Most Iconic 90s Songs

When you think of 90s music, which songs speak most to that era in music? Feel free to add your own choices, there's definitely a lot of others I could've mentioned (I refuse to include any Celine Dion myself).

The Top Ten

1 Smells Like Teen Spirit - Nirvana Smells Like Teen Spirit - Nirvana Cover Art

At first I too was stupid enough to think that this was an overrated song, and then my dad made me listen to it and I was completely blown away... If there's a song that doesn't have flaws at all... It's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" ...a masterpiece by Nirvana ( RIP Kurt Cobain ... Miss you so much)... I'm so unlucky that I never got to see Nirvana live ...

Come on. This isn't my favorite song in the list by a country mile, but it is easily the most iconic song of the 90s. When I think of 90s music, Smells Like Teen Spirit is always the first song to come to mind. I think Cobain didn't want to be thought of as the voice of a generation, but he did write the anthem of the decade...and Weird Al couldn't have made it clearer

"well we don't sound
like Madonna!
here we are now
we're Nirvana!"

And people say grunge is awful. I beg to disagree. This song introduced me to that world (not the main genre I listen to, but I still love it).

Yes. I used to be mainstream, but then I had a revelation and realized these bands are cool. So now I'm really into Queen and My Chemical Romance and I'm still getting into Nirvana but I am loving it! My friend hates the song endless nameless but I like it to be honest.

Please don't put My Chemical Romance in the same sentence as Queen and Nirvana

2 I Will Always Love You - Whitney Houston I Will Always Love You - Whitney Houston Cover Art

Sure, Whitney sang this beautifully, but this is DOLLY PARTON's song! I believe Parton sang it better, but even if you disagree, Dolly wrote this song BY HERSELF, and would not be in existence without her. A cover should not be the song that defines the 90s.

I get where you're coming from, but I'd counter that being a cover should not preclude a song from defining an era. With a Little Help From My Friends tops my 60s list, and is not only a cover, but a superior version (and the greatest song of all-time in my humble opinion). This song was huge in the 90s, the soundtrack was wildly successful. And...I prefer it to Dolly's version personally (And I do like Dolly, don't get me wrong).

At least it's way better than every single Taylor Swift song I can't stand. I didn't know Whitney Houston made a cover of that Dolly Parton song.

A massive smash hit, and in my view one of the best vocal performances of all-time. And yet it comes from a fairly forgettable film...

Arguably the most iconic song of all time and by one of the most iconic singers ever.

3 Enter Sandman - Metallica Enter Sandman - Metallica Cover Art

YES! METALLICA! I knew this song was going to be near the top. I know that people don't like this song because it is too overrated. But just because something is overrated doesn't mean that it is not good. This song is my jam and definitely on my personal top ten favourite song of all time. And Lars' drumming here is so badass. And I know that TRUE METALLICA fans would agree with me. Stop hating on Lars!

I hate Lars but love Metallica and this song. I do prefer others on the album, but this is obviously their most iconic 90s song.

Thrash metal going mainstream. Not my favourite song on the album, but undeniably iconic and a big part of the 90s for me personally.

This song has persisted for so long that its just become how we introduce guitarists to distortion.

I don't know how to explain. This song just gives me the chills. Love it

4 Losing My Religion - R.E.M. Losing My Religion - R.E.M. Cover Art

And somewhere high up on the list, and repeatedly. No band personifies the 90s more than REM. Not to mention that this is a GREAT song.

They're definitely an iconic band, slightly overrated for me. I like some of their songs though.

Incredible lyrics with a deep meaning

Remember when pop was good?

R.E.M. had to be on the list somewhere.

5 I Want It that Way - Backstreet Boys I Want It that Way - Backstreet Boys Cover Art

Undoubtedly the best boy band song in the whole universe and is my favourite hit of 90's

I really never liked this song but it has been on so much lately that I like it know

At least THIS is the actual Backstreet Boys and not a ripoff like One Direction!

I love so much Backstreet Boys
This is the best Boy Band of all time
This song is very bbeautiful

6 Paranoid Android - Radiohead Paranoid Android - Radiohead Cover Art

A six minute song with four sections and no chorus reaching no. 3 on the British Singles Chart? That's quite an accomplishment. Creep may be more popular, but this is more deserving of "sacred cow" status.

My favourite song of all time, and yes, my favourite genre is heavy metal.

Come on man. Super creative song, some wacky time signatures, too.

Best 90s songs and top 10 songs ever

7 Black Hole Sun - Soundgarden Black Hole Sun - Soundgarden Cover Art

Easily the best song of the 90s, Chris was easily the best singer of the ninties I mean come on the dude would leave a trail of broken mics at any studio just because he sang so loud.

Awesome song! My favourite from them. Can't get it out of my head. Rest in peace Chris Cornell. 'no one sings like you anymore.'

Might be kinda overrated, but a great song.

I'd say they're both well-respected and equally deserving of their reputation.

Mmm yes good music

8 Thunderstruck - AC/DC Thunderstruck - AC/DC Cover Art

The only real way to play this on guitar is to play it only using hammer ons with one hand and playing smoke on the water while tapping on the other...

Awesome performance by AC/DC - This song never loses its punch or grows old in time.

Terrific album, this kept the band relevant during the 90s.

AC/DC forever!

9 Gangsta's Paradise - Coolio Gangsta's Paradise - Coolio Cover Art

So iconic, it was featured in the Sonic movie trailer. Sure it was bad but still.

Rap's not really my bag, but it'd be wrong to leave this off the list. Hell, even I like it.

I prefer "Amish Paradise", thank you very much.

I only know it from the sonic trailer.

10 Creep - Radiohead Creep - Radiohead Cover Art

I love the lyrics and the music. One of my favourite parts of this song is the riff before the chorus (if that makes any sense). Beautiful song overall.

The Contenders

11 Wind of Change - Scorpions Wind of Change - Scorpions Cover Art

Best song by the Scorpions.

It's so iconic!

12 Black or White - Michael Jackson Black or White - Michael Jackson Cover Art

This should be ranked higher.. I mean come on it's Michael!

It should be waay higher. I mean, come on it's Michael Jackson, the King of Pop!

God of music that's all

Right I love Michael

13 Basket Case - Green Day Basket Case - Green Day Cover Art

Glad someone added this, I listened to this album a LOT when it came out.

Awesome song and a big hit in the 90s from a great band

One of those songs that everyone has heard.

Green Day and Nirvana defined the 90's

14 Nothing Compares 2 U - Sinead O'Connor Nothing Compares 2 U - Sinead O'Connor Cover Art
15 Self Esteem - The Offspring Self Esteem - The Offspring Cover Art

The lyrics to me definitely evoke a lot of the feelings my generation had during the 90s (I was a teen at the time).

Sounds like SLTS by Nirvana hence became popular

16 Wonderwall - Oasis Wonderwall - Oasis Cover Art

I said mabeyyy

Anyway, here’s Wonderwall

literally EVERYONE knows that strumming.

17 My Heart Will Go On - Celine Dion My Heart Will Go On - Celine Dion Cover Art

This song is honestly the real most Iconic song of the 90s. It's probably not even close.

this is such a sad/good song and celine dion was the right girl to sing it to

iconic mainly because of titanic

18 November Rain - Guns N' Roses November Rain - Guns N' Roses Cover Art

Really, I find Guns N‘ Roses quite underhated, to be honest. Slash’s voice is so whiny and annoying, and when he lengthens the words when he’s singing, it makes me want to slam my head against a tree. Freddie Mercury sounds WAYYY better that this idiot!

Idiot? Well, for starters the singer from Guns 'n' Roses is Axl Rose. Slash is the guitarist...

Greatest band at that time, still the greatest band but deserves more recognition

I think this song should be is well knowed as Nirvana's Spirit

Is the one of the mot beautiful rock ballads all time.I love this song and I love Slash

19 Don't Look Back in Anger - Oasis Don't Look Back in Anger - Oasis Cover Art

The best song of all time.

20 I Believe I Can Fly - R. Kelly I Believe I Can Fly - R. Kelly Cover Art

U sound like, I believe I can fly! I believe I can touch this guy! STUPID!

{Isn't this a meme? }


21 Alive - Pearl Jam Alive - Pearl Jam Cover Art

Eddie Vedder is the only one of the big four grunge frontmen that isn't dead. Thanks to that this song is a meme because the chorus goes "I'm still alive yeah"

Looking back, I think we can safely say Pearl Jam aren't/weren't a grunge band, but they were a huge part of making 90s music what it was/is.

22 Bitter Sweet Symphony - The Verve Bitter Sweet Symphony - The Verve Cover Art

They got their profits taken by the Rolling Stone's parent company, just because of a sample. Besides this, the instrumental to the song is feels quite emotional, and the lyrics are pretty deep.

I don't care that the sample is on loop throughout this song This song's lyrics are lovely and blend well with the music.

23 All Star - Smash Mouth All Star - Smash Mouth Cover Art

The only reason anybody in the 2000's know the lyrics to this song is because of Shrek

Not #1? Really, I thought everyone knew this song

All memelords please rise for our national anthem...

Become one with the shrek

24 You Oughta Know - Alanis Morissette You Oughta Know - Alanis Morissette Cover Art

This entire album is pure art. Not many artists have ever been able to top this album, every song is so experimental but in a good way. Unlike any other artist has ever published except maybe Grimes.

Of all the female rock/indie singers of the 90s, Alanis probably cut through the most with this anthem. What did you do, Uncle Joey?

it's kind of a stick it to you song.

such a bad ass song in a good why.

25 Killing in the Name - Rage Against the Machine Killing in the Name - Rage Against the Machine Cover Art

If getting punched in the balls had a soundtrack it would be this.

Anger on a Cd

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