Get this. Next year’s batch of freshmen were mostly born in 1994. That’s the same year Kurt Cobain killed himself, and O.J. Simpson sped away from police in his white Bronco. They were only 5 years old when “Family Guy” first premiered on Fox and when Napster popped up on the Internet to change the music industry forever.
They, along with most of the rest of us, probably missed a ton of great (and not-so-great) music in the ’90s. Let’s catch ourselves up, shall we? Here are 10 notable songs from the ’90s, one for each year. It’s da bomb.
1990: “Epic” – Faith No More
The pre-Limp Bizkit rap rock helps “Epic” stand out from other tunes of its era, but the creepy voice asking, “what is it?” over and over is what really makes this song. Many younger people were introduced to “Epic” through the “Rock Band” video games.
1991: “I Touch Myself” – Divinyls
The song Austin Powers uses to destroy the Fembots in his 1997 debut film was a huge hit when Australian band Divinyls released it in 1991. It peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard charts, mostly due to modern rock radio stations. Pop stations thought the song was too racy, even though it’s downright cute compared to some popular songs of the 2000s.
1992: “I’m Too Sexy” – Right Said Fred
It was a huge year for wedding music. Sir Mix-a-Lot released “Baby Got Back,” House of Pain came out with “Jump Around” and Right Said Fred sang us a list of all the things they were too sexy for.
1993: “No Rain” – Blind Melon
A study released last year found that nobody can listen to “No Rain” without smiling. Fun fact: the song’s music video features a girl tap dancing in a bee costume—and the lead singer was high on acid when it was filmed.
1994: “Wild Night” – John Mellencamp and Meshell Ndegeocello
Post-Cougar Mellencamp teamed up with neo-soul artist Ndegeocello to cover a Van Morrison song from the early ’70s. Stranger things have happened, right? When Puff Daddy recorded a cover song originally written by The Police to pay respects to the Notorious B.I.G., for instance.
1995: “A Girl Like You” – Edwyn Collins
This song appeared on the “Empire Records” soundtrack. If you haven’t seen “Empire Records,” drop this newspaper and go do that now. We’ll wait. Collins made “A Girl Like You” available free on the Internet in 2009, because he’s a good guy like that.
1996: “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” – Deep Blue Something
Choosing a song for 1996 was hard. It was a toss up between this and “Peaches” from The Presidents of the United States of America, but we didn’t feel like typing out Presidents of the United States of America. Oh… Shoot.
1997: “Tubthumping” – Chumbawamba
This song has a lot of detractors. But you know what? They’re never gonna keep it down.
1998: “Flagpole Sitta” – Harvey Danger
“American Pie,” anyone? Remember the days when Shannon Elizabeth was on top of the world, Tara Reid’s career showed promise and Seann William Scott was still considered funny? No? You were 6 when it came out? Uhh… erm. This song was on the soundtrack to that movie.
1999: “Lullaby” – Shawn Mullins
“Lullaby” got Mullins gigs opening for Destiny’s Child and Backstreet Boys. Then, just like the ’90s, he faded away.