10 of the greatest songs from the 1990s
Reminisce with the soundtrack of days gone by with the greatest songs of the 1990s. From number one hits to tracks which got everybody talking, we can guarantee you’ll have listened to these songs time and time again. Celebrating the best of the decade, see a love letter to education unfold at the West End premiere of Education, Education, Education. Combining comedy, politics and popular culture, the play is set to explore political revolution in the 90s.
Songs from the 90s
Things Can Only Get Better – D:Ream
A song associated with Tony Blair’s 1997 election, ‘Things Can Only Get Better’ was released four years prior and became the band’s greatest song. Used in politics to illuminate opinions on a pre-1997 government through music, the club hit charted across Europe.
Nirvana – Smells Like Teen Spirit
Praised as one of the greatest rock songs ever, ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ was released in 1991 as the lead single from the album Nevermind. Winning an award for best music video and with millions of copies sold, the growing popularity meant it was no surprise that younger generations heavily identified with the song.
Oasis – Wonderwall
Released in 1995, ‘Wonderwall’ was one of Oasis’ best-selling hits, alongside tracks including ‘Don’t Look Back in Anger’. Originally titled ‘Wishing Stone’, the song is inspired by having an imaginary friend, saving people from themselves. Placing at number 2 in the UK music charts, the song continues to inspire listeners today and has since been covered by Ryan Adams and Jay Z.
Bryan Adams – Everything I Do, I Do It For You
Released on Bryan Adams’ 1991 album as well as sung in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves released in the same year, ‘Everything I Do’ was an international success. Staying in the top spot of the charts for 16 weeks as well as reaching number one in over 20 countries, the track broke records and sold over 6 million copies worldwide.
The Verve – Bittersweet Symphony
The strings in ‘Bitter Sweet Symphony’ are easily identifiable with listeners around the world. The lead song on The Verve’s 1997 album, the famous musical phrasing is a sample from ‘The Last Time’ by the Rolling Stones, released 30 years prior.
R.E.M – Losing My Religion
Even though the song did not reach Platinum status, ‘Losing My Religion’ became an unexpected hit for R.E.M. With a unique music video as well as extensive airplay, audiences around the world found themselves singing along to a song about individuals who love someone with all their might.
The Cure – Friday I’m In Love
Described as a happy-go-lucky pop song, ‘Friday I’m In Love’ instantly became a worldwide hit for The Cure. Released in 1992, the song reached number 6 in the UK music charts and ensured that British audiences would continue to listen to the band, following their previous single ‘High’.
Chumbawamba – Tubthumping
While the band’s name and title of song may seem nonsensical, ‘Chumbawamba’ is the band’s most successful track, reaching number 2 in the charts. A song that was inspired for everyone in society to listen to and enjoy without worrying, even the band didn’t expect the song to be so big!
Natalie Imbruglia – Torn
Originally sung by Ednaswap in 1995, the cover version of ‘Torn’ by Natalie Imbruglia released in 1997 popularised the song. Selling over four million copies worldwide, the music video follows Imbruglia in an apartment. Although it was released over 20 years ago, audiences continue to listen to it daily, and is one of the most-streamed pre-2000 songs on Spotify!
Cornershop – Brimful of Asha
Released in 1997, ‘Brimful of Asha’ didn’t storm the charts like the others on this list, reaching number 60. However, the Norman Cook remix transformed the song’s popularity, and the song was later re-released in February 1998 in the top spot. Hailed as one of the best remixes, ‘Brimful of Asha’ is inspired by the history of Indian film culture and Bollywood.