90’s Ultimate Playlist – The Very Best Songs of the 90’s

90’s Ultimate Playlist
The Very Best of the 90’s

Lets get ravey davey!  The 90’s what a decade! We had dance music.  Indie Rock and Grunge.  This is my list of the choice cuts from back in the day.  I hope you enjoy reading my 90’s Ultimate Playlist – The Very Best of the 90’s.  I have included my Spotify playlist at the end.

Like my previous music posts.  If you listen to the songs please listen loud.

Best Songs of the 90's

 

#1 – Boo Radleys
Monument for a Dead Century

Kicking things of on my list of the very best songs of the 90’s.  It’s a chilled out number.  The Boo Radleys where more than their biggest hit “Wake Up Boo” – The Boo Radleys where a 4 piece from Wallasey.  Not far from my home city Liverpool.  The song starts slowly with some  acoustic strumming.  Combined with a nice little flute thrown in – This wonderful track from their 6th and final album ‘Kingsize’ album released in 1999.   Singer songwriter Martin Carr explained that they where under pressure by their label, Creation to release a hit following in the footsteps of a small group called Oasis.

This is one of those songs that you need to listen too a couple of times.  I didn’t like it at first but over time its grown on me.  The rest of the album is great too.

The lyrics are a little strange – I guess he was singing about the end of the 20th century?  The song name checks ‘Philip Morris’ who was the head of Philip Morris International one of the leading manufacturers of cigarettes. 

The chorus builds up and up.  The guitar coming in at around 3 minutes 40 is fabulous leading into the wonderful climax of a forgotten gem.

Stand-Out Lyrics

We celebrate the life and history of man
How we suffer for all we’ve achieved
I’ve never met you Philip Morris but I know
You treat me like I was the son you never killed
I am your servant and yes you have raised me well

 

#2-Super Furry Animals
Herman Loves Pauline

SFA, where one of my favourite bands in the 90’s.  They were different and out there.  Seeing them live was a joy to behold.  The welsh wonders where like a psychedelic Beach Boys.  Wonderful harmonies and fantastic beats.  Songs about drug smugglers and the man don’t giving a f**k. 

This excellent tune was from the 1997 album ‘Radiator’.   Herman and Pauline where the names of Albert Einstein’s parents.  Albert also appears on the cover for the single.  I mean how many songs do you know where “French Bread” gets a random shout out?  

Turn it up loud baby!

Stand-Out Lyrics

Marie Curie was Polish born but French bred (Ha ha, french bread!)
Of course she ended up dead, from radiation
Slow, invisible suffocation
Down the 24 hour garage or any service station
I lead my life in a quest for information
Sensurrounded by pies and books
Middle-aged drivers and deranged cooks

 

#3 – Shack
“Comedy”

Nobody I know, friends and family know about Shack.  Maybe one or two at a push.  They are a Scouse group.  The lead singer, Michael Head is from Kensington in Liverpool.  I grew up in Kenny from around the age of 6 until I was around 14.  Its rough, there is a fair bit of drugs and prostitutes.  Its not all doom and gloom though.  I had some great times living there.  

‘Comedy’ oozes class.  It has a nice chilled intro.  A little country and western twang.  The strings fit nice.  His voice is class on this song. When he sings the line “When you cry it pulls me through” his voice sounds like its going to break.  It’s a beautiful and melancholic song. 

Michael, revealed in this interview that the song was about his relationship.

“It was about my relationship at that time, I guess what I’m saying is that if you’re showing that level of emotion, I guess we’re on the same level. I dunno?” 

I can relate to this.  For me it seems like it was one of them relationships where things breakdown without even trying.  Then getting to that point where you no longer care.  Sometimes the only thing you can do is laugh because if you didn’t laugh.  You would cry.  A tragic comedy?

Stand-Out Lyrics

And you know the times we crossed the street
We’d rather laugh than greet
Honestly, it’s a forgone comedy
And you know the walls we tried and made
You know it’s never changed
Honestly, it’s a long-lost comedy

Fifty million reasons
Loving in the seasons
Fifty million lovers
Sitting at the doubles
Fifty million reasons
Loving in the seasons
When you cry it pulls me through

 

#4 – K Klass
Let Me Show You

K Klass where class.  I saw these plenty of times playing back in the day.  ‘Cream’ was the number 1  nightclub in Liverpool and they had the place bouncing. 

The house piano on this tune is sooooooo fucking EPIC.  If this does not make you want to dance, then you are deaf.    Released in 1993, this defined UK dance music at the time and still sounds as fresh now as it did first time around.  Rhythm is a Mystery is also a belter of a song but this song shades it for me.  This is one of the very best songs of the 90’s

#5 – 808 State
In Yer Face

Let’s have it – such a tune. The sample at the start is boss.  “There are new forces in the world…a conflict between the generations; a powerful feeling that the American system is failing to deal with the real threats to life: the Bomb, the pollution of air and water, the population explosion, the mounting slums and crime…” Alistair Cooke, opening sample

The bass kicks in.  It’s a deep dark trip that sends you on a journey into sound.  Pacific State was nice and chilled this was a beast.  Released in 1991.  This song would kick shit off in my other favourite club Quadrant Park.

#6 – Ian Brown
Love Like a Fountain

Dare I say it but I prefer some of Ian’s solo work to the Stone Roses.  Don’t get me wrong I love the Roses and saw them at Spike Island but this song is just one of many.  F.E.A.R. is one of my all-time favourites but that came later in the noughties.

Ian is funky and this tune is magnificent.  The lyrics are not the best but the overall vibe is ace.

Stand-Out Lyrics

I could climb every mountain 
For your love is like a fountain 
Let it shower down over me 
Soak me to the bone yeah 
Pour all over me 
Am I coming home yeah? 

 

#7 – Primal Scream
Medication

Primal Scream rock. This sleazy tune from the excellent album Vanishing Point is loose and full of swagger. You can hear the Stones on this track, but Primal Scream make it their own.  Play it loud and let it rock your head.  If this song is Medication I want a prescription.

Stand-Out Lyrics

Everyone’s steppin’ on each other
Shootin’, snortin’, smokin’ all they can
I wish that blood was thicker than water
‘Cause drinkin’ dirty water kills a man
I don’t want to hang around with you
Don’t want to see you burn
I don’t want to see you turn blue
I want to see the sun
Gimme, gimme, gimme medication

 

#8 – Pavement
Cream of Gold

I happened across this album by mistake. I was downloading a lot of music back in the day and this album stuck out. The guitar is very bendy and rocks like a heavy-duty wagon.  I dream in beige.  The guitar solo is warped and epic.  What a song.  This was on the forefront of the so-called ‘Grunge’ movement I just call it rock.

Stand-Out Lyrics

Time is a one-way track and I am not coming back
I dream in beige, why’d you leave me so far now?
Time tired you’re tainted through
Wins, songs and substitutes
I dream in beige, why’d you leave me so far now?

 

#9 – Nirvana
Heart Shaped Box

No 90’s list could be complete without Nirvana. In Utero was and still is a very dark album. This song and album was overshadowed by its predecessor ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ and ‘Nevermind’ but it rocks hard.  I would consider that its one of the very best songs of the 90’s

“Hey wait I got a new complaint”.  Cobain commenting on his depression.  This song is a powerhouse of 90’s rock and shows how they ripped.  Sadly this was their last album but what a legacy.  The video is creepy and weird.  Which makes it even better.

Stand-Out Lyrics

She eyes me like a Pisces when I am weak
I’ve been locked inside your heart-shaped box for weeks
I’ve been drawn into your magnetar pit trap trap
I wish I could eat your cancer when you turn black
Hey!
Wait!
I’ve got a new complaint

#10 – theThe
Bluer Than Midnight

Simply put theThe are one of my favourite bands. They appeared on my post of  My EPIC Top 10 Singers, Songwriters and Performers.  Dusk was an excellent album released in 1993.  This fabulous song is laid back and full of emotion. The pianos and trumpet combine lovely. “Save me, save me” begins the song.  I remember seeing them in concert during which I swallowed something I shouldn’t have.  This song brought me back to reality.  If you don’t know their music this is a great album to start with.  Its moody and brooding and showcases Matt’s excellent lyrics.

Stand-Out Lyrics

The candles are lit. the curtains are drawn.
There’s still no sign of rain nor dawn.
Our lips touch. our limbs entwine.
But the ghosts that haunt me won’t leave my mind.
Save me, save me, save me
Save me, save me, from myself.

 

#11 – The Verve
History

The Verve where massive in the 90’s.  I remember seeing them play the massive show at Haigh Hall. What a show. Richard Ashcroft has an excellent voice and this song showcases the magic of what made them special. The strings are superb and really add to the melodrama of the song.  The song is thought to be about his breakup with his long standing girlfriend Sarah.

Stand-Out Lyrics

But you were weak and so am I
Let’s pick it up, let’s even try
To live today, so why not smile
Don’t dream away your life ’cause it is mine, it is mine
Is that a crime, is that a crime, this life is mine
But the bed ain’t made, it’s filled full of hope
I’ve got a skin full of dope
Oh the bed ain’t made but it’s filled full of hope
I’ve got a skin full of dope

 

#12 – The La’s
Feelin’

Probably the shortest song on the list.  Running under 2 minutes long.  This short but very catchy song showcased what was so good about the La’s.  Catchy guitar’s and catchy choruses just like another famous 1960’s Scouse group. It’s a shame they broke up when they did under cloud of drug abuse and fighting.  Their most well known song was ‘There She Goes’ but this a great tune.

 

#13 – FBI Project
Risky

Tonight its party time.  The house piano  just makes your ass shake.  Still one of the best dance tunes ever.  The vocal that plays 2 minutes into the song sounds like the man from Boney M. Which makes this song even better.  It’s a trip.  I remember dancing to this song off my tits in the Quadrant Park and really feeling the vibe.  It still blows my eggshell mind.

 

#14 – The Future Sound of London
Papua New Guinea

 

This trippy blissed out song takes us on a journey into sound. The bass line is amazing.  Its brooding yet ecstatic.  Released in 1991.  The vocal contains a sample from ‘Dead can Dance’ song “Dawn of the Iconoclast”

I remember dancing to this song.  Totally monged imagining I was dancing like a tree on top of a sand dune.  Feel the vibe.

 

#15 – The Sabre’s of Paradise
Smokebelch II

Such a chilled-out song. This song makes you drift away towards the sunset on a small glass bottomed boat. Acid-House pioneer, producer and DJ Andrew Weatherall formed the group in 1993.  This little beauty was born.

 

#16 – Manic Street Preachers
Motorcycle Emptiness

What a fantastic song this is. The Manics are the second Welsh group on my list. There early stuff is just as good if not better than there latter better known songs.

The song is influenced by S.E. Hinton’s biker-gang book ‘Rumble Fish’. Featuring Richey Edwards on guitar.  Richey disappeared in 1995 and was declared dead in 2008.  Many considered that he committed suicide.  

Stand-Out Lyrics

Culture sucks down words
Itemise loathing and feed yourself smiles
Organise your safe tribal war
Hurt maim kill and enslave the ghetto

 

#17 – Oasis
Cast No Shadow

Just like Nirvana, no 90’s list would be complete without Oasis.  Noel wrote this song for Verve lead singer Richard Ashcroft. He explained to Select magazine: “He always seemed to me to not be very happy about what was going on around him, almost trying too hard. That’s why it goes, ‘He was bound with the weight of all the words he tried to say.’ I always felt he was born at the wrong place, and in the wrong place, and he was always trying to say the right things, but they came out wrong.”

“I played him the song, and he nearly started crying,” Gallagher continued. “I was like, ‘Come on, hold yourself together, son! Easy now!’ 

No matter what its a great tune and one of my personal Oasis favourites.  Oasis had a couple of the very best songs of the 90’s

Stand-Out Lyrics

Here’s a thought for every man
Who tries to understand what is in his hands (what’s in his hands)
He walks along the open road of love and life
Surviving if he can (surviving if he can)
Bound with all the weight of all the words he tried to say
Chained to all the places that he never wished to stay
Bound with all the weight of all the words he tried to say
As he faced the sun he cast no shadow

 

#18 – Portishead
Glory Box

This moody but excellent number by Bristol based band Portishead was their biggest hit.  Bristol had a number of bands playing similar style music such as Massive Attack and Tricky.   The song samples Isaac Hayes ‘Ike’s Rap II‘ also used by Tricky.  The song is about a woman frustrated about her failing relationship.  

Stand-Out Lyrics

I just want to be a woman
From this time, unchained
We’re all looking at a different picture
Through this new frame of mind
A thousand flowers could bloom
Move over, and give us some room, yeah

#19 – Air
La Femme d’Argent

Probably the most laid back song on my list.  This spacey trip from French duo just fills you heart and mind with chilled out bliss.  Its the perfect song for sunny afternoons and bath times.  This was the intro song from their debut album ‘Moon Safari’  – the song sampled Edwin Starr’s ‘Runnin

Magnifique.

 

#20 – Leftfield
Song of Life

What a song.  Leftfield hit my radar when they released ‘Open Up’ with John Lydon.  This song is a blast.  From the excellent album, Leftism.  It takes a bit of time to get going but when it does.  Its a beast of a tune.

 

 

End Bit

That’s the conclusion of my Very Best Songs of the 90’s.  The 90’s where a great decade with a good variety of music.  I would love to hear your comments below.

Thanks 🙂

 

 

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48 thoughts to “90’s Ultimate Playlist – The Very Best Songs of the 90’s”

  1. I had never heard any of these songs before, except the heart-shaped box. But these are some really nice songs. I really liked “comedy”. thanks for sharing! I’ll check out more of them.

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  2. Wow, what an amazing collection you have shared. I loved listening to them. That Marie qurie song was so funny. Love the candle one.

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  3. Oh yaaas, someone agrees with my love for Air and this song! I was SO STOKED to see it on the list. And of course, Verve, Nirvana, Oasis – the usual suspects.

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  4. I have just been having a discussion with my 11 year old about the best decade for music! He thinks the 80’s!

    I’m going to play him some of these, see if I can change his mind!

    Great post and great choices x

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