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#1 Edited by Captain_Insano (3469 posts) -

Update: I ended up pulling the plug on the tournament bracket idea, sorry! I started putting it together tonight, but my list of songs was already out to 112 even with me culling a lot. I have not been able to find anything online that can handle a bracket (free at least) for people to vote that can have more than 32 or 64 items. I think going through this thread there are a few standouts. Plus, the true value of this thread is in the nostalgia. Sorry for pulling the pin!


For people who have already answered, I will pick one or two songs from the lists that you have provided - ideally to cover an area that may not have yet been mentioned.

In a couple of weeks I'll set up a new set of topics with a tournament bracket and polls so we can get to the ultimate MOST 90s song.

The song has to have been released in the 90s to qualify.

What do you think is the MOST 90s song?

Not necessarily the 'best', but the song that really typifies the 1990s for you?

Obviously there's a broad range - you might be into Grunge, so Smells Like Teen Spirit = 90s. Or maybe the rise of pre-fab bands with Spice Girls or Hanson.

My answer, really, has to be:

#2 Edited by Captain_Insano (3469 posts) -

Captain_Insano marked this as the best answer

I don't miss the 90s that much, but there was just something really 'distinct' about the 90s in terms of culture. From the ones mentioned so far, the most '90s' (to me) are:

  • Semi Charmed Kinda Life (I mentioned this so, yea)
  • Two Princes
  • Wannabe
  • Come as You Are/Black Hole Sun/All of the grunge genre
  • Mr Jones
  • Barbie Girl
  • California Love (it is a very 90s form of hip hop - let's chuck in Gangsta's Paradise along with this and we're set)

The following could be any generic created boy band, but screams 90s to me (also I saw these guys recently on a local TV quiz show - well, it's shown nationally here in Aus - seeing them as like 30 year old dudes is a real nostalgia trip)

Also - rollerblading!!

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I've also just realised that 90s music simply = a lot of gibberish in the middle of songs

#3 Posted by Damodar (2156 posts) -

I don't know if it's necessarily the MOST 90s song, but the thing that instantly came into my head before anything else was this bad boy:

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#4 Posted by TopCat88 (369 posts) -
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It's this. For me anyway. The first album I ever bought on casette.

#5 Posted by BoccKob (471 posts) -
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I think this about covers it.

#6 Posted by viking_funeral (2881 posts) -

Alanis Morissette - Ironic

Beck - Loser

Presidents of the United States - Peaches

The aforementioned 'Two Princes' is also a good choice.

#7 Posted by Teddie (2103 posts) -
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Apparently they sent this song to a bunch of radio stations and told people to ring up and request this song.

#8 Posted by mems1224 (2480 posts) -

you're welcome

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#9 Posted by dudeglove (13662 posts) -

@damodar: I literally did not know the name of this blasted song or the shitting group that sang it, but I heard it all the damn time throughout the 90s.

If we were not focused on shitty North American rock bands, I'd have suggested something by Aqua (though tbh, Barbie Girl is pretty evergreen), or The Vengaboys (did you know there's a museum to them?)

#10 Posted by WhatsHisFace (745 posts) -
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There are other songs, but this was the one that I first thought of.

#11 Posted by Captain_Insano (3469 posts) -

@damodar: this was almost my first pick by Semi Charmed Kinda Life pipped it

#12 Posted by BeachThunder (15106 posts) -
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I don't think you could mistake this as being from any other decade.

#13 Posted by FrodoBaggins (1939 posts) -

Hmmmmm, possibly Don't Look Back In Anger. Also Spice Girls is a really good choice.

#14 Posted by TheHT (15786 posts) -
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#15 Posted by WhatsHisFace (745 posts) -
#16 Posted by soulcake (2581 posts) -

Scatman ? or Mambo #5 pick your poison.

#17 Posted by FrodoBaggins (1939 posts) -
#18 Edited by BrunoTheThird (821 posts) -
  • Hit Me Baby One More Time.
  • Everybody - Backstreet Boys
  • Bye Bye Bye - NSYNC


For me personally, though? It was:

  • Mulder and Scully - Catatonia
  • Smashing Pumpkins - 1979
  • Flim - Aphex Twin
  • Karma Police - Radiohead
  • Gone 'til November - Wyclef
  • Ready or Not - The Fugees
  • Gangsta's Paradise - Coolio

And so on.

#19 Edited by Sarnecki (1341 posts) -

Ahhhhh 90's music. Born in 88, 90's music is like sinking into a warm bath of nostalgia.

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#20 Posted by deactivated-5a00c029ab7c1 (1777 posts) -
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God I miss the 90's

#21 Posted by Sarnecki (1341 posts) -

@frodobaggins: Probably because it's the Freebird of the Oasis playlist. The dreaded over played over loved song so to speak.

#22 Posted by Sarnecki (1341 posts) -
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#23 Posted by OurSin_360 (6107 posts) -
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#24 Posted by korwin (3918 posts) -

Most 90's? None of these are the right answer

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Or maybe

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Or finally

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Really if you were going to be a hot bangin' 90's pop artist you had to shoot a film clip on a tropical beach.

#25 Posted by Captain_Insano (3469 posts) -

@korwin: All That She Wants is indeed VERY 90s. Great answer.

#26 Edited by FrodoBaggins (1939 posts) -
#27 Edited by WhatsHisFace (745 posts) -

@sarnecki said:

@frodobaggins: Probably because it's the Freebird of the Oasis playlist. The dreaded over played over loved song so to speak.

Pretty much this. There was a time when this song was played everywhere, all the time, even though it's not their best song (at least to me.) And I think Noel was a better vocal than Liam.

And talking about overplayed songs, Bittersweet Symphony. It's a good song but I heard it way too many times.

#28 Edited by Captain_Insano (3469 posts) -

Can someone say FIFA World Cup 98?

Oh shit.

Is Song 2 by Blur also an answer?

too much 90s!

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#29 Edited by SMTDante89 (2936 posts) -

"The Impression That I Get" by The Mighty Mighty Bosstones.

"All My Friends are Metalheads" by Less Than Jake.

"Sell Out" or their cover of A-Ha's "Take On Me" by Reel Big Fish.

*insert other third wave ska track here*

#30 Edited by linkster7 (1371 posts) -
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I'll contribute with a song I ironically like and one I actually like, I'll let you figure out which is which.

@sarnecki I always thought Champagne Supernova was the Free bird of the Oasis playlist. Wonder Wall is more like the Tuesday's Gone of Oasis

EDIT: Totally posted the wrong Cardigans song, this is the real 90's one

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#31 Edited by Dave_Tacitus (2424 posts) -

We need some:

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And even though it just scrapes into the 90s, it makes my teeth itch to such an extent that I can't not include it:

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Which leads us to the actual best single of the 90s:

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EDIT - How could I forget the other 'walking' video, and 2nd best single of the 90s?

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#32 Edited by Hayt (1641 posts) -

I second Blue. It was used to establish the setting of the 90s in Ironman 3 and it was crazy effective. Once you hear that there is no doubt.

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#33 Posted by andythemeZ (395 posts) -

Thee Macarena

#34 Posted by Sarnecki (1341 posts) -
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#35 Edited by TheManWithNoPlan (7827 posts) -
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#36 Posted by BeachThunder (15106 posts) -

I'm just going to leave these here...

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#37 Posted by FrodoBaggins (1939 posts) -
#38 Edited by KaleFactory (14 posts) -
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#39 Posted by Captain_Insano (3469 posts) -

I'm just going to leave these here...

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You are close to winning this thread. And also losing this thread at the same time.

#40 Edited by Cagliostro88 (1238 posts) -
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#41 Edited by forkboy (1650 posts) -

'90s music is weird because my memories from childhood is mostly of really bad music. Like, the songs that you'd most associate with the decade, Hit Me Baby One More Time, I Will Always Love You, Tubthumping, Pretty Fly For A White Guy, Ice Ice Baby, Blue, it's a lot of what I'd regard as guff. And then I stop & think & a lot of my favourite tunes are from the '90s. I suppose of the hits it's got to be Smells Like Teen Spirit.

And then I think about and there's reams of amazing shit if you scratch the surface. Which I suppose the case is the same with every decade. So I dunno, something makes me think of the '90s is the mashup of hip hop & heavy metal. Shit like Rage Against The Machine, Anthrax with Public Enemy, Judgement Night soundtrack with tracks featuring collabs like Faith No More & Boo-Ya Tribe & then a bit later you had the nightmare of nu-metal. So it had some good & bad. But the one track that comes to mind, it doesn't actually feature much in the way of rapping even though the lead vocalist is a rapper. It's the highly political Cop Killer by Body Count, a band founded by Ice T & some people he knew from high school and it's some great damn crossover metal. I was surprised to find out their first record was recorded a couple months before the Rodney King assault & resulting riots because it does seem to sum up a lot of the righteous anger at the LAPD.

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#42 Edited by Max_Cherry (1572 posts) -

I was born in '89. So, I think I would know what I'm talking about when it comes to the 90's. Let me see. Here are some that come to mind:

Nirvana smells like teen spirit

Ace of Base the sign

R.E.M. Losing my religion

R.E.M Shiny Happy People

Mc Hammer Can't touch this

Aqua Barbie girl

Sublime Wrong way

BareNaked Ladies one week

Rage against the machine killing in the name of

The Proclaimers I would Walk 500 miles (I'm aware that this song is technically from the late 80's, but it is still hella 90's)

Chumbawamba tubthumping

Sophie B. Hawkins As I Lay me down to sleep

Shawn Colvin Sunny Came Home

Green Day Basket Case

No Doubt Don't speak

Alanis Morrisette Ironic

Faith Hill This Kiss

Semisonic Closing Time

Semisonic Across The Great Divide

L7 Pretend that we're dead

Soul asylum runaway train

Eve 6 Inside Out

Also, the entire soundtrack to GTA: San Andreas

#43 Edited by Kevin_Cogneto (1886 posts) -
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Way too much late 90s in this thread, and not nearly enough early 90s.

#44 Posted by Max_Cherry (1572 posts) -
#45 Edited by ShaggE (9188 posts) -

Being one who spends far too much time wallowing in his own nostalgia (and thus, 90s music), I have to chime in here. And after a long, generic montage of me doing random math and pouring liquids into beakers, I have found the answer:

The most 90s song is...

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One could argue that this is actually one of the last gasps of the 80s, but to that I say "Nuh uh, shut up".

Edit, because I feel like expanding: Of course, the 90s had some distinct mini-eras going for them (the 80s-esque beginning, the "X-TREEME" ending, etc.), so for those, I'd pick:

Nirvana - Smells Like Teen Spirit (cliche, sure, but it captured the "whatever" Gen-X slacker movement perfectly)

Seal - Kiss From A Rose (BABEAH! Not only is the song itself very 90s, but imagine a modern Batman movie leading off its soundtrack with an R&B jam. The Dark Knight Soundtrack Featuring Dru Hill. Yeah, no. Still a legitimately kickass song, though)

Quad City DJs - Space Jam (Might actually beat my original pick for "most 90s song", in hindsight)

Sixpence None The Richer - Kiss Me (Mainly because of its ties to Dawson's Creek, which is up for consideration if we have a "most 90s TV shows" discussion. It's also one of those songs that I love SOLELY because of nostalgia. If it came out today, I'd probably disregard it completely.)

Spin Doctors - Two Princes (Do I even need to comment on this one?)

Korn - Got The Life/Freak On A Leash (These songs, although far from the first for either Korn or nu-metal, are synonymous with that era for me. Nu-metal was a mistake, but Korn at least made it palatable and oddly "fun")

Celine Dion - My Heart Will Go On (If you're a younger folk reading this, know that this song and the accompanying movie were YUGE. Like, remember how big Avatar was for a little while before everyone collectively moved on? That was nothing. And this song made sure ERRBODY knew that Titanic was... ahem... making waves)

Green Day [just in general] (It seemed like every sub-era of the 90s had an accompanying Green Day single. From "Welcome To Paradise" to ever-popular-to-ironic-effect grad song "Good Riddance", they had the decade on lock. I'm not a fan of post-90s Green Day, but they used to be pretty great)

Alanis Morissette [again, in general] - (There were a lot of "alternative female artists" in the 90s, and who summed it up better than Alanis? "Ironic" jokes aside, releasing an awesomely venomous song to get revenge on Dave Coulier is the most 90s thing a person can do)

... Okay, I'm stopping now before I spend all day talking about 90s music. Again.

DAMMIT. I forgot TLC. Okay, real quick: Waterfalls and No Scrubs. Fucking awesome songs. I kinda have a soft spot for Unpretty as well. Doesn't matter what scene you were into, I think we all secretly or not-so-secretly liked TLC.

#46 Edited by ArtisanBreads (9107 posts) -

@shagge: dude yes I am so with you I think the MOST 90's thing is that kind of dance music shit. To me it was an evolution of the 80s sound.

For me personally I would have to say some 90's Hip-Hop (of course different genres have great choices) and go with:

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Later 90's yes but I think it had time to marinate. I think Pun is SO 90's, when fat men could really rule hip-hop.

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#47 Edited by ArtisanBreads (9107 posts) -

A couple of side notes:

I think you could easily just post an early 2000's song in here and have it win basically because the early 2000's was still the 90's rule is real (as Drew Scanlon would bring up on Demo Derby).

Interesting to a lot of this is the actual Billboard charts. I'm not sure if people ever look at that shit but I do out of curiosity and it's funny to see that even stuff people remember as huge like Nirvana really wasn't that big besides Smells Like Teen Spirit. There was so much poppy, R&B type stuff that dominated that people don't really bring up, at least that I see much.

Do more research, but here's a quick list of the top 20 songs for example:

1. "How Do I Live" - LeAnn Rimes

Hot 100 Peak Position: 2, Peak Date: December 13, 1997

2. "Macarena (Bayside Boys Mix)" - Los Del Rio

Hot 100 Peak Position: 1, Peak Date: August 3, 1996

3. "Un-Break My Heart" - Toni Braxton

Hot 100 Peak Position: 1, Peak Date: December 7, 1996

4. "Foolish Games/You Were Meant For Me" - Jewel

Hot 100 Peak Position: 2, Peak Date: April 19, 1997

5. "(Everything I Do) I Do It For You" - Bryan Adams

Hot 100 Peak Position: 1, Peak Date: July 27, 1991

6. "I'll Make Love To You" - Boyz II Men

Hot 100 Peak Position: 1, Peak Date: August 27, 1994

7. "Too Close" - Next

Hot 100 Peak Position: 1, Peak Date: April 25, 1998

8. "One Sweet Day" - Mariah Carey & Boyz II Men

Hot 100 Peak Position: 1, Peak Date: December 2, 1995

9. "Truly Madly Deeply" - Savage Garden

Hot 100 Peak Position: 1, Peak Date: January 17, 1998

10. "Candle In The Wind 1997/Something About The Way You Look Tonight" - Elton John

Hot 100 Peak Position: 1, Peak Date: October 11, 1997

11. "End Of The Road" (From Boomerang) - Boyz II Men

Hot 100 Peak Position: 1, Peak Date: August 15, 1992

12. "The Sign" - Ace Of Base

Hot 100 Peak Position: 1, Peak Date: March 12, 1994

13. "The Boy Is Mine" - Brandy and Monica

Hot 100 Peak Position: 1, Peak Date: June 6, 1998

14. "Because I Love You (The Postman Song)" - Stevie B

Hot 100 Peak Position: 1, Peak Date: December 8, 1990

15. "Whoomp! (There It Is)" - Tag Team

Hot 100 Peak Position: 2, Peak Date: July 31, 1993

16. "Rush Rush" - Paula Abdul

Hot 100 Peak Position: 1, Peak Date: June 15, 1991

17. "You're Still The One" - Shania Twain

Hot 100 Peak Position: 2, Peak Date: May 2, 1998

18. "I Will Always Love You" - Whitney Houston

Hot 100 Peak Position: 1, Peak Date: November 28, 1992

19. "Gangsta's Paradise" (From Dangerous Minds) - Coolio Featuring L.V.

Hot 100 Peak Position: 1, Peak Date: September 9, 1995

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

Hot 100 Peak Position: 1, Peak Date: April 21, 1990

So in reality if we were doing a TRUE song of the 90's it'd be some poppy R&B thing. Not that that stuff has endured, like I mentioned. Out of the top 20 list I like "Whoop! (There it is) by Tag Team and "Gangsta's Paradise" by Coolio as choices. Gangsta's Paradise was so big the parody was huge.

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But I also quite enjoy mocking the 90's rightfully and taking the Macarena. Super 90's dumb and it was number 2!

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#48 Posted by sravankb (544 posts) -

I... I kinda like a lot of these. Am I a bad person?

#49 Posted by User_Undefined (308 posts) -

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First one that came to my head. It shouldn't have taken more than 30 posts before this showed up.

#50 Posted by Max_Cherry (1572 posts) -