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Best Songs of the 1990s


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Just for a change of pace, let's look at a decade that is not quite old enough to attract a lot of nostalgia.

Here's my Top 15, in no particular order...which will change tomorrow anyway...feel free to name 1, 2, 5, 20, whatever...

1. "The Other Side of Summer" - Elvis Costello

2. "Distant Sun" - Crowded House

3. "Common People" - Pulp

4. "Wake Up Boo!" - Boo Radleys

5. "Don't Look Back in Anger" - Oasis

6. "Joining A Fan Club" - Jellyfish

7. "Song 2" - Blur

8. "Neil Jung" - Teenage Fanclub

9. "Not Alone" - Bernard Butler

10. "Losing My Religion" - R.E.M.

11. "She Will Have Her Way" - Neil Finn

12. "You May Be Right" - Grapes of Wrath

13. "Nothing Compares 2 U" - Sinead O'Connor

14. "Alright" - Supergrass

15. "Big White Lies" - Chris Von Sneidern

This is, of course, not an endorsement of Sinead generally...but did she ever nail that song!

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'That Just The Way It Is Baby'....Rembrandts

'There She Goes'...The La's

'Girlfriend'...Matthew Sweet

'Radiation Vibe'...Fountains Of Wayne


'The Way'...Fastball

'Bad Reputation'...Freedy Johnston

'Hold Me Up'...Velvet Crush

'Start All Over'...Kula Shaker

'Is It Any Wonder?'...Cowsills

'Long Time Missing'...Tommy Keene

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New Mistake - Jellyfish

There She Goes - The La's

Proto-Pretty - Wondermints

Dream All Day - The Posies

It's Not Me - Supergrass

Nobody's Fault But Mine - Beck

Don't Look Down - Lindsay Buckingham

Fried Out Broken Girl - Eric Matthews

Things She Said - Toy Matinee

Looking Forward To Seeing You - Golden Smog

As usual I'm sure I'm missing some obvious gems... off the top of my head and all that..

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Since I really didn't follow much top 40 stuff during the 90's, I'll mix in some of my favorite album tracks.

Tommy Keene - Compromise

Ginblossoms - Follow You Down

Marshall Crenshaw - Fantastic Planet of Love

Bruce Springsteen - Human Touch

The Figgs - Favorite Shirt

Cheap Trick - Say Goodbye

Jason & the Scorchers - Self Sabatage

Steve Earle - Hard Core Troubadour

Posies - Dream All Day

The Knack - No Matter What

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By the 90s...I was becoming really disenchanted with the 'hits'. It got to the point where I actually hated doing a radio show. The music was boring and increasingly less unique and the fun element was gone.

This is when I really delved into Reggae and all of it's sub genres in a HUGE and meaningful way.

For me the 90s offered little in the way of positive forward innovation...and as as result we're now stuck with the crap that dominates the airwaves and video shows on TV.

It's as bad now as it was back in the early 60s when there were more 'Bobbys' on the radio than commercials. Thing is now they all have different names...usually only 1...but they almost all sound the same.

The best songs on air in the 90s were ALL oldies.

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"You Get What You Give" is my favorite song from the 90s FOR SURE!

Other gems include:

Brian Wilson - Barenaked Ladies

What A Good Boy - Barenaked Ladies

Break Your Heart - Barenaked Ladies

The Boy Who Ate Lasagna And Could Jump Over A Church - King Missile

Sinful Wishes - Kon Kan

Under The Water - Merril Bainbridge

Alice Childress - Ben Folds Five

I'm Not Afraid - Fleming and John

and the aforementioned Is It Any Wonder - The Cowsills

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As expected, I completely forgot about a couple of gems...

"Way Down Now" - World Party (or any number of songs from the "Goodbye Jumbo" album)

"At My Expense" - Thrush Hermit

"The Good in Everyone" - Sloan (or any number of songs from the "One Chord to Another" album)

"Tattva" - Kula Shaker

"Disco 2000" - Pulp

"It's Only Natural" - Crowded House

"The Obvious Child" - Paul Simon

"Mama Africa" - Chico Cesar

"Find the Answer Within" - Boo Radleys

"You Keep on Looking Back" - Mommyheads

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It's kind of ironic to recall the good songs of the 90s, as there were so few. And many of these songs you folks quoted I never even heard of!!

I would have to agree with "The Other Side of Summer"......I think "Losing My Religion" and "Nothing Compares to U" are overrated.

Seems like everyone likes "Wonderwall" the best out of the Oasis songs, but I would have to agree with Pierre on "Don't Look Back in Anger".

Of course, a lot of Nirvana. Not many other bands would come up with anything as real and consistent as those guys. Besides the obvious "Smells Like Teen Spirit", there is a song called "About a Girl" which is 60s Brit-Invasion influenced.

"Regret" by New Order....

Figuring 90s are kind of a blur.....a lot of the songs I am not sure if they are late 80s or early 2000. Excuse me for being ignorant.....

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More selections, partly prompted by other choices...

"Leave The Biker" - Fountains of Wayne

"Osiyeza (The Crossing)" - Johnny Clegg

"Drink the Sunshine" - Symposium

"That Thing You Do" - The Wonders (a great 60s pastiche, glad to see somebody else thinks so too)

"In Love Without A Girl" - Scott McCarl

"Change Would Do You Good" - Sheryl Crow

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It's finally sinking it. I REALLY tuned out about 1992. While reading the previous posts I realized I NEVER HEARD OF 95% OF THE SONGS and only know about 15 of the artists. Anyhoo, here are a few of the songs I DO remember and REALLY like:

Straight To Your Heart - Bad English

Hot Cherie - Hardline

Labor Of Love - Company Of Wolves

Solo - Choirboys (Australian)

Better Be Home Soon - Crowded House

He Thinks He'll Keep Her - Mary Chapin Carpenter

Angel Eyes - Jim Brickman

Basket Case - Greenday

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Better Be Home Soon is a great song...it's from 1988, mind you, but like all of Crowded House's songs, it gets better with time! (Or, alternatively, they were always ahead of their time!)

Speaking of timeless, I notice that nobody has mentioned either of the Beatles "reunion" songs or anything by the solo Beatles. They did much better in the 2000s, I think.

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I didn't tune in too much in the 90s, but some good ones I recall:

"My Beloved Wife", Natalie Merchant..one of the best songs of alltime, IMHO.

"Cartoon World", Eric Carmen...a gem, for my tastes.

"Summer's Coming", Clint Black

"Keeper Of The Stars", Tracy Byrd

"Don't Tell Me What To Do", Pam Tillis

"You Lie", Reba McIntyre...a great song that she absolutely nails with her big voice.

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