36 – Jimi Thing – Dave Matthews Band

This band not only had hit records during the 90s, but they sold out concert after concert due to their jazzy fusion of rock music. This song is one of their staples during their live performances, and each time it is a little different. To be able to create such a song shows that it deserves this place on the list.

35 – Sober – Tool

What Dave Matthews Band is to jam bands, Tool is to prog rock. They put on memorable shows, and create amazing songs that push the boundaries of music. They also make some unforgettable videos that feature the songs and not the band. This song was the first one that sent them down the path to the creativity we all now get to enjoy.

34 – No Excuses – Alice in Chains

Written during a time when the band had a difficult time getting Layne Staley to the studio, they were still able to put together enough songs to out an ep that included this track. The song really highlighted their ability to harmonize as well as presenting another great song from their catalogue.

33 – Criminal – Fiona Apple

This girl stunned America when she demonstrated that somebody so young could have so much soul in her voice and write music with such adult themes. The video that accompanied this song just added a new level to the song when it showed Fiona Apple felling regret among the ruins after some party.

32 – Self Esteem – The Offspring

Another great song depicting the truth of what it was like being a college student in the early 90s. We all struggled with our self-esteem and this song just demonstrated the lengths we were willing to go through in order to battle with this disorder

31 – Killing in the Name of – Rage Against the Machine

Add some of the most original guitar riffs with a social conscience and you have Rage Against the Machine. You can’t help but to feel the anger anytime you listen to any of the tracks from their debut album, and this is one of the songs packed with the most anger.

 

The Other Top 100 Songs from the 90s – 50 – 41

50 – Story of My Life – Social Distortion

Add one part punk to one part rock-a-billy to one part poetic master. Blend it together, and you create an overall great song. Often one of the bands overlooked by radio, but they were one of the guiding forces through this decade of many giants.

49 – Get Off This – Cracker

I know many people are going to wonder why this song made this list when so many other radio hits did not make the list. This wasn’t even Cracker’s biggest hit. But that wasn’t what the 90s were about. It was always about finding that hidden gem that radio didn’t know about and this song always brought a smile to my face.

48 – Midnight Radio – Big Head Todd and the Monsters

Play this song late at night while you drive down a lonely highway. Make sure to roll down the window and feel the cool summer air race through your hair. Afterwards, you might wonder if this song does not deserve a higher spot on the list.

47 – Insane in the Brain – Cyprus Hill

This track introduced a new style of rap to the world, one laced with a mellow vibe but still had a defiance within its lyrics that made you want to stand up against those who have repressed you. It also introduced to the world one of the most unique voices from the rap world, Mellow Man Ace.

46 – Daughter – Pearl Jam

From a band who made so many great character studies into five minute epic songs, this was one of the best they ever told. It was also the first giant song that proved you did not need a video to be important.

45 – So Watchya Want – Beastie Boys

One of the leading voices in the hip hop market came from three punks from New York. Any time they came out with a new album, the rules of the game would change. This song blended the old school style with the elements of punk rock that allowed bands like 311 and Sublime to follow in this giant’s long shadow.

44 – Say It Ain’t So – Weezer

First, they had us come undone with their sweater song, and then they told us about the greatness of Buddy Holly, but it was the third single from their debut blue album that was the best offering that Weezer gave to us, insuring that they would be a force for many years to come.

43 – Don’t Look Back in Anger – Oasis

Even though the Gallagher brothers always denied the Beatles influence to their music, it was hard not to hear that influence on this track. It is often ignored by the radio so they can overplay another one of their songs, but when the day is done, this is definitely the better of the two tracks.

42 – Bullet with Butterfly Wings – The Smashing Pumpkins

This song displays the raw power that this band had. Not only did the guitar riff recklessly guide you to the inevitable conclusion, but Billy Corrigan’s growling vocals leaves you feeling that you have just been attacked by some strange kind of vampire.

41 – In Bloom – Nirvana

Just because I don’t think “Smells Like Teen Spirit” deserves a place on this countdown does not mean that I do not think that Nirvana should be kicked off completely. There are just other songs I would rather listen to, and this one has always been one of my favorites.

The Other Top 100 Songs from the 90s 100-91

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.