Monday, September 06, 2010

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

And we are back... I'll fire up this DVR and discuss the rest of the Top 100 Greatest Songs of the 1990s, as ranked by Vh1!  Along the way I'll share some memories, some stories and maybe you have some of your own...

Keep in mind, I don't know who is on this list... everytime you read about a new song, I have just found out what that song was, and don't know what the next one is...
Read The Greatest Songs of 90s, Part I with Songs 100 to 48

47. "Good Vibrations" by Marky Mark & the Funky Bunch
I guess I heard somewhere that Mark Wahlberg doesn't like to discuss his "Marky Mark" days... and part of me can understand why.  I mean, he's a white guy rapper, something that until Eminem, would get you lumped in with Vanilla Ice, Snow and the like.

But another part of me wants him to be doggone proud of this ditty.  "Good Vibrations" isn't bad, its not even so-bad-its-good, its just a good, good song.   And most girls I knew loved them some Marky Mark when he did underwear ads and did this video.  He didn't actually wear a shirt from 1994 to 1998, I believe.

I came across this video in iTunes, and let me tell ya, I didn't think--I bought.  Immediately.

I've made this point before, but really?  If
you've ever seen Mutt Lange, you'll know
that Shania, left, is the best he'll ever do
and the chick on the right is more his type.
46.  "Your Still the One" by Shania Twain.
Oh mah gawsh... this song was everywhere.  You couldn't get away from this song.  But for every bit of eye candy that Marky Mark was to the ladies, Shania is the boys.

Its funny, though, to hear Shania talk about this song and her hubby Mutt Lange, as this show was done in 2007-ish.  This was, of course, Mutt so stupidly traded in his Ferrari for a used 70s Pinto. 

45.  "Only Wanna Be With You" by Hootie & the Blowfish

But when Darius Rucker says, "Ain't Bobby so cool?", who is Bobby?  Never got that.

44.  "Killing Me Softy" by The Fugees
Pras, Wyclef Jean and Lauryn Hill... The Fugees.  And for everything the original was, this song is not.  The original, while classic, is so freakin' slow... the update by The Fugees made it cool.  Made it relevant.  Made if fun.

Sang this song in karaoke back in the early 2000s or something.  Actually, I didn't sing it, Alexandra Milner did.  We were at Common Ground back in the day, doing a karaoke night, and Alex and I hopped on this stage... and she sang it beautiful.  I did the "one time time"... and then the "two time time" part.  Cause I wanted to help.

43. "My Lovin' (your never gonna get it)" by En Vogue
Who just started singing "oh your never gonna get it, no your never gonna get it" as soon as this song came on the television?  The Lovely Steph Leann, that's who, not even looking up from her laptop.

This was pre-Destiny's Child, and early-to-mid 90s.  There was an abundance of chick groups that came out about the same time, including En Vogue, but also Jade (don't walk away boy, my love won't hurt you, no no!) and my favorite, Sisters With Voices, aka, SWV (can't explain why your loving makes me weak...)

42. "Shine" by Collective Soul
From the album "Hints, Allegations and Things Left Unsaid", an album that I couldn't afford to buy in 1994, but I ended buying in like, 2004, because I felt like I should own it. 

This song is also awesome, with a great chorus, and lots and lots of "YEAH!"s.  Da da da dada YEAH!  Da dada dada da da YEAH!" 

It is a great song, but my favorite Collective Soul song?  "Heavy".  Man oh man is that song great to drive with. 

41. "Two Princes" by The Spin Doctors
My memory of this song will forever and ever be linked to that karaoke bar on the fifth deck of that cruise ship during my senior cruise... there were like, six of us up there, and that group probably included Chris McCall and Tonya Windham, but I know for a fact that Tammy Thomas was up there. 

(L-R) Tonya, Chad, Tammy, Yours Truly and Chris.  This
would be a good guess as to who was singing that night.
By the way, don't hate on the Spin Doctors.  Trippy sound, goofy hat of that lead singer guy, he had an awesome voice... and how much fun is this song to sing?  Even now!  The Lovely Steph Leann stopped singing En Vogue and immediately picked up this song. 

Favorite Spin Doctors songs? 
4) "Little Miss Can't Be Wrong"... what a great "get out my face, woman" song.
3) "You Let Your Heart Go To Fast"... lead cut from their second album
2) "Two Princes"... Carnival cruises!
1) "Jimmy Olsen's Blues".  Man I love that tune.

Just just just go ahead now. 

40. "I Wanna Sex You Up" by Color Me Badd
Okay, so this song came from the film "New Jack City", not on The Dave100, but probably could be listed in The Dave200, if there was such a thing.  There were actually two versions to this song, the album version and the radio version.

Usually, I'm an album-version guy... the album typically has the extra verse, or the bridge or the extra whatever, whereas the radio version is typically edited for content and length.   However, in this case, its almost as if they are two different tunes who have the same riffs and rhythm... and I prefer the "come inside take of your coat I'll make you feel at home" radio edit much better. 

Two more quick observations:  first, lead singer Brian Abrams got really big, and second. this song is, no matter the edit, not Emmy Turnbow Safe.  No joke. 

39. "Iris" by The Goo Goo Dolls
So, I've never seen the movie "City of Angels" that this song came from.  This song is good, though, every once in a while, but not all the time.  Give me "Slide" or "Black Balloon".... but I will tell you "Dizzy Up the Girl" is an awesome CD.  Go get it.

38. "Genie in a Bottle" by Christina Aguilera
So, when you are 24 years old, and this 17 year old is singing, and rolling around like she does in this video, you feel kind of skeevy.  And I did.  Cause she was pretty hot.

Steph Nipp, back in the day, asked me about the lyrics "gotta rub the right way", and I told her "oh, its like, you know, when you rub someone the right way, or wrong way?  Like, she wants the guy to be good to her, and treat her right."  Steph Nipp says, "Oh, that makes sense."  And everytime I heard her tell someone that particular nugget, I would laugh internally, and sometimes quietly, externally.  I love Snipp. 

37. "Good Riddance (time of your life)" by Green Day
So, Green Day, one of the most overrated band in the history of the world. 

36. "Gonna Make You Sweat" by C&C Music Factory
Totally did this song in high school band, and that crazy part on the sax was sooooooo much fun to play.

And I know every stinkin' word to this song.  I mean, this video is like a workout, cause people are dancing and jumping all over the place, you had the chick singing the "Sweat!  Sweeeaaaat!  Let the music take control, let the rhythm move you..." (though the skinny chick was a front--the real singer of that was one of the big sistas from The Weather Girls, and she sued), you had that awesome sax in the middle and Freedom Williams singing the rhymes that told you he was a just a squirrel trying to get a nut to move yo' butt to the dance floor so yo' whats up, hands in the air, e'rbody over here e'rbody over there..."

35. "Wonderwall" by Oasis
Talk about a song I love to sing... Today is gonna be the day that their gonna throw it back to you... I don't believe that anybody feels the way I do about you now...

Its like a good Beatles song.  This, with "Champagne Supernova", but especially this, is just about as close to a perfect rock song as you can get. 

Chick named Reanna in children's theater Pied Pipers used to walk aroung singing "Wonder Bra".  Kind of annoying, but at the same time amusing.

34. "Semi-Charmed Life" by Third Eye Blind
So this song is actually about hard core drugs and gettin' it on.  The lyrics are so dirty.  But its proof that people don't pay much attention to the lyrics, because its so catchy and this song was pretty big for about eight months.  But I usually turn it when it comes on.  Not a huge fan.

33. "Wannabe" by Spice Girls
This exchange just happened:
Me: Oh wow
The Lovely Steph Leann: You knew this had to be on here
Me: Oh, I like the Spice Girls.  I dig this song.
The Lovely Steph Leann: OMG, I LOOOOOVE the Spice Girls

Ten, twelve years later, its kinda funny seeing where they all ended up, but back in the late 90s, you couldn't get away from Spice Girl.  I was always a Baby Spice guy myself. 

We just spent the next five minutes coming up with the titles of the other two Spice hits.... "Two Become One" and my favorite, "Say You'll Be There" (she sang along to both when I dug 'em up on my iTunes)

32. "No Diggity" by Blackstreet featuring Dr. Dre
Dude.  No Diggity was dope.  Back when Dre and rap was fun and cool, when Hip Hop was going from innocent to a little edgy, this song is just awesome. 

Not sure what "diggity" means.  It might mean "no doubt", as in "no diggity, no doubt". 

Play on, play out.

31. "Creep" by Radiohead
There were two versions of this song, the "so very special" and "so effin' special" version.  As in, "I wish I was special.  So very/effin special".  Because I'm an album purist, I like the second one.  I have this cassingle upstairs. 

I won a tape from a radio station once, called "Kid A."  And after listening to it a few times, I can honestly say, Radiohead is a band I never got.

30. "Tearin' Up My Heart" by N*Sync
So, the boy bands returned in 98, after a seven year hiatus with the loss of New Kids on the Block. 

Remember when Justin Timberlake was this frosted tipped little kid?  And out of like, all the boy banders in all the boy bands, something like 19 of them, JT is the only who made it out.  Its not cool to like any of them... except JT.  Its cool to like JT. 

And I'm sure JC Chasez is sitting at home, playing "Blowing Me Up (with her love)", wondering what went wrong and why not him.

No, of course I don't have "Ice Ice Baby"
on Cassette Single.  Why would I need
the cassingle when I have this entire
album on tape?
29. "Ice Ice Baby" by Vanilla Ice
I could spend an entire column, like 4,000 words on this song.  I don't even know where to begin with this song, other than, I love it and am not ashamed.

28. "Livin' la Vida Loco" by Ricky Martin
I got nothing.  That sound you hear is the Unintentional Comedy Scale exploding into small, loco pieces.

27. "Mr. Jones" by The Counting Crows
First, lets be clear... Adam Duritz. Ladies, is he hot?  Seriously?  Cause he got with like, fourteen different 90s hot chicks from Jennifer Aniston to Courtney Cox. 

Secondly, who is Mr. Jones?  

26. "My Name Is" by Eminem
I remember hearing this song for the first time as I was coming to my apartment in 1999.  It was odd, it was laughable, and it was creative.  Some years later, he busted out with my favorite Eminem tune, "Without Me" which is absolutely brilliant. 

Love him, hate him, he is so talented.  What he can rap, the words he spits out are amazing... not the content, but just his tone. 

25. "Black Hole Sun" by Soundgarden
This was a cool song, but this video was just creepy with the stretchy smiley face thing going on.  Everyone's smiles get all weird and distorted and strange.

24. "Jump Around" by House of Pain
Dude... from the very first note, this song rocks.  Like, this song is awesome.  Everyone jumps to this song.  And my favorite lyric, though its terrible, is "I'll serve yo' --- like John McEnroe, if yo' girl steps up, I'm smackin' da ho'"...  This makes me want to go and hear this song right now.  This would be in my Top Ten songs of the 90s.

23. "Whatta Man" by Salt n Pepa featuring En Vogue
What a great song.  Seriously.  Why is it that there are so many songs out there that are all about how bad your man is, and he cheated and he's a jerk and all that... but here's a song that celebrates how much she loves her man.

I'd like to think that The Lovely Steph Leann, were she a R&B rap artist, would sing this song to me.  "d$, you so crazy... I think I wanna have yo' baby..." 

22.  "Loser" by Beck
Does anyone even know what this song means?  No you don't.  Don't try.  Don't even try to explain.  I made it a point to learn every word to this song at one time, and loved to sing it... and would hear it often on cassingle.

If there was a way to do playcounts with cassettes, surely this would have a huge count from back in the day.

21. "My Heart Will Go On" by Celine Dion
Oh, there go the flutes.  From one of my favorite movies of all time, 9th on The Dave100, near, far, wherever you are, you couldn't NOT hear this song.  And seriously, were it not for the fact that I have heard this song about 8,000,003 times, I would still love it.  However, its still a great song.  And before Celine married Rob Reiner and decided to lose 188 pounds, she was so awesome.  I mean, really.  I would put her next to pre-crack Whitney and pre-skank Mariah, easily.

The Lovely Steph Leann: Oh, I cried at this song.

20. "Mmm Bop" by Hanson
You laugh right now, but dont even joke.  You freakin' loved this song.  You sang this song.  You bought it, you own it, and when it came on, you turn it up, even if you only can sing the "Mmm Bop" part.

Hanson is a band that got the shaft--they make great pop rock music, played their own instruments, wrote their own songs, and were defined by that one single song.

19. "Sabotage" by The Beastie Boys
There are fewer songs that, combined with the video, are as cool as this song.  This song is loud, this song is boisterous, this song had this funky, hard edge, goofy sound... and it ROCKS.  Put this is your cars CD player, preluded by "B.O.B." by OutKast and followed by "Machinehead" by Bush, and you can make it from Birmingham to the beach in about 90 minutes.

18. "Enter Sandman" by Metallica
"The national anthem of headbangers" was what one guy said on the show, and I agree.  And when lead singer Triple H James Hetfield, its a song that really... kinda punishes you.   

Hush little baby don't say a word, and don't mind that noise you heard.


17. "Say My Name" by Destiny's Child
Back when it wasn't just Beyonce, but Beyonce and three, yes three, other chicks.  Hey, say my name you love me in front of other people.  And somehow, they sang 73 words in the span of 4 seconds, so much so that Eminem would be proud.

And for the record, I love me some Kelly Rowland--she's my favorite D'Child.

16. "U Can't Touch This" by MC Hammer
That phrase, "U Can't Touch This", tossed in with "2 Legit 2 Quit" will forever be a part of our lexicon.  Lorelei Addison and Campbell Isaiah will be saying these phrases and not even knowing what they mean...

...oh no, forget that... they'll be hearing them some MC Hammer.

Its Hammer go Hammer MC Hammer yo Hammer and the rest can go and play, Can't Touch This!

15. "Under the Bridge" by The Red Hot Chili Peppers
When this song popped up, The Lovely Steph Leann looked up and said, "ah!"  I asked her if she liked this song, and she nodded feverishly, "I Love this song."

And why not?  Its a great song.  I remember this video where Anthony Keidis, in black and white, long hair flying, running as fast as he could towards the camera, looking all buff and intense.  It was cool.

14. "Vision of Love" by Mariah Carey
Totally had this poster on my college dorm room wall

I miss pre-skank Mariah.

Anyone under 21, stop what you are doing, go to iTunes and download three songs:  Emotion, Dreamlover and this song.  And listen to them for an education.  THIS is how you sing.  THIS is how you entice.  THIS is how you are FREAKIN AWESOME. 

I would love love love love to see her in concert.  I mean, one of my top five most desired concert experiences.

13. "Nuthin' But a G Thang" by Dr. Dre introducing Snoop Doggy Dogg
In the late 80s, rap was killin, ghetto, hood, shooting, the plight of black people, the plight of poor people, the man holding us down...

When G Thang came out, it all changed.  Rap suddenly didn't have to be a social commentary, it could be just something fun, laid back, smokin' a blunt, drankin' a fo'ty, ridin' in yo' bouncing hyrdrolic low rider,

12. "You Oughta Know" by Alanis Morissette
How fantastic is this song?  How fantastic is this whole "Jagged Little Pill" album?  I remember hearing this song for the first time, I hopped in my car, drove around the corner from Willow Terrace to across the street to On Cue Records and Tapes, and paid $15.98 for it.  Didn't have it, probably bounced the check, but it was worth it. 

She's a little mellow now, and released an acoustic version of this whole album a few years back--and it was good, but it wasnt great.  It wasn't great because she wasn't angry anymore.  I love Angry Alanis.

11. "Jeremy" by Pearl Jam
Remember me telling you about sitting at home, listening to Open House Party on Saturday nights?  This is where I learned about Pearl Jam and heard "Jeremy" for the first time.  And I owned the tape and would play it in my car at school I daresay before anyone knew who was Eddie Vedder even was.

I remember doing some painting work for my boss at The Wright Place restaurant at his home, painting some metal beams for a barn that he was building.  And with my jambox, I had this tape blaring loud and proud.  Back then, kiddies, you got about five songs, then you had to flip the tape over. 

10. "Nothing Compares 2 U" by Sinead O'Connor
I cannot tell you how awesome this song is.  I mean, seriously.  This will be another song that Lorelei Addison will hear as a very young little girl.

The video is so amazing, as she's starting at the camera, tears streaming down her eyes.  Its on my list of the Saddest Songs Ever.  That countdown is due for a re-do, and "Nothing Compares 2 U" might rank a little higher. 

And this is on my current rotation of songs that I sing while I'm making drinks at Starbucks. 

9. "Losing My Religion" by REM
I've never been a huge REM fan, but this song was captivating.  That's me in the corner. That's me in the spotlight, losing my religion.  I do believe that not too long ago, Michael Stipe surprised no one when admitting he was gay, he admitted that this song was his struggle with being an Other. 

We used to make fun of REM, saying that REM stood for Rear End Men.  Turns out I wasn't too far from being right.

8. "Waterfalls" by TLC
For all the songs that The Lovely Steph Leann liked on this countdown, I daresay there aren't many songs she hates more than this one.  I like the song itself, but usually only hear it when I'm listening to a playlist that includes my favorite music from that Troy State era.

7. "...Baby One More Time" by Britney Spears
Let's be honest.  Back in 1998, you liked this song.  Don't tell me you didn't.  You had no idea that K-Fed, bald heads, kissing Madonna, that VMA snake, Chaotic, slutsville, rehab, two children, bad music, that Vegas marriage was coming.  All you knew at that time was that this song was awesome, it was catchy, the album was fun, and speaking as a guy, we loved it.

6. "Baby Got Back" by Sir Mixalot
I LIKE BIG BUTTS AND I CANNOT LIE is a line that forever will go down in the "First Lines to a Song" Hall of Fame.  I mean, you can't even say the words "Oh My Gah Becky, look at her butt" without someone laughing, or continuing the line or quoting the song.  Seriously.

This is song is so engrained in our pop culture, it will be one of the songs on this list that will last for decades, maybe a generation.  I don't know if Campbell Isaiah will be exposed to Mixalot at an early age, but it seems to be a good song to sing to babies.  On Friends, Rachel sang it to her kid to calm her down, and when I was visiting my best mate Wookiee, I was holding their daughter Abby Grace and when AG got a little grumpy, I started to whisper "I like big butts and I cannot lie.  You other brothers can't deny..." and like magic, AG quieted. 

5. "Vogue" by Madonna

4. "I Will Always Love You" by Whitney Houston
From a favorite film, 51st on The Dave100, its pre-crack Whitney at the top of her career.  As this song started, I just put my head back on the recliner, looked at The Lovely Steph Leann and just sighed, "This song... is just so great." 

A few drug hits and a Bobby Brown later, she can't hit those notes like she used to.  But while you are on iTunes downloading those Mariah songs, make sure you get "How Will I Know", "Saving All My Love For You", "I'm Your Baby Tonight" (radio edit) and this song.  Go now. 

3. "I Want It That Way" by The Backstreet Boys
The Lovely Steph Leann just piped up "This is the BEST!!!"

So one night, Mikey Nipp and I were going to a party somewhere.  We walked to the door and he turned to me, said "I'm going to have the entire room singing Backstreet in ten minutes.  Just watch this." 

He walked in, quietly singing to himself, "you are... my fire... my one... desire..." and sure enough, within ten minutes every girl, and some guys, in the room were singing to themselves "I want it that way" and "you are... my fire..." and so on.  It was hilarious.

2. "One" by U2
When "Achtung Baby" came out, I really dug "Mysterious Ways", which turned out to be my favorite U2 song of all time. 

But I'll just be honest with ya here... this is my absolute least favorite U2 song out there.  When this comes on the radio, I end up just turning it.  There.  I said it.

1. "Smells Like Teen Spirit" by Nirvana
When we were about three songs from the end, I said, "Smells Like Teen Spirit" is probably number one."  And I was right.

I was the first kid in my high school to own "Nevermind" with the naked baby on the front cover of the tape.  And this song was played a whole heckuva lot in my car.  Kurt Cobain is perhaps not as amazing as people remember him to be (who is, really) but he deserves alot of credit for, along with Pearl Jam, bringing the new grunge alternative sound to the forefront, inspiring rock music like never before, and making all those kids around me who felt Metallica and Alice in Chains were a little too loud have some hope in rock. 

And then, when Weird Al Yankovic came out with "Smells Like Nirvana", I was laughing so hard I literally ran off of the road while driving down the highway in Enterprise, Alabama.

Well, theres your greatest songs of the 90s.

Word to your mother.

Play on, play out.

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