The thing about the best ’90s songs is that not one of them sounds similar to another. This decade is, by far, one of the most diverse there's ever been, musicwise. It started off with rising trends in grunge and hip-hop before moving into the new millennium with full-on bubblegum pop. To think Nirvana and Britney Spears are the musical bookends of the ’90s boggles the mind, but it's true. There really was something for everyone this era—whether you wanted to dance, sulk, or sulk while you danced. Nineties music is an eternal mood.
Which is why picking the best ’90s songs of all time is so hard, but Glamour staffers decided to accept the challenge. The list, below, touches on all the musical highs of the decade—from Madonna's "Vogue" to Third Eye Blind and Dr. Dre. Get into it. (Please note: This list is randomly ranked.)
Add all of these to your next best ’90s music playlist. (And when you're done, check out our picks for the best '80s songs.)
1. “Semi-Charmed Life” by Third Eye Blind ()
This song takes me right back to my childhood summers, when every afternoon was spent lazing around the community pool. "Semi-Charmed Life" was a huge hit in ’97, ultimately reaching number four on the Billboard Hot , so it was always playing on the radio in the background. Maybe problematic in hindsight—did you know it's about a crystal meth addiction?—but whatever: That easy-breezy guitar and "do do do!" intro still spark joy. —Anna Moeslein, senior editor
2. “You Oughta Know” by Alanis Morissette ()
I think we all know the story around "You Oughta Know." There's Alanis, Uncle Joey, and some serious unsettled business between the two. But the song never gets old and will never not slap the hardest when a stupid ex breaks your heart. —Melissa Haney, senior analytics manager
3. “Genie in a Bottle” by Christina Aguilera ()
It must’ve been uncomfortable for my parents to hear me belt, “I'm a genie in a bottle, baby. Gotta rub me the right way, honey,” for weeks on end in In elementary school, I had no earthly idea the implications of what I was singing, but I knew it was a certified bop. —Emily Tannenbaum, contributing writer
4. “I Want It That Way” by the Backstreet Boys ()
I could never choose between the Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC growing up. Instead of taking part in that fandom feud, my folders were always decked out in Lisa Frank prints. That being said, I would rank “I Want It That Way” as the greatest jam of either boy band’s hits, so I guess that makes me a Backstreet girl. —E.T.
5. “I Will Always Love You” by Whitney Houston ()
I think "I Will Always Love You" has to be the best song of the ’90s—and is probably the best love song of all time. I love Dolly Parton's original but really grew up on Houston's version. It’s the best thing about The Bodyguard movie and truly never gets old. Sometimes that dramatic, final "And III" just pops into my head, and I'm absolutely never mad about it. —Shanna Shipin, commerce editor
6. “Criminal” by Fiona Apple ()
“I've been careless with a delicate man / And it's a sad, sad world / When a girl will break a boy / Just because she can.” With those powerful words and a heavy and haunting instrumental beat, the world was introduced to Fiona Apple. Her debut album, Tidal, was filled with bangers (especially for an angsty college student, like me), and the video is ’90s aesthetic canon. The song saw a resurgence in popularity after Jennifer Lopez danced to it in her opening scene in Hustlers, but trust me, everything about it totally holds up in —Abby Gardner, contributing writer
7. “Always Be My Baby” by Mariah Carey ()
Unpopular opinion: I think Mariah Carey is underrated. Kidding. I mean, the woman has 19 Billboard Hot number one songs, 18 of which she wrote or cowrote (the only exception is a cover). Her ’90s catalog is legendary, so it's hard to choose a favorite—but "Always Be My Baby" hits different. No matter where I am or how I'm feeling, I hear those opening "do-do-dos" and can't help but sing. Give her all the lifetime achievement awards and Hall of Fame inductions now, please. —M.H.
8. “There She Goes” by Sixpence None the Richer ()
There is very little I have in common with Lindsay Lohan, but one thing we most definitely share is that whenever I travel someplace new, my head hanging out the window of a taxi, Sixpence’s iconic cover of “There She Goes” by The La's plays in my mind like I’m a young Halle James on my first visit to London. —Macaela Mackenzie, senior editor
9. “Un-Break My Heart” by Toni Braxton ()
"Un-Break My Heart" is a four-minute-andsecond gentle reminder that Toni Braxton has always, indeed, been that girl. With this song, she invented heartbreak. Toni's rich, belted notes come off so effortlessly it feels like you’re under the musical equivalent of a weighted blanket. Bonus: The "Un-Break My Heart" music video is unmatched. I’d % copy every single outfit, hairstyle, and beauty look from this clip. Oh, and Tyson Beckford’s in it. —Brionna Jimerson, social media manager
“No Time” by Lil’ Kim feat. Puff Daddy ()
In the mid to late ’90s, Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs and his cadre of artists, often referred to as The Family, ruled the hip-hop charts. Lil’ Kim was one of the most distinctive voices of that era and the female power player of the crew. This song is a bravura showcase of exactly that. —A.G.
“Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana ()
Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” is the antithesis of the music released by the pop divas and boy bands of the late s, but it’s just as deeply embedded into ’90s kids’ souls. Very few songs capture the heart of teen rebellion and “fuck it” mentality quite like this Nirvana masterpiece. —E.T.
“The Boy Is Mine” by Brandy and Monica ()
I compare all music duets to Brandy and Monica's "The Boy Is Mine," and honestly, nothing else stacks up. This track has everything: drama, a killer hook, and perfectly blended vocals. No wonder it charted so well and earned a Grammy for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group. —Christoper Rosa, entertainment staff writer
“Nothing Compares 2 U” by Sinéad O'Connor ()
The buildup and payoff in this song is out of this world. To say Sinead vocally goes there would be an understatement. She doesn’t let up from beginning to end. What endears me to this ’90s hit so much is the slight nods to Prince I hear in the musical arrangement, especially the way O’Connor sings "to you" in the chorus with a slight twang (à la "When Doves Cry"). —BJ
“Believe” by Cher ()
The fact that Cher achieved her biggest hit four decades into her career just speaks to her power. "Believe," with its thumping beat, bombastic chorus, and then revolutionary use of Auto-Tune, is a dance floor staple—an essential anthem for any gay pride event. Or, frankly, any party where you just want people to move. —C.R.
“Bitter Sweet Symphony” by The Verge ()
I’ve fantasied about the opening chords of "Bitter Sweet Symphony" playing over countless milestones. (Wedding? Check. Childbirth? Check. Graduations? Yes. Graveside? It still bangs.) Seriously, this song gives me chills. Blame it on the Cruel Intentions soundtrack, but the lyrics are at once existentially angsty yet hopeful, and leaves you completely enraptured until the very last note. —B.J.
“Say My Name” by Destiny’s Child ()
This is the best music video of the s, and I cannot be challenged on this. The color-coordinated rooms! The poses! Beyoncé's orange lip gloss! It's an absolutely perfect visual representation of why Destiny Child rose to the top of the charts. —A.M.
“My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dion ()
It would be criminal to do a list about the best ’90s music and not have Titanic represented. "My Heart Will Go On," the movie's main theme song, was just as popular as the box-office smash. It was number one in more than 20 countries and continues to be a showcase moment at Dion's concerts, even today. —A.M.
“Waiting For Tonight” by Jennifer Lopez ()
Lopez has a catalog of euphoric dance jams, but "Waiting For Tonight" is particularly special. With its dreamy production, exclamatory chorus, and tireless energy, the song is tailor-made for sweaty 3 a.m. nightclub ascendence. It really just takes you there. —C.R.
“California Love” by 2Pac, Roger, and Dr. Dre ()
"California Love" was an absolute smash when it arrived in December , reaching number one on Billboard's Hot and topping the R&B and rap charts, as well. It also hit the top spot in four other countries. The song is timeless and still sounds fresh even after hundreds of listens. —C.R.
“Cowboy Take Me Away” by The Chicks ()
I'll spare you from a full think piece about the shameful way the Chicks were treated in the early s. Instead, let's focus on one of their signature songs: "Cowboy Take Me Away." Anyone who's ever yearned for an escape from everyday life will feel these lyrics. "I wanna walk and not run," they sing. "I wanna skip and not fall. I wanna look at the horizon, and not see a building standing tall." Poetic. —A.M.
“Linger” by The Cranberries ()
This is the most perfect song, of any genre. It’s the ideal combination of regret and hope and catchiness—I’m so deep in my feelings even thinking about it. Sadly, I was introduced to it by the Adam Sandler comedy Click. Luckily, the song is good enough to overcome this bad beginning. Every time I'm having a genuinely good time in a bar, the song "Linger" is playing. —Jenny Singer, staff writer
“Torn” by Natalie Imbruglia ()
I don’t know what the song “Torn” is about, and I don’t care to find out. (First he’s warm and he comes around like he's dignified, and then later, nothing’s right? I don’t get it, and I’m not going to look into it anymore.) All I know is the song, an Ednaswap cover, is beautiful anguish. Try shouting “Nothing’s fine, I’m torn!” and tell me you don’t feel better. Or, “I’m cold and I’m ashamed lying naked on the floor.” Every line in this song is something I would have set as my AIM status on a hard day in fifth grade, and still, unfortunately, resonate with deeply today. —J.S.
“Vogue” by Madonna ()
In just over five minutes, "Vogue" encapsulates everything there is to love (and criticize) about Madonna's artistry. It's a sleek, sexy club-ready jam with plenty of pomp and circumstance. That's a good thing—the best Madonna songs are always her most lavish. But there's a catch: The music video for "Vogue" is highly inspired by s queer ballroom culture, which some see as outright appropriation. The cast of FX's Pose, which centers on the ballroom world, offered more insight into this to the Hollywood Reporter. The general consensus? "Vogue" is by no means perfect, but it did shed necessary light on a subculture that deserved it.
"Madonna was one of the ones that really appreciated our community," Pose actor Billy Porter said. "And her appreciation for us really did create a conversation. I lived through it, I was there, and it really did help. Nothing is perfect, but we are still talking about Madonna and 'Vogue.' It really did matter." —C.R.
“Barbie Girl” by Aqua ()
As a dance music fanatic, it saddens me that electronica and Europop songs rarely make it onto American charts. They're just too "clubby" for mainstream listeners. But we've seen it happen a few times: "Everytime We Touch" by Cascada, "Hung Up" by Madonna, and, perhaps most notably, "Barbie Girl" by Aqua. This bubbly, bizarre slice of high-pitched EDM stampeded worldwide radio, hitting number one in more than 10 countries (and an impressive number seven on Billboard's Hot ). The commercial appeal of the song's topic, Barbie, probably had something to do with this. But a small part of me likes to think that, for a brief moment in time, everyone in America just wanted to rave. —C.R.
“Man! I Feel Like a Woman!” by Shania Twain ()
Bless Shania Twain for giving us a women empowerment anthem that screams, "Color my hair! Do what I dare!" What's not to love about that? She even delivers chic fashion advice—men's shirts, short skirts—that still holds up. —A.M.
“…Baby One More Time” by Britney Spears ()
"Baby One More Time" is recognizable based on the first three notes alone. That says something. It proves the song has graduated from ’90s nostalgia to full-on cultural juggernaut, just like McDonald's, Oprah Winfrey, and Apple. The track is practically mathematic in its melody, which isn't an insult at all. In fact, I wish all songs were as relentlessly dedicated to the hook as this one. Thankfully, a wave of "fun above all" pop happened shortly after "BOMT," with Mandy Moore, Christina Aguilera, and second-rate *NSYNCers forging their own paths. None, though, were as impactful (or iconic) as this one song. Tied-up schoolgirl outfit and all. —C.R.
“Losing My Religion” by R.E.M. ()
This song was the first single off the alt-rock band's album, Out of Time, and became their highest-charting song ever. It's part of many memories from my teen years, but none more vivid than its use in a pivotal breakup scene between Dylan (Luke Perry) and Brenda (Shannen Doherty) on Beverly Hills, For that reason alone, the song will always cut straight to my heart. —A.G.
“MMMBop” by Hanson ()
I contest that "MMMBop" is the catchiest pop song of all time. Not necessarily the best or most memorable, but in terms of pure earworm sensibility, it takes the cake. Maybe that's because the chorus is melodic gibberish. Maybe it's the acoustic, sun-drenched verses. Whatever the case, I made my mom buy me Hanson's entire first album just so I could hear this one song, and I'd never done that before. —C.R.
“Nuthin’ but a ‘G’ Thang” by Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg ()
If Spotify had existed when I was in high school, this song would % be on my “most played” list. Dr. Dre’s The Chronic is one of the decade’s most important albums, and this is the song that introduced a whole new audience to a little artist named Snoop Dogg. —A.G.
“Exhale (Shoop Shoop)” by Whitney Houston ()
My millennial auntie pass will get revoked if I don’t give this bop its due. One of the first cassette tapes I ever owned (okay, swiped from my own auntie’s car) was "Waiting to Exhale." From the first note of this Babyface-written, Whitney Houston–sung ballad, you’re envisioning chocolatey brown silk backgrounds and unironic candlelight. This low-key personal-growth anthem perfectly encapsulates the unpredictability of love and life. —B.J.
“Alive” by Pearl Jam ()
You can’t talk about music in this decade and not mention Seattle and the grunge scene that gave us bands like Nirvana and Pearl Jam. This song remains one of the greatest anthems of the era, with soaring vocals from Eddie Vedder. I highly recommend belting it out in the shower or your car when you need a stress release. —A.G.
“Praise You” by Fatboy Slim ()
My frame of reference for most ’90s music is school dances, and “Praise You” is very much a basement fraternity party. (Probably Sigma Nu, probably Saturday night until at least 3 a.m. Sunday.) The song’s less about the lyrics—all of which are derived from a total of four lines—more about the beat, which worked with cheap beer on a packed, filthy dance floor, and also on my running mix, back when I could stay out until 3 a.m. and then sweat out the aforementioned cheap beer mere hours later. —Kimberly Fusaro, branded content
“Crush” by Jennifer Paige ()
When “Crush” debuted in , I remember loving it not just for the catchy lyrics, but because it made it perfectly normal—and cool—to actually talk about the person that got your heart racing (I mean, God forbid, right?). It was like, I have a crush on someone, who cares?! If anything, own it! —Jessica Radloff, West Coast editor
“Baby Got Back” by Sir Mix-A-Lot ()
My junior high dances were probably three hours long, but I remember one where the DJ played “Baby Got Back” no less than six times. In hindsight, a bunch of suburban tweens screaming, “That butt you got makes me so horny,” is % a cringe-fest, but “Baby Got Back” can still get me on the dance floor in —even if it’s a dance floor for one right now—where “Humpin’ Around” and “Rump Shaker” (same year, similar level of “yikes”) are definitely, “Meh, time to get a drink” songs. —K.F.
“Mo Money Mo Problems” by the Notorious B.I.G, Puff Daddy, and Mase ()
Everything about this song is brilliant, from the twinkly production to Diana Ross's backing sample and, of course, the skilled verses of all three rappers. With this song, Notorious B.I.G. became the only artist in Billboard Hot history to have two posthumous number one singles. (Both this and "Hypnotize" were released after the hip-hop icon's tragic death in ) —C.R.
“Doo Wop (That Thing)” by Lauryn Hill ()
My first introduction to Lauryn Hill was in the ’90s masterpiece Sister Act II: Back in the Habit. So, in full transparency, it took me a few years to finally discover her masterpiece, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. "Doo Wop (That Thing)" and its iconic music video perfectly encapsulate the importance of Hill, a legendary lyricist, vocalist, and artist, whose impact spans well into the current decade. —M.H.
“Waterfalls” by TLC ()
Listen, if I hear one more "No Scrubs" cover, I might lose it. The TLC discography is vast, and their impact goes far beyond the one song everyone seems to choose at karaoke. Case and point: "Waterfalls," a bop in equal measure to their most popular hit, albeit with a message that requires a bit more reflection. We're meant to be wary of chasing the dangerous waterfalls that could end up hurting us—no need to move too fast. (Unless, of course, you're running away from another ukulele cover of "No Scrubs.") —M.H.
“Wannabe” by the Spice Girls ()
We have two bands to really thank for kicking off the late-’90s teen-pop boom: the Backstreet Boys and the Spice Girls, who exploded onto American radio with their syrupy, nonsensical smash "Wannabe." The chorus of the song is pure candy, and its supporting verses are buzzing with personality. Zig-a-zig-ah, am I right? —C.R.
“Don’t Speak” by No Doubt ()
Even if you aren't going through a tumultuous breakup, this song will make you feel things. It’s so perfectly dramatic while still capturing the very real feelings of two people falling apart. I love a heartbreak ballad you can dance to, and Gwen Stefani's voice has never sounded better than when she’s wailing “don’t” over and over. —Bella Cacciatore, beauty associate
“Pony (Jump on It)” by Ginuwine ()
Is there a sexier song from the ’90s? Can't think of one. It also plays an important role in two of my favorite pop-culture moments: the backdrop to Channing Tatum's best dance in Magic Mike and as a tribute song to the beloved miniature horse Li’l Sebastian in Parks and Recreation. —A.M.
“Fade Into You” by Mazzy Star ()
Could I even consider myself a proper Sad Girl without discussing this song? I love the hazy, dreamy quality of Mazzy Star’s music, and this song in particular sounds like falling in love for the first time. —B.C.
“Crash Into Me” by Dave Matthews Band ()
I was raised on a steady diet of The Grateful Dead and the Allman Brothers, so I was primed to be a jam-band obsessive when the Dave Matthews Band landed on my radar. The entire Crash album, played beginning to end, was my soundtrack for studying, daydreaming when I should have been studying, lying on friends’ dorm room floors, and afternoons spent on various New England beaches in winter. “Crash Into Me” (especially with the foil of “Say Goodbye” from the same album) felt a little bit hot and a little bit twisted—especially live. —K.F.
“Show Me Love” by Robyn ()
I love "Dancing On My Own" as much as the next girl (that is to say, a whole lot), but this more pared-back version of Robyn is just as powerful. I love the R&B influence and the way it makes me feel like I’m in a ’90s teen movie. —B.C.
“Ironic” by Alanis Morisette ()
Out of all the ’90s icons, I always turn to Alanis. Her album, Jagged Little Pill, was angry and funny, planting a feminist seed in my brain that she would continue to sun and water into my adult years. Plus, “Ironic” is a serious karaoke crowd-pleaser. —E.T.
“Ray of Light” by Madonna ()
There are only a handful of pop songs that feel otherworldly, and this is one of them. "Ray of Light," the title track off Madonna's acclaimed record, is mainstream electronica at its most elevated, its most emotional, and its most profound. "I feel like I just got home," the Queen of Pop wails on the song's exuberant chorus, taking in the universe and all its wonderment. For Madonna, "home" is several places, but in her music it always comes back to just one: the dance floor. —C.R.
“All I Wanna Do” by Sheryl Crow ()
Sheryl Crow won Record of the Year in for this sunny jam, and it's easy to remember why as soon as you turn it on. The song just feels like an escape—the kind of tune you blast with the car windows down as you get the hell out of town. —A.M.
“Friday I’m in Love” by The Cure ()
Sorry for the cliché, but this song is just so good. I love The Cure, and there's a reason "Friday" is one of their biggest hits. Listen if you want to ignite your inner goth teen. —B.C.
“The Sign” by Ace of Base ()
OMG, Ace of Base. To me, nothing sums up the decade more than this Swedish pop group. I sang and danced to “The Sign” every chance I got, and took pride in knowing all the words. Plus, who doesn’t love the line “No one’s gonna drag you up to get into the light where you belong?“ —J.R.
“Malibu” by Hole ()
There are a lot of Hole songs that could be on this list ("Miss World," "Celebrity Skin," etc.), but this one is my personal favorite. I love songs that sound upbeat but have darker lyrics when you take a closer look, and this one fits the bill. It’s perfect to play when you want to drive down the coast in a convertible but are stuck in your tiny apartment (i.e., my current situation). —B.C.
“Whatta Man” by Salt 'N' Pepa ()
As with “Baby Got Back,” the “Whatta Man” lyrics were kind of inappropriate for my age bracket and life experience (“He's not a wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am, he's a thriller”), but coming off the group’s hit “Let’s Talk About Sex,” “Whatta Man” felt positively G-rated. Plus, the overall messaging set some solid relationship standards for when I was a few years older. (Find yourself a guy who doesn’t cheat, isn’t selfish in bed, and doesn’t call you Susan if your name is not, in fact, Susan. Still applicable.) —K.F.
“Summer Girls” by LFO ()
The decade may have started with alt-rock, grunge, and hip-hop, but it ended on a very pop moment with groups like LFO bringing the world sparkly (if not super deep) ditties you probably still know the words to. “I like girls who wear Abercrombie & Fitch” basically became a personality type for a moment there. —A.G.
“Tearin’ Up My Heart” by *NSYNC ()
*NSYNC really hit their stride in the early s, but "Tearin' Up My Heart" still ranks high in their discography. The song is one of the finest crafted in famed producer Max Martin's bubblegum factory, which is to sayit's damn catchy. —C.R.
“Creep” by Radiohead ()
If “Smells Like Teen Spirit” represents teenage rebellion, then “Creep” by Radiohead put a spotlight on our angst and insecurity. “I'm a creep, I'm a weirdo / What the hell am I doing here? / I don't belong here.” Literally, who hasn’t felt this way? Side note: Who else thinks Riverdale’s Jughead Jones plays this to himself every night before he goes to sleep? —E.T.
Top 70 Eurodance songs from the 90s
Eurodance was a very popular music movement in the mid and late 90s of the last century. Eurodance originated from a fusion of influences from styles such as house, rave, new beat, pop, disco, italy disco, freestyle, hip hop and later also trance.
A couple of big names in the Eurodance are the German Snap !, Dr. Alban, Culture Beat, Captain Hollywood Project and many others. We have listed the most popular Eurodance numbers for you. Have fun in this retro trip to the 90s.
Ice Mc Think About The Way
Sin with sebastian Shut up (and sleep with me)
Captain Hollywood Project Flying High
Livin Joy Dreamer
Dance 2 Trance Power of American Natives
Culture Beat Mr Vain
Dr. Alban Its My Life
Alice DJ Better off Alone
N Trance Set you free
Rollergirl Dear Jessie
Maxx Get A Way
Captain Jack Captain Jack
ATC All Around The World (la la la la la la la la)
Magic Affair Omen III
Leila K Open Sesame
SNAP! Welcome to Tomorrow
Alice DJ Back in my live
E-Rotic Max Dont Have Sex With Your Ex
The Real McCoy Another Night
DJ Bobo Somebody Dance With Me ()
E-Type Angels Crying
Urban Cookie Collective The Key the Secret
Cabballero Dancing With Tears In My Eyes
U96 Das Boot
Dial M for Moguai Beatbox
Tina Cousins Killin Time
Reel 2 Real I LIke to move it
U96 Club Bizarre
Ann Lee 2 Times
Sash Enore une fois
Snap Rhythm is a dancer
Playahitty The Summer is Magic
Aqua Barbie Girl
Twenty 4 Seven Slave to the music
Gigi Dagostino LAmour Toujours
Gigi Dagostino The Riddle
Corona The Rhythm of the night
La Bouche Be My Lover
Miranda Vamos a la Playa
Mr. President Coco Jamboo
Aqua Doctor Jones
Gala Freed from desire
Kate Ryan Désenchantée
Sonique It feels so good
BBE 7 Days and one week
Jan Wayne Because the night
Milk Inc. Walk on Water
Eifel 65 Blue
Sylver Turn the Tide
2 Unlimted No Limit
Haddaway What is Love
The Tamperer Feel it
Technotronic Pump Up The Jam
O-Zone Dragostea Din Tei
Dr. Alban Sing Hallelujah!
Toy-Box Tarzan Jane
Vengaoys We Like to Party
Cartoon Witch Doctor
Mo-Do Einz, Zwei, Polizei
No Mercy Where Do You Go
Jam Spoon Right in the night
Double Vision Knockin
Scooter Move Your Ass!
50 songs every '90s kid will remember
From the budding careers of artists like Mariah Carey and Britney Spears to the iconic voice of Whitney Houston, the '90s were full of dance hits and powerful ballads.
It's hard to believe that Smash Mouth's "All Star" is 18 years old.
Here are 50 songs that every '90s kid will remember.
"(Everything I Do) I Do It For You" — Bryan Adams
This love song was not only featured on Adams' own album, but also on the soundtrack for 's "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves." It was named Billboard's single of the year and spent seven weeks at No. 1.
"What is Love?" — Haddaway
There is nothing better than belting this club song as loud as you can. "Saturday Night Live" helped make the song even more popular when it was used in the "Roxbury Guys" sketches and subsequent movie "A Night at the Roxbury."
"I Will Always Love You" — Whitney Houston ()
Whitney Houston's cover of the Dolly Parton song was recorded for the movie "The Bodyguard," which was also her film debut, but the song quickly became a huge hit. It spent 14 consecutive weeks at No. 1 and won two Grammys, including record of the year. And that iconic key change is hard to forget.
"Smells Like Teen Spirit" — Nirvana
This rock anthem was a revolutionary song for the young generation, and it was Nirvana's biggest hit, reaching No. 6 on the charts. The song is still iconic today.
"Baby Got Back" — Sir Mix-A-Lot
This hit was initially controversial for its explicitly sexual lyrics, but it has withstood the test of time and is one of the most recognizable songs from the '90s. It was No. 1 for five weeks and even won a Grammy.
"Jump" — Kris Kross
"Jump" was the first single from the and year-old duo Kris Kross and was an instant hit, sitting at No. 1 for eight weeks. Once the song came on, it really was hard not to get up and jump.
"End of the Road" — Boyz II Men
The Boyz II Men singers were a '90s staple and "End of the Road" was a smash success for the group. The song was recorded for the Eddie Murphy movie "Boomerang," and spent 13 weeks at No. 1.
year-old pianist lights up Good Morning Britain with performance of 90s dance hit
Want to improve your piano playing? Try Pianist Magazine for FREE by downloading our sample issue
Meet Harrison Crane; the piano player who, at just 12 years old, is already performing live on TV in front of millions of people.
Back in February, a video of Harrison performing a 90s Dance medley on a public piano in Liverpool went viral on YouTube. To date, the video has amassed over 2 million views.
Just a few weeks later, Harrison and his family found themselves sat on the sofa of the Good Morning Britain studios, talking about his video. Asked why he performs 90s music, he replied, ‘It’s the best kind of music out there. It’s just so fun and upbeat. My dad plays it in the car all the time.’
The viral video is playfully titled How to attract a crowd in 4 minutes. Over the course of the video, Harrison plays a medley of 90s dance hits as shoppers stop in their tracks, one by one. His medley included classics such as Child by Robert Miles, Blue by Eiffel 65 and Sandstorm by Darude.
How did he become so proficient at playing the piano at such a young age?
So how did Harrison develop his piano-playing skills?
Quite often, children learn the piano as a result of one or both of their parents knowing how to play.
Surprisingly, Harrison didn’t develop his interest in piano playing from either of his parents.
‘We don’t play music at all, really!” his father joked on Good Morning Britain.
‘Harrison has been playing since he was six years old. He learns by ear and sometimes from YouTube, and also by slowly going over sheet music then memorising it.’
A very impressive process for such a young player.
Might we see more of him one day?
Harrison doesn’t seem fazed by the attention he receives when playing. ‘It’s really exciting when you have a big crowd around you. It’s amazing when you get the applause at the end.’
He sounds like a naturally gifted performer to us.
‘In the future, I’d like to go down the musical performing route’.
Header photo credit: Good Morning Britain / YouTube
Read about fellow young pianist Elisey Mysin, who recently performed Mozart's Concerto No 3 in D major to a full concert hall at just 8 years old.
Music 90 youtube dance
30 tracks that shaped dance music
The Orb - Little Fluffy Clouds ()
How it changed dance music:
After hardcore sent heads into a spin, it was time for chillout. Cue The Orb’s Little Fluffy Clouds, which soundtracked countless sunrise mornings in the early 90s and introduced the transcendence found in ambient music for a generation who until that point were brought up on rave.
Who it influenced:
Little Fluffy Clouds became an Ibizan staple, bringing us sunlit ambience and inspiring Air and Groove Armada to boot.
Gat Décor- Passion ()
How it changed dance music:
The uplifting piano-house that is Gat Décor’s Passion is not only a complete masterpiece but can be seen as one of the first truly British house tracks.
The song has gone through several incarnations too, initially released in its Naked Mix form, a bootleg remix then borrowed vocals from Do You Want It Right Now? by Degrees of Motion, which led to singer Beverley Skeete re-recorded the vocals for a new version, which peaked at number six in the UK charts during
Who it influenced:
Passion helped introduce an era of vocal house, something that would be mirrored in Fatboy Slim, N-Trance, Floorplan and more.
M-Beat feat General Levy – Incredible ()
How it changed dance music:
Jungle was an influential, but fringe, part of UK music culture in , but M-Beat’s Incredible is a record that helped change all that.
General Levy’s unmistakable vocals still resonate from club walls today, and if you ever step foot into Notting Hill Carnival, expect to be greeted by a wave of ravers chanting “Jungle is massive!”
Who it influenced:
Incredible brought jungle to the mainstream, and its influence can even be seen in grime. In , General Levy was joined by Dizzee Rascal, JME and Lethal Bizzle for his 1Xtra takeover, showing just how much his influence has spread through the eras of UK music.
Goldie - Inner City Life ()
How it changed dance music:
Goldie has become something of a national treasure - and with good reason. Breaking out with Inner City Life in , Clifford Joseph Price, MBE’s bittersweet love letter to the grittier pockets of the UK launched the artist’s career and earned him an instant classic.
Inner City Life rewired British pop music and led the star to collaborate with everyone from Björk and David Bowie.
Who it influenced:
Inner City Life shone a bright light on drum 'n' bass, giving inspiration to Andy C, Portishead and Massive Attack.
s in music
"90s music" redirects here. For the song by Kimbra, see 90s Music (song).
For music from a year in the s, go to 90 | 91 | 92 | 93 | 94 | 95 | 96 | 97 | 98 | 99
Music-related events during the s
Popular music in the s saw the continuation of teen pop and dance-pop trends which had emerged in the s and s. Furthermore, hip hop grew and continued to be highly successful in the decade, with the continuation of the genre's golden age. Aside from rap, reggae, contemporary R&B, and urban music in general remained extremely popular throughout the decade; urban music in the lates and s often blended with styles such as soul, funk, and jazz, resulting in fusion genres such as new jack swing, neo-soul, hip hop soul, and g-funk which were popular.
Similarly to the s, rock music was also very popular in the s, yet, unlike the new wave and glam metal-dominated scene of the time, grunge,Britpop, industrial rock, and other alternative rock music emerged and took over as the most popular of the decade, as well as punk rock, ska punk, and nu metal, amongst others, which attained a high level of success at different points throughout the years.
Electronic music, which had risen in popularity in the s, grew highly popular in the s; house and techno from the s rose to international success in this decade, as well as new electronic dance music genres such as rave, happy hardcore, drum and bass, intelligent dance, and trip hop. In Europe, techno, rave, and reggae music were highly successful, while also finding some international success. The decade also featured the rise of contemporary country music as a major genre, which had started in the s.
The s also saw a resurgence of older styles in new contexts, including third wave ska and swing revival, both of which featured a fusion of horn-based music with rock music elements.
Reflecting on the decade's musical developments in Christgau's Consumer Guide: Albums of the '90s (), music critic Robert Christgau said the s were "richly chaotic, unknowable", and "highly subject to vagaries of individual preference", yet "conducive to some manageable degree of general comprehension and enjoyment by any rock and roller."
In December , Billboard magazine named Mariah Carey as the Artist of the Decade in the United States. In , Selena was named the "top Latin artist of the '90s" and "best-selling Latin artist of the decade" by Billboard, for her fourteen top-ten singles in the Top Latin Songs chart, including seven number-one hits. The singer also had the most successful singles of and , "Amor Prohibido" and "No Me Queda Más".
Rock and Roll
With the breakthrough of bands such as Nirvana and the popularity of the grunge and Britpop movements in the s, alternative rock entered the musical mainstream and many alternative bands became commercially successful during the s.
By the start of the s, the music industry was enticed by alternative rock's commercial possibilities and major labels actively courted bands including Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam, Jane's Addiction, Dinosaur Jr, and Nirvana. In particular, R.E.M.'s success had become a blueprint for many alternative bands in the late s and s to follow; the group had outlasted many of its contemporaries and by the s had become one of the most popular bands in the world.Mazzy Star had a top 40 hit with "Fade into You" () and Smash Mouth recorded hits "Walkin' on the Sun" () and "All Star" ().
The Red Hot Chili Peppers became an important band in the rise of alternative rock with their album Blood Sugar Sex Magik. Combining funk rock with more conventional rock music, the Red Hot Chili Peppers were able to achieve mainstream success, culminating with the release of their album Californication.
Some of the top mainstream American alternative rock bands of the s included Hootie and The Blowfish, Collective Soul, Creed, Nirvana, Alice in Chains, Dinosaur Jr, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Green Day, Weezer, Live, The Wallflowers, Toad the Wet Sprocket, R.E.M., The Offspring, Matchbox Twenty, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Soul Asylum, Liz Phair, The Lemonheads, Soundgarden, Counting Crows, Spin Doctors, dc Talk, Goo Goo Dolls, Third Eye Blind, Smash Mouth, The Smashing Pumpkins, 4 Non Blondes, Beck, The Breeders, Gin Blossoms, Foo Fighters, Sublime, Marcy Playground, No Doubt, Hole, Cake, Blind Melon, Eels, Stone Temple Pilots, Garbage, and Pearl Jam. These bands were variously influenced by ska, punk, pop, metal, and many other musical genres.
During the early s a new style of alternative music emerged, which combined elements of alternative rock with heavy metal. This new genre, dubbed "alternative metal", is considered a precursor to the nu metal movement of the late s. This style was typified by bands such as Tool, Helmet and Jane's Addiction. Other bands including Faith No More, Primus, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Rage Against the Machine also blended funk and hip hop elements, creating subgenres of this style such as funk metal and rap metal.
A subgenre of alternative rock, grunge bands were massively popular during the early s. Grunge music, and its associated subculture, was born out of the Pacific Northwest American states of Washington and Oregon in the s. Artists such as Nirvana, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains and Pearl Jam brought alternative rock to popularity in However, many bands were uncomfortable with their success, and were equally suspicious of the grunge label.
Nirvana and their grunge contemporaries, such as Pearl Jam, delivered a more direct, less polished rock sound. Pearl Jam released its debut album, Ten, a month before Nevermind in , but sales only picked up a year later. By the second half of , Ten became a breakthrough success, being certified gold and reaching number two on the Billboard album chart. Pearl Jam were famous for their fusion of riff-heavy stadium rock with the grit and anger of post-punk and grunge.
During the mids, many grunge bands broke up or became less visible. The death of Kurt Cobain in early , as well as the touring problems for Pearl Jam (due to the band's much-publicized boycott of Ticketmaster), marked the decline of the genre.
At the same time as the original grunge bands went into decline, major record labels began signing and promoting bands that were emulating the genre. The term post-grunge was coined to describe these bands, who emulated the attitudes and music of grunge, particularly thick, distorted guitars, but with a more radio-friendly commercially oriented sound.
In , former Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl's new band, the Foo Fighters, helped popularize the genre and define its parameters, becoming one of the most commercially successful rock bands in the US, aided by considerable airplay on MTV. Some of the most successful post-grunge acts of the 90s were Candlebox, Bush, Collective Soul, Creed, Matchbox Twenty, Our Lady Peace, Foo Fighters, Live and others. The genre would have another wave of successful acts throughout much of the early part of the next decade which includes bands like Nickelback, Creed, Lifehouse, 3 Doors Down, and more. Although, some of those bands were formed during the late s, many would not see a commercial breakthrough until the early years of the following decade.
Following the immense success of alternative rock in the s, the term "indie rock" became associated with the bands and genres that remained underground. Bands like Sonic Youth and Pixies set the stage for the rise of indie rock in the underground scene, with bands such as Pavement, Archers of Loaf, Sleater-Kinney, Built to Spill, Yo La Tengo, The Breeders, Superchunk, Dinosaur Jr., Cat Power, Guided by Voices, Sebadoh, The Jesus Lizard, Liz Phair, and The Flaming Lips gaining popularity throughout the decade.
By the late s, mainstream interest in third wave ska bands such as Reel Big Fish, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Sublime, and No Doubt waned as other music genres gained momentum.
Skate punk and pop punk
Punk rock in the United States underwent a resurgence in the early to mids. Punk rock at that time was not commercially viable, and no major record label signed a punk rock band until Green Day's breakthrough in Both these factors contributed to the emergence of a number of independent record labels, often run by people in bands in order to release their own music and that of their friends. The independent labels Lookout! Records, Fat Wreck Chords and Epitaph Records achieved commercial success.
Skate punk broke into the mainstream in the mids, initially with the Northern California-based skate punk band Green Day and in the late s with the Southern California-based pop punk band Blink as well who all achieved massive worldwide commercial success. Green Day's album Dookie () sold 10 million copies in the United States and another 10 million copies worldwide. Soon after the release of Dookie, The Offspring released the album Smash. The album sold over 14 million copies worldwide, setting a record for most albums sold on an independent label. Rancid's Let's Go and NOFX's Punk in Drublic were also released during this period and both of them went gold as well. By the end of the year, Dookie and Smash had sold millions of copies. The commercial success of these two albums attracted major label interest in skate/pop punk, with bands such as Bad Religion being offered lucrative contracts to leave their independent record labels. In , Blink made a breakthrough with the release of Enema of the State, which sold over 15 million copies worldwide receiving multi-platinum status in the United States, Canada, Australia, Italy, New Zealand and platinum status in Europe and the United Kingdom. Green Day are seen as the biggest act in punk rock whilst Blink are seen to have the most influence on later bands like Fall Out Boy and All Time Low.
Many subgenres of metal developed outside of the commercial mainstream during the s. In the early s the thrash metal genre achieved break-out success, mainly due to the massive success of Metallica's eponymous 5th album which was released in and brought thrash metal to the mainstream for the first time. Metallica's success was followed by Megadeth's Countdown to Extinction () which hit number 2,Anthrax, Pantera, and Slayer cracked the top 10, and albums by regional bands such as Testament and Sepultura entered the top 
In the later half of the decade industrial metal became popular. The top mainstream American industrial metal bands of the s included Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson, White Zombie, KMFDM, Ministry, and Fear Factory.
Death Metal gained momentum in the early s as well, with acts such as Death, Deicide, Morbid Angel, Cannibal Corpse and Obituary among others.
The Second wave of Black Metal gained popularity with leading force in Norway in Mayhem, Burzum and Darkthrone.
Pop rock and singer-songwriter
In the s, there was a revival of the singer-songwriter movement of the s. This movement lasted up to about with artists like Norah Jones, Dido and Sarah McLachlan. Important artists of this movement include Mariah Carey, Alanis Morissette, Tori Amos, Fiona Apple, Liz Phair, Juliana Hatfield, Edwin McCain, Duncan Sheik, Jewel, Natalie Merchant, Tal Bachman, Shawn Mullins, Sheryl Crow and Lisa Loeb. A famous album of the movement was the multi-platinum album Jagged Little Pill by Alanis Morissette as well as Sheryl Crow's album Tuesday Night Music Club and her eponymous album. Tom Cochrane(Canada) got hit "Life is a Highway", Marc Cohn had "Walking in Memphis", and 4 None Blondes released hit "What's Up".
The trend ended in the late s with Lynda Thomas, who became the first idol of the "teen pop-rock" movement, which later in the s reached its highest level of popularity with later singers such as Avril Lavigne, Kelly Clarkson, P!nk, Hilary Duff, Miley Cyrus, Aly & AJ, and Ashlee Simpson.
Also in the s, artists such as Jeff Buckley, Dave Matthews, Shania Twain, Bryan Adams, Elliott Smith, Melissa Etheridge, as well as Sheryl Crow borrowed from the singer-songwriter tradition to create new acoustic-based rock styles.
Third wave glam metal artists such as Firehouse, Warrant, Extreme, Slaughter, and Skid Row experienced their greatest success at the start of the decade, but these bands' popularity waned after or so. Mötley Crüe and Poison, who were hugely popular in the s, released successful albums in and , respectively, and continued to benefit from that success in the early part of the decade. The Black Crowes ushered in a more classic rock 'n' roll sound with their successful debut in More well-established hard rock artists such as Guns N' Roses, Van Halen, Def Leppard, Ozzy Osbourne, and Tom Petty released successful albums and remained very popular in the first half of the decade, while Aerosmith, Bon Jovi, and Metallica maintained their popularity throughout the entire decade, largely by re-inventing themselves with each new album and exploring different sounds.
British girl group The Spice Girls managed to break the American market, becoming the most commercially successful British group in North America since The Beatles. Their impact brings about a widespread invasion of teen pop acts to the US charts which had been predominantly dominated by grunge and hip hop prior to the success of the group. Between and American teen pop singers and groups including Backstreet Boys, *NSYNC, 98 Degrees, Hanson, Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears, Jessica Simpson, Mandy Moore, Jennifer Lopez and Destiny's Child became popular, following the lead of The Spice Girls by targeting early members of Generation Y. At the end of the decade, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera had huge successes with their hit singles, "Baby One More Time" and "Genie in a Bottle" and respective debut albums which remain among the best selling of all time. Britney Spears's single/ album went onto the top of the US charts in early  "Womanizer" (Jive) was the second No. 1 hit for Spears after her debut single, " Baby One More Time." Spears has the longest gap between No. 1 hits since Cher's "Believe" claimed pole position in March , just 10 days shy of 25 years after "Dark Lady" landed in first place.
Madonna's Erotica, was released in and became one of her most controversial releases. In February , Madonna released the critically acclaimed Ray of Light, which has sold over 16 million copies worldwide. Cyndi Lauper released her first mature album Hat Full of Stars (), which leaves complete the image of her first two albums, but was highly praised by critics even though it did not achieve commercial success. Larry Flick of Billboard called Janet Jackson's The Velvet Rope "[t]he best American album of the year and the most empowering of her last five." Released in October , The Velvet Rope debuted at number one on the Billboard In August , the album's lead single, "Got 'til It's Gone", was released to radio, peaking at number 12 on the BillboardRhythmic Airplay Chart. The single sampled the Joni Mitchell song "Big Yellow Taxi", and featured a cameo appearance by rapper Q-Tip. "Got 'til It's Gone" won the Grammy Award for Best Short Form Music Video. The album's second single "Together Again", became her eighth number one hit on the Billboard Hot singles chart, and placing her on par with Elton John, and The Rolling Stones. The single spent a record 46 weeks on the Hot, as well as spending 19 weeks on the UK singles chart. "I Get Lonely" peaked at number three on the HotThe Velvet Rope sold over ten million albums worldwide and was certified three times platinum by the RIAA.Celine Dion achieved worldwide success during the decade after releasing several best-selling English-language albums, such as Falling into You () and Let's Talk About Love (), which were both certified diamond by the RIAA. Dion also scored a series of international number-one hits, including "Beauty and the Beast" (), "If You Asked Me To" (), "The Power of Love" (), "Think Twice" (), "Because You Loved Me" (), "It's All Coming Back to Me Now" (), "All by Myself" (), "I'm Your Angel" () and "That's the Way It Is" (). In December , Dion released the single "My Heart Will Go On" from the Titanicsoundtrack. With worldwide sales estimated at 18 million copies, it is one of the best-selling singles of all time and became the second-best-selling single by a female artist in history.
In the early s, Mariah Carey's hit singles such as "Vision of Love" () and "Love Takes Time" (), and Whitney Houston's "All the Man That I Need" () and "I Will Always Love You" () topped the radio charts for the adult contemporary format.
Whitney Houston's quiet storm hits included "All the Man That I Need" () and "I Will Always Love You" (), later became the best-selling physical single by a female act of all time, with sales of over 20 million copies worldwide. Her hit soundtrack The Bodyguard, spent 20 weeks on top of the Billboard Hot , sold over 45 million copies worldwide and remains the best-selling soundtrack album of all time. According to the RIAA, Houston is the best-selling female R&B artist of the 20th century. In the s, Mariah Carey's career originated in quiet storm, with hit singles such as "Vision of Love" () and "Love Takes Time" (). Her albums Music Box () and Daydream () are some of the best-selling albums of all time, and had R&B/HipHop influences. Richard J. Ripani wrote that Carey and Houston, "both of whom rely heavily on the gospel music vocal tradition, display an emphasis on melisma that increased in R&B generally over the s and s."Beyoncé quoted Carey's "Vision of Love" to make her want to sing, as did many other popular artist. Also during the early s, Boyz II Men re-popularized classic soul-inspired vocal harmonies. Michael Jackson incorporated new jack swing into his album Dangerous, with sales over 35 million, and was one of the best selling albums of the decade. The popularity of ballads and R&B led to the development of a radio format called Urban adult contemporary. Popular American contemporary R&B artists included Mariah Carey, Mark Morrison, Faith Evans, , D'Angelo, Lauryn Hill, Whitney Houston, En Vogue, Toni Braxton, Boyz II Men, Mary J. Blige, Dru Hill, Vanessa Williams, Groove Theory, Bell Biv Devoe, Jodeci, Jon B., Diana King, Tony! Toni! Tone!, Tara Kemp, Brownstone, Shanice, Usher, SWV, Silk, , Aaliyah, Keith Sweat, TLC, Xscape, Brandy, Monica, Mýa, Total, Tevin Campbell & R.Kelly. In contrast to the works of Boyz II Men, Babyface and similar artists, other R&B artists from this same period began adding even more of a hip hop sound to their work. The synthesizer-heavy rhythm tracks of new jack swing was replaced by grittier East Coast hip hop-inspired backing tracks, resulting in a genre labelled hip hop soul by producer Sean Combs. The style became less popular by the end of the s, but later experienced a resurgence.
During the mids, Mary J. Blige, Mariah Carey, Faith Evans, TLC, Xscape, Whitney Houston and Boyz II Men brought contemporary R&B to the masses.
Jackson's self-titled fifth studio album janet. (), which came after her historic multimillion-dollar contract with Virgin Records, sold over twenty million copies worldwide. Houston, Boyz II Men and Carey recorded several Billboard Hot No. 1 hits, including "Exhale (Shoop Shoop)", "One Sweet Day", a collaboration between Boyz II Men and Carey, which became the longest-running No. 1 hit in Hot history. Carey, Boyz II Men and TLC released albums in and —Daydream, II, and CrazySexyCool respectively – that sold over ten million copies, earning them diamond status in the U.S. Beginning in , the Grammy Awards enacted the Grammy Award for Best R&B Album with II, and Boyz II Men became the first recipient. The award was later received by TLC for CrazySexyCool in
Mariah Carey's duet with Boyz II Men "One Sweet Day" was pronounced song of the decade, charting at number one on the decade-end chart. Carey became Billboard's most successful female artist of the decade, and one of the most successful R&B acts of the 90s.
R&B artists such as Janet Jackson, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey are some of the best selling music artists of all time, and especially in the s brought Contemporary R&B to a worldwide platform.
In the mids, neo soul, which added s soul influences to the hip hop soul blend, arose, led by artists such as D'Angelo, Erykah Badu, Lauryn Hill, and Maxwell. Lauryn Hill and Missy Elliott further blurred the line between R&B and hip hop by recording both styles. D'Angelo's Brown Sugar was released in June Although sales were sluggish at first, the album was eventually a hit, due in large part to "Lady," a top-ten hit on the Billboard Hot charts, peaking at # The album earned platinum certification from the Recording Industry Association of America, for shipments of one million copies in the U.S., while its total sales have been estimated within the range of million to over two million copies. While the album was certified platinum in the United States, indicating shipments of one million units, its total sales were adversely reported by several publications with estimations ranging from to 2 million units. The album helped give commercial visibility to the burgeoning Neo soul movement of the s, along with debut albums by Maxwell, Erykah Badu, and Lauryn Hill. The album was a critical success as well and appeared on many critics' best-of lists that year.
Hill's The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill () remains her only studio album; it received critical acclaim, some suggesting it was the greatest neo-soul album of all time. It debuted at number one on the Billboard and sold 19 million copies worldwide, spawning the singles "Doo Wop (That Thing)", "Ex-Factor", and "Everything Is Everything". At the 41st Grammy Awards, the album earned her five Grammy Awards, including the Album of the Year. Soon after, Hill dropped out of the public-eye, mainly because of her dissatisfaction with the music industry.
The decade is notable for the extension of the rap music scene from New York City, the center of hip hop culture throughout the s, to other cities like Los Angeles, Atlanta, Houston, the Bay Area, Miami, Chicago, and Memphis.
Dr. Dre's album The Chronic provided a template for modern gangsta rap. In addition to The Chronic, Dre introduced a new artist known as Snoop Dogg which allowed for their to be the success of Snoop's album, Doggystyle, in Due to the success of Death Row Records, West Coast hip hop dominated hip hop during the early s, along with The Notorious B.I.G. on the East Coast. Hip hop became the best selling music genre by the mids.
Rap albums released in the s include The Chronic by Dr. Dre, Illmatic by Nas, All Eyez on Me by 2Pac, Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) by Wu-Tang Clan, Ready To Die by Notorious B.I.G., Ridin' Dirty by UGK, 19 naughty III by Naughty by Nature, and Doggystyle by Snoop Doggy Dogg, .
In , Lauryn Hill released her debut album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, which debuted at number one on the Billboard In , The Miseducation was nominated for 10 Grammy's, winning five (which at the time was unheard of for a hip-hop artist) and eventually went on to sell over 19 million copies worldwide.
The early s was dominated by female rappers, such as Queen Latifah and hip hop trio Salt-N-Pepa. The late s saw the rise of successful female rappers and a turn in East Coast hip hop, with the debuts of Lil' Kim (with Hard Core) and Foxy Brown (with Ill Na Na), due to their use of excessive raunchy and provocative lyrics.
By the end of the s, attention turned towards dirty south and crunk, with artists such as Outkast, Trick Daddy, Trina, Three 6 Mafia, Master P, Juvenile, Missy Elliott and Lil Wayne.
The mid s were marked by the deaths of the West Coast-based rapper 2Pac and the East Coast-based rapper The Notorious B.I.G., which conspiracy theorists claim were killed as a result of the East Coast–West Coast hip hop rivalry.
Samples and interpolations of old songs in hip hop songs were common in the s because it was meant to celebrate the end of the 2nd millennium and the 20th century by going retro. Many of these songs are as follows: "U Can't Touch This" by MC Hammer; "Jump Around" by House of Pain; "Mo Money Mo Problems" and "Big Poppa" by Notorious B.I.G.; "It Was a Good Day" by Ice Cube; "Regulate" by Warren G and Nate Dogg; "I'll Be Missing You" by Puff Daddy featuring Faith Evans and ; "Ain't No Nigga" by Jay-Z featuring Foxy Brown; "Killing Me Softly" by The Fugees; "Feel So Good" by Mase; "Hey Lover" by Boyz II Men featuring LL Cool J; "C.R.E.A.M." by Wu-Tang Clan; "Nuthin' but a 'G' Thang" by Dr. Dre featuring Snoop Dogg; "No Diggity" by BLACKstreet; "Gangsta's Paradise" by Coolio featuring L.V.; "The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)" by Missy Elliott; "I Wish" by Skee-Lo; "People Everyday" and "Tennessee" by Arrested Development; "The Humpty Dance" by Digital Underground; 2pac's "Do for Love", "I Get Around", and "California Love"; and Will Smith's "Men in Black", and "Wild Wild West".
Some of the most prominent rap artists of the s include 2Pac, Notorious B.I.G., Nas, Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, LL Cool J, Eazy-E, Wu-Tang Clan, Snoop Doggy Dogg, Busta Rhymes, Cypress Hill, MC Hammer, Coolio, OutKast, Three 6 Mafia, Mobb Deep, A Tribe Called Quest, Puff Daddy, Will Smith, DMX, Master P, Jay-Z and Eminem.
With the explosive growth of computers, music technology and consequent reduction in the cost of equipment in the early s, it became possible for a wider number of musicians to produce electronic music. Even though initially most of the electronic music was dance music, the genre developed in the s as musicians started producing music which was not necessarily designed for the dance-floor but rather for home listening (later on referred to as "Electronica") and slower paced music which was played throughout chillout rooms—the relaxation sections of the clubs (later on referred to as "downtempo", "chill-out music" and "ambient music").
Since we don't really know what was the first electronic music computer generated track ever made, in the USA we can find in the intro of Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon" released in , a fully completed music track using only computers and machines. At the same time, in Germany, Kraftwerk is recognised as the very first band creating music only with machines and computers. Kraftwerk were the pioneers of what is electronic music nowadays.
Then, the electronic music scene exploded in the world, with at the front line, Chicago for House Music, and Detroit the Techno.
In the late s, Madonna had success with her album Ray of Light which experimented with electronica sounds. Moby achieved international success in the ambient electronica scene after releasing his critically acclaimed album Play in which produced an impressive eight hit singles (including his most popular songs "Porcelain", "Natural Blues" and "Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad?").
Electronic dance music was highly successful throughout the decade in Europe, particularly in Britain, Germany and Italy. Outdoor raves were popular at the start of the decade in the UK, before the government introduced its Criminal Justice and Public Order Act , leading to a higher number of superclubs opening. Among the most successful were Ministry of Sound and Cream. Before the ban, popular genres at these raves included breakbeat hardcore and techno, though in the mids these genres splintered into separate scenes, such as happy hardcore, jungle and drum and bass, the latter of which received mainstream recognition through artists such as Goldie and Roni Size.
Other notable British genres that emerged during the decade include progressive house, big beat, vocal house, trip hop and UK garage (or speed garage). The latter genre developed in London in the late s and continued to be successful through to the early s. DJ Culture also gained momentum during the s. DJs such as Sasha, John Digweed, Paul Oakenfold, Ferry Corsten and Pete Tong became big names in the business, which was made desirable by magazines such as Mixmag and Muzik.
Italy ended the s with Italo house, before becoming one of many countries to release Eurodance and Hi-NRG. Both genres were commercially successful across the world, with artists such as 2 Unlimited, La Bouche and Captain Hollywood promoting the genre. Countries such as Germany and Belgium, however, developed harder, darker styles of music, namely gabber, hard trance and techno. Trance emerged in the early s and by the end of the decade had penetrated most of Europe, with artists such as ATB, Ferry Corsten, WestBam and Paul Van Dyk gaining huge commercial and underground success. European trance remained popular until the early s. Goa became famed for its goa trance parties and Ibiza became the Number 1 clubbers' holiday destination.
The popularity of country music exploded in the early s. The stage had been set in with the debuts of several performers who proved to be profoundly influential on the genre during the s and beyond. Most notable of that group was Garth Brooks, who shattered records for album sales and concert attendance throughout the decade. The RIAA has certified his recordings at a combined (× platinum), denoting roughly million U.S. shipments. Brooks recorded primarily in a honky-tonk style, although he frequently combined elements of soft rock and arena rock in his songs. His songs sometimes explored social themes, such as domestic violence (in "The Thunder Rolls") and racial harmony ("We Shall Be Free)", while others – such as "Friends in Low Places" — were just good-time songs with traditional country themes of heartbreak, loneliness and dealing with those emotions.
Other performers who rose in popularity during the early s were neo-traditionalists Clint Black and Alan Jackson and southern rock influenced Travis Tritt. Mary Chapin Carpenter had a folk-style about her, while Lorrie Morgan (the latter the daughter of the late George Morgan, (himself a country legend) blended elements of country and pop, and occasionally operatic sounds in songs such as "Something in Red." Trisha Yearwood was one of the top new singers of , while Diamond Rio blended traditional and bluegrass styles and Brooks & Dunn provided a driving honky-tonk sound.
During the early-to-middle part of the decade, several recordings were influenced by the popularity of line dancing, including "Boot-Scootin' Boogie" by Brooks & Dunn and "Achy Breaky Heart" by Billy Ray Cyrus. This influence was so great that Chet Atkins was quoted as saying "The music has gotten pretty bad, I think. It's all that damn line dancing."
A steady stream of new artists began their careers during the mid- and lates. Many of these careers were short-lived, but several went on to long-lived, profitable careers. The most successful of the new artists were Yearwood, Shania Twain, LeAnn Rimes, Lee Ann Womack, Martina McBride, Kenny Chesney, Collin Raye, Faith Hill, and Tim McGraw, while Lonestar and Dixie Chicks were the most successful new groups. Twain's Come on Over album became the best-selling album released by a female of any genre. Yearwood became the first woman in more than 25 years to have her debut single top the Billboard Country Singles chart in with her single "She's in Love with the Boy". Yearwood's debut album also became the first by a female country act to sell over 1 million copies, eventually going double platinum.
Among artists whose success continued from the s, Reba McEntire was the most successful of the female artists, selling more than 30 million albums during the decade, gaining eight number-one hit singles on the U.S. Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart and six number one albums internationally, including her best-selling album, Greatest Hits Vol. 2, which was released in September and has sold over an international amount of 10 million copies to date. George Strait, a neo-traditionalist whose national success began in the early s, enjoyed success as both a radio artist (17 No. 1 songs) and as a movie star ('s Pure Country). Alabama, the most successful country band of the s, continued their run of popularity with sell-out concerts and best-selling albums, while topping the country chart five times. Among older artists having big hits, Conway Twitty was one of the most successful, scoring two Top 3 hits with "Crazy in Love" and "I Couldn't See You Leaving", while Eddie Rabbitt had a No. 1 hit with "On Second Thought." Dolly Parton had a No. 1 hit (with relative newcomer Ricky Van Shelton) on "Rockin' Years" in and had several top 15 hits. Although his s singles never reached the top 20 (excepting for a duet single with Randy Travis), George Jones (who had been around since the s) regularly recorded and released critically acclaimed material, including the semi-autobiographical "Choices." The Oak Ridge Boys continued their run of success with a No. 1 hit ("No Matter How High") and several other top 40 hits; in , upon the departure of William Lee Golden's replacement Steve Sanders, Golden reunited with longtime band members Duane Allen, Joe Bonsall and Richard Sterban, and the group has remained intact since then. While the Oak Ridge Boys' contemporaries The Statler Brothers were no longer reaching the top 40, the veteran group remained highly popular with fans and their new albums continued to sell well. Other artists reaching the top 10 of the Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart were Waylon Jennings, Anne Murray, and Kenny Rogers.
Pop-influenced country music began growing in popularity, particularly after Twain and Hill rose in popularity in the latter half of the s. In , Hill's "This Kiss" and Twain's "You're Still the One" both reached the top 10 of the Billboard Hot , in addition to peaking at No. 1 on the Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart. Rimes had a multi-million selling hit with "How Do I Live" (a song successfully covered by Yearwood), while Lonestar also had a huge crossover hit with "Amazed." Although the occurrence of country crossing over to the pop charts goes back as far as the start of the Billboardcharts in , some critics began to be troubled by a trend toward what they perceived as pop music marketed as country; they contended that radio was concentrating more on newer music while ignoring the more traditional styles of older artists such as Merle Haggard, George Jones, and others who continued to record and release new material. Johnny Cash and producer Rick Rubin once purchased a full-page advertisement in Billboard magazine – after Cash's album Unchained won a Grammy for Best Country Album, despite a lack of support from radio – showing a young Cash displaying his middle finger and sarcastically "thanking" radio for supporting the album. The criticism of pop-influenced and non-traditional styles in country music, however, dated back to the s although it had quieted down comparably during the s.
In the s, alternative country came to refer to a diverse group of musicians and singers operating outside the traditions and industry of mainstream country music. In general, they eschewed the high production values and pop outlook of the Nashville-dominated industry, to produce music with a lo-fi sound, frequently infused with a strong punk and rock & roll aesthetic, bending the traditional rules of country music. Lyrics were often bleak, gothic or socially aware. Other initiators include Old 97's, Steve Earle, Uncle Tupelo, Son Volt, Ryan Adams, My Morning Jacket, Blitzen Trapper, and Drive-By Truckers.
A number of notable artists in country music died during the decade, including Twitty, Webb Pierce, Dottie West, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Roger Miller, Roy Acuff, Charlie Rich, Minnie Pearl, Faron Young, John Denver, Carl Perkins, Grandpa Jones, Tammy Wynette, Eddie Rabbitt, Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, Rex Allen and Hank Snow.
Main article: Swing revival
During the s, concurrent with third wave ska, swing music made a resurgence in the form of swing revival, which brought the jazz form into the pop charts. Reaching its commercial zenith around the time of the movie Swingers, whose soundtrack featured numerous s swing bands, the movement was exemplified by bands such as Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Cherry Poppin' Daddies, Squirrel Nut Zippers, and the Brian Setzer Orchestra. The highest-charting song of the genre would have been "Jump, Jive an' Wail" by the Brian Setzer Orchestra, which peaked at #23 on the Billboard Hot in the U.S. in , and won the Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals in
See also: Music of the United Kingdom (s)
In the late s/early s, a counter-culture movement rose from the Manchester club scene that came to be known as Madchester. Happy Mondays, and The Stone Roses were the pre-eminent bands.
In the early s, a counter-culture movement rose in Britain, called Britpop by the music press, rejecting the themes of disenfranchised youth coming out of America in favour of songs written specifically about the experiences of the British youth. Although the movement was heavily influenced by s, s, and s British rock there was very little that musically defined the Britpop bands beyond the intensely British lyrical themes. Britpop bands such as Blur, Suede, Pulp, Ash, Elastica, Supergrass, The Verve and Oasis regularly topped the singles and album charts throughout the decade.
Oasis were the biggest band of the Britpop era at the forefront of alternative rock, as their second album (What's the Story) Morning Glory? became the second highest selling studio album of all time in the U.K. "Wonderwall" peaked at number 2 in the UK Singles charts, and number 8 in the US Billboard Their era defining concerts at Knebworth Park, playing to , people over two nights, broke records for attendance and ticket applications. In addition to this, they made a significant impact on the US market, achieving three top 5 albums in that country. The Britpop phenomena ran out of steam by the end of the s with most of its most successful bands splitting up or fading away, although bands that rose from the rubble of predecessors Oasis were Travis, Coldplay and Keane.
From about , Britpop as a movement began to dissolve, emerging bands began to avoid the Britpop label while still producing music derived from it. Many of these bands tended to mix elements of British traditional rock (or British trad rock), particularly the Beatles, Rolling Stones and Small Faces, with American influences, including post-grunge.Post-Britpop bands like Coldplay, Travis, Stereophonics and Feeder achieved much wider international success than most of the Britpop groups that had preceded them, and were some of the most commercially successful acts of the late s.
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The Irish Celtic folk rock band The Corrs achieved international success during the late s with a series of hit recordings which established them as international stars and helped a successful career that continued into the s.
Pop music and dance music became popular throughout the s. Popular European pop artists of the s included Seal, M People, 2 Unlimited, and Ace of Base.
During the s, some European managers created their own boy band acts, beginning with Nigel Martin-Smith's Take That and East 17, which competed with Louis Walsh's Irish bands Westlife and Boyzone. In , the male saturated market was turned on its head by one of the most successful and influential pop acts of the decade, the Spice Girls. The group achieve nine number 1 singles in the UK and US, including "Wannabe", "2 Become 1" and "Spice Up Your Life". The group, unlike their British boy band predecessors, manage to break America and achieve the best-selling album of in the USA. More Girl Groups begin to emerge such as All Saints, who had five number 1 hits in the UK and two multi-platinum albums. By the end of the century the grip of boy bands on the charts was faltering, but proved the basis for solo careers like that of Robbie Williams, formerly of Take That, who achieved six number one singles in the UK between and  Additional popular European teen pop acts of the s included Ace of Base, Aqua and A*Teens.
Ballad songs were popular during this decade, and popular European artists included George Michael, Robert Palmer, Sade, Sinéad O'Connor, The Cranberries, Lisa Stansfield and Roxette. Danish pop/soft rock band Michael Learns to Rock, fronted by singer/songwriter/keyboardist Jascha Richter, were well known for their ballads, particularly in Asia with songs such as "The Actor", "Sleeping Child", "That's Why (You Go Away)", and "Paint My Love".
In the summer of , the Spanish music duo Los del Río popularized the dance craze "Macarena" with their summer hit "Macarena". The song was featured prominently in many other countries during the mids.
With the explosive growth of computers music technology and consequent reduction in the cost of equipment in the early s, it became possible for a wider number of musicians to produce electronic music.
The popularity of house, techno and rave in the early part of the decade lead to the boom of the more commercial Eurodance genre. Popular European Eurodance acts of the decade included Toy-Box, Daze, Jonny Jakobsen, Alexia, Alice Deejay, Haddaway, Captain Jack, Captain Hollywood Project, Basic Element, Solid Base, Daze, Gigi D'Agostino, Vengaboys, 2 Unlimited, Cappella, Corona, Culture Beat, DJ Bobo, Dr. Alban, Ice MC, La Bouche, 2 Brothers on the 4th Floor, Twenty 4 Seven, Leila K, Fun Factory, Masterboy, Mr. President, Pandora, Magic Affair, Maxx, Loft, Sash!, BKS, Snap!, Playahitty, Love Inc., Real McCoy, Urban Cookie Collective, Scatman John, Paradisio and Whigfield. Eventually the popularity of the Eurodance genre lead to the huge popularity of the trance genre in the late s and early s.
The s also saw the development and refinement of IDM (intelligent dance music), which borrowed from forms such as techno, drum and bass and acid house music and introduced more abstract elements, including heavy use of digital signal processing.
In the United Kingdom, popular electronic genres of the s included breakbeat hardcore, drum and bass/jungle, big beat and UK garage. Among the most commercially successful electronic acts in the s of these scenes were artists such as the Prodigy, the Chemical Brothers, Fatboy Slim, Aphex Twin, Autechre, Boards of Canada, Squarepusher, Leftfield, LFO, Massive Attack, Portishead, Underworld and Faithless. Notable s UK garage acts included the Dreem Teem, Tuff Jam, Grant Nelson, Lockdown, R.I.P. Productions/Double 99, Dem 2 and Sunship.
The arrival of Massive Attack in the early s lead to a new style of slow electronic music dubbed trip hop and influenced groups such as Portishead, Björk, Tricky, Morcheeba and Thievery Corporation.
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Puerto Rico became a merengue stronghold in the early s, with acts such as Elvis Crespo, Olga Tañon and Grupo Mania topping the charts throughout Latin America.
Latin boys band and vocal pop groups were storming up the charts in Mexico and Central America. Mexican boy band Magneto spawned hits in the early s but split in In , their successors, Mercurio continued making top hits like Bye Bye Baby and Explota Corazón. MDO, a Puerto Rican boy band also hoarded the charts with songs like No Puedo Olvidarme de Ti. Mexican pop groups Onda Vaselina and Kabah spanned several hits in the Latin American charts and made history in the Mexican charts. Jeans, Mexican pop girl group rose to fame in late and and continued until the s.
Thenyear-old singer Luis Miguel rediscovered the bolero circa , echoing back to the trios of the s with his album Romance, making him the biggest international Latin star until the late s.
From early to mids successful acts such as Selena Quintanilla-Pérez, Thalía, Lynda Thomas, Chayanne, Paulina Rubio and arguably the most successful and influential, Gloria Trevi, became the first s music idols in Latin America, subsequently appeared other successful singers and pop groups, including No Mercy, Shakira, Fey and Enrique Iglesias, they also achieved international success.
Colombian rock singer Shakira, Puerto Rican-American actress Jennifer Lopez, and Spanish singer Enrique Iglesias began to rise into the top of the pop charts by the end of the decade, following Selena's assassination.
Ricky Martin eclipsed Luis Miguel as the top Latin star when he performed "The Cup of Life" during the Grammy Awards, earning him the award for Best Latin Pop Performance. He released his English-language debut album less than half a year later, which featured the international hit, opening track "Livin' La Vida Loca".
Surge of newfound interest in Spanish-language rock, led by bands like Soda Stereo, Héroes del Silencio, Los Fabulosos Cadillacs, Maná, La Ley, Café Tacuba or Los Tres which gained large international following during this period. Others would follow their footsteps.
Along with the rise of Spanish rock came "rock alternativo", a Spanish equivalent to alternative rock headed by bands like Los Piojos, Babasónicos and Attaque The "rolinga" or "stone rock" genre also emerged from "rock alternativo", popularized and headed throughout the entire decade by Viejas Locas. The stone-rock genre would remain popular in the s with the Viejas Locas' vocalist, Pity Álvarez's other band Intoxicados.
During the s, salsa spread from the Caribbean region all over Latin America sharing the dance music niche with cumbia. During this period salsa became also increasingly popular as dance music in the US and Europe. Beginning in , the salsa romantica that began in the s becomes a standard in tropical music thanks to chart-topping stars mainly from Puerto Rico such as Marc Anthony, Jerry Rivera, Tito Rojas, Víctor Manuelle and Gilberto Santa Rosa.
In the s, the popularity of cumbia waned in favour of other styles such as salsa but remained relatively strong. In Argentina, Mexico, El salvador, Colombia and other countries as well synthesizers and elements of electronic music were incorporated into cumbia music, giving birth to cumbia sonidera, cumbia andina mexicana and cumbia villera. The blending of chicha music and cumbia in Peru also gained large popularity.
Australia and New Zealand
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Bands INXS and Crowded House, who had risen to international fame in the s, continued their success into the nineties. However, INXS saw a decline in popularity after the release of 's Full Moon, Dirty Hearts, which did not even reach the US Top 50 and on 22 November , a few months after the release of the band's tenth studio album Elegantly Wasted, lead singer Michael Hutchence was found dead in a Sydney hotel room. Crowded House released two further albums, 's Woodface and 's Together Alone, which were both successful internationally, but disbanded in after playing their 'Farewell to the World' concert at the steps of the Sydney Opera House. Their greatest hits compilation album Recurring Dream, released in , debuted at number one in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom and reached the Top 20 in several European territories. Notable nineties Australian rock bands include Silverchair, Savage Garden, Bachelor Girl, Powderfinger, and The Living End.
In New Zealand, hip hop group OMC's single "How Bizarre" became the most successful New Zealand song in history, reaching number one in several music charts around the world, including Australia, Canada, Ireland, South Africa and Austria. The nineties saw a surge in popularity of alternative rock music in New Zealand, especially the popularity of alternative rock bands from the independent music label Flying Nun Records. Successful alternative rock bands of this era include Straitjacket Fits, Headless Chickens and The Chills. Headless Chickens provided Flying Nun with their first number one New Zealand single in with their song "George".
Australian singer Kylie Minogue, who quickly rose to fame in the late eighties, continued to be popular throughout the decade, most notably with songs "Confide in Me" and "Where the Wild Roses Grow", which she recorded with Nick Cave. The nineties also saw the emergence of pop/rock singer Natalie Imbruglia who gained a worldwide popularity with a cover of Ednaswap's song Torn, pop singer Peter Andre, pop band Human Nature, Tina Arena and R&B Hip Hop artists CDB and Deni Hines.
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In , Supercar released its influential debut album Three Out Change. Characterized as having "almost foundational importance to 21st century Japanese indie rock", Supercar remained active through with their later albums containing more electronic rock.
Around the same time, bands such as Quruli and Number Girl had begun heavily influencing Japanese alternative rock. Music critic Ian Martin wrote that, along with Supercar, these groups had demonstrated that "Japanese rock bands could take on the British and American alternative bands of the 90s at their own game and in doing so, they had laid new ground for Japanese rock to develop in its own way from this point on."
Tokyo-based noise rock band Melt-Banana became an international touring cult act as well as the Boredoms.
J-Pop was a major trend in the late s. The Japanese record label Avex Trax produced a string of top-charting J-pop artists, including Namie Amuro, Ayumi Hamasaki, and the band Every Little Thing. Hikaru Utada, only 16 at the time, scored her signature hit in with "Automatic", which was later covered by Hong Kong singer Kelly Chen. Also in , DA PUMP, a four-member boyband, had a hit with "Crazy Beat Goes On!", featured in the soundtrack of the year's film blockbuster, Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace. "Give me a shake", by girl-band MAX, was also a chart-topper in
J-pop in the s was significant because of its irresistible inclusion of English lyrics in the songs. Titles of most songs were also often in English. Notable examples include "Feeling good – it's paradise" by DA PUMP and "Give me a shake" by MAX. Other J-pop artists, such as Hokkaido two-girl band Kiroro, rarely included English lyrics in their songs.
Some non-Japanese-speaking artists, such as Taiwan's Vivian Hsu, also crossed over successfully into J-pop; Hsu's band Black Biscuits had a hit single in in both Japanese and Taiwanese Mandarin with "Bye bye". Taiwanese singer A-mei recorded a Japanese song on her album May I hold you, lover?.
The s saw a revival of interest in local music in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia, and Singapore. In these four regions alone, local artists outsold foreign artists, especially during the late s.
Three big Taiwanese rockers were household names throughout the s. In , it was Wu Bai; in , the two-piece outfit Power Station; and in , the veteran pub guitarist/singer Dick Cowboy.
Wu was known for his versatile ability to sing and write songs in Hokkien ("Number one in the world", "Back to hometown", "Lonely tree, lonely bird") as well as Taiwanese Mandarin ("Wanderer's love song", "Crying woman"), and also his poetic lyrics. His compositions were also recorded by other artists such as Hong Kong's Jacky Cheung ("If this is not love"), Wakin Chau ("Crying woman"), and Andy Lau ("Number one in the world", "Lone star tear"), and Taiwan's Tarcy Su ("Lazy Man's Diary", "Passive", "Yellow Moon").
Power Station, a Taiwanese aboriginal duo from the Paiwan tribe, were well known for their long hair, pitch-perfect two-part vocal harmonies, branded guitars/basses, and electrifying rock anthems. Members Yu Chiu-Hsin and Yen Chih-Lin also enjoyed success as singers of numerous television opening (and occasionally ending) themes throughout and ; they won the Best Theme Song award at the Star Awards for their song "I can endure the hardship", opening theme song to the award-winning drama series Stepping Out.
Dick Cowboy had been a singer in various pubs in his youth, and was especially known for his covers of songs by A-mei, Phil Chang, and Jeff Chang. In , at the age of 40, his original composition "Forget me or forget him" propelled him to superstardom.
High-voiced male singers were fashionable in Taiwanese pop music in the s. Jeff Chang was the foremost of these. His album Intuition () contained the title track, which is his biggest single to date.
Singer-songwriter Panda Hsiung, whose voice was very similar to Chang's, had his biggest hit with his original composition "Incomprehensible memories" in , which was featured on the soundtrack of the drama, Legend of the Eight Immortals. Panda also had a string of hits throughout and , including "I Wander Alone", "River of the Blues", "Snowbird", and "The Match Girl".
Other popular Taiwanese male singers with exceptionally high voices during the s included Chang Yu Sheng, Terry Lin, and Chyi Chin.
The Eurodance craze found its way into the Asian pop market with such singers as Yuki Hsu. Her first big hit, recorded in when she was only 20, was "Who is bad?", a cover of Jonny Jakobsen's "Calcutta (Taxi taxi taxi)". Similarly, J-pop became popular in Taiwan and Hong Kong after their songs were translated into Chinese, for instance Kelly Chen's "Automatic ", a cover of the Hikaru Utada original; and Rene Liu's "Later", a remake of the Kiroro original.
Hong Kong's Four Heavenly Kings – Aaron Kwok, Andy Lau, Jacky Cheung, and Leon Lai – were the undisputed solo artists from Hong Kong in the s. Cheung was also nicknamed the "God of Songs" during this period.
Young Hong Kong singers Daniel Chan, Ronald Cheng, and Gigi Leung had their big breaks in the s. Chan's "Only you in my heart", on the album of the same name, was released in when Chan was only 22; the song was later selected as the opening theme song of Singaporean TV series, From the Medical Files. Chan would also continue to sing a few television opening/ending themes in , including "Lonely nights I'm not lonely" (from Stand by me), "When dreams are discovered" and "Does your heart hurt" (both from A Piece of Sky).
Cheng's album I Really Can was released in and was his biggest seller to date; his other successful albums included You Are Not My Dearest Lover () and Don't Love Me ().
Leung's album Fresh (), along with its title track, was a bestseller upon its release, and the title track remains her signature song.
Julie Su Rui of Taiwan and Anita Mui of Hong Kong, both of them established veteran singers, also had comeback albums in this period. Su's album Love Comes This Way was released in , and Mui's Intimate Lover, in
In late , two Hong Kong veteran singers had chart-topping albums. Jordan Chan's album A Bigger Star contained the song "I Don't Have Such Fate"; while William So's album Loving Someone Is So Hard contained "You + Me + Heartbroken", a re-recording of his signature song "Sadder as We Kiss" with new lyrics.
Other Asian singers who had chart-toppers in the s included, among others:
- From Hong Kong: Wakin Chau, Sally Yip, Andy Hui, Samuel Tai, David Lui and Sammi Cheng;
- From Taiwan: Tarcy Su, CoCo Lee, A-mei, Chao Chuan, Richie Ren and Phil Chang;
- From Malaysia: Eric Moo, Ah Gu and Auguste Kwan;
- From Singapore: Kit Chan, Mavis Hee and Fann Wong.
The s also saw the death of Taiwanese countertenor singer Chang Yu Sheng, who died in a car accident late in His protege, aboriginal singer A-mei, recorded the song "Hearing You, Hearing Me" in his memory.
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The Top 50 Music Videos of the s
They were still a young art form when the s began, but by the end of the decade music videos and video directors were arguably at their commercial and artistic peak. In , MTV's "TRL" was launching teen pop stars and serving as a better barometer of what Generation Y was listening to than the Billboard charts. Meanwhile, Spike Jonze-- who almost single-handedly codified a generation's idealized music videos by artfully employing Gen X totems such as irony, 70s nostalgia, geek chic, intertextuality, and trash culture-- was being nominated for a best director Oscar for Being John Malkovich.
Throughout the decade, MTV-- with a huge assist from Clear Channel-- glued together a pseudo-music monoculture in the U.S. like almost nothing before. Songs like Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit", Dr. Dre's "Nothing But a G Thang", and Britney Spears' "Baby One More Time" altered the landscape of pop culture so quickly in large part because they were delivered to all corners of the U.S. simultaneously by MTV. It wasn't just inevitable hits whose influence was quickened by MTV either; oddities such as Folk Implosion's "Natural One" or Danzig's "Mother 93" (or, say, Green Jelly's "Three Little Pigs", to name just one of many execrable examples) became out-of-leftfield hits for almost no other reason than someone at MTV decided they should become Buzz Bin videos.
MTV's ability to place a song and musician into the pop music conversation was unparalleled at the time, and by the end of the decade that meant absurd levels of both financial and creative commitment to music videos. Creatively, videos at the time were dominated by a handful of visionary directors-- Jonze, Michel Gondry, and Chris Cunningham-- and there's no getting away from that in our list of our top 50 videos of the 90s. (NB: Whenever possible we've chosen official videos to limit the chances those videos will be removed at a future date; the tradeoff is that those clips are more likely to have pre-roll ads.)
As always with a list such as this, commentary is kept to a minimum; the fun and joy should be watching the clips, whether for the first time or the first time in years.
[dir: Maria Mochnacz; ]
As late as the mids, it was novel just to see certain artists in music videos. Hell, it was novel to see them in photographs, or magazines-- in any context outside of their record sleeves and live performances. The alt-rock boom pushed some artists into a brighter spotlight with larger music video budgets. But in the first half of the decade, clips for all but the biggest pop stars were modest affairs, typically without narrative or special effects. Seeing someone walk and talk and sing and move on video was a thrill in itself, and personality went a long way. Polly Jean Harvey certainly had personality. This simple yet arresting clip is a good example of both the limitations of those early videos and how an outsized presence could transcend those limitations.
[dir: Steve Hanft; ]
Decidedly lo-fi yet still looking like an event right out of the box, Beck's "Loser" clip introduced his entire aesthetic in just a few minutes. It made the L.A. singer-songwriter look fun, fresh, entirely of the moment.
[dir: Adam Bernstein; ]
This goofy, highly re-watchable video from the ex-Pixies singer is pretty much what's good about the above two videos combined into one clip.
Ol' Dirty Bastard [ft. Kelis]
"Got Your Money"
[dir: Nzingha Stewart/Scott Kalvert/ Hype Williams/ Durville Martin; ]
By the end of the decade, 70s cop dramas and blaxploitation films were an established part of the Gen X vocabulary. But seeing ODB and Kelis onscreen with Dolemite doesn't feel passé. The casual construction of the video hews closely to the homemade YouTube mash-up clips of today-- there's no effort to make the cuts seamless, or let technological feats overshadow the stars. At a time when many hip-hop videos looked like Michael Bay action films, there's ODB turning the clock back and making helicopter and yacht rentals seem like the hideously comical extravagances they are.
[dir: Walter Stern; ]
The Verve wound up in hoc to Rolling Stones manager Allen Klein for lifting the central string sample of their defining single; they also lifted the general concept of the song's video, this time from Massive Attack's "Unfinished Sympathy". In both cases, they improved on the original. Richard Ashcroft's brashness and dickish disregard for other people probably didn't require acting chops.
Dr. Dre [ft. Snoop Doggy Dog]
"Nuthin' But a 'G' Thang"
[dir: Andre Young; ]
Basically the template for G-Funk videos to come, Dre and Snoop's hour odyssey has its needlessly mean-spirited moments (basically any time a woman is on screen). But the small details-- Dre laughing off getting a job, the little kid dancing, the modified cars, the stocked fridge, the tracking shots through Snoop's house-- helped construct a panorama of an emerging cultural phenomenon.
"Outtasight (Outta Mind)"
[dir: Bill Fishman; ]
This is essentially Wilco starring in a Mountain Dew ad, but the unlikelihood of it all somehow makes it more effective and attractive.
Snoop Doggy Dog
"Gin & Juice"
[dir: Dr. Dre; ]
Hockey jerseys, broad comedy, bicycles, Home Alone gags-- this is basically the PG version of the Dr. Dre video.
[dir: Tamra Davis; ]
By the time of Mike Mills' skaters-in-love clip for Air's "All I Need", sincerity was poised to creep back into indie rock youth culture. You'd still show up at a Flaming Lips show and people would nervously laugh at covers of "Over the Rainbow" or "(What a) Wonderful World", but the ground was shifting under our feet. All that was a few years away when Tamra Davis constructed this tale of love in the moshpit. Note the Nirvana t-shirt worn by the female protagonist, well before the release of Nevermind.
"Everything Is Everything"
[dir: Sanji; ]
A healthy dose of 90s positivity-- almost the final gasp of it-- and a heavy-handed music-is-all-around-us metaphor somehow redeem what incredibly turned out to be the last moment in the sun for Lauryn Hill.