Top 90 Of The 90’s


On New Year’s Day the great blizzard of 2014 began, and we were forced to drive from Bloomington back to Chicago instead of flying out of Indianapolis as planned. The only good thing to come of this was that our rental car had Sirius XM radio, and the 90’s channel was playing their top 90 songs of the 90’s. I was appalled by some of the choices, and the fact that they put EMF’s “Unbelievable” at number one was just that. The show was hosted by “Downtown” Julie Brown, and I couldn’t help but think that maybe one too many “wubba wubba wubba”s have clouded her judgement.

As someone who spent a lot of time listening to the radio in the 90’s, I like to think that I know a thing or two about what was huge and what was not. Putting Marky Mark & The Funky Bunch at number 5 does not represent the era that I grew up in at all. A lot of you probably don’t remember a time before iPods and streaming services like Spotify and Pandora that bring every song ever recorded to your fingerprints. If you wanted to listen to music in 1994 you were either listening to your own “tapes” or “compact discs” or you had the radio on. And there were no “crossover hits” to speak of really. You wouldn’t hear “Smells Like Teen Spirit” on the pop station. The only thing I can think of that had universal airplay was “Achy Breaky Heart,” so that kind of tells you what we were dealing with. It was a different time.

Anyway, I went ahead and made my own list that I think gives a better idea of what popular music in the 90’s was like. Some of it is really awful and some is fun awful. I tried not to put my personal favorites at the top of the list, but you should know that “Creep” by Radiohead was really popular, but it wasn’t more popular than TLC’s song of the same name. (the numbers are backwards, of course, so number 90 is actually number 1).

If you can’t play the Spotify playlist, here’s all the songs listed from 90-1: “Never Ever” by All Saints, “I’ll Be” by Edwin McCain, “Informer” by Snow, “Knockin Da Boots” by H-Town, “My Favorite Mistake” by Sheryl Crow, “Tootsee Roll” by 69 Boyz, “Walkin’ On The Sun” by Smash Mouth, “Tubthumping” by Chumbawamba, “Rumpshaker” by Wreckx N Effect, “This Used To Be My Playground” by Madonna, “I Wish I Was Your Lover” by Sophie B Hawkins, “Ordinary World” by Duran Duran, “100% Pure Love” by Crystal Waters, “Gonna Make You Sweat” by C&C Music Factory, “It’s All Been Done” by Barenaked Ladies, “I Wanna Sex You Up” by Color Me Badd, “Smooth Operator” by Sade, “What A Girl Wants” by Christina Aguilera, “Peaches” by The Presidents Of The United States Of America, “Hook” by Blues Traveler, “Round and Round” by Tevin Campbell, “Connected” by Stereo Mc’s, “My Love (You’re Never Gonna Get It)” by En Vogue, “7” by Prince, “Humpin’ Around” by Bobby Brown,
“Pump Up The Jam” by Technotronic, “Lovefool” by The Cardigans, “What’s Up?” by 4 Non Blondes, “Cantaloop” by Us3, “If I Ever Fall In Love” by Shai, “Shoop” by Salt-N-Pepa, “Personal Jesus” by Depeche Mode, “Back To Life” by Soul II Soul, “Regulate” by Warren G, “Jump” by Kriss Kross, “Creep” by TLC, “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You” by Bryan Adams, “Finally” by CeCe Peniston, “Graduation” by Vitamin C, “Lately” by Jodeci, “Unbelievable” by EMF, “Whoop! (There It Is)” by Tag Team, “Life Is A Highway” by Tom Cochrane, “Ditty” by Paperboy, “Tennessee” by Arrested Development, “Baby Got Back” by Sir Mix-A-Lot, “Rebirth Of Slick (Cool Like Dat)” by Digable Planets, “Runaway Train” by Soul Asylum, “Tha Crossroads” by Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, “Stay” by Lisa Loeb & Nine Stories, “Always” by Bon Jovi, “Another Night” by Real McCoy, “Linger” by The Cranberries, “If You Could Only See” by Tonic, “Crash Into Me” by Dave Matthews Band, “Drive” by R.E.M., “Rush, Rush” by Paula Abdul, “Wicked Game” by Chris Isaak, “Boombastic” by Shaggy, “…Baby One More Time” by Britney Spears, “You Make Me Wanna…” by Usher, “Say My Name” by Destiny’s Child, “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” by The Proclaimers, “MMMBop” by Hanson, “Gangsta’s Paradise” by Coolio, “Two Princes” by Spin Doctors, “This Is How We Do It” by Montell Jordan, “You Oughta Know” by Alanis Morissette, “No Diggity” by Blackstreet, “Tearin’ Up My Heart” by N’Sync, “Mysterious Ways” by U2, “November Rain” by Guns N Roses, “Laid” by James, “Kiss From A Rose” by Seal, “Friday I’m In Love” by The Cure, “All That She Wants” by Ace Of Base, “Follow You Down” by Gin Blossoms, “Semi-Charmed Life” by Third Eye Blind, “Summertime” by DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, “Hold On” by Wilson Phillips, “Someday” by Mariah Carey, “I’m Your Baby Tonight” by Whitney Houston, “Closer” by Nine Inch Nails, “Tears In Heaven” by Eric Clapton, “Poison” by Bell Biv DeVoe, “That’s The Way Love Goes” by Janet Jackson, “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)” by Backstreet Boys, “Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana, “Creep” by Radiohead, “Motownphilly” by Boyz II Men.

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