Friday, September 03, 2010

Vh1's The Greatest Songs of the 90s (Part I)

Anyone who knows me knows I love me a countdown.  Be it my favorite Tom Cruise films to my yearly 100 Coolest Things of the Year, I can dig on a ranking of a particular topic.  So, today while relaxing after work and flipping channels, I came upon Vh1's Top 100 Songs of the 90s.  I had seen this show before, and after watching it I realized it aired in 2007, but never all the way through, and I could barely remember much of anything on the list.

So I settled in to watch it.  And I had thoughts on everything.  So what I decided to do was list them as they appeared in the show

Gerardo, in all his
ridiculous glory
100.  "Rico Suave" by Gerardo
(I'm laughing out loud, quite hard)  This song is so ridiculous, I'm not sure anyone took it seriously when it came out, much less now.  Except for maybe Gerardo.

99.  "The Rain (supa dupa fly)" by Missi "Misdemeanor" Elliott
Not a fan.  Never been a fan of Missi. 

98.  "Unbelievable" by EMF
There was the rumor that EMF stood for "Energetic Mother F-bombers", though I don't know if that was ever substantiated.  What I do know, is this song rocked out my dadgum junior year of high school. This was the epitome of the early 90s pop, and how meaningless it was, yet how much fun it was. 

The things you say, your purple prose gives you away?  What does that even mean?

97.  "Gett Off" by Prince and the New Power Generation
Prince is one of the most sexually suggestive, non-obvious dirty artists out there.  Even his performance at the Super Bowl a few years ago was one innuendo filled twenty minutes, and this is no different.  I liked some 90s Prince, but this wasn't one of the songs I cared for. 

96.  "(Can't Live Without Your) Love and Affection" by Nelson
In my life, I've always had a personal "Top Ten" or "Top Five" favorite song list, mostly mental.  Some of the songs that have topped this mental top song list include "I Think We're Alone Now" by Tiffany, "I Like It" by Dino, "Fortress Around Your Heart" by Sting and this song, by Nelson. 

Even now, I hear it and I remember being 15 again.  And I know the words, somehow... and many of you do too.

I was so excited because I won a contest on a radio station by telling the funniest joke of the night.  Joke is not Emmy Turnbow Safe, so I won't repeat it.  Anyway, they asked me which cassette I wanted, I told them Nelson's latest.  They sent me Roxette's "Joyride".  Sigh.  Had to go out and buy Nelson.  I still have both. 

95.  "This Is How We Do It" by Montell Jordan
Like, in 1995, you couldn't go to any party without hearing this song.  It was all over the place, because you had this dude singing about partying, having a good time, with all the gang bangers forgetting about the drive-bys... the irony of this song is that despite Jordan singing about the hood, I'd always heard he grew up in a wealthy home and probably knew little about the Man holding the Black Man down.

Some of my favorite lines include... "So I reach for my fo'ty and I turn it up, designated driver take the key to my truck..." and "Every since I was a lower case g, but now I'm a big G, girls see I got the money, hunned dolla bills y'all..."

94.  "The Way" by Fastball

93.  "Stay (I Missed You)" by Lisa Loeb and Nine Stories
One of my 100 favorite songs of all time, and if I had to write a top ten list of songs that I love to sing outloud, this would easily be on that list.  Its funny, though, that its a song that I cannot jump in the middle of... I have to start at the very beginning and work my way through it. 

So if someone says, "How does that part where she goes 'some of us hover while we're waiting for the other' go" and I can't just say the next line... I have to softly say to myself, "you say i only hear what i want to you say I talk so all the time so so I thought what I felt was simple and I thought that I don't belong and now that I am leaving now I know that I did something wrong..." and work my way to it.  And I have fun doing it.

92. "911 is a Joke" by Public Enemy
This song popped up right around the beginning of the decade, and I can't honestly say I've heard the thing all the way through.  I just remember it being all controversial because it made fun of 9-1-1, which I guess at the time was a relatively new feature to most of the country.  Whatever.

91.  "Building a Mystery" by Sarah McLachlan
I do love me some Sarah, but this song?  For me, its "Possession", my favorite song ever of all time. 

90. "You Get What You Give" by The New Radicals
This song makes me kinda angry.  Why?  Because its total crap.  The guy can't sing, its got an annoying tune, the lyrics are stupid and I hate it.  Next.

89. "Never Said" by Liz Phair
Never been a huge Liz Phair fan, and really, neither has The Lovely Steph Leann, but she loves her some "Why Can't I" from movies like "Ghosts of Girlfriends Past" or whatever. 

88. "Barely Breathing" by Duncan Sheik
This song taught me a lesson.  I was so into "Barely Breathing" when it came out, I would turn it up and sing every single time it came on.  In 1999, I was ready to anoint this song king of my mental list, the top of my own chart in my head, even though it was fairly new at the time.  That's how much I loved it.

Then I heard it over and over.  And over.  And over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over.  And over again.  And by the 7,822nd time I had heard it in the span of two hours, I was growing a little weary of it.

And suddenly, I couldn't hear any more of it.  I turned away when it came on.  Not only had this song had the biggest drop from the top of my mental charts to the bottom, I felt stupid considering it for my favorites song list.  It had worn out its welcome, and I was done with it.

That taught me... give it a while, be it a movie or a song, to see how it holds up.  Some movies and songs are awesome to begin with, yet over time, wear on you a bit and aren't as great as they were.  Some start out slow and catch on, becoming awesome over time.  I call it the Duncan Sheik Rule... give it a minimum of 2 years. 

87. "Achy Breaky Heart" by Billy Ray Cyrus
Its like, even his mullet has a mullet
I have probably mentioned this before, but when I was in high school, I didn't get out much.  Parties weren't my thing, mostly because I wasn't invited to many until at least my junior year, maybe senior year.  So, when I was at home on the weekends, particularly Saturday night, I was in my room either watching movies or listening to KMX (Max 106.7) when they played Open House Party with John Garabedian. 

Open House Party was (is?) this program that would showcase new artists and new songs by current artists, sometimes weeks before they would hit the airwaves on regular rotation.  So, as an Open House Party listener, I was the first one in my small school to be aware of this new band called Nirvana, this new chick named Mariah Carey, and this country rockabilly ditty that went something like "Don't tell my heart, my achy breaky heart, I just don't think it understands..."

I remember singing this song to myself while waiting outside first period, and classmate Michael Knowles asked me what I was singing.  I told him "this song called 'Achy Breaky Heart' by this guy named Billy Cyrus."  He told me the song sounded stupid.  I told him I thought it might be big.  We were both right. 

86.  "Linger" by The Cranberries
Oh my gosh, how much so I love this song.  No kidding... from the opening music (which, by the way, is about 53 seconds long, meaning when I worked at WKMX or WTBF, I had enough time to talk about where John Houston would be this Saturday, like at Bondy's Ford Jeep Eagle, or had enough time to plug the community garage sale in Brundidge) to the light voice of Delorous O'Rierdon, to the music and tune, its perfectly set for a melancholy kind of day. 

Probably on my Top 100 Songs of All Time.  And I'm missssssing you... you know I'm such a fool for you... you got me wrapped around your finger... do you have to... do you have to... do you have to let it linger...

85. "Insane in the Brain" by Cypress Hill
Why you messin' with me, essa... can't you see I'm loco... loco... loco...

This song is ridiculously cool by a bunch of random white dudes and black guys in flannel that smoke lots and lots of pot, like the 90s version of the Grateful Dead.  Cops, come and try to steal my crops, them pigs wanna blow my house down... its a hoot.

I have this song on Cassingle, and I swear its a forgotten oldie by all those under 21. 

84.  "Informer" by Snow
Who knows what the crap this guy is saying?  Back in senior year of 93, this was a big song, and we all tried singing it... except all we could get out was "licky boom boom down", and none of us knew what that meant.

Of course, being 17 year old boys, me and my buddies came up with lots of things it could have stood for.  I do remember my freshman year in college, I would sing, "Come with a nice young lady, intelligent she plays Atari, then she do the dance lambada..." (that wasn't the lyrics, but it sounded good.)  My roomdawg at the time said, "Dude, if she is intelligent, she is NOT playing Atari."

83.  "Cannonball" by The Breeders
When this song popped up, I was thinking I'd never heard of it.  But... hearing it, I have heard it.  Sort of.  Heading to iTunes to get it now.

82.  "My Mind Playin' Tricks On Me" by The Geto Boys
Now this song... I've never heard of.  Seriously.  Apparently, there's a midget black dude that was one of the lead singers--and now he's given his life to Christ.  No joke.   His rapping sucks, but hey, if it reaches one person...

81.  "I Don't Wanna Wait" by Paula Cole
I like this song.  Her first tune was "Where Have all the Cowboys Gone", which was okay, but this song was fabulous.  I know it was on Dawson's Creek, but I can honestly say I've never seen an episode of that show.  I just like the song cause I like the song.

When I worked at Cox Radio, I worked along side of the best people in the whole world, Michelle Carr.  Michelle happened to hate this song, mostly because she kept getting caught up on the grammatical atrocity that was the lyric, "Open up your morning light, say a little prayer for I..."  and she would hear it and say, "Its prayer for me!  Not I!  For me!"   I would purposely play it in my car when we rode together.  Just for her.

80 . "I'm Too Sexy" by Right Said Fred
Where to even begin with this song?  It was like the 90s version of Frankie Goes to Hollywood, putting forth an anthem that almost had no other option than but to be a gay anthem, or one that is used in every modeling show in the free known world... or both.  I have this cassingle upstairs. 

79. "B****" by Meredith Brooks
The only thing I didn't like about this song, other than the fact I didn't really care all that much for the song, was the fact that when I was announcing on WKMX and WBPT, I had to say, "Here's one from Meredith Brooks" or "...that was 'Hook', the latest from Blues Traveler... up next, Meredith Brooks new one."  I couldn't rightfully say the title of the song. 

80.  "Are You Gonna Go My Way" by Lenny Kravitz
So, I consider myself a casual Lenny fan.  He's good, he can rock it and all that, and yeah, this song is a great driving song. But overall, not my favorite guy in music... however, he also did "Fly Away" and a good remake of "American Woman"... so maybe I like him more than I can admit.

77.  "It Was a Good Day" by Ice Cube
I like the fact this song starts with "Just waking up in the morning, gotta thank God..." then he proceeds to talk about living in the hood, and how he's getting with this chick, drinking a fo'ty, and all that.  The song is actually quite brilliant, discussing how for one day in the South Central Hood, no one got shot, no one got killed, everything was peaceful. 

And I love the line "didn't even have to use my A-K... it was a good day..." (ooh wah ooh)..  I say that line now to blank stares from most people. 

76.  "Run-Around" by Blues Traveler
Popper apparently had a heart attack about ten years
ago, and had surgery to take off about 200 pounds.
And he recently got busted for pot.  Run around.
EVERYONE liked this song.  EVERYONE.  Don't tell me you didn't, because you are lying through your teeth.  I mean, John Popper, weighing in at like, 400 pounds, belting that harmonica, this song was freakin' everywhere.  Popper wore this over the shoulder belt of harmonicas, loaded with like, 12 of them or something. 

The video was also awesome, doing a play off of The Wizard of Oz taking place at a Blues Traveler concert.  I'd go see them in concert if I could.  And I wanted to learn the lyrics to this song so badly, but could never get it down... I like coffee and I like tea... but to able to enter a final plea and... something something...

My theory is that Sister Hazel is the 2000s decade of Blues Traveler.  Had like, one, two good songs, and everyone in college wanted them.

Why yes, I have this album.  Why do you ask?
75.  "Jump" by Kris Kross
From where I sit, this cassette is placed about 50 feet from me.  Up the steps, in a box.  These kids wore their clothes backwards, they were two little kids giving rhymes you ain't never heard, something something something word...

And I will admit, I know every single word to this song.   Went bowling with a student group some years ago, and they played this song.  And I sang it.  And the 13 year old kids were staring at me while I told them I was "the miggity miggity miggity miggity mack daddy, I'm the miggity miggity miggity miggity mack"...

74.  "Believe" by Cher
You cannot understand how much I hate this song.  Like, I despise this song.  Watching the recap of the song and its success makes me want to kill myself. 

73.  "Sex and Candy" by Marcy Playground
One of the most overrated songs, ever.  Disco Lemonade?  Really? 

72.  "One Week" by The Barenaked Ladies
Holy crap, this song was everywhere.  And everyone wanted to figure out the lyrics... something about chicka-de-china, the chinese chicken, had a brainfreeze and your brain starts sticking and something about the X-Files and the Smoking Man and some other stuff and I loved it, and had a ball playing this song on WTBF. 

When I was living at Willow Terrace, with my best mate Wookiee, we had another roommate who was dating this chick... we liked her and all, she was cool, but one day he decides he's going to move out.  To help compensate for the rent, he's told the chick she could live there.  So I get to live, and share a bathroom with, a chick.  Wookiee had his own restroom facilities. 

Anyway, I was in my room, on my little loveseat watching cable when I heard her call for me.  I got up, went to her room and she said, "I've got the coolest song ever.  I just discovered it... take a listen to this..." and she played for me "One Week".  It was a bonding moment.  Haven't seen her in like, 12 years.

No one I know knows the lyrics of this song. 

71.  "Tennessee" by Arrested Development
From 1992, I dug their whole vibe.  They were the early 90s version of the Black Eyed Peas, singing about awareness, social issues and the plight of those who are less fortunate (see "Mr Wendal").  This song was awesome, and like "Jump", I know every single word of the song.

Take me to another place, take me another land, help me forget all that hurts me, let me understand your plan...

70.  "Virtual Insanity" by Jamiroquai
This is a great example of how tastes change, because when this song came out, I hated it... but years later, this song is fantastic.  I love hearing it, I love singing it in the car, and I loved watching this video where he dances around the room while the room spins around him.  Great stuff.

69.  "Freak on a Leash" by Korn
The interesting thing about Korn is one of their guys, Brian I think his name was, gave his life to Christ some years ago.  And in interviews, he's very vocal about his love of God, and he's still very real, using language and such while doing it.  He admits his addictions to sex and drugs, but that God saved him from all of that.  Hear hear.

68.  "Gettin' Jiggy With It" by Will Smith
Remember when Will Smith was a rapper?  Fresh Prince first, then eventually this?  How corny, yet how cool is this song?  He doesn't swear in his songs because he is afraid his grandmother would be offended.  Of course, I have no idea what "Jiggy" is, though as a then 20something old guy, I could guess.  He's living that lyfe some consida a miff. 

You trying to flex on me, don't be silly?  Big willy style's all in it, gettin' jiggy with it...

67.  "Groove Is in the Heart" by Dee-Lite
Ugh.  Hated this song then, hate this song now.  I can handle it a little better now than I could when it came out, but that's like saying, "Oh, then I had a migraine that lasted for a year, but now its only a severe hangnail so its all better"... that hangnail still sucks.  And so does this song.

66.  "I'll Be" by Edwin McCain
Let's look at this song with perspective... first, its a great song.  Edwin has a great voice, its well written, its a well performed song, it sounds good.  However, when it came out, this song was played like, every fifteen minutes.  On rock stations.  On pop stations.  On soft rock stations.  I mean, you could not get away from this song, and it was ev-a-ree-where... seriously. 

So for a few years, like, 1998 to about 2007, I couldn't handle this song.  Now that its a little more

65. "The Humpty Dance" by Digital Underground
This song is so far from Emmy Turnbow Safe, its not even funny.  But this song is one of the most ridiculous, most fun hip-hop songs I've heard.  It doesn't take itself seriously, and Digital Underground, led by this dude who wore a stupid looking fake nose and fake glasses, and sang lines like "I shoot an arrow like cupid, I use a word that don't mean nothing like looptid".  And at the end, he gives props to Samoans.  Love it.  I'm now going to repent.

64. "Peaches" by The Presidents of the United States of America
Does anyone actually know what this song even means?   You can tell how old someone is, because you can say, "Move into the country..." and if that person comes back with "...gonna eat alot of peaches", you'll know they are older than like, 20. 

63.  "Mo Money/Mo Problems" by Notorious BIG, featuring Puff Daddy and Mase
How jam is this song?  No joke, I love every bit of this song... and heck, the message is there... the more money you gotz, the mo' problemz you gotz. 

62.  "I Alone" by Live
Rock on.  Rock on.  "Throwing Copper" is one of those albums that just... well, rocks your face off.  I am so afraid to study the lyrics closely to "I Alone" because I'm afraid I'll be convicted for liking it.  Not sure if its sacrilege or not, but man, this song is fun to sing in the car, and man did I rock out to this music. 

This is a great, great song to run to.  When you decide to do that.   Probably one of my 100 favorite songs of all time.

61. "All I Wanna Do" by Sheryl Crow
This is one of my favorite albums, "The Tuesday Night Music Club", her debut album.  I mean, this song was so great, and really just fit my freshman year in college.  First, you have to know I love, love, love Sheryl Crow... well, 1990s Sheryl Crow, not recent political activist Sheryl Crow.

I hear this song, and I'm instantly sitting in Stewart Hall, next to Kat Gates, across from Allison Wiggins, and with Lisa Murphy, Kathy Hollingsworth, Gibson, Wookiee and The Wench.  Oh, and Erin Magonigal, who is singing along when it comes on the overhead music.

1990s Sheryl Crow is awesome, and it all began with this one.

60.  "Poison" by Bel Biv DeVoe
Ha!  Ha!  I love it! 

I love this song, especially from the opening notes.  This song is so great... these guys were tight with Boyz II Men, and this was the group who told all of us young guys that women... are poison.  It was a warning.  It was advice.  Never trust a big butt and a smile. 

I know she's a loser... how do you know?  Me and the crew used to do her... that is a warning to stay away.

59.  "Buddy Holly" by Weezer
Without this video, this song never sees the light of popularity... however, this video has them in the 50s, singing at Arnold's Diner during an episode of Happy Days, and this video is one of the best of all time. 

58.  "Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover" by Sophie B. Hawkins
Oh my gosh is this song hot.  Let's talk about a make out song from the 1990s, but being as unpopular as I was, it was probably God's grace that it never worked for me.  But this song is so great.   She came out later with "As I Lay Me Down" which to me was a terrible song, and totally overplayed... but "I Wish I Was Your Lover" will live forever in my iPod and on cassette single upstairs.

57. "Can I Get A..." by Jay-Z
It it possible that Jay-Z is like, the most overrated rap guy of all time?  He's pretty good... but... really?  However, he ended up as one of the coolest things of 2009 with his Alicia Keys duet "Empire State of Mind"...

Can I get a what-what?" 

56.  "Mama Says Knock You Out" by LL Cool J
From 1990, this song rocks.  LL Cool J was all up in your face, he had these ripped abs that all the chicks loved, and all the guys were singing "Mama said knock you out!" when doing anything of a competitive nature.

I have somewhat of a man crush on Cool J... he rocks.  When I saw on iTunes his greatest hits was for $7.99, and I bought it immediately.

55. "Criminal" by Fiona Apple
She's got a great voice, and I was never into this song until I saw the video, when this 18 year old chick was slinking around in her underthings.  Seriously, seeing this at 20 years old, that's awesome.  However, looking back, she was kinda slutty, so it takes away from it.  The song itself is just... well, eh. 

I did see a Christian drama to music for this song.  I never did it with my team.

54.  "One of Us" by Joan Osborne
Poor Joan Osborne.  She suggested "what if God was one of us", and asked the question how we would respond to Him.  I never took it as a "what if God were just mortal, just like us", I took it as a "What if God brought Himself to our world, using someone as a vessel--how would we respond to the least of these?"  Maybe I misinterpreted it. Either way, the song is just okay for me... I liked it well enough, but it was never a favorite.

53.  "OPP" by Naughty by Nature
This brings back so much high school for me... but this song is hilarious.  Perhaps back then, we were all just trying to figure out what O-P-P stood for, though now that I'm older, I'm pretty sure I know.  And as I sang along with the lyrics on tv, The Lovely Steph Leann who just came in, looked at me wide eyed.  Not an Emmy Turnbow Safe song. 

52.  "Fly" by Sugar Ray
Mark McGrath is one of those guys who has quite a blessed life... a successful rock group, a television career, and now he's a family man.  And all chicks I knew loved them some Mark McGrath.  And the song "Fly" is simply a rad song... its a fun song, with nothing deep and its a hoot.  The Lovely Steph Leann is singing along as they play the song on tv. 

51. "California Love" by 2Pac feat. Dr. Dre.
When Tupac hooked up with Dr. Dre, it was awesome.  I mean, every beat of this song rocks, and video--the edited version, thank you--is a monumental piece of film.  Love him or hate him, I really thing that Tupac deserves the accolades he gets because he was a very, very talented guy.  I dig this song.

50. "Man in a Box" by Alice in Chains
Really?  Ugh.  This was a song that was devoured by my friends Greg Avant and Daniel Stephenson and those guys who were into Anthrax and Metallica.  Not for me.

49. "Who Will Save Your Soul" by Jewel
Can't help it, I liked Jewel.  This song was kinda catchy, it was different, it was kinda fun and bluesy and her voice was a little unusual, so I dug it.  Personally, I like "You Were Meant for Me" better, but only because its fun to sing.

Of course, I'm not entirely convinced that Jewel and Renee Zellweger aren't the same person.

48. "3 AM" by Matchbox 20
I have a memory of this song, and her name was Melanie Jackson.  But overall, this song is fantastic, one of my 100 favorite songs of all time.  Fun to sing, Rob Thomas has a fantastic voice, the band rocked out. 

One of my biggest faux pas... their first song "Push" and Tonic's "If You Could Only See" hit about the same time... and I was like, Tonic is going to make it, Matchbox 20 is a one hit wonder.  And then "3 AM" came out, followed by "Real World" then a few more... and Tonic?  Yep.  They kinda went away.

The Lovely Steph Leann and I were meeting people for dinner tonight, so at about 4:45, we had to leave.  I hit the DVR button to record the rest of the shows, and we left... so #s 47 to #1 will be on a follow-up post. 

Also coming next week... my 9/11 post. 


  1. Best post EVER, D$!!! So many memories...I too was a John Garibedean (spelling, what?) WKMX stay at, the freakin' memories!!

    I only liked the one Nelson's brother's hair, the straight hair. Cuz it's what I wanted.

    Sophie B. Hawkins? le' sigh!!! O. M. Gosh!! I wish I could divulge my own personal story behind that song but I just can't bring myself to that embarrassment. But I LOVE that song and it brings me memories that make me cringe and smile at the same time.

    I always forget that we grew up around the same place...WKMX...Man, every time we get close to Enterprise or Dothan, heck, even Graceville, FL, we switch the radio to WKMX just for nostalgia.

    To be honest, my favorite years of music are between 87 and 93. 7th grade through senior year. I mean, not that I don't love music before and after that time, but the music from those years is something special for me.

  2. As if you didn't love him enough, the one and only Hurricane Rhett knows all the lyrics to One Week by Barenaked Ladies.

    You're jealous. Admit it.


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