Are These the 50 Best Songs of the 90s?

Even though they’re clickbaity, everyone likes lists, right? Especially ones that pick fights. Rolling Stone has come up with what they say are the best songs of the 90s. Consequence of Sound has done us a solid by picking out just the most relevant tracks to readers of this site.

48. The Offspring – “Self Esteem”
42. Ace of Base – “The Sign”
38. Geto Boys – “Mind Playing Tricks on Me”
36. Portishead – “Glory Box”
35. Sheryl Crow – “If It Makes You Happy”
31. Underworld – “Born Slippy .Nuxx”
29. Fiona Apple – “Paper Bag”
28. Weezer – “Pink Triangle”
27. Daft Punk – “Around the World”
23. Oasis – “Wonderwall”
21. Smashing Pumpkins – “1979”
20. Beck – “Loser”
17. Beastie Boys – “Sure Shot”
16. Sleater-Kinney – “Get Up”
15. OutKast – “Rosa Parks”
12. The Breeders – “Cannonball”
11. Hole – “Doll Parts”
09. Liz Phair – “Fuck and Run”
08. Pulp – “Common People”
06. Pavement – “Gold Soundz”
05. Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg – “Nuthin’ but a ‘G’ Thang”
04. Bikini Kill – “Rebel Girl”
03. The Notorious B.I.G. – “Mo Money Mo Problems”
02. Blackstreet – “No Diggity”
01. Nirvana – “Smells Like Teen Spirit”

Please discuss.


Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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9 thoughts on “Are These the 50 Best Songs of the 90s?

  • Ummm, no Pearl Jam or Radiohead? How about Tool or Jane’s Addiction. I could be here all day…

  • Can Smells Like Teen Spirit just go away already?

  • The thing to remember is that they are trying to cover all genres but they really missed the mark on certain bands like Pearl Jam. I’m not a U2 fan, but nothing from them? One? And what about Enter Sandman? Metal was a juggernaut in the 90s and this led the way

    There are a couple cases where they get the band right but maybe not the track. The selections for Brittney, Weezer, and the Beasties seem to be off.

    • The Weezer track seems to be a nuanced choice, grasping a bit of the 90s zeitgeist. Like where Chasing Amy was a great movie. I write this literally as Say It Ain’t So is playing at the bar I’m sitting in.

      But seriously, how the fuck is Ned’s Atomic Dustbin not on this list 😉

  • A few odd choices but I’m just really happy to see Common People so high on the list.

  • Definitely Missing:
    -green day
    -pearl jam

    Arguable omissions:
    -counting crows

  • In response to this list: Some of the artists don’t reach me.
    Nirvana does, but although “smells like teen spirit” does touch the zeitgeist nerve – I feel that “all apologies,” heart shaped box,” rape me” and especially lithium, are just as important.
    Portishead’s Glory box is an incredible song. Dark musically but a call to love filled with moving imagery, hope, sensitivity and romanticism – bloody brilliant.
    I loved Beck’s “ Loser” but have recently tried to understand his version of the English language in the song, but I come up empty handed.
    Being of the Beatles generation I would have to say if they were still around… and in fact they are, they still cast the platinum standard shadow. Even 15 years after John Lennon’s death and 25 since their last release, the Beatles still made a gold Grammy winning top ten single in 1995 with “ Free as a Bird” …and that’s not even on the list 🙂

  • Yeah,I gotta agree with Larry,i guess you could go on and on..

  • Alan you clearly need to get a consult with rolling stone because their fact checker must be on vacation.


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