Top 20 90s Songs You Forgot Were Awesome



Top 20 90s Songs You Forgot Were Awesome

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Mimi Kenny
It's time for some blasts from the past! For this list, we'll be looking at the best tracks from the 1990s that you may no longer remember, but that are worth revisiting. Our countdown includes “You Get What You Give”, "Laid", “Inside Out”, “How Bizarre”, “Crush”, and more!

Top 20 90s Songs You Forgot Were Awesome

Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 20 ‘90s Songs You Forgot Were Awesome

For this list, we’ll be looking at the best tracks from the 1990s that you may no longer remember, but that are worth revisiting.

What’s your favorite forgotten ‘90s song? Let us know in the comments!

#20: “Far Behind” (1993)

There are multiple songs dedicated to the late influential grunge musician Andrew Wood, including “Would?” by Alice in Chains and this song from Candlebox. “Far Behind” is moody from the start, with its somber guitar melody and aching vocals from Kevin Martin. We get a release through the intense chorus, where Martin sounds every type of upset over what happened. While he doesn’t address Wood by name, it’s evident that his loss has affected him in a major way. "Far Behind" performed well on the Billboard charts, and it’s easy to see why. The best grunge songs find heart inside the angst, and “Far Behind” is at the front of the pack.

#19: “A Girl Like You” (1994)

Edwyn Collins
Do you have a weakness for Scottish musicians? If so, you probably fell head over heels for Edwyn Collins when this song came out. The alt-rock track made a mark thanks to the intoxicating guitar playing, its addictive melodies, and Collins' seductive voice. That’s a winning mix if we’ve ever heard one. We also can't forget the great music video and all of its dancing skeletons. “A Girl Like You” was a top 10 chart success in multiple places, and even hit number one in Iceland and Flanders. We had never heard a song like this before. And, thanks to Collins’ unique style, we’re not sure if we ever will again.

#18: “You Get What You Give” (1998)

New Radicals
We could always benefit from a song like this one. “You Get What You Give” is an endlessly peppy ‘90s classic about how we need to keep going even when the world is against us. With its jaunty melodies and Gregg Alexander’s echoing vocals, New Radicals offered a new hope, as well as a few jabs at powerful figures. While this could’ve been the perfect way to kick off a long and fruitful career, the band broke up the following year. Luckily, 2021 saw them come together to perform the track in honor of President Joe Biden’s inauguration. We still have the dreamer’s disease, and we’re not worried about a cure.

#17: “Do You Know (What it Takes)” (1995)

Music fans know that Sweden is spoiled for pop talent, with Robyn being one of the country’s biggest icons. The singer made a huge splash when she was just a teenager with the release of her single “Do You Know (What it Takes).” Bringing R&B and dance-pop vibes together, Robyn proved Sweden could groove just as well as anyone else. As she sings to someone she's considering a relationship with, she asserts her need to be treated right. And her voice fits beautifully over the song's funky production. With this work, Robyn showed she knows what it takes to create something great.

#16: “Laid” (1993)

Many hit ‘90s songs referenced intimacy in one way or another. But few were as explicit as this one from Manchester band James. A key word from the track’s opening lines was actually changed for the one version of the video, but the message is still pretty obvious. The number sounds like something that could’ve made a splash in just about any decade. That’s thanks in large part to Tim Booth’s passionate vocals and the shimmering guitar chords. Though it was released in 1993, the song later gained a new life thanks to the "American Pie" films. We have to say, a movie based directly on the lyrics today would definitely be interesting.

#15: “All My Life” (1997)

K-Ci & JoJo
Heartfelt ballads will always be in style. And brothers K-Ci & JoJo provided us with an all-time classic fit for the late ‘90s. “All My Life” is R&B at its most gorgeous, with beautiful vocal melodies, a powerful instrumental arrangement, and touching lyrics about love. There's not an ounce of cynicism to be found in this song, only affection and appreciation. It even made Billboard’s “Hot 100 Singles of the ‘90s” list, showing that a positive message can lead to a massive hit. We could listen to this song all our lives and never get tired of it.

#14: “Missing (Todd Terry Remix)” (1995)

Everything but the Girl
Maybe you’ve heard the original version of this song, which was released by English indie duo Everything but the Girl in 1994. But chances are you’re more familiar with house DJ Todd Terry’s remix. Terry’s booming beats are an unexpected but great accompaniment to Tracey Thorn and Ben Watt’s heartbroken lyrics. If there was ever a song that could make you dance and cry, it’s this one. According to Thorn, the track was always meant to be a dancey one. With this remix, Terry brought the party out without betraying the number’s inherent emotion. If you’ve missed this song “like the deserts miss the rain,” now’s the perfect time to revisit it.

#13: “U.N.I.T.Y.” (1993)

Queen Latifah
Queen Latifah has had such a remarkable career, doing everything from acting to talk show hosting flawlessly. So it’s easy to forget that she was first known as a rapper and hip-hop artist. But if you ever need a reminder of what a force she is on the mic, listen to “U.N.I.T.Y.” Not only does this song showcase Latifah’s amazing rapping and lyrical skills, but it also has a very powerful message. Addressing the misogyny that had become prevalent in the genre, the star stands up for herself and others like her. The sentiment is as relevant now as it was then, and the track is just as impactful.

#12: “Inside Out” (1998)

Eve 6
We had heard of a broken heart. But this was our first time hearing about a blended heart. This hit from alt-rockers Eve 6 is about agony both painful and poetic. As frontman Max Collins sings over the blasts of guitar, he paints a vivid picture that has the depth to resonate with any listener. "Inside Out" was the first single off of the band's self-titled debut, and they were still rather young at the time. There’s definitely plenty of angst in this song as a result, but it never gets old. Beyond that, Collins’ skills as a songwriter have made it a ‘90s rock classic.

#11: “Possum Kingdom” (1994)

If you’re looking for a whimsical song about a land populated by possums, keep looking, because you’re not going to find that here. This song, from the Texas alt-rockers Toadies, is about Possum Kingdom Lake, located close to Fort Worth. Toadies frontman Vaden Todd Lewis reportedly made up a legend about a killer who stalked the region. And the track’s spooky lyrics helped to give Possum Kingdom a new legacy. While this subject matter might be a tough sell for a popular song, the Toadies managed to balance both catchiness and creepiness. Just maybe don’t listen to it on any late-night walks, for your own sake.

#10: “Two Princes” (1991)

Spin Doctors
Some songs are just so catchy, they get stuck in your head before the first chorus. This track, from New York’s Spin Doctors, is a royal delight. The powerful drums and guitar grooves get us hooked right away, with the casual but charismatic vocals keeping us there. With its mix of loud production and pretty melodies, the song manages to be both tough and sweet. "Two Princes" became Spin Doctors' biggest hit, reaching number seven on the Billboard Hot 100, and snagging them a Grammy nomination. We wouldn’t blame you if you felt like listening to it now!

#9: “Breakfast at Tiffany's” (1993)

Deep Blue Something
When Truman Capote published “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” he probably never expected his story would become such a phenomenon. Of course, the 1961 movie it spurred is widely beloved. Deep Blue Something smartly used it as the crux of their song about a man trying to save his relationship. Despite its title, it’s been said that the words were inspired by another Audrey Hepburn film: “Roman Holiday.” Either way, it’s a great listen. With earnest vocals and a huge chorus, “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” is ‘90s rock at its most lovably sentimental. Deep Blue Something might be regarded as one-hit wonders, but we’ll always be up to grab “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” with them.

#8: “Bound for the Floor” (1996)

Local H
We hope you’re in a good mood, because this song is probably going to bring you down. On “Bound for the Floor,” Illinois duo Local H aren’t offering much hope, happiness, or healing. Over distorted sounding guitar, frontman Scott Lucas sings raspily about how he’s “born to be down.” The song is full of rage, much of it directed inwardly. While it might have not come from a positive mindset, “Bound for the Floor” still works as a commentary on self-esteem and how easy it is to tear yourself down. Through this song, Local H likely helped many struggling people to feel seen.

#7: “Stay (I Missed You)” (1994)

Lisa Loeb
If you treasured your glasses as style accessories in ‘90s, it was probably because of Lisa Loeb. On her biggest hit, the singer-songwriter addresses a partner she’s on the outs with. But she knows it won’t be easy to leave for good. Inspired by Loeb’s own relationship difficulties, this song was first meant for Daryl Hall. However, Loeb held onto it, and with some help from actor Ethan Hawke, the song ended up on the soundtrack for the iconic Gen-X dramedy, “Reality Bites.” It even topped the Billboard Hot 100. Oh, and did we mention she wasn’t working with a label at this point? There’s power in independence.

#6: “7 Seconds” (1994)

Youssou N'Dour feat. Neneh Cherry
Music can both entertain us and broaden our cultural awareness. In this hit featuring acclaimed artist Neneh Cherry, Senegalese singer Youssou N’Dour speaks from the heart. Singing in French, English, and Wolof (WOH-lawff), N’Dour focuses on a child’s introduction to the world, unaware of all of the issues facing society. With its sensual production and great performances from N’Dour and Cherry, “7 Seconds” is a song that provides hope during hard times. No matter what language you speak, you’ll likely find yourself touched. This song lasts much longer than seven seconds. And for that, we’re forever grateful.

#5: “Ready to Go” (1996)

Do you love songs that you can both dance and mosh to? Then you’re probably a big fan of this one from Republica. “Ready to Go” mixes dance elements, like pulsating percussions, with rock ones, like electric guitars. It all comes together to create an infectious and exciting song, punctuated by powerhouse vocals. Republica barely slow down for a second on this track. But with hooks as good as the ones here, we don't blame them for wanting to keep the momentum going. We’ll shout it out from the rooftops: we’ll always be ready to jam along to “Ready to Go.”

#4: “How Bizarre” (1995)

Roughly eleven months before Lorde was even born, New Zealand made a splash on the international music charts. This was thanks to “How Bizarre,” a hit from Auckland trio OMC. And true to its title, this song stands out against many others of the time. ​​With its mix of relaxing guitar airs, groovy beats, trumpets, and singing and rapping from vocalist Pauly Fuemana, it feels like a never-ending array of ideas. But somehow, each element works together seamlessly, and the result is a song bursting with both creativity and heart. The way we can’t get enough of this number is making us crazy.

#3: “In the Meantime” (1995)

While glam rock is a genre often associated with the ‘70s, it stayed relevant in the 1990s, thanks in part to this song from Spacehog. The band combines the pageantry of glam rock with a raw ‘90s energy. And they bring some ‘80s flair into it too, sampling experimental pop group Penguin Cafe Orchestra’s song “Telephone and Rubber Band.” Although the lyrics might seem a little vague at first listen, singer Royston Langdon has said that they’re about finding self-acceptance. If David Bowie had first started making music in the 1990s, we imagine that it would’ve sounded a little like this. We just love the all of this song.

#2: “Crush” (1998)

Jennifer Paige
Is there any topic better suited for a pop song than a crush? On this catchy hit, singer Jennifer Paige tapped into everything we think of when it comes to infatuation. From a racing heart, to overthinking, to fantasizing about the future, “Crush” addresses all the steps of falling for someone with true poise. Paige’s sultry vocals are so enchanting, we developed a crush of our own. It’s been labeled as “teen pop,” but the song is a lot more mature than you’d expect. It’s safe to say that we’ll always have a thing for “Crush.”

#1: “The Way” (1998)

If you want to write a song but are feeling stuck, take a look at the news and see if anything strikes you. Apparently, that’s what Austin band Fastball did for this song. “The Way” was reportedly conceptualized after group member Tony Scalzo (SCAL-zoh) learned about an elderly Texas couple who went missing, and ultimately didn’t make it. While the real-life story is a tragic one, Fastball managed to create a song that honors its subjects without becoming too melancholic or coming across as callous. We might not know the way, but we do know something: Fastball scored a home run with this track.