The Popular Music of the 90s Music Revived –
Reviving the classic hits of the 90s


August 31, 2008

Popular Rock Music Of The 90s – The Songs That Defined A Decade

Collective Soul

Rizzo Music is back with a new article from the “Popular Music of the 90s” series. Last week I made a list of some of the best pop music of the decade and today I am going to share with you my list for the most popular rock music of the 90s. Out of all the lists and playlists I have created in the past, this was by far the hardest to come up with. There are so many great artists and songs that originated in the 90s and deciding on just 5 songs for every year was tough. I tried to get representation out of all the key rock artists and hopefully I didn’t forget anyone.

After much debate I was able to compile this list of 90s rock music. There are so many songs that I really enjoy that could not be included due restrictions on space but there are 50 great singles here for your enjoyment.

How it works:
For each genre of music I will rank the top 5 singles from each year in the 90s. I will provide a link for each song (either imeem or youtube, depending on availability) for your listening pleasure.

Disclaimer: These rankings are based on my personal preferences, not on actual popularity. I think of these lists as recommendations. Hopefully these songs will bring back some good memories, and if you have never heard them before, maybe create some new ones.

Interested in 90s Pop and Rap as well? Be sure to check out these lists as well.
90s Pop Music
90s Rock Music

Starting with the year 1999:
1. “My Own Worst Enemy” by Lit
2. “Jumper” by Third Eye Blind
3. “Scar Tissue” by Red Hot Chili Peppers
4. “The Chemicals Between Us” by Bush
5. “Heavy” by Collective Soul

1. “Inside Out” by Eve 6
2. “The Way” by Fastball
3. “Sex and Candy” by Marcy Playground
4. “Shimmer” by Fuel
5. “Closing Time” by Semisonic

1. “Bitter Sweet Symphony” by The Verve
2. “Push” by Matchbox Twenty
3. “Everlong” by Foo Fighters
4. “The Freshman” by The Verve Pipe
5. “Everything to Everyone” by Everclear

1. “1979” by Smashing Pumpkins
2. “One Headlight” by The Wallflowers
3. “Counting Blue Cars” by Dishwalla
4. “What I Got” by Sublime
5. “In the Meantime” by Spacehog

1. “Lightning Crashes” by Live
2. “Wonderwall” by Oasis
3. “Glycerine” by Bush
4. “Name” by Goo Goo Dolls
5. “Good” by Better Than Ezra

1. “When I Come Around” by Green Day
2. “Shine” by Collective Soul
3. “I Alone” by Live
4. “Self Esteem” by The Offspring
5. “About a Girl” by Nirvana

1. “Rooster” by Alice in Chains
2. “Mr. Jones” by Counting Crows
3. “Hey Jealousy” by Gin Blossoms
4. “No Rain” by Blind Melon
5. “Killing in the Name” by Rage Against the Machine

1. “Jeremy” by Pearl Jam
2. “In Bloom” by Nirvana
3. “Drive” by R.E.M.
4. “Nothing Else Matters” by Metallica
5. “Creep” by Radiohead

1. “Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana
2. “Man in the Box” by Alice in Chains
3. “Enter Sandman” by Metallica
4. “Losing My Religion” by R.E.M.
5. “Right Here, Right Now” by Jesus Jones

1. “Hunger Strike” by Temple of the Dog
2. “Kool Thing” by Sonic Youth
3. “Head Like A Hole” by Nine Inch Nails
4. “Stop!” by Jane’s Addicton
5. “Thunderstruck” by AC/DC

Well there you have it. The top 5 songs from each year of the 90s. Thanks for listening and enjoy.

Agree? Disagree? Feel free to share your opinion by making a comment below.

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  1. David

    1994 should have Black Hole Sun

  2. David

    also, the about a girl version is probobly the unplugged version, which was released in 94

  3. willhelm

    Well i have to say, this is possibly the most completely diverse list of songs, it really covered all the spectra of 90’s rock, good work
    no move to the next generation of rock

  4. Great list. Good job!

  5. Guy Guybury

    too many good songs came out during the 90’s.. restricting to 5 songs a year was not a good idea

  6. lucas

    I miss a song from blood sugar sex magic

  7. Heather

    this all leaves a very weird feeling in my belly. also it makes me want to wear an oversized ripped striped sweater. also I never realised before how so much 90’s music sounded like Alice in Chains up until it suddenly all sounded like Oasis.

    also….tons of songs that I hated when I was a teen I’m totally sentimental for. Teen me would have argued to the death about loads of these songs.

  8. josh

    So basically radio 92.9 boston’s full song library

  9. Matthew

    Where is “Time of Your Life” by Green Day for 1998? It was only the senior class song for about 95% of the graduating classes for that year.

  10. Time of Your Life is a good one that should be on the list! Apart from that .. loving the list.

  11. I agree with david, black hole sun definitely needs to be on there!

  12. bob

    third eye blind – semi charmed life is the best song of the 90’s period.

  13. jay

    thank you for putting the way by fastball on here. i heard that song on the radio months ago and i couldnt find it anywhere. so happy i found it.

  14. Bacca

    two princess by spin doctors, 90est song ever

  15. Tom Little

    This horrid list makes the 90s seem like the worst decade in musical history.

  16. jules

    There needs to bee more Nirvana. Other than that this list is AWESOME, so don’t listen to people like Tom Little.

  17. Cheddar

    I realize it’s a pop list .. But not one tool song off the aenima album?

  18. DJZedd

    90’s songs are best songs, you will like it,

  19. eric

    Tom little is wrong.

  20. Chad

    Yes! Yes! Yes! Great songs great memory’s…. Lots of smiles!!!

  21. The 90s had classics


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