27 Best Songs From 1990

1990 was a pivotal year for music, as the trends of the 1980s began to fade and the final decade of the millennium commenced. There was a slew of top songs from 1990, and here are some of our favorites.

1. “Hold On” by Wilson Phillips

“Hold On” was the biggest hit from Wilson Phillips and remains the group’s most well-remembered track. The sound of this track helped shape the burgeoning new pop scene for the decade.

The song is upbeat and determined and makes you feel you can accomplish anything if you put your mind to it. Wilson Phillips was one of the many 90s girl bands to take the decade by storm. The group won a Grammy for “Hold On.”

2. “Nothing Compares 2 U” by Sinead O’Conner

“Nothing Compares 2 U” remains one of the biggest tear-jerkers of the 1990s. Prince originally composed the song with his side project band, but Sinead O’Conner made it her own with this cover version.

This song was a smash hit, and it details a lover missing an ex-partner. This is a perfect song for when you’re feeling lonely and miss an important person in your life.

3. “Enjoy the Silence” by Depeche Mode

Depeche Mode brought its electronic sound into a new decade with “Enjoy the Silence.” This song and its accompanying album “Violator” put the band on the map and established it as a force in popular electronic music.

“Enjoy the Silence” is melancholy and wistful. The instrumentation takes the listener to lonely places, and the song appropriately ends with haunting silence. This song helped showcase the band to both English and American audiences.

4. “U Can’t Touch This” by MC Hammer

The late 1980s and early 1990s were fertile grounds for the burgeoning hip-hop and rap movements in America. “U Can’t Touch This” by MC Hammer is an iconic song from the early days of rap.

No matter what you think of the song, you have certainly heard it through its frequent use in films and advertisements. The song is funky and helped initiate MC Hammer as an up-and-comer in the world of rap music.

5. “Thunderstruck” by AC/DC

The world was slowly moving away from the hard rock and roll of the 1980s by 1990. Nobody told AC/DC about this change.

The Australian hard rockers released “Thunderstruck” in 1990 and it became one of the band’s most acclaimed songs. Angus Young created one of his best guitar riffs for “Thunderstruck”, and the instrumentation drives the song. Since its release, this song has been included in several films and television shows. The song is played at every Dallas Cowboys home game.

6. “Man in the Box” by Alice in Chains

In a world where bands like AC/DC were keeping the classic sounds of the 1980s alive, Alice in Chains was blazing a new path forward. “Man in the Box” draws from various elements, including the burgeoning grunge movement and alternative rock. The result of this mixture is a song that felt unique and new for the new decade.

Few would disagree that “Man in the Box” is good music from 1990, and it details the singer trying to break out of the censorship imposed around them.

7. “Vogue” by Madonna

Madonna did not miss a beat coming into a new decade with “Vogue.” The song was one of her biggest releases and remains a favorite of fans and critics worldwide. Madonna envisioned this song as an anthem, and it is the best-selling song of 1990.

Madonna drew inspiration from many sources for this song. It has a distinctly 1990s dance music bend, but it borrows heavily from disco aesthetics. The music video pays homage to the 1920s and 1930s.

8. “Groove Is in the Heart” by Deee-Lite

If you are looking for good music from 1990, you will land on “Groove Is in the Heart” by Deee-Lite quickly. The song is one of the best dance tracks of the year, and it remains a standout in the genre.

Deee-Lite took inspiration from many genres for this song, including disco music and hip-hop. The band even recruited Q-Tip of A Tribe Called Quest for a guest verse. The result is a perfect song to dance to at a club or wedding.

9. “Vision of Love” by Mariah Carey

Mariah Carey broke into the mainstream with “Vision of Love.” The singer discusses feeling alien to the world, and it shows an intimacy and vulnerability that was uncommon for the music of the era.

“Vision of Love” was a smash hit and made Carey a household name. This song set the standard for R&B for years to come, and several singers have cited it as the inspiration for beginning their careers.

10. “More Than Words” by Extreme

“More Than Words” is an acoustic ballad that saw Extreme deviate from its typical output. The band was notable for its metal music before, and “More Than Words” allowed it to explore new genres and styles. The singer talks about a person hoping his lover will do something more than say “I love you” to showcase their love.

The song was a smash hit for the band, and its members called it both a blessing and a curse. While “More Than Words” helped introduce the band to new fans, it quickly eclipsed the rest of its output.

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