Jach Discusses: The Top 10 Songs of the 90s

Posted: September 12, 2012 by Jachelle in Jach, Music, Top 10
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I’m aliiiiive.

I know you were all panic stricken at my absence here on the blog. I wish I could attribute it to something exciting like turning invisible and being recruited as a secret operative by the CIA. Alas, my only excuse is laziness. BUT NO MORE. I’m hoping to get back into the swing of things here on Media Nerd Alert, and I’m going to do so by delving into the era of my childhood.

Last week one of the radio stations here in town was having a “Best of the 90s” weekend. I can’t tell you how much fun it was to drive around hearing NSync, Cake, Garbage, and a whole host of other artists on my radio again. It had me reminiscing about all the songs that I grew up listening to. So, I decided to compile a list of my top ten favorite songs from the 90s. Let’s do this.

Before I dive in, here are two things.

1) This list is my top ten songs of the 90s. Meaning the songs that I loved the most. I know there was a TON of awesome music throughout the decade, but as a teenager living in Salt Lake City, I didn’t have the most diverse music tastes. I’m proud to say that since then, I’ve branched out. Going back through all the music of the 90s, I found a hell of a lot of music that I adore now. For the purposes of this list, however, I’m trying to stick with the music I listened to back then. Basically, I’m saying there’s going to be a scary amount of pop music on this list. So, yeah. Enjoy that.

2) Oh my god, this was so hard. I literally spent an entire afternoon agonizing over what songs were going to make the list and which weren’t. It was like chopping off limbs to cut my list down from thirty songs to ten. So many songs have crazy and wonderful memories attached to them. I just really loved the 90s, you guys. The boy-band posters covering my walls, the Spice Girls karaoke with my friends. I love it.


10. My Heart Will Go On – Celine Dion

Say whatever you want about the movie, my friends. There was no denying that this song was everywhere for awhile. It was inescapable. Despite the fact that it was overplayed, I still think it’s a beautiful song. I remember going down to Sam Goody at the local mall and buying the soundtrack just so I could have this song in my collection. I would sit in my room listening to it and daydreaming about falling in love with someone like Jack Dawson. Clearly that has yet to happen, but I’ve waited this long…it’s bound to happen sooner or later, right? Yeah. Let’s go with that.

09. Give Me One Reason – Tracy Chapman

Whenever I did manage to venture out of my bubblegum pop existence, it was usually because I was listening to some of my mom’s music. She’s the one who first introduced me to Tracy Chapman. To this day, Fast Car is still easily one of my favorite songs of all time. For this list, however, I went with Give Me One Reason because it was the first song of hers that I ever listened to. I adore Tracy Chapman. I think her songs are beautiful and I still listen to her music on a regular basis. I wish she got more love.

08. One Headlight – The Wallflowers

Oh dear lord, THE WALLFLOWERS. I can’t even express how much I used to love these guys. They were the first band I really fell in love with when I was moving out of my teenybopper phase and branching out into other music. To this day I’m not really sure what it was about them that I was so enamored with…actually, no, that’s a lie. It was Jakob Dylan. Rawr. The eyes. The lips. Is it getting warm in here? Just me, then. Despite my insane crush on Dylan, I really enjoyed their music as well. It was the first time I really remember listening to lyrics and and realizing that music could be more about catchy hooks. Music could really mean something! That’s a rabbit hole I’ve never been able to find my way back out of. Not that I’m complaining.

07. Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It – Will Smith

Have Dee and I fangirled on here about Will Smith yet? I can’t remember. We have a SERIOUS amount of love for him. We have Will Smith dance parties during the week and pretty much sigh and flutter over him constantly. He’s funny, he’s charming, he’s handsome, he’s genuine. HE IS PERFECT. Anyway. No one can remember the 90s without thinking about Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. And trust me, that show will always have a special place in my heart, (I still dance the Carlton).  But he also had a lot of success with his fist solo album, Big Willie Style. Men in Black, Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It, Miami, there were a lot of hits! And as a sheltered teenager living in suburbia, this was a fun way for me to enjoy rap. Okay… it’s STILL a fun way for me to enjoy rap. When I went to go find the video just now on YouTube, I’m not ashamed to admit I sat on my couch and danced to the whole damn thing. BONUS VIDEO! Will Smith singing the Fresh Prince theme song on Graham Norton. And since I couldn’t find a gif of Will gettin’ jiggy, here’s a picture of him after punching an alien. I love you forever, Will.

06. The Proclaimers – I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)

When I wake up, well I know I’m gonna be, I’m gonna be the man who wakes up next to you. THIS SONG. I love this song. I actually adore the Proclaimers in general. I still listen to them all the time whilst dancing around and singing in my best Scottish accent. Can I just say how much I love that they sing in their accents? (BONUS VIDEO! The Proclaimers singing “Throw The R Away“) They’re a bit nerdy, they’re Scottish, and play music that’s catchy and fun. What’s not to love here? I’m Gonna Be was the first single I ever heard from them and I fell in love immediately. I even did a report about one of their songs in school once. They’re awesome. I won’t hear a word against them. Neither will David Tennant. BONUS VIDEO X2. David Tennant (of Doctor Who fame) fanboys the Proclaimers.

05. I Believe I Can Fly – R. Kelly

LISTEN. I know R. Kelly has had some issues over the years. But this song is one of the anthems of my childhood, okay? I REGRET NOTHING. I think I’ve seen Space Jam more times than I could possibly count. I remember singing this song constantly. And oh my God, I’m just now noticing is he wearing a ZEBRA PRINT JACKET IN THIS VIDEO? Excuse me while I laugh forever. Oh man. At any rate, I love this song. I couldn’t make this list and not include it. SPACE JAM FOREVER.

04. Alanis Morissette – Ironic

You remember this song! The one that everyone liked to pretentiously point out wasn’t actually ironic? YES, THAT ONE. I’ve never had any shame about loving Alanis. Her Jagged Little Pill album was one of my favorites in middle school. My BFF and I would have sleepovers and dance around her living room to this song. I’m feeling the nostalgic urge to blast this song and rock out in my pajamas right now.

03. Jewel – Who Will Save Your Soul

I would play Jewel’s “Pieces of You” album on repeat for weeks on end. She (along with Tracy Chapman) was my first real introduction into the world of folk music, a genre that I will always love. Honestly, when this song first came out, I had zero idea what it was really about. I just loved getting lost in the music and her voice, but I’ve come to appreciate it more over time now that I’ve been out in the world a little more. I’m not really sure whatever happened to Jewel. I know she wrote some poetry then she sort of fell off the map…hang on, I’m googling this. So the internet tells me she’s actually released TEN albums. Holy crap. Did you guys know that? I so didn’t know that. Way to go, Jewel?

02. Spice Girls – Wannabe

GIRL POWER! Like I could make a list of the best 90s music and not include the Spice Girls. I think I might have been kicked out of the chick club if I’d tried that. But seriously. There’s no denying that the Spice Girls were a phenomenon. It was hard to grow up as a girl in the 90s and not be enamored with the idea of Girl Power. The Spice Girls were funny and sassy and they inspired a whole generation of girls to be strong and independent and have fun. Hell to the yeah.

01. Backstreet Boys – I Want It That Way

This is where it all ends up. I said it before, I was a MASSIVE teenybopper back in the day. I lived for boy-bands. I bought all the Bop and BB magazines and papered my bedroom walls with posters of Backstreet Boys and NSync. I loved all of them. 98 Degrees, Five, BBMak, Hanson, the list goes on. I could easily do a Top Ten of just my favorite boy-band songs (and let’s face it, some time soon I might do just that). So in order to keep this list from being overrun, I chose my favorite song by my favorite band. The Backstreet Boys are hanging here in the top spot, representing all the boy-bands who will forever be #1 in my heart. (Yeah, I really just wrote that.) It’s impossible to look back on my time growing up in the 90s without thinking of all the boy-bands that I was completely in love with. They were the soundtrack of my adolescence.  I remember vehemently arguing with my dad over dinner one night when he informed me that no way would the Backstreet Boys still be around in ten years. I was horrified at the very thought that my favorite band in the world would never NOT be around. I think I even tried to bet him. WELL GUESS WHAT, DAD? They’re still kicking! They just finished up a tour with NKOTB, they’ve got a new album coming out, and they’re about to celebrate 20 freaking years together. You owe me $20.

So there you have it. Jach’s Top 10 Songs of the 90s. There are so many more I wish I could have included, but in the end, I thought this was a pretty damn good list. I’m sure if little 1990’s Jach could see this list, she’d approve too. And then write in her diary about what giant nerd her older self turns into.

Hope you guys enjoyed! Leave a comment with some of your fave 90s tunes!

  1. Jess says:

    The Wallflowers and The Verve Pipe (for the life of me I cannot remember, what made us think that we were wise and we’d never compromise – YES) were definitely my gateway too, though I consider my tastes eclectic, so I’ve never really left behind my country “phase” and my oldies one and so on, and you’ll have to pry the pop music out of my cold dead fingers.

    While radio now includes a lot of crossover, I think a great deal of it has altered itself to appeal to the Top 40 market (like pop-country, WHICH I LOVE TOO, DON’T GET ME WRONG), rather than held on to its core. In the nineties, I think that ALL of us, as a generation, were much more eclectic in terms of what we’d shoot to popularity on the radio, so we enjoyed a decade of music that was much richer for the variety.

    Of course, I am totally biased. 😉


    • Jachelle says:

      The Verve Pipe were so fantastic. And you’re right. I don’t think there’s been an era with quite as much diversity as the 90s. Grunge, Rock, Pop, R&B, Country. There were pretty massive hits in just about every genre of music.


  2. warren =P says:

    Fabulous list! Would loved to have seen a top 20 as I’m sure there was amazingness on the cutting room floor. Would make an awesome(ly short) mixtape

    My unsolicited list would be somewhat similar…
    I would trade Celine out for something eternally 90s like OMC – How Bizarre or Squirrel Nut Zippers – Afterlife or Cherry Poppin Daddies – Zoot Suit Riot

    Any Green Day song would replace Will Smith. Seal – Kiss From a Rose replaces R. Kelly. Sublime replaces Jewel. Somehow BSB and the Spice Girls would have to share #2 since Britney will always be number 1 in my book.

    Ps. One or none of my suggestions may possibly not originate from the 90s. So call me maybe?

    Pps. Am so tired so possibly rambly or just weird…


    • Jachelle says:

      Oh my lord. I’d completely forgotten about How Bizarre. I LOVED that song! I actually listened to a lot of Sublime as well, they almost made the list too. And while I do adore Brit, I honestly didn’t start listening to her stuff until well after the 90’s were over. So that’s why she isn’t on the list either. I was trying to stick with what I was actually listening to at the time, versus songs I love now that were popular in that era.

      I love your list, though! I’m thinking a Best of the 90s mix needs to be complied and swapped.


      • warren =P says:

        Love it. Well you know me and my Britney CDs…those things can out a guy so quick. Anyways, I do adore a challenge so I accept a best of the 90s mix CD trade. Name your terms


  3. Congrats, Jach! I believe you have the first top songs of the 90’s in existence that doesn’t have Nirvana, it’s a nice departure.


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