When talking about the 10 best popular ‘90s songs there is always going to be some give and take and a few disagreements about what counts both as “popular” as well as what genres need to be discussed. Here’s our list of the best songs the 1990s could provide.
- “Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana. The early 1990s saw a boom in the “grunge” rock genre and this Seattle based band was the leader of the pack. The video showing a group of kids all doing high school related things with a creepy undertone has been burned into our brains for all time.
- “California Love” by Tupac Shakur and Doctor Dre. The 90’s were also well known for various popular rappers teaming up and putting out mega-hits. This rap song out by two of the biggest rap stars of all time was no exception.
- “Scenario” by Tribe Called Quest. The 90’s was a rebirth for rap music in general as it split into several different sub-genres. Tribe Called Quest was sort of a trip hop type rap group and “Scenario” was their signature song.
- “Interstate Love Song” by Stone Temple Pilots. Another grunge group, lead singer Scott Weiland's deep vocals made this one of the most popular songs of the era.
- “One” by U2. The Irish group made a bit of a comeback in the 90’s with songs like “One”. This love song didn’t really sound like your usual drecky ballads and that made the song one of the best of the decade
- “Under the Bridge” by Red Hot Chili Peppers. This was a love song, but not to any one person. Rather the love was directed towards the band’s home town. It’s actually a somewhat depressing tale about a lonely guy who realizes his only love is the city he lives in. Still fantastic lyrics and a great beat made this a huge hit.
- “Killing in the Name” by Rage Against the Machine. The hard pounding beat and the political undertone that drove home just how angry these young men were at the establishment made this one of the most popular songs of the 1990s.
- “Shoop” by Salt N’ Pepa. A lighthearted song by the pre-eminent women rap groups in the history of music. Gained most of its popularity because of the frank way the ladies spoke and joked about sex.
- “Jeremy” by Pearl Jam. This Seattle band had a hugely popular hit with "Jeremy." This popular 90’s song details the life and exploits of a deeply disturbed young boy and the violence he engages in.
- “That Thing” by Lauryn Hill. The Fugees singer’s melodic voice was all the rage in the 1990s and this song was by far her best and most popular in the decade.
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