Back to the 90s - The Ultimate Playlist of 24 Unforgettable Songs (Best 90s Songs)

Updated on April 30, 2024

Do you want to go back to the 90s? Sing and dance along with us as we discover the best songs from that time. Pop, rock, and more, the 90s had it all. What songs must be on your 90s playlist? we have compiled a list of the 24 best songs from the 90s that are worth listening to:

1. "Smells Like Teen Spirit" by Nirvana

In 1991, the band Nirvana released the song "Smells Like Teen Spirit" as the first single from their second album, Nevermind. It quickly became a huge hit and an anthem for Generation X.

This song helped alternative rock and grunge music become mainstream in the 1990s. Its catchy guitar riff and Kurt Cobain's unique voice are instantly recognizable to everyone.

The song's slow and quiet beginning, built around a simple but haunting guitar sequence, sets the mood for Cobain's personal lyrics and unique singing style.

It chorus has the line "Here we are now, entertain us," which is catchy and thought-provoking. It captures the angry and disappointed feelings of a generation that is disillusioned with society.

Also, the middle part of the song, with a short but powerful guitar solo, makes it more meaningful and moving.

According to Reddit users, Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" is one of the most famous songs of the 1990s and should be on any playlist of 90s music.

2. "My Heart Will Go On" by Celine Dion

 "My Heart Will Go On" brings back memories of childhood, first loves, or other special moments for many people. Adding it to your 90s playlist will take listeners back to those days and make them feel nostalgic.

It was the theme song for the hit movie Titanic, which came out in 1997 and became one of the most popular movies ever made.

This song was a huge hit, reaching number one in over 20 countries and staying at the top of the US Billboard Hot 100 chart for two weeks. It sold over 18 million copies worldwide, making it one of the best-selling singles of all time.

The song's big vocals, rich instruments, and dramatic production are typical of the era, and Celine Dion's unique singing voice is on full display.

3. "Under the Bridge" by Red Hot Chili Peppers

"Under the Bridge" is a famous song from the 1990s that perfectly captures the feeling of the time. It was released in 1991 and quickly became one of the Red Hot Chili Peppers' biggest hits and a staple of the alternative rock genre.

The song is a mix of funk, rock, and alternative music. Also, its lyrics about looking inward and its catchy, soulful sound made it a favorite with listeners all over the world.

Many people on Reddit have worked together over the past ten years to figure out what the lyrics of "Under the Bridge" by Red Hot Chili Peppers mean. They have shown how the song can go from being a personal song about loneliness and chaos to being a very important song for the 90s generation.

It is a must-have on any 90s playlist, as it represents an important time in music and culture.

4. "Wonderwall" by Oasis

This song was released in October 1995 and became a huge hit. It reached number two in the UK and number eight in the US. This made Oasis one of the biggest bands of the 1990s and made "Wonderwall" a classic song of that time.

This song is a great example of Britpop, with its catchy melody, clever lyrics, and British sound.

Also, it has a catchy chorus, with a high melody and harmonies that everyone will sing along to.

The lyrics are a deep and thoughtful look at life, love, and finding meaning. These themes resonated with people in the 1990s.

Even though "Wonderwall" was released over 25 years ago, it is still played on radio stations and streaming services today.

5. "Waterfalls" by TLC

"Waterfalls" is a classic 1990s R&B song with smooth vocals, a catchy melody, and hip-hop influences. It helped define the sound of the decade by blending R&B, pop, and rap.

Its chorus has the phrase "don't go chasing waterfalls," which is easy to remember and sing. It has become so popular that people often use it in everyday conversations and memes

"Waterfalls" was a huge hit for TLC, reaching number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for seven weeks. The song made TLC one of the top R&B groups and helped future female groups succeed.

6. "No Diggity" by Blackstreet, Dr. Dre, Queen Pen 

If you grew up in the 1990s, you'll probably feel nostalgic when you hear the song "No Diggity." It's a great song to add to any 90s playlist because it reminds people of their childhood memories, first loves, and carefree times.

Dr. Dre produced the song and it has a slow, relaxed rhythm that sets the stage for Blackstreet's smooth, soulful vocals.

The mix of soul songs, hip-hop beats and Dr. Dre's rapping creates a new sound typical of the music of the time. While Blackstreet sings it with his smooth and harmonious style.

"No Diggity" has a timeless sound, which means it will always sound good, even as time passes.

7. "Baby One More Time" by Britney Spears

Baby One More Time was a huge hit in 1998. It reached number one in many countries and sold over 25 million copies worldwide.

Its music video shows Britney Spears as a school girl dancing in a hallway. It helped her become famous and set the standard for pop music videos.

Its dance routine features Britney Spears and her backup dancers performing synchronized moves, and has been copied by many fans and performers.

This song has been covered by numerous artists around the world, including Kpop idols. This marks the cultural significance it has influenced even recently.

"Baby One More Time" is catchy and the lyrics are easy to remember, so it is a good song for karaoke or singing in the car.

8. "Torn" by Natalie Imbruglia

"Torn" is a popular song from 1997 that is still enjoyed by people today. It is catchy and easy to remember.

The song was very popular: it was number one in many countries and was nominated for a Grammy award.

This song is about heartbreak and confusion, which makes it relatable and emotional for many people

In the music video, Imbruglia sings in a white room with a plain background. The simple video helps people focus on the song and her performance.

"Torn" is a 1990s classic that everyone should have on their playlist. 

9. "You Oughta Know" by Alanis Morissette

If you want to make a playlist of 1990s songs that will make you feel nostalgic, "You Oughta Know" by Alanis Morissette is a must-have.

Alanis Morissette's raw and powerful singing in "You Oughta Know" is unforgettable. She sings with all her heart, expressing her anger and frustration at her ex-lover. 

The song expresses the pain and sadness that many people have felt when they have been betrayed and hurt in a relationship.

It is a mix of rock and pop music. The guitar riffs and drums are catchy and powerful. They grab your attention right away.

This song's success made it easier for other female artists to be themselves and speak their minds without fear.

10. "Say My Name" by Destiny's Child

Destiny's Child's song "Say My Name" was a big hit in 1999. It was the most popular song on their second album, "The Writing's on the Wall." 

Also, it stayed at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart for three weeks and won two Grammy Awards.

Destiny's Child was known for their amazing singing, and "Say My Name" shows how each member has a special voice. 

It is a classic R&B song from the 1990s with soulful singing, catchy melodies, and smooth harmonies.

This song marks a time when women in music were becoming very successful and breaking down barriers.

11. "All I Want for Christmas Is You" by Mariah Carey

People who grew up in the 90s may feel nostalgic when they hear "All I Want for Christmas Is You." It reminds them of childhood Christmases and holiday parties. 

Mariah Carey's voice gets very high on the chorus, and she sings with a lot of energy. Also, it has been in many movies and TV shows.

Different singers have recorded new versions of the song, including Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande. These versions prove that the song can be enjoyed in many different ways, and continues to be popular among all kinds of people.

12. "The Sign" by Ace of Base

"The Sign" is a great example of Eurodance, a type of music that became popular in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The song's fast beat, electronic instruments, and sung harmonies are all typical of Eurodance.

Its music video is a trip back in time to the 1990s, with the band performing in front of a bright background and wearing classic 90s clothes. 

The first line of the song, "I saw a sign, it said 'The Sign,'" is one of the most famous and well-known openings in 1990s music. 

It reached the top 10 in the US and was one of the biggest songs of the 90s.

13. "Bittersweet Symphony" by The Verve

If you want to make a nostalgic 90s playlist that shows how thoughtful and new the music was, "Bittersweet Symphony" by The Verve is essential.

It is a popular song known for its beautiful and catchy orchestral arrangement. The flowing strings and Richard Ashcroft's powerful vocals create a magical and moving listening experience.

It topped charts and was praised by critics all over the world. It was used in many movies, commercials, and other media, which made it even more popular.

This song is a mix of different music styles, including alternative rock, orchestral arrangements, and Britpop. 

This unique combination of sounds and influences made it popular and long-lasting. Also, its lyrics make you think about your own journey and the complex human experience.

14. "I Want It That Way" by Backstreet Boys

Adding "I Want It That Way" to your playlist will take you back to the carefree days of boy bands and pop music.

The Backstreet Boys released "I Want It That Way" in 1999 and it quickly became a huge hit. It is a perfect example of late 1990s pop songs.

The fun tune, easy harmonies, and lyrics that stick in your head make this song a crowd-pleaser.

This song is still popular and has had a lasting impact, making it a timeless classic that people of all ages love.

15. "One" by U2

"One" is a classic song that has stayed popular for many years. Its message of unity, love, and hope is still relevant today, making it a great choice for your 90s playlist.

The song's soaring guitar riffs, pulsing drums, and Bono's powerful singing are all classic parts of the band's sound from that time.

This song was released during a time of great change and upheaval, with the fall of the Soviet Union, the rise of globalization, and the start of the internet age. 

The song's themes of unity and connection resonated with a generation navigating these seismic shifts.

Also, the live versions of the song had long intros, improvisations, and audience participation, making them a fan favorite and a highlight of U2's concerts.

16. "Losing My Religion" by R.E.M.

"Losing My Religion" is a popular song from the 1990s that is still enjoyed by people today. It is about spirituality, doubt, and self-reflection. 

R.E.M. was known for trying new things in rock music, and "Losing My Religion" is a good example of that. 

The song's mix of guitars, drums, and singing made a new sound that many other bands copied.

Also, the mandolin intro to this song is instantly recognizable and one of the most memorable riffs of the 90s. It sets the mood for the rest of the song, creating a sense of tension and longing.

17. "Wannabe" by Spice Girls

"Wannabe" reminds many people of sleepovers, school dances, and summer days spent listening to the radio.

It has a very catchy melody that sticks in your head and won't go away. The song's chorus, which keeps repeating the phrase "I wanna be," is impossible to forget and has become part of popular culture.

It was a groundbreaking pop song that inspired many other artists and helped launch the careers of future girl groups.

According to multiple sources, "Wannabe " was the most streamed song by a female group in the 90s. 

This song was released over 25 years ago, but it still sounds new and popular today. 

18. "End of the Road" by Boyz II Men

"End of the Road" by Boyz II Men is a classic 90s ballad that you should add to your playlist. This heartfelt song was released in 1992 and became a huge hit. 

Boyz II Men's beautiful singing and deep feeling make it a special song. Their smooth and soulful voices blend together perfectly, creating a beautiful and moving sound.

The song's lyrics capture the pain and longing of a lost love, touching listeners who have experienced heartbreak.

This song's success made it possible for other R&B ballads to be popular, and it is now considered to be a classic 90s song.

19. "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)" by Green Day

"Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)" reminds many people of their teenage years, when they felt angst, excitement, and uncertainty.

It has a simple but catchy melody that has become a symbol of 90s punk rock.

This song celebrates the spirit of rebellion and being different. It's a classic of the genre because of its energy and rebellious attitude.

Its lyrics make people identify with the themes of the song: growing older, leaving past relationships and looking back with mixed feelings.

The song has been used in many movies, TV shows, and commercials. It has also been covered by many other artists. 

20. "Virtual Insanity" by Jamiroquai

"Virtual Insanity" is a popular song known for its mix of funk, soul, and acid jazz. The funky bassline, catchy piano riff, and Jay Kay's smooth vocals create a unique and unforgettable sound.

"Virtual Insanity" is a song about the crazy and busy modern world. It's about how technology and the search for money can make us feel lost and confused.

Its music video has a cool set with moving floors and walls, which makes it visually stunning and confusing. The video won many awards and became a symbol of the song's message.

The song's unique sound and thought-provoking lyrics made it a favorite of both fans and critics.

21. "The Boy Is Mine" by Brandy and Monica

"The Boy Is Mine" is a catchy song about young love, jealousy, and possession. The lyrics show how complex young love can be and how it can lead to struggles.

Also, Brandy and Monica's voices sound great together and make the song even more fun to listen to.

This song has been recently remembered thanks to TikTok trends where it has been positioned as one of the most streamed songs recently. 

It has a catchy melody and lyrics that people remember. This makes it a staple of 90s pop culture that people still enjoy.

22. "Nice & Slow" by Usher

Usher's "Nice & Slow" is a great song from the late 1990s. The song's sexy lyrics and R&B beat create a sensual and intimate mood, perfectly capturing the essence of 90s slow jams.

It mixes two popular music styles, R&B and hip-hop. The beat is catchy, the melody is memorable, and Usher sings it really well. 

Also, the production is smooth and polished, and it sounds both sexy and classy.

This song remains popular and a fan favorite, making it a must-have for any 90s playlist.

23. "Man! I Feel Like a Woman!" by Shania Twain

Adding "Man! I Feel Like a Woman!" to your 90s playlist will bring back old memories and make it more fun and empowering.

It is a fun and catchy song about female empowerment and breaking gender stereotypes. 

Shania Twain's powerful vocals and the infectious country-pop sound make it a song that everyone can enjoy.

Its lyrics encourage women to be free and confident. It became a popular song for women of all ages, inspiring them to have fun and enjoy life.

This song captures the spirit of the late 90s and is still loved by people all over the world.

24. "Creep" by Radiohead 

"Creep" came out in 1992 and became a hit, capturing the grunge and alternative rock sound of the time.

The song's honest and moving lyrics, combined with its haunting melody, resonated with listeners and became a hit.

The guitar riff at the beginning is easy to remember and sets the mood for the whole song. The verses build up the tension, and the chorus is really exciting and satisfying.

Also, its lyrics talk about feeling unsure, alone, and wanting to be accepted. Many people in the 90s could relate to these feeling even today. 

In conclusion, these songs represent a diverse range of musical styles and themes that defined the 90s. They are timeless classics that continue to resonate with audiences today. Whether you're a fan of grunge, hip hop, pop, or rock, this list has something for everyone. So, sit back, relax, and enjoy the best songs from the 90s.