The Best and Worst Songs of the 90s

My taste in music can be pretty varied at times. Playlists will jump from Electric Light Orchestra to Childish Gambino to They Might Be Giants to Hall & Oates and I don't blink an eye. I like what I like. I mostly prefer older stuff, but my taste in modern music is a bit more hipster than I'd like to admit. I think that everything that I like is "good" and everything that I don't like is "bad." So if you don't like what I like then you have bad taste in music. I don't mean to be like this, but I think most people are the same way. We're all dicks.

However, there is one soft spot in my tough music facade and that is the 1990's. I am completely unapologetic about the music of my youth and I love it no matter how bad everyone else in the world thinks it is. It's just wrapped to my memories so tightly that I can't think it's bad. If you think "Torn" by Natalie Imbruglia is bad then you think I am bad. I am not bad, I am riding the chillwave bro.

Whenever I hear "Two Princes" by the Spin Doctors all I can think about is the girl I liked in 6th grade that ended up going to rehab for huffing things. If you play me "Don't Turn Around" by Ace of Base I don't ask you to change it. I tell you a story about a girl who dumped me and how I spent the entire weekend locked in my room listening to The Sign album on repeat and punching holes in the wall. "I Don't Want To Wait" by Paula Cole isn't a very good song, but it reminds me of the days when Pacey was my idol and Joey was the most perfect girl in the world. I was young and dumb and I recorded songs off the radio onto a tape to play them later. It was a simpler time.

Occasional contributor and MPD fashion expert Steph shares this love of all things 90s with me and might actually love them more than I do. I've honestly never met anyone who loves Color Me Badd more than her with the possible exception of Donna Martin. This is why we're friends. This is why I have her contribute to the site. Because she likes the same stupid stuff that I like. (That's all friendship is really.) Anyways, since it's Off Topic Week here at Miller Park Drunk Steph and I decided that it was time to find out what the very best and worst songs of our favorite decade were.

VINCE: Okay, I will start with the worst song. It's "Who Let The Dogs Out?" by the Baha Men, right? It has to be. I know it's a bit late in the decade, but this song has no redeeming value whatsoever. At least with the "Macarena" you had a cool dance that adheres you to your Mexican friends to go alongside it. "Achy Breaky Heart" has the added humor of being sung by Miley Cyrus' dad which will never really get old to me. This song? Nothing. One time I tried to sing this song at karaoke and got booed off the stage. They actually cut my mic off and stopped the song. Now this might have something to do with me being drunk and not knowing any of the words besides "Who let the dogs out, woof woof woof woof woof" (and I'm pretty sure I got those wrong,) but I like to think the booing was because the song sucked so bad and everyone hated it. Honestly, listening to this song sounds like a prank to me. This was a big hit in the 90s? This? Are we sure about this? People actually bought a record this was recorded on? With real money? It's like a dog won the lottery and hired some bad rappers from the Bahamas to write a song for him and his dog friends for his dog bachelor party. I really can't picture a song worse than this existing in real life, but if you have something worse by all means feel free to share. Until then I am going to put a Q-tip dipped in tabasco sauceĀ  into my eyeball and see if it feels better than listening to that song. I bet it does.

STEPH: "Who Let The Dogs Out" is a pile of shit of a song, I recognize this. However, I have a good memory intertwined into it. I grew up in a tiny town of about 700 people, my childhood BFF and I did not have much to do so we would make up our own lyrics to songs (which, btw,we nailed every time). When the Baha Men busted onto the scene, we were in middle school and changed the chorus to the clever "Who let your mom out, who? who? who? who?" Told you, we nailed that shit. Boom. So, with that being said my worst song is "Barbie Girl" by Aqua. Ugh, that high-pitched whiny voice is like nails on a chalkboard, this is, hands down, the worst 90s song. Plus, have you ever watched that wretched music video? They deserved to get sued by Mattel.

VINCE: I used to make up my own lyrics to songs too. Did everybody do that? Was that a 90's thing? Or was that just us because we are so cool? Although yours might be more creative than mine. Mine were always done to the Crash Test Dummies "Mmmm Mmmm Mmmm" and would go like:

Once there was this boy who
Was named KC and had really bad B.O.
But when they finally made him shower
They saw that he was still a dork

Not only was I a dick I was an unfunny dick.

Anyways, I will give it to you that this Aqua song is terrible. Not only is it terrible it also spread the worst message of all time and created an entire generation of slutty girls with no self esteem. Something we are still feeling the repercussions from to this day. Without this song there would be no Teen Mom. I almost believe that. Seriously though, look at these lyrics.

Make me walk, make me talk, do whatever you please
I can act like a star, I can beg on my knees
Come jump in, bimbo friend, let us do it again,
hit the town, fool around, let's go party
You can touch, you can play, if you say: "I'm always yours"

Jesus.

I wonder if the original version had a lyric where she sang "Give me roofies I don't care, you can put it anywhere. My dad touched me, my mom did nothing" because it totally should have. Poor girl. It's not your fault.

Listening to these terrible songs is ruining my life right now so let's stop. Please give me something good to listen to.

STEPH: The worst song of the 90s was easy but now the best...that is a much tougher. I have spent the last half hour looking at my Spotify to assist me in narrowing down my choices and well, that didn't work. I have complied a list that I could not possibly make smaller, I give you my three best 1990s songs. Note, that these jammy jams will be in no particular order.

"Tonight Tonight" by Smashing Pumpkins was the first song I had ever felt passionate about, whatta pussy I am. I would listen to Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness every night on my Sony Walkman until I wore both of the CDs completely out.

Now anyone who knows me certainly knows my never ending obsession with my number two song, "Shoop" by Salt N Pepa.I want this jam played every day for the rest of my life, not to mention, at my funeral. Therefore, I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to anyone who has had to hear me rap, word for word, this 1993 jam over and over. You guys have to admit it though, I killed that shit.

"Intergalactic" by Beastie Boys will round out my top three. "Intergalactic" gives me one of my favorite song lyrics ever "I like my sugar with coffee and cream". Why is that so humorous and brilliant at the same time? Actually who cares, the song rules and that's all I care about.

VINCE: Love your songs Steph, but I am not with you on these three as the best. "Tonight Tonight" is not even my favorite Smashing Pumpkins song of the 90s (that would be "Ava Adore") and "Shoop" isn't even my favorite Salt-N-Pepa song (that'd be "None of Your Business") And while I love "Intergalactic" and the line you pointed out in particular I don't feel comfortable ranking it in my top three of the 90s. This doesn't mean that either one of us is right or wrong. I think it just speaks to the personal nature of music and how sometimes it's more about how some song can hit you just right at the right time and stay with you forever. Also, how you are wrong.

"Here Comes The Hotstepper" is my absolute jam. I thought for a second that it was "This Is How We Do It," but once I listened to them both back to back I knew that Ini Kamoze's only hit from the movie Pret-A-Porter (!?) soundtrack was it. This song reminds me of so many good things. When it came out I was dating a girl named Tracy who was the first girl that ever let me touch her boob. It was amazing. (Five years later she would not remember me when I ran into her. Cocaine is a hell of a drug.) The Public Enemy used it as their music in ECW which immediately made me realize I loved ECW. "Here Comes The Hotstepper" will play at my wedding when I walk through the crowd to get to the podium and high five all my guests. (You can do that, right?) I could listen to this song on repeat for three days and never get sick of it. Which I am pretty sure I've done on more than one occasion.

I should note that I still have no idea what he is saying. Murderer? I think he is saying murderer. What murderers have to do with lyrical gangstas or still loving Mr. Officer like that I do not know.

My second choice is the Suzanne Vega "Tom's Diner" remix by DNA. I am not sure if this is technically a 90's song because it was actually written in the eighties, but this is a very 90's song for me and it is going on the list. This is a song that I would see a video of late night on MTV and be like "man, I gotta get that cassette tape" then forget about it and not hear it for another six months. Then I'd repeat the cycle. I am pretty sure it wasn't until the internet was invented that I finally got a hold of it and it has been a staple on my playlists ever since. The funny thing is I know for a fact that I'm not the only one that did this. I bet someone is reading this right now and excitedly saying "that's the song!" and downloading it right now. It's just one of those songs that everyone has heard, but nobody knows who sings it. Great job Suzanne Vega marketing team.

Before I forget did you know that the actual Tom's Diner is the diner from the exterior shots on Seinfeld? The one that says RESTAURANT out front? That's the same one! This song is written about the place Jerry and the gang had coffee! How blown is your mind right now?

For my last choice I have to go with "Hold My Hand" by Hootie and the Blowfish (which is actually in a direct tie with "I Go Blind", "Let Her Cry" and "Time" for best Hootie song of all time.) I just love Hootie, okay? Don't judge me.

Vince Morales is the guy who runs this site. He likes the Milwaukee Brewers, pro wrestling and beer. If he offended you he is very, very sorry.

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6 comments on “The Best and Worst Songs of the 90s

  1. Even though I was born in the mid-70′s and I can remember the day I bought “Thriller” on cassette, I love 90′s music. I could listen to “Wonderwall”, “Torn”, “Interstate Love Song” and “No Rain” all day, everyday. One of my fav albums of the 90′s is “Crazy Sexy Cool” go ahead judge away, I can take it. “Ava Adore” and “Here Comes the Hotstepper” would also be on my Top List, but for 90′s Beasties I’d go with “Sure Shot”. Not all of my friends share my musical tastes, but that’s why they’re wrong. I admit, I can be a dick when it comes to defending my music

    • Vince Morales on said:

      I couldn’t figure out where to put this in the article and it was super long as it is so I left it out, but I love CrazySexyCool too.

      Real talk: did you ever think “Waterfalls” went like “Don’t go Jason Waterfalls please stick to the rivers and the lakes that you’re used to” like there was a guy named Jason Waterfalls they were singing about? No? Ummm, me either.

      • I was at a Metallica concert, at some point in the 90′s and I was with a girl who thought “Sad but True” was “Sad Patrol”. She just kept singing it, loudly, and I just didn’t have the heart to tell her she was stupid. I don’t know what a ‘Sad Patrol’ is and I don’t think I ever want to.

  2. Bryan on said:

    Man, good topic…Sadly, I also thought it was “Don’t go Jason, Waterfalls”, but I thought they were singing to a guy named Jason about waterfalls. “Don’t go (there) Jason, (There’s) waterfalls” was the meaning I took.

    I could go on about 90′s music and I agree with what you wrote, but it’s hard to pick three especially when you remember that Green Day was in their hayday, there were gems by Blink 182, Weezer, and even The Wallflowers, the one hit wonders like Spacehog’s “In the Meantime” and Harvey Danger’s “Flagpole Sitta”, and even songs we secretly liked but didn’t want others to know like “End of the Road” by Boyz II Men.

    As for worst, I am sorry that I have to bring up this name: Sophie B Hawkins

  3. Whether accidental or intentional, you’re leaving out the boy bands.
    Hootie, Vincent Vega’s cousin’s song and all of the other songs mentioned were and always will be great but I’d be skipping some of the most significant music of my lifetime if, upon making my own list, I forgot Backstreet Boys, N’SYNC and 98 Degrees. AJ McLean was my first love. Justin Timberlake touched my sister’s hand at the Rock County Fair and we saw N’SYNC at Applebee’s before N’SYNC was, like, super famous. I own my junior high obsession with barely-legal, greased-up, hair-gelled gyrating pretty boys. I still blast their songs when they come on the radio.

    Tragic Kingdom-No Doubt. I played that CD until it wouldn’t play anymore.

    Tool and NIN. My high school crush’s high school crush was Tool (obsessed is an understatement). Pick any of their 90′s singles. They all sound alike. Korn’s “Freak on a Leash” was a big deal too.

    Worst 90′s song? “Higher” by Creed or anything by Limp Bizkit. Ugh.

  4. Jim's Timeout on said:

    Kurdt Kobain.
    Blur.
    Shoegazing.
    Grunge.
    Post-punk.
    Sonic Youth.
    Gangsta Rap and NY MC’s

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