This list has been the hardest to compile so far by a wide margin, for several reasons. When the 1990s began, I was seven years old, and the music I was most familiar with was the Phantom of the Opera soundtrack that my dad was always playing and the Super Mario Bros. theme song. By the time they ended, I was seventeen, had gone through about ten favorite bands, and was eagerly anticipating the release of the new Radiohead album. It’s hard to rank songs from a time period when I was so many different people.
Also, I could never really decide if I wanted this to be a list of songs that I loved at the time, or songs that I really love now. In the end, it’s a little bit of both, and sort of suffers because of that. There are songs on here that I don’t even have in my music collection anymore, and also songs that I never really listened to until five years ago.
But the real reason this was so difficult is that I’m absolutely sure that I’m forgetting things. I have a pretty good grasp on music from the 2000s, and didn’t really feel like I was leaving anything major out. This time I feel like there could possibly be a song out there that I might have put in my top ten that I didn’t even think of. Let me know if you see any glaring omissions.
So, all that said, here are my ninety favorite songs of the nineties:
90) Kris Kross – “Jump” (1992)
An appropriate song to start things off. This isn’t the oldest song on this list, but it might be the oldest song here of which I was a huge fan from day one. I spent about six months of my ninth year listening to my Totally Krossed Out cassette non-stop on my Walkman.
89) Cornershop – “Brimful of Asha” (1997)
This song, and this entire album, really, is such a weird blip on the nineties pop scene. Making this list made it clear to me that while music was much better in the 2000s, it was quirkier and seemed to take more risks in the 1990s. I was introduced to the song, and the band, when this video appeared on the short-lived MTV show 12 Angry Viewers.
88) Coolio – “Gangsta’s Paradise (feat L.V.)” (1995)
Johanna said this had to be on the list, and I suppose she’s right. I loved it at the time, obviously, but don’t have much to say about it now, so instead let me just suggest that all of you go Google the lyrics to another single off of this album “1,2,3,4 (Sumpin’ New).” Johanna and I had each other in hysterics talking about them.