90s Music The top songs of the 1990s reflect the diversity and fluidity of music during the time. Here are the top ten songs from that period of musical innovation.
The best 90s music reveals an important truth:
That decade was a musical renaissance for many different styles. Rap and R&B dominated the charts because of MTV’s prominence, and they contributed to the global dissemination of Black American culture. From alternative music emerged a number of subgenres in the ’90s. Country music boldly entered the mainstream with the support of a slew of new musicians, and it quickly became the unofficial anthem of the United States.
Foreign musical styles
Additionally, there was a growing interest in foreign musical styles in the United States. Ska and punk music owe a great debt to Jamaican dub and reggae, while a wide range of musical styles now integrates elements of Afropop. Both underground and popular performers contributed to the aggressive mainstream entry of electronic music, helping to establish the dance culture we witness at festivals throughout the world today. Jazz’s experimental music scene flourished after a bleak decade, and Latin music began its long ascent to mainstream popularity in the United States. The 1990s provided music fans with an abundance of rare and unforgettable releases. If you want to learn more about this decade, here are a few places to start.
Would you describe yourself as a 90s music junkie?
Listen to our hand-picked mix of classic tracks from the ’90s while you peruse our list of recommendations.
Alternative and Rock Music of the ’90s
90s Music the alternative music scene of the ’90s had a significant impact on the direction of rock music. Arena rock and hair metal were a fad that ended long ago. Artists who were willing and determined to subvert convention in favor of the unusual and unconventional have taken its place.
Fiona Apple and Alanis Morissette
Fiona Apple and Alanis Morissette are just two of the many famous women who have proven that women are not only welcome at the top table, but also hold important positions there. Elliott Smith, a folk singer from the 1990s, had a reputation as a possible successor to Bob Dylan thanks to the melancholy and despair that permeated his music. Jimmy Eat World helped spread emo into the mainstream of rock, and Pavement made the slacker aesthetic ubiquitous on university campuses across the country. But persistent acts like the Foo Fighters and the Red Hot Chili Peppers made sure that mainstream rock would dominate the business well into the twenty-first century. If you’re looking for more alternative music, check out our list of the best 100 alternative songs of the ’90s.
List of best Alternative and Rock Music of the ’90s
- What’s Up, 4 Non-Blondes?
- The second Blur song, “Song 2,” Alanis Morissette’s “You Oughta Know,” and Beck’s “Loser”
- In the spirit of tub-thumping and Chumbawamba:
- Elliott Smith’s Between the Bars
- Fastball by The Way; Fiona Apple’s “Offender”; Everlong by the Foo Fighters and “Good Riddance” by Green Day (“Time of Your Life”); “Lucky Denver” by Jimmy Eat World’s “Mint”
- Meredith Brooks’s “Bitch Oasis,” “Wonderwall Pavement,” “Cut Your Hair,” “Mazzy Star’s” “Fade Into You,” “Down by the Water” by PJ Harvey, “Losing My Religion” by R.E.M., “Under the Bridge” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, “All-Star Sublime” by Smash Mouth, “Interstate Love Song” by the Stone Temple Pilots (Official Music Video)
90s Music country genre
90s music If country music was lost and unsure of itself in the 1980s, it emerged as a monster in the 1990s, telling the world that it was back and better than ever. As a result, rookies like Tim McGraw dominated the charts and veterans like George Strait made some of their finest work ever in the 1990s. Female musicians kept pushing the envelope as groups like The Dixie Chicks and solo performers like Lucinda Williams and Shania Twain began to leave their marks on country music.
List of best 90s Music country genre
- Alan Jackson and Chattahoochee Brooks & Dunn’s “Boot Scootin’ Boogie”
- Fast as You by Dwight Yoakam; Wrecking Ball by Emmylou Harris; Strawberry Wine by Deana Carter; Wide Open Spaces by the Dixie Chicks
- “Independence Day” by Martina McBride, “Fancy” by Reba McEntire, “You’re Still the One” by Shania Twain, “I Like It, I Love It” by Tim McGraw, “Her (Official Music Video)
90s Electronic Music
90s music Numerous electronic and electronica performers of the 1990s radically altered the musical landscape. Aphex Twin’s fresh perspective won over hip audiences who had been hesitant to listen to “electronic music.” In the same way that many other bands have found success with radio play thanks to their pop and rock influences, so too have many others. Moby fused lush, melodic samples with hazy downtempo electronica, while Nine Inch Nails pioneered a hybrid sound that incorporated both electronic and acoustic instruments. By combining French pop and Krautrock, Stereolab developed one of the most distinctive sounds of the decade, and Portishead popularized trip-hop by adapting hip-aesthetics. hop’s Unlike many of the other genres on this list, the 1990s are the only plausible time period for the creation of these songs.
List of best 90s Electronic Music
- All I Need, by Air and Beth Hirsch
- C&C Music Factory – Gonna Make You Sweat Adek Twin – Slip Bjork – Joga Boards of Canada – Windowlicker Autechre – Roygbiv
- Nine Inch Nails’ “Closer Orbital” is a cover of a Moby song. Also, “Around the World” by Daft Punk, “Midnight in a Perfect World” by DJ Shadow, “The Timeless Goldie,” “Deceptacon” by Le Tigre, “Major Attack – Droplet,” and “Porcelain” by Moby. The Prodigy: Born Slippy (Nuxx): Firestarter Underworld: Born Slippy (Nuxx/Remastered) Halcyon Off Plus Off The Hidden Camera by Photek Glory Box by Portishead French Disko by Stereolab Hey Boy Hey Girl by The Chemical Brothers Block Rockin’ Beats by The Chemical Brothers Little Fluffy Clouds by The Orb
90s Grunge Music
90s music 90s Soundtrack to the 1990s, the Grunge Genre The rockers huddled together, the alternative youth in another, and the grangers met in a third to discuss how to unite the best of both worlds without sacrificing either style’s individuality or identity. The Seattle bands Pearl Jam, Nirvana, and Soundgarden combined powerful guitars typical of rock music with amazing vocal performances and a lot of flannel to create grunge. These tunes become staples of the decade. The fad even went global. Radiohead were not a grunge band, but their songs like “Creep” helped popularize that genre in the United Kingdom.
List of best 90s Grunge Music
- Playground Marcy: Sex and Candy; Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana; Alive by Pearl Jam; Creep Semisonic by Radiohead, “Closing Time”; Smashing Pumpkins, 1979; Black Hole Sun by Soundgarden; Linger by The Cranberries; Garbage; Doll Parts; Stupid Girl Hole;
- In 1979, The Smashing Pumpkins released their debut album (Official Music Video)
90s Rap and Hip Hop Music
90s music It’s easy to see why the ’90s are often referred to as hip hop’s ‘Golden Age. Many of the best albums ever made were recorded during that decade, including some of the finest examples of rap music. Many talented musicians of the ’90s, and not only those on one coast, put out albums that are now considered classics. While OutKast proved the South had something to say, the West Coast’s sound was transformed by the trio of 2Pac, Snoop Dogg, and Dr. Dre. Notorious B.I.G., Nas, Gang Starr, the Wu-Tang Clan, and many more helped make New York and the East Coast the center of rap in the ’90s. If you’re looking for more rap, we’ve compiled a list of the 100 best tracks to drop throughout the era of hip-hop known as the ’90s.
List of best 90s Rap and Hip Hop Music
- The scenario from A Tribe Called Quest and 2Pac’s “California Love”
- The Beastie Boys’ Sabotage
- Full Clip for Gang Starr; Shadowboxin’ by GZA; Doo Wop by Lauryn Hill; “Nuthin’ but a ‘G’ Thing” by Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre (That Thing)
- Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch’s “Good Vibrations” is a great example.
- Missy Elliott’s “The Rain” (Supa Dupa Fly) and Mobb Deep’s “The Shook Ones, Part II”
- Example: Nas’ “New York State of Mind”
- Popular singer Neneh Cherry is a household name. Outkast’s “Rosa Parks” and “Mo Money, Mo Problems” by Biggie Smalls, Puff Daddy, and Mase are all about money and problems, respectively.
- Let’s Discuss Sexuality by Salt-N-Pepa
- Let’s Talk About Sex by Salt-N-Pepa Cantaloop, US3 (Flip Fantasia) Control Cantaloop, US3 (Flip Fantasia) Gettin’ Jiggy With It by Will Smith Wu-Tang Clan’s “C.R.E.A.M.” (Official Music Video)
90s Jazz Music
The ’90s jazz genre was weird. The golden age of jazz had past, but fans of the genre might still feel some nostalgia for the genre’s glory. Modern day luminaries like Robert Glasper and Kamasi Washington were able to break through, however, because of the inflow of inventive players who helped rejuvenate the business. The avant-John garde’s Zorn and the youthful inventor Matthew Shipp emerged, and jazz greats like Henry Threadgill began their ascent to the top of their field.
List of best 90s Jazz Music
- “Try Some Ammonia” by Henry Threadgill; “Exit Music” by Brad Mehldau; “Harvest Moon” by Cassandra Wilson; “It’s Me, O Lord” by Charlie Haden and Hank Jones; “Tuskegee Strutter’s Ball” by Don Byron; “Tuskegee Strutter’s Ball”; “Tuskegee Strutter’s Ball”; “Tuskegee Strutter
90s Rock Music
Even though indie rock and grunge were steadfasts in the 1990s, the mainstream music juggernaut still reigned supreme on the charts and in the cultural zeitgeist. When Britney Spears first became popular, the Spice Girls were riding high in the UK charts, but she was already the biggest star in the world. Madonna kept on churning out chart-topping singles and serving as an inspiration to a new generation of artists like Christina Aguilera. Celine Dion turned a Titanic soundtrack outtake into one of the most iconic songs in film history, while the Backstreet Boys paved the way for boy bands like One Direction and BTS.
List of best 90s Rock Music
- Genie in a Bottle by Christina Aguilera; Barbie Girl, Aqua; “I Want It That Way” by the Backstreet Boys; Hit Me Baby One More Time by Britney Spears; My Heart Will Go On by Celine Dion; Mmmbop by Hanson; Hold My Hand by Hootie & the Blowfish
- Crush LEN, Jennifer Paige, Steal My Sunshine
- Vogue Madonna
- “Wannabe” by the Spice Girls, “Nothing Compares 2 U” by Sinead O’Connor, “Lovefool” by the Cardigans, and more (Official Music Video)
90s R&B era
Like its hip-hop sibling, R&B produced a wealth of excellent songs in the ’90s. Pop ballads with lush, R&B-inspired instrumentals were revolutionized by Aaliyah, Mariah Carey, and Mary J. Blige, but there are too many superstars in the R&B lane to mention them all. TLC gave R&B the rap edge it lacked by combining their beautiful voices with clever wordplay. Towards the end of the decade, Blackstreet helped revitalize New Jack Swing, while D’Angelo and others laid the groundwork for neo-soul.
List of best 90s R&B music
- Aaliyah Poisonous – Are You That Somebody Bell Don’t Be Cruel by Bobby Brown; “No Diggity” by Blackstreet; “Luv” by Bell Biv Devoe
- Boyz II Men’s “End of the Road”
- Artists like Brandy and Monica’s “The Boy Is Mine,” Brandy’s “I Wanna Be Down,” D’Angelo’s “Brown Sugar,” and En Vogue’s “My Lovin’ (You’re Never Gonna Get It)” are all essential.
- The Erykah Badu song “On & On” Grace Evans’s Soon As I Get Home
- Include Ginuwine’s “Pony Guy” and Janet Jackson’s “That’s The Way Love Goes” as examples of music that fit this description.
- Just Got Paid by Johnny Kemp and Freek’n You by Jodeci
- Keith Sweat – I Want Her
- There’s “One Sweet Day” by Mariah Carey, “Real Love” by Mary J. Blige, “If It Isn’t Love” by the New Edition, and “Kiss From a Rose” by Seal.
- Toni Braxton’s “Un-Break My Heart Tony” and “Waterfalls with TLC”! Good Vibes, Toni! Tone!
- Usher’s “You Make Me Wanna,”
- The Final Stop, by Boyz II Men