I really enjoyed the 5 part (and 5 hour if you don’t have a DVR) special “100 Greatest Songs of the 90s” that VH1 ran. You can see the complete list on the VH1 site here. It did make me wonder though whether there were some songs that were neglected from the list. So I opened up Winamp and started looking through my music to see if I could spot any. It didn’t take long to see that there were some blaring omissions. So behold my list of songs. One thing to note is that I didn’t bother to include a song if the band had any that made the top 100.
So here’s my list:
1. Depeche Mode – Enjoy the Silence – from Violator – 1990
I’ve been a fan of this band since the mid 80s. I’ve seen them live many times and I buy they’re new releases sight unseen. Martin Gore has a knack for coming up with some great lyrics that make the gears in your brain spin.
More 90s songs: Personal Jesus, Policy of Truth, I Feel You
2. Moby – South Side – from Play – 1999
You can throw a dart at the “Play” CD and probably have a worthy song but it was the track that paired him with Gwen Stefani that packed a 1-2 punch for me.
More 90s songs: Go, Porcelain, Anthem
3. Tori Amos – Silent all these Years – from Little Earthquakes – 1992
Tori is considered a great artist by many. And this is regarded as her best CD ever by most reviewers. Here’s one of the most powerful lyrics: “Boy you best pray that I bleed real soon. How’s that thought for ya?”.
More 90s songs: Crucify, Cornflake Girl, God
4. Nine Inch Nails – Hurt – from The Downward Spiral – 1994
Closer was the bigger hit, but man…Hurt is a very powerful song.
More 90s songs: Closer, March of the Pigs, The Fragile
5. Seal – Prayer for the Dying – from Seal – 1994
Many would argue that the tracks Crazy or Killer from his 1991 debut should have made it, but I’m a bigger fan of Seal’s Chill Out tracks that would come several years later.
More 90s songs: Crazy, Killer, Kiss from a Rose
6. Bjork – Hyper Ballad – from Post – 1995
I’ve always been a huge Bjork fan. It actually started when she was in The Sugarcubes. I was lucky enough to see them open up for U2 many moons ago. She’s also undeniably one of the best music video artists out there.
More 90s songs: Human Behavior, All is full of Love, Hunter
7. A Tribe Called Quest – Check the Rhime – from The Low End Theory – 1991
I was a fan of some Rap back in the 90s and this was probably the CD I played the most. These guys had a knack for the verse and some sweet beats. Qtip is dope.
More 90s songs: Buggin’ out, The Scenario, Award Tour
8. Dave Mathews Band – Ants Marching – from Under the Table and Dreaming – 1994
Dave came out of nowhere with a very unique sound and a bandmate who plays a mean ass fiddle. I first heard the song on KCRW here in LA.
More 90s songs: Satellite, So Much to Say, Crash into Me
9. No Doubt – Sunday Morning – from Tragic Kingdom – 1995
Before Gwen became a pop star, and there’s nothing wrong with that, she was the rockin’ voice behind her ska inspired band. This song still makes me want to jump repeatedly every time I hear it.
More 90s songs: Just a Girl, Spiderwebs, Simple Kind of Life
10. Hole – Celebrity Skin – from Celebrity Skin – 1998
I must admit to having both pre and mis-judged what Hole would sound like knowing that this was the wife of Kurt Cobain and was probably funded by him. Boy was I wrong. Celebrity skins has one of the most powerful openings of any song. Courtney proved she wasn’t a novelty. Well….musically speaking.
More 90s songs: Doll Parts, Miss World, Awful
11. Creed – Higher – from Human Clay – 1999
This is definitely a band that didn’t get the critical acclaim they deserve. Reviewers claimed they were “derivative” and “formulaic”. Uh, had they listened to pop music? And it wasn’t even as bad as it is now back in the 90s.
More 90s songs: With Arms Wide Open, My Own Prison, Are you Ready
Turns out that VH1 has a message board dedicated to their “Greatest” shows so you can join the fray if you want here