10. You Gotta Be- Des’ree
This fusion of R&B and soul was a massive success in 1995. The lyrics, while somewhat preachy, and masterfully authored. Des’ree’s voice is spot-on and perfectly embraces the prodigious nature of the song’s tone.
9. Run-Around-Blues Traveler
While most today have probably never heard of the quirky little band “Blues Traveler,” you’ve probably heard their biggest hit, “Run-Around.” The sound is quite distinctive for a popular music act, and really takes you to the smokey little music clubs all over the country. The band would largely cool off, but were a big deal for a bit.
8. Kiss from a Rose-Seal
When Tim Burton quit the Batman franchise, the life was sucked out of the later two films. “Batman Forever” did have an amazing soundtrack though, highlighted by this Seal classic. I think most today don’t even realize this was a song from a bad Batman movie.
7. Gangsta’s Paradise-Coolio
“Dangerous Minds” had the potential to be a “good to great” 1990’s film. The problem, it kinda sucked. The soundtrack was amazing though, headlined by thus Coolio hit that was one of the most popular songs of the decade. It would also inspire a gem by Weird Al Yankovic as well…so bonus points.
This was TLC’s masterpiece and was all over the place in the mid-1990’s. Considering the message, it’s one of the most powerful songs in years and the video was excellent. Rarely is a song so poignant and catchy.
5. Always-Bon Jovi
The boys from Jersey have so many love ballads, but “Always” might truly be there best. The song’s opening stanza is perfect and propels it into a heartfelt masterpiece. The lyrics in this one are outstanding and some of the best the band has ever produced.
4. Hold My Hand-Hootie and The Blowfish
Still a massively underrated band, “Hootie and The Blowfish” were a huge success in the mid-1990’s, primarily because they didn’t sound like other bands of the time. Their stripped down sound was infectious and possibly started the hipster movement…yuck! This is probably their biggest hit.
“Radiohead” has a number of excellent songs, but “Creep” might be their best, although “Karma Police” is up there as well. The bridge and chorus, the bridge in particular, are pure audio magic and tantalizing for both diehards and casual fans alike.
2. Only Wanna Be With You-Hootie and The Blowfish
Similar to “Mumford and Sons” a decade or so later, “Hootie and The Blowfish” were in part, so popular because they were so different from the rest of the music scene in which they broke. They were also mega talented, which was the biggest factor, but America was ready for a different sound and got it with Hootie & co.
- Strong Enough-Sheryl Crow
Sheryl Crow’s longevity and songwriting are some of the best in modern times. She’s got a number of hits and excellent songs. “Strong Enough” is easily her best and one of the most emotionally-trying songs of the decade…which is a good thing. The acoustic versions are the best.