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!"

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.

Okay I know that this is not a misheard lyrics list but I can't help it: Where the lies are! Hesitaters! AND POTATO'S! And also what was misheard the word "Pillow" and "Halo" repeated times.

2 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!

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

3 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.

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...

Definitely the most iconic '90s song and one of the most iconic songs of all time. Whitney absolutely nailed it.

4 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.

One of Green Day's greatest songs. This album was all the rage back then.

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

One of those songs that everyone has heard.

5 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.

Beautiful song by one of my favorite bands, a bit overrated tho...

Incredible lyrics with a deep meaning

Remember when pop was good?

6 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.'

A song that gave me back the belief that unique good quality songs can still make it

Might be kinda overrated, but a great song.

7 ...Baby One More Time - Britney Spears ...Baby One More Time - Britney Spears Cover Art

This is how u do pop music! This song and the video alone invented pop girls. U can see christina, jessica simpson, & mandy moore used that kind of bubblegum music.

I dressed up like her from the video one year for halloween.

the song that gave the world one miss Britney spears

Please put on my phone and listen for it

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

Tell me why baby ain't nothing but a heartake tell me why ain't nothing but a mistake tell me why I never want to say I want it that-a way am I your fire your one desire. Desire

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!

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

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

As john mulaney says " hey november rains over! No its not theres more" best dip in a song ever

A beautiful song. Whenever I think 90s, I think of this song.

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

10 Thunderstruck - AC/DC Thunderstruck - AC/DC Cover Art

Dude. Best. Song. Ever. No. Question. About. It. Everyone knows this song. As far as I know, everyone LIKES this song. Everyone knows AC/DC because of this and Back in Black. If they are two of the most iconic songs of all time, I'm pretty sure one of them (this one!) has to be at the top of the list.

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.

The Newcomers

? Missing - Everything But the Girl Missing - Everything But the Girl Cover Art
? Girls and Boys - Blur Girls and Boys - Blur Cover Art
The Contenders
11 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

Become one with the shrek

Somebody once told me

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

Nope. I hated the Sonic movie, and I hated this. It's my opinion, but I don't like Sonic, and never have.

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.

13 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.

14 Paranoid Android - Radiohead Paranoid Android - Radiohead Cover Art

In my opinion one of the best songs of the decade. A six minute journey into multi sections, hell yeah! Still sounds like it could have came out in like 2030.

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.

15 Wonderwall - Oasis Wonderwall - Oasis Cover Art
16 Wind of Change - Scorpions Wind of Change - Scorpions Cover Art

Not only that, but the whistle at the beginning has to be one of the most iconic opening notes ever.

Best song by the Scorpions.

It's so iconic!

17 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.

18 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

19 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

20 Alive - Pearl Jam Alive - Pearl Jam Cover Art

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.

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"

21 Wannabe - Spice Girls Wannabe - Spice Girls Cover Art

I was a huge spice girls fans in the 90s and heard this song for a while like every day.

22 Nothing Compares 2 U - Sinead O'Connor Nothing Compares 2 U - Sinead O'Connor Cover Art
23 My Heart Will Go On - Celine Dion My Heart Will Go On - Celine Dion Cover Art

Fun fact this is possibly the most commercially successful song ever according to chart masters.

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

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

Not my favorite song of all time, but objectively one of the greatest songs of all time.

The best song of all time.

Again very iconic

25 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.

I don't know how someone could hear those violins and not instantly recognize this song.

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