watch your step
by Michael Davies
In a time where music is so bland and repetitive, I wanted to take a look back at a decade where music actually meant something – the 90s. During this time, there were completely different genres of music competing with one another, but all of it sounded good. After appreciating this music for such a long time, I have decided to choose my favorite songs from the decade. There are so many more songs I wish I could have on this list like Vanilla Ice’s “Ice Ice Baby”, Destiny Child’s “Say My Name” and Oasis’ “Wonderwall”, but I had to choose the best of the best. My list consists of all the important genres of music from the decade from hip hop to grunge. Here is my top ten songs from the 90s:
10. Shawn Mullins – “Lullaby” (’98) – I really wanted to start this countdown with a bang, and Shawn Mullins delivers. At it’s most successful, “Lullaby” made it to #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 list. The song is a great sing-a-long and actually has some powerful messages. The song talks about a girl that wants to relive her younger days of living in Hollywood. She gets so sad to the point where Shawn Mullins sings to her a lovely lullaby and tells her that “everything’s gonna be all right, rockabye”. The song has captured the heart of millions, and especially mine.
9. Ricky Martin “Livin’ la Vida Loca” (’99) – My countdown was in desperate need of some sexy Latino one hit wonders, so I’m glad Ricky Martin made this gem right before the decade ended. This song made it to the top of the Billboard Hot 100’s for five weeks in a row. For me, this was my first taste of speaking Spanish, so taking these classes in school was a breeze for me. Martin’s success opened the door for other Latino musicians like J-Lo and Enrique Iglesias. Looking back, the country should have expected immigration rates to fly through the roof after this song came out.
8. Counting Crows – “Mr. Jones” (’93) – I couldn’t forget one of the best 90’s bands ever in this countdown and Mr. Jones is by far their most popular song. This song was one of the most successful of the year and still is a favorite to many. Not really sure what the song is about, but its still pretty damn good. This alternative rock hit is essential for any 90s playlist.
7. Collective Soul – “Shine” (’94) – Although one of my favorite bands, Collective Soul has always confused me. Are they an alternative rock band or a Christian rock band? The band always denied they were a Christian rock band and just liked using the Lord’s name in their music. Regardless, “Shine” is an awesome song that any person can like no matter what their taste in music is. The song also has a little hint of grunge in it, which makes sense because this was the around the time Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain said bye bye to the world. “Shine” made its way up to #11 on the Billboard Hot 100 list, but I think this song isn’t recognized enough.
6. Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch – “Good Vibrations” (’91) – Now lets kick things up a notch with this fresh beat. Talk about a great way to enter the 90s. Led by Mark Wahlberg, him and the “funky bunch” really gave the 90s a memorable hit. This song has such a sound of the 80s, but has that toughness that only comes with the 90s. I have no idea how this happened, but this song actually made #1 on the Billboard 100 list. Shocking.
5. Britney Spears – “…Baby One More Time” (’98) – Lets think about the “old Britney” when we consider why this song is in the top five. “Baby One More Time” was her debut hit that was released when she was only 16 years old. Even though I didn’t care for this song, it was pretty catchy and I watched the music video all the time on TRL. Oh and there is nothing like seeing 16 year old Britney Spears in a school girl outfit.
4. *NSYNC – “Tearin’ Up My Heart” (’98) Finally, a shout out to the boy bands on the 90s. I chose *NSYNC over Backstreet Boys just because I was raised to be a huge Justin Timberlake fan. Similar to Britney Spears, this song put *NSYNC on the map. They only got up to #58 on the Billboard Hot 100 list, but their success would come a year or two later. This band by far had the best choreographed dance moves and music videos. They even put on a great concert. Yeah thats right, I saw them when I was ten and I dyed my hair green for Joey Fatone… Proud of it. When we all look back on the 90s, we immediately associate these boy bands to it, so that is why they are so high on this list.
3. Spice Girls – “Wannabe” (’97) – England’s finest pop group gets my approval for number three on the list. The Spice Girls are the best thing since The Clash to come from overseas. I love that each of the five members had their own “spicy” name. My personal favorite was Baby Spice because she brought some innocence to the group. The Spice Girls made their make in America and had instant success. They even made a movie about themselves. Pretty arrogant in my opinion. Every girl from ages 17-30 definitely knows every word to this song and it one of the catchiest songs from the 90s.
2. Nirvana – “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (’91) – A lot of people have this hit as the best 90s song. Nirvana defined grunge and set the tone for the entire genre. They are the reason that it is cool to wear plaid shirts and hate life. Everyone agrees that Kurt Cobain is one of the most famous figures of the decade even though he cut his life short far too soon. I am surprised that this song only made it to #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 list. People viewed this song as the best song in the 90s and they still feel this way today.
1. Hanson – “MMMBop” (’97) – Now I know you are probably outraged that I chose this song to be number one. I want you to stop whatever you are doing and listen to this song. The words are literally like poetry. The song starts off with a bang: “You have so many relationships in this life, only one or two will last; You go through all the pain and strife, then you turn your back and they’re gone so fast”. Like, wow. This song is so interesting because people have this on their best and worst songs of the 90s. Maybe I just like this song because its funny to like it. Well that kind of sums up the 90s in itself. I never thought I’d be learning life lessons from Hanson, but those guys(?) really found a way to my heart.