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100 Best 90s Songs: The Ultimate 90s Music Playlist

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Best 90s Songs: The Ultimate 90s Music Playlist

Every genre is represented well among the best 90s songs, from country and pop to hard rock and hip hop. After all, diversity was a true sign of the times.

Whether you’re searching for party anthems, sentimental ballads, karaoke favorites, or obscure nostalgic tunes, we’re positive you’ll find at least one track in our ultimate 90s music playlist.

 

Table of Contents

The 100 Best 90s Songs

Although no one can summarize this epic decade, we did some research. After careful listening, we believe we’ve found the finest anthems the 90s had to offer.

Here’s our playlist of the 100 best 90s songs:

 

100. Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life) – Green Day (1997)

“Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)” is a song from Green Day’s fifth album, Nimrod.

The lyrics talk about accepting that people come and go in our lives.

The alternative rock hit peaked at #2 in Australia and on the Billboard Alternative Airplay charts between 1997 and 1998.

 

99. Self Esteem – The Offspring (1995)

Attention, all punk-rock fanatics, this is a must-have song for your playlist.

“Self Esteem” is about an insecure guy who allows his girlfriend to take advantage of him.

It made #1 in Norway, Sweden, and Iceland, and #3 on the UK’s Rock & Metal charts in 1995.

 

98. Baby Got Back – Sir Mix-A-Lot (1992)

“Baby Got Back” appeared on Sir Mix-a-Lot’s third album, Mack Daddy.

In this controversial song, he references female buttocks and men who appreciate them.

It topped the Billboard Hot 100 and rose to #5 on the Billboard Dance Club Songs chart in 1992 and 1993.

 

97. Big Time Sensuality – Björk (1993)

“Big Time Sensuality” is a house jam explicitly designed for dancing.

The lyrics focus on the meaningful relationships we make with friends.

The song took #1 in Iceland and on the UK Indie and Billboard Dance Club Songs chart in 1994

 

96. Unfinished Sympathy – Massive Attack (1991)

Here’s the first and only song on this list from the trip-hop genre.

“Unfinished Sympathy” is about a love/hate relationship between the lead singer and a love interest.

The track reached #1 on The Dutch Top 40 and #3 on the UK Dance charts in 1991.

 

95. Ice Ice Baby – Vanilla Ice (1990)

“Ice Ice Baby” is one of this decade’s most iconic pop-rap hits.

The lyrics feature Vanilla Ice boasting about his wealth, women, and rapping ability.

It became the first hip hop single to chart #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. It also hit #1 in multiple countries throughout 1990 and 1991.

 

94. The Boy Is Mine – Brandy & Monica (1998)

This tune was inspired by Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney’s duet, “The Girl Is Mine.”

“The Boy Is Mine” is a pretend story about two girls fighting over the same guy.

The track won a Grammy Award for Best R&B Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group in 1999.

 

93. Alive – Pearl Jam (1991)

“Alive” is a song by the American rock band Pearl Jam, from their debut album, Ten.

The lyrics tell the story of a boy who discovers his real father is his stepfather.

It peaked at #16 on the Album Rock Tracks chart and the UK Singles chart between 1991 and 1992.

 

92. Pony (Jump On It) – Ginuwine (1996)

Here’s a super spicy R&B/soul tune for nights with your significant other.

“Pony (Jump On It)” features a male singer who invites a woman to get busy with him.

The song hit #1 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart and #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1996.

 

91. Black Hole Sun – Soundgarden (1994)

“Black Hole Sun” is Soundgarden’s most recognizable track.

The song doesn’t really have a particular meaning. It was based on a bunch of random thoughts by lead singer Chris Cornell.

It rose to #1 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks Chart and the Iceland charts during 1994.

 

90. Shook Ones Pt. II – Mobb Deep (1995)

Here’s a gangsta rap hit that also appears in the 2002 movie 8 Mile.

“Shook Ones Pt. II” is told from the perspective of inner-city teenagers trying to make money while engaging in turf wars.

The track earned the #7 spot on Billboard’s Hot Rap Singles chart and #52 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart in 1995.

 

89. Heartbreak Hotel – Whitney Houston ft. Faith Evans & Kelly Price (1999)

“Heartbreak Hotel” is about a woman who asks her man why he cheated on her.

Check out more from Whitney Houston on our best karaoke songs playlist (“I Wanna Dance With Somebody”) and best prom songs playlist (“I Will Always Love You”).

The song made #1 on Billboard’s Dance Club Songs and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs charts in 1999 and 2001.

 

88. What Is Love – Haddaway (1993)

This upbeat Eurodance hit was a worldwide success in the early 90s.

“What Is Love” features a male narrator attempting to love a woman who won’t love him back.

The dance song won two German Echo Awards in 1994, one for Best National Single and one for Best National Dance Single.

 

87. Sure Shot – Beastie Boys (1994)

“Sure Shot” is an alternative rap/rock song that appears in the 2011 film 30 Minutes or Less.

The random lyrics talk about The Beastie Boys’ rapping skills and who they are.

This popular track made #48 on the Billboard Hot Dance Music charts, #27 in the UK, and #15 in the Netherlands in 1994.

 

86. Alright – Supergrass (1995)

If you like power pop, you’re bound to like this one by Supergrass.

“Alright” is a song about the innocence and freedom of being thirteen years old.

The tune made #2 in Scotland and the UK. It also took the #6 spot in Iceland and #8 in Ireland throughout 1995 and 1996.

 

85. Whatta Man – Salt-N-Pepa (1993)

“Whatta Man” was originally recorded by Linda Lyndell in 1968 and celebrates all the good men in the world.

You can also find “Push It” by Salt-N-Pepa on our best party songs playlist.

It charted #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #7 on the UK Singles chart in 1993 and 1994.

 

84. Tears In Heaven – Eric Clapton (1992)

Don’t listen to this one unless you’ve got some tissues handy.

Eric Clapton’s “Tears In Heaven” is a sentimental song about the death of his four-year-old son, Conor.

The soft rock song won a Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance, Record of the Year, and Song of the Year in 1993.

 

83. Loser – Beck (1993)

“Loser” is an alt-rock song that earned international success during the 90s.

The lyrics are actually Beck mocking his own rapping skills, calling himself a “loser.”

It earned the #1 spot in Norway and the Billboard Alternative Airplay charts in 1994.

 

82. It’s Not Right, But It’s Okay – Whitney Houston (1999)

Here’s a sassy hit for when a lover does you wrong.

In “It’s Not Right, But It’s Okay,” a woman confronts her man about cheating on her with another woman. 

In 2000, the song won a Grammy Award for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance and charted #1 on the U.S. Dance Club Songs chart in 1999.

 

81. U Can’t Touch This – MC Hammer (1990)

This is one of the best songs to listen to when you’re feeling yourself!

“U Can’t Touch This” features MC Hammer rapping about his musical and dancing skills.

It earned a Grammy Award for Best R&B Song and Best Rap Solo Performance and charted #1 worldwide in 1991.

 

80. Man! I Feel Like a Woman! – Shania Twain (1999)

This country-pop anthem is for all the girls out there!

“Man! I Feel Like a Woman” is all about female empowerment and having a good time out during a ladies’ night.

The tune won a Grammy Award for Best Female Country Vocal Performance in 2000 and charted #23 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1999.

 

79. Doo-Wop (That Thing) – Lauryn Hill (1998)

This is the impressive debut solo single of hip-hop and R&B artist Lauryn Hill.

“Doo Wop (That Thing)” is a warning to African-American men who worry more about material items than their women.

The song reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, Rhythmic, and UK R&B charts between 1998 and 1999.

 

78. MMMBop – Hanson (1997)

“MMMBop” is the lead single from the pop-rock band Hanson’s debut studio album, Middle of Nowhere.

The track talks about how we all need to focus on the things that truly matter in life.

Throughout 1997 and 1998, the song quickly rose to #1 on multiple charts worldwide, from Canada to Hungary.

 

77. Kiss From A Rose – Seal (1995)

You may recognize this hit from the 1995 movie Batman Forever.

“Kiss From A Rose” is sung from the male perspective about a woman and how he feels about her romantically.

It won Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Male Pop Vocal Performance at the 1996 Grammy Awards.

 

76. Epic – Faith No More (1990)

“Faith No More” was Epic’s breakthrough hit, becoming their most famous song.

The lyrics describe the frustration of not reaching a climax in sex or not getting enough.

This track made #1 on the Australian ARIA charts and #9 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1990.

 

75. Macarena – Los Del Rio (1992)

This Spanish dance song is often played at wedding receptions.

“Macarena” is about an attractive woman the duo saw while visiting Venezuela.

It charted #20 on the Dutch Top 40 and #10 on the Spanish charts in 1993.

 

74. All I Wanna Do – Sheryl Crow (1994)

This hit from Sheryl Crow used a few lyrics from a Wyn Cooper poem called “Fun.”

“All I Wanna Do” is about a sad person watching their life pass them by in a bar.

In 1995, the song won a Grammy Award for Record of the Year and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.

 

73. Insomnia – Faithless (1995)

“Insomnia” was one of the most successful songs from Faithless.

The lyrics describe the difficulties of living with a sleeping disorder like insomnia.

Throughout 1995 and 1997, this house groove made #1 in Finland and the UK Dance charts.

 

72. Boombastic – Shaggy (1995)

Jamaican artist, Shaggy, released this reggae/pop tune from his third album of the same name.

“Boombastic” essentially consists of the artist bragging about his sexual prowess.

It topped the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hip Songs and UK Singles charts and took #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 between 1995 and 1996.

 

71. All Star – Smash Mouth (1999)

“All Star” is a fun rock tune that appears in the kid’s film Shrek, and encourages listeners to reach for their dreams.

This hit also earned a spot on our best songs about winning playlist.

In 1999, it charted #1 on the Billboard Adult Top 40 and Mainstream Top 40 and made #2 on the Canadian Top Singles chart.

 

70. The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly) – Missy Elliott (1997)

Missy Elliot released this song as her debut single for her album, Supa Dupa Fly.

The lyrics basically serve as a “screw you” to all the music executives who said Elliot wouldn’t make it in the music business.

The alternative hip hop groove claimed the #4 spot on Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart in 1997.

 

69. Unbelievable – EMF (1990)

“Unbelievable” appeared on EMF’s debut album, Schubert Dip.

This alt-rock anthem focuses on a high-maintenance girl who is demanding and never returns favors.

It peaked at #3 on the UK Singles chart and hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1991.

 

68. Jump – Kris Kross (1991)

Interestingly enough, this one-hit-wonder was inspired by people jumping at a concert.

Basically, this jam is supposed to make you want to dance around and get hyped.

“Jump” was the third highest-selling song of 1991 in the U.S. and topped charts in Finland, Switzerland, and Ireland in the same year.

 

67. Black Or White – Michael Jackson (1991)

“Black Or White” is an incredible pop-rock, dance, and hip hop song about racial harmony.

MJ’s song, “Remember The Times,” is also featured on our best songs about memories playlist.

This track hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and in over twenty other countries in 1991.

 

66. Rosa Parks – OutKast (1998)

Here is one of OutKast’s most famous songs!

“Rosa Parks” is about the struggles of the entertainment industry and not about the civil rights activist herself.

The song peaked at #19 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart and #55 on the Billboard Hot 100 between 1998 and 1999.

 

65. Show Me Love – Robyn (1997)

Swedish singer-songwriter, Robyn, released this song off her debut studio album, Robyn Is Here.

“Show Me Love” is about a woman asking her significant other to love her in return.

It hit #3 on the Billboard Mainstream Top 40 and #7 on the Hot 100 throughout 1997 and 1998.

 

64. If It Makes You Happy – Sheryl Crow (1996)

This track actually started out as a country tune but turned into a rock anthem.

Some believe this song is based on the pressure Crow felt to keep being successful in music.

“If It Makes You Happy” won a Grammy Award in 1997 for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance.

 

63. Children – Robert Miles (1995)

“Children” was a techno instrumental written to calm people in Italy at clubs and prevent car accidents.

The Message Version features lyrics discussing unity and love between the people of the world.

It charted #1 in multiple countries worldwide and reached #2 on the UK Singles chart between 1995 and 1996.

 

62. Learn To Fly – Foo Fighters (1999)

This song was the lead single from the album There is Nothing Left to Lose.

“Learn To Fly” is about searching for inspiration and things that make you feel alive.

The music video won Best Short Form Video at the 2000 Grammy Awards and peaked at #19 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1999.

 

61. My Heart Will Go On – Celine Dion (1997)

“My Heart Will Go On” declares a woman’s life-long commitment to love her significant other.

Another Celine Dion song, “Beauty And The Beast” also appears on our best karaoke duets playlist.

The ballad won the award for Best Original Song at the 1998 Golden Globe Awards and the Academy Awards.

 

60. Everybody – Backstreet Boys (1997)

This is probably one of the most contagious dance songs ever produced.

“Everybody” is a party anthem that simply encourages listeners to dance and have a good time.

The hit won a People’s Choice Award for Favorite International Group in 1998 and Best Group Video at the 1998 MTV Video Music Awards.

 

59. Linger – The Cranberries (1993)

“Linger” is an alternative rock song by the Irish band, The Cranberries.

This track was about the lead singer Dolores O’Riordan’s experience during her first kiss.

It peaked at #7 on the Billboard Mainstream Top 40 and #4 on the Alternative Airplay chart between 1993 and 1994.

 

58. Barbie Girl – Aqua (1997)

This bubblegum pop hit is a satirical commentary on Barbie dolls’ unrealistic body shape.

Another song called “Barbie Girl” by Te Pai, NEENOO, Kosimo, is on our best TikTok songs playlist.

This tune made#1 in the UK and Scotland and #2 on the Billboard Dance Singles Sales chart in 1997.

 

57. Believe – Cher (1998)

Cher was a pop culture icon back in the day, and nothing has changed!

“Believe” is about getting through a breakup and moving on to a new and better life.

Cher earned a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records when she became the oldest female solo artist ever to top the Billboard Hot 100.

 

56. Iris – Goo Goo Dolls (1998)

Are you even a 90s kid if you haven’t heard “Iris” by the Goo Goo Dolls?

This hit features a reclusive male narrator who feels like the person he loves doesn’t know he exists.

It peaked at #9 on the Billboard Hot 100 and made #1 in Australia, Canada, and Italy in 1998.

 

55. Livin’ La Vida Loca – Ricky Martin (1999)

Puerto Rican singer Ricky Martin was one of the world’s favorite 90s Latin pop artists.

“Livin’ La Vida Loca” describes an alluring yet wild woman who seduces men.

The song won an MTV Music Video Award in 1999 for Best Dance Video and Best Pop Video.

 

54. 1979 – Smashing Pumpkins (1996)

Smashing Pumpkins released this hit from their third album, Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness.

This nostalgic alt-rock anthem explores a young boy’s transition into adolescence.

“1979” charted #2 in Canada and Iceland, #9 in New Zealand, #6 in Ireland, and #12 in the U.S. in 1996.

 

53. Praise You – Fatboy Slim (1999)

“Praise You” came from Fatboy Slim’s second studio album, You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby.

The lyrics are the narrator’s way of appreciating his significant other.

It won an MTV Video Music Award for Breakthrough Video, Best Direction, and Best Choreography in 1999.

 

52. You Oughta Know – Alanis Morissette (1995)

This tune is a girl’s expression of post-breakup feelings when her ex has found someone new.

You’ll also see “You Oughta Know” in our best summer songs playlist.

The song won a Grammy Award for Best Rock Song and Best Female Rock Vocal Performance in 1996.

 

51. Everlong – Foo Fighters (1997)

“Everlong” is the second single from Foo Fighters’ second album, The Colour and the Shape.

This song is based on Dave Grohl’s experience of losing a relationship but gaining a better one.

The post-grunge hit peaked at #3 on Billboard’s Alternative Songs chart and Canada’s RPM Rock/Alternative chart in 1997.

 

50. Mama Said Knock You Out – LL Cool J (1991)

Here’s another jam that’s great for cruising around town.

The lyrics focus on violence within the hip hop community, which was becoming a concern during the early 90s.

“Mama Said Knock You Out” reached #17 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1991 and won a Grammy Award for Best Rap Solo Performance in 1992.

 

49. Semi-Charmed Life – Third Eye Blind (1997)

“Semi-Charmed Life” is the lead single from Third Eye Blind’s debut album.

The lyrics discuss a drug user’s meth addiction and the fact that some people are never satisfied.

This famous rock anthem peaked at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and made #1 on the Mainstream Top 40 chart in 1997.

 

48. No Scrubs – TLC (1999)

TLC was one of the hottest American girl groups during the 90s and earned worldwide success.

The female narrator rejects a broke, unmotivated guy who wants to date her.

“No Scrubs” won two Grammy Awards in 2000, including Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal and Best R&B Song.

 

47. Truly Madly Deeply – Savage Garden (1997)

Savage Garden released this hit off their self-titled debut album.

“Truly Madly Deeply” features a male narrator professing his love to his significant other.

It received an ARIA Music Award for Single of the Year and the Highest Selling Single in 1997.

 

46. Nothing Compares 2 U – Sinéad O’Connor (1990)

Here’s a sad yet beautiful ballad to listen to when you miss loved ones.

“Nothing Compares 2 U” talks about the heartache we feel when away from people we love.

The ballad topped the Billboard Hot 100 and the Billboard Alternative Songs chart and ranked #2 in the UK in 1990.

 

45. Zombie – The Cranberries (1994)

Irish alt-rock band, The Cranberries took the world by storm with their hit, “Zombie.”

This protest song focuses on the Warrington bombings in England in 1993.

It won an award for Best Song at the MTV Europe Music Awards in 1995 and charted #1 in multiple countries.

 

44. Doin’ It – LL Cool J (1996)

“Doin’ It” was released as the second single from LL Cool J’s album, Mr. Smith.

The singer states his intentions to engage in sexual activity with his lover.

This popular tune took #9 on the Billboard Hot 100 and rose to #7 on the Hot R&B/Hip Hop Songs chart in 1996.

 

43. Always Be My Baby – Mariah Carey (1996)

If you’re a fan of Mariah Carey’s incredible high notes and runs, you should check out this song.

Carey sings about her recent breakup while stating that she believes her ex will return.

“Always Be My Baby” took #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and became the most-played radio single in 1996.

 

42. Genie In A Bottle – Christina Aguilera (1999)

This hit is widely known as Christina Aguilera’s signature song.

“Genie In A Bottle” features a sexually frustrated woman who informs potential suitors that they must be able to please her.

It topped charts in Austria, Canada, and the UK and earned #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1999.

 

41. I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing – Aerosmith (1998)

“I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing” was inspired by an interview where James Brolin said he missed his wife while he slept.

The male narrator professes his love for a woman, declaring that he never wants to miss a moment with her.

It took #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and topped charts worldwide, including Ireland and Norway, in 1998.

 

40. Torn – Natalie Imbruglia (1997)

Here’s a pop tune that discusses a breakup, where the girl is feeling emotionally “torn.”

If you’re into karaoke, this may be the song for you, as it also made our best easy songs to sing playlist.

The track won Single of the Year at the ARIA Music Awards and topped Swedish and Spanish charts in 1998.

 

39. Vogue – Madonna (1990)

This track is about having fun on the dance floor and “striking a pose.”

If you’re a big Madonna fan, we suggest checking out her other hits on our best 80s songs playlist, including “Like a Virgin” and “Like a Prayer.”

“Vogue” was the best-selling single of 1990 and topped charts in over 30 countries throughout 1990 and 1991.

 

38. Creep – Radiohead (1992)

English rock band, Radiohead, released this alt-rock/grunge song as their debut single.

“Creep” is about a shy man who starts acting creepy around a woman he admires.

The track made #2 on Billboard’s Alternative Airplay chart and #3 in Norway between 1992 and 2016.

 

37. Tearin’ Up My Heart – NSYNC (1997)

NSYNC is one of the most beloved boy bands from the 90s.

“Tearin’ Up My Heart” explores a man’s heartache as he wonders if a woman likes him too.

The song made #6 on Billboard’s Mainstream Top 40 and #3 on the Canadian Top Singles chart throughout 1997 and 1999.

 

36. I Want It That Way – The Backstreet Boys (1999)

Everyone’s familiar with this hit from the Backstreet Boys!

“I Want It That Way” addresses a guy’s current girlfriend, asking her not to end their relationship.

It charted #1 in over twenty-five different countries and peaked at #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1999 and 2001.

 

35. The Sign – Ace Of Base (1993)

Swedish pop group Ace Of Base released “The Sign” on their studio album of the same name.

It describes a couple who reviews their relationship and chooses to part ways.

Ace Of Base became the first-ever Swedish band to hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and Billboard 200 at the same time in 1993.

 

34. Breathe – The Prodigy (1997)

“Breathe” is an electronic rock song off The Prodigy’s third album, The Fat of the Land.

This track serves as a warning to listeners not to partake in drugs.

The tune charted #1 in many European countries between 1996 and 1997 and peaked at #14 on Billboard’s Dance/Electronic Digital Songs in 2019.

 

33. End Of The Road – Boyz II Men (1992)

Boy bands were all the rage back in the 90s, including Boys II Men.

“End Of The Road” talks about a man who was dumped by his lover and begs her to take him back.

The song made #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1992 and became the sixth most successful song of the decade.

 

32. Wannabe – Spice Girls (1996)

Now, here’s a girl group anthem that has stood the test of time!

“Wannabe” is about putting friends first over romantic relationships. You’ll also find it on our best sweet 16 songs playlist.

This track topped charts in Germany and the UK and hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1996 and 1997.

 

31. Killing Me Softly With His Song – Fugees (1996)

Originally, this was a folk song recorded by Lori Leiberman in 1972.

The lyrics explain a woman’s deep relation to song lyrics from a celebrity musician.

In 1997, “Killing Me Softly” earned a Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal.

 

30. Gin & Juice – Snoop Dogg (1994)

This anthem regularly had the whole club busting a move!

The song describes Snoop’s love for attending parties, especially ones where there’s gin and juice.

It charted #1 on Billboard’s Hot Rap Songs chart and #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1994.

 

29. Jump Around – House of Pain (1992)

“Jump Around” is a well-known hip hop song introduced to the world in 1992.

This classic dance song talks about more than just jumping and includes many references to violence.

It went straight to the top of the UK Dance chart and took #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 throughout 1992 and 1993.

 

28. Say My Name – Destiny’s Child (1999)

Destiny’s Child hasn’t lost their musical edge!

“Say My Name” describes a situation where a woman thinks her man is cheating on her, so she asks him to prove he’s not.

The track won a Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals and Best R&B Song in 2001.

 

27. …Baby One More Time – Britney Spears (1999)

You had to love Britney Spears’ sassy pop songs back in the day!

This tune is about a girl who feels lonely after a breakup and wants to get back with her ex.

The song hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and the Hot 100 Singles Sales chart in 1998.

 

26. I Will Always Love You – Whitney Houston (1992)

“I Will Always Love You” is one of the best songs of all time, period!

This beautiful ballad was originally by Dolly Parton, dedicated to her long-time business partner.

The tune is the highest-selling single ever released by a female artist and the best-selling single in music history to date.

 

25. Basket Case – Green Day (1994)

You can’t help but love 90s angst, especially from Green Day.

“Basket Case” is about panic attacks and the feeling of going insane, which was something Billie Joe Armstrong battled regularly.

The track charted #1 on Billboard’s Alternative Airplay chart and made #2 in Norway between 1994 and 1995.

 

24. Juicy – The Notorious B.I.G. (1994)

“Juicy” came from The Notorious B.I.G.’s debut album, Ready To Die.

The lyrics describe the rapper’s childhood poverty and his eventual gain of wealth and fame.

The song reached #1 on Billboard’s Hot Rap Singles chart and made #27 on the Billboard Hot 100 between 1994 and 1995.

 

23. Enter Sandman – Metallica (1991)

If you can handle more intense songs, then you’ll enjoy this heavy metal jam.

“Enter Sandman” paints Mr. Sandman as an evil character that haunts children when they go to sleep.

In 1991, this Metallica track charted #16 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #1 in Finland.

 

22. No Diggity – Black Street ft. Dr. Dre & Queen Pen (1996)

Push play on “No Diggity,” and we promise you’ll be out on the dance floor.

“No Diggity” means “absolutely,” but it’s used as a prelude to sexual activities in this song.

It won a Grammy Award in 1997 for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals and reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1996.

 

21. Killing In The Name – Rage Against The Machine (1993)

This song remains one of Rage Against The Machine’s very best tracks.

The lyrics concentrate on police violence and the impact of racism on society.

“Killing In The Name” made #7 in Australia in 1993 and #1 on the UK Rock & Metal and UK Singles charts between 2009 and 2010.

 

20. Waterfalls – TLC (1995)

“Waterfalls” is an R&B hit that’ll make you want to sing along!

The song encourages listeners to avoid self-destructive habits and ambitions.

It took #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and charted within the top ten in multiple countries in 1995.

 

19. Sandstorm – Darude (1999)

If you’re a fan of EDM instrumentals, then “Sandstorm” is the perfect song for you.

This hit will either make you feel like you’re being chased or want to dance like a maniac.

Sandstorm charted #1 in Ireland, the UK, and Norway in 1999. As of 2020, it’s sold over a million copies.

 

18. Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It – Will Smith (1998)

Don’t you miss the days when Will Smith released rap music like this?

“Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It” refers primarily to dancing but can also describe a person showing off their style or skills.

The song earned a Grammy Award for Best Rap Solo Performance in 1999 and charted at # 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1998.

 

17. Mo Money Mo Problems – The Notorious B.I.G.

“Mo Money Mo Problems” is known worldwide as one of the best songs in hip hop.

The lyrics focus on the evils of money and fame, which can stir up jealousy. It’s also featured on our best songs about money playlist.

This famous track spent two weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 and took #6 on the UK charts in 1997.

 

16. Fantasy – Mariah Carey (1995)

Here’s an up-tempo contemporary R&B/dance-pop song that’s sure to get you moving!

This track describes the singer’s adoration of a particular person who she can’t pursue a relationship with.

“Fantasy” was a global success, topping the Billboard Hot 100 and charts in Australia, Canada, and New Zealand in 1995.

 

15. Around The World – Daft Punk (1997)

“Around The World” is one of the best songs of the 90s that features only one sentence. The beauty in this tune is its mesmerizing beat.

You’ll also find their song, “Get Lucky,” on our best happy songs playlist.

The song took #1 in Italy, Iceland, Canada, and the U.S. Billboard Dance Club Songs chart in 1997.

 

14. Don’t Speak – No Doubt (1996)

“Don’t Speak” is the third single from the rock band, No Doubt’s album, Tragic Kingdom.

This hit was originally written as a love song, but Gwen Stefani changed the lyrics to describe one of her breakups.

It reached #1 on the Billboard Mainstream Top 40, Adult Top 40, and Rhythmic charts between 1996 and 1997.

 

13. Nuthin’ But A ‘G’ Thang – Dr. Dre ft. Snoop Dogg (1992)

Looking for a great hip hop track? We highly recommend adding this one to your playlist.

“Nuthin’ But A ‘G’ Thang” talks about the “gangsta” lifestyle, like getting with lots of women and bragging about rapping skills.

The song earned the #1 spot on the Billboard R&B/Hip Hop Singles chart in 1992.

 

12. One – U2 (1992)

This smash hit from U2 was released as a charity single to fundraise for AIDS research.

Most people believe the song is about the band themselves uniting to record an album together.

It soared to #3 in New Zealand, #7 in the UK, and even hit #10 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 in 1992.

 

11. Common People – Pulp (1995)

“Common People” is a Britpop song off Pulp’s fifth album, Different Class.

It tells the story of a girl who wanted to live the lifestyle of an average, working-class person.

It charted #2 in Scotland and the UK, #4 in Sweden, and #5 in Norway throughout 1995 and 1996.

 

10. My Name Is – Eminem (1999)

Here’s a comedy hip hop jam from one of the world’s best rappers, Eminem.

“My Name Is” was Slim Shady’s official introduction to the world, wherein he describes his life and who he is.

The hit won a Grammy Award for Best Rap Solo Performance in 2000 and peaked at #36 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1999.

 

9. Bitter Sweet Symphony – The Verve (1997)

“Bitter Sweet Symphony” is undoubtedly one of the greatest rock orchestral tunes in music history.

It’s all about the bittersweet aspect of life itself. You’ll also see this tune on our best songs to wake up to playlist, as it’s just so good.

The track earned the #12 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 and #2 on the UK Singles chart in 1997.

 

8. Losing My Religion – R.E.M. (1991)

Chances are, you’ll know “Losing My Religion” by its popular mandolin intro.

This alt-rock jam is a declaration of love to a significant other or special person.

It won a Grammy award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals in 1992 and charted #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1991.

 

7. Under The Bridge – Red Hot Chili Peppers (1991)

American rock band Red Hot Chili Peppers released “Under The Bridge” off their fifth studio album, Blood Sugar Sex Magik.

The singer describes a dark time in his life when he was abusing drugs and was plagued by loneliness.

The song made #1 on the Dutch Top 40 and #2 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart in 1992.

 

6. Gangsta’s Paradise – Coolio ft. L.V. (1995)

“Gangsta’s Paradise” is a hip hop/gangsta rap track featured on the soundtrack for the movie, Dangerous Minds.

The lyrics illustrate what goes on in the mind of a stereotypical gangster, focusing on violence and crime.

Coolio earned a Grammy award for Best Rap Solo Performance and a Billboard Music Award for the song in 1996.

 

5. Wonderwall – Oasis (1995)

Here’s the perfect song to listen to when you’re feeling nostalgic.

Frontman Noel Gallagher once said in an interview that this song is “about an imaginary friend who’s gonna come and save you from yourself.”

This Britpop hit made #2 in the UK and Ireland and cracked the top ten in multiple countries in 1995.

 

4. Ironic – Alanis Morissette (1996)

Canadian Singer Alanis Morissette released “Ironic” off her third album, Jagged Little Pill.

This alternative rock jam showcases different ironic situations we experience in life.

The song soared to the #1 spot on Billboard’s Alternative Airplay and Mainstream Top 40 charts in 1996.

 

3. Smells Like Teen Spirit – Nirvana (1991)

“Smells Like Teen Spirit” is an iconic anthem from Nirvana’s album, Nevermind.

The grunge track was Kurt Cobain’s attempt to connect with apathetic youth, encouraging them to care more about their lives and what’s happening around them.

The song rose to #7 on the Mainstream Rock charts in 1991 and was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2017.

 

2. Still D.R.E. – Dr. Dre ft. Snoop Dogg (1999)

Here’s another one for all the hip hop fans out there!

This tune reminded fans that Dre was still the rap master even if he hadn’t been in the spotlight for a while.

The song peaked at #93 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2000 but re-entered the chart in 2022 at #23.

 

1. Song 2 – Blur (1997)

“Song 2” was the second track off Blur’s self-titled studio album.

This track is a spoof on grunge music, which was gaining popularity during the 90s. It’s also the shortest song on this playlist, lasting just two minutes.

The alt-rock anthem made #6 on Billboard’s Alternative Songs chart and #2 on the UK Singles chart in 1997.

 

Summary

We hope you enjoyed our 90s music playlist. 

You now have a go-to list of the best 90s songs for your next jam session, car ride, or workout!

Everyone can enjoy these tunes, whether you were born in this phenomenal decade or not.

What’s the best 90s song of the era, in your opinion? Leave a comment below. 

Emily is a singer-songwriter, guitarist, and ukulelist who has graced the stage at countless venues across the Midwest and Southern U.S. Throughout her career, she’s opened for artists including Eric Paslay, Stars Go Dim, Love & The Outcome, and Sierra Hull. She writes relatable, original music in various genres, from country and folk to cinematic pop, hoping to inspire and uplift her listeners. Outside of music, Emily enjoys hiking with her husband and playing with her comical cat, Olive.

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