Oh the 90’s. The pre-9/11 era of innocence. When I had all the friends in the world and no cares aside from homework and choosing which *NSYNC member I wanted to marry (FYI I believe that honor ultimately went to JC)… There was and will always be something special about the music from this decade. Running home from school to watch TRL with my friends, recording our favorite music videos on VHS tapes and rewinding and then replaying them 10 times in a row to practice the dance moves, calling in to Z100’s 9 at 9 when it was still cool, making cassette tape mixes, going to The Wiz to buy new singles (literally, one song on a cassette or CD). Ah it was amazing and I’m super happy my childhood and pre-teen years occurred before social media took over. Everything is too easy to consume now. We had to work for it. Go 80’s babies!
Anyways, from the height of the boy band era, to the ultimate pop princesses, to sweet r&b and hip-hop, here’s a list of some of my favorite classic 90’s jams (ok most are from 1999 because apparently that was the best year for music but still):
Backstreet Boys “The One” and “I Want It That Way” – Millennium is arguably (but not really because it is) their best album. “The One” is an intergalactic upbeat love song, and no one on planet earth can decipher what’s going on lyrically in “I Want It That Way”(and believe me they’ve tried), which makes it even more special.
Boyz II Men “I’ll Make Love To You” – I saw these lovely men live in concert 2 years ago for the first time and damn, they’ve still got it. If you want to please any crowd, just throw on this song.
Brandy “Almost Doesn’t Count” – Brandy’s 1998 Never Say Never album was on constant replay in my CD player. This song always sounded good but the lyrics and message started to mean more over the years.
Britney Spears “…Baby One More Time” – My best friend and I choreographed our own dance to this song and performed it dressed up as Ginger and Baby Spice for our family. Because that’s how we entertained ourselves back then. And I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
Celine Dion “My Heart Will Go On” – 90’s kids, we’ll never let go.
Christina Aguilera “Genie In A Bottle” – This is when pop started getting a bit more “edgy”, a bit more “sexy”. Her debut album was always one of my favorites.
Chumbawamba “Tubthumping” – Who doesn’t want to piss the night away to this jam?
Destiny’s Child “Say My Name” – Ugh, I love the all-female, girl-power groups of the 90’s. These ladies were the perfect amount of fierce.
Hanson “MMMBop” – No explanation needed.
Jessica Simpson “I Think I’m In Love With You” – I had like 20 crushes in the 90’s and I dedicated this song to all of them.
Jordan Knight “Give It To You” – One of the many songs way too sexual for us at the time but we had no idea what the hell was going on so no harm done.
K-CI & JoJo “All My Life” – Pure r&b perfection. I mean, people were obsessed with this song. Myself included.
LFO “Summer Girls” – This super popular song was like nothing we’d ever heard before and we consumed it like scavengers.
Mariah Carey “Always Be My Baby” – This sweet song is a staple in any 90’s music collection. And if it’s not in yours you should be ashamed of yourself! (Just kidding but seriously)
Monica “Angel Of Mine” – They just don’t make jams like this anymore.
Every *NSYNC song that came out in the 90’s – Praise. Here’s “I Want You Back” since it was the first single.
Real McCoy “Another Night” – The quintessential 90’s dance track.
Robyn “Show Me Love” – Today’s pop stars should just bow down because you can’t compete with this masterpiece of a song.
Sisqo “Thong Song” – Enough mushy love songs. I want to go back to a time when the hottest song on the radio was about thongs dammit!
Spice Girls “Wannabe” – My favorite girl group of all time. What 90’s girl didn’t sing along to this song with her friends and feel like the coolest person in the world? None of them.