Get 600,000 users together to vote their tastes from the ’90s and what do you learn? Pretty much that Backstreet Boys had the third best single of the decade. And that we are so thankful VH1 never linked to the Gummys voting. We’re not even gonna reverse the order — it’s a treat from 1 to 100.

01 Nirvana – “Smells Like Teen Spirit”
02 U2 – “One”
03 Backstreet Boys – “I Want It That Way”
04 Whitney Houston – “I Will Always Love You”
05 Madonna – “Vogue”
06 Sir Mix-A-Lot – “Baby Got Back”
07 Britney Spears – “…Baby One More Time”
08 TLC – “Waterfalls”
09 R.E.M. – “Losing My Religion”
10 Sinéad O’Connor – “Nothing Compares 2 U”
11 Pearl Jam – “Jeremy”
12 Alanis Morissette – “You Oughta Know”
13 Dr. Dre (Feat. Snoop Doggy Dogg) – “Nuthin’ but a “G” Thang”
14 Mariah Carey – “Vision of Love”
15 Red Hot Chili Peppers – “Under the Bridge”
16 MC Hammer – “U Can’t Touch This”
17 Destiny’s Child – “Say My Name”
18 Metallica – “Enter Sandman”
19 Beastie Boys – “Sabotage”
20 Hanson – “MMMBop”

21 Celine Dion – “My Heart Will Go On”
22 Beck – “Loser”
23 Salt-N-Pepa with En Vogue – “Whatta Man”
24 House of Pain – “Jump Around”
25 Soundgarden – “Black Hole Sun”
26 Eminem – “My Name Is”
27 Counting Crows – “Mr. Jones”
28 Ricky Martin – “Livin’ la Vida Loca”
29 Vanilla Ice – “Ice Ice Baby”
30 *NSYNC – “Tearin’ Up My Heart”
31 Radiohead – “Creep”
32 BLACKstreet – “No Diggity”
33 Spice Girls – “Wannabe”
34 Third Eye Blind – “Semi-Charmed Life”
35 Oasis – “Wonderwall”
36 C+C Music Factory – “Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)”
37 Green Day – “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)”
38 Christina Aguilera – “Genie In A Bottle”
39 Goo Goo Dolls – “Iris”
40 Color Me Badd – “I Wanna Sex You Up”
41 Spin Doctors – “Two Princes”
42 Collective Soul – “Shine”
43 En Vogue – “My Lovin’ (You’re Never Gonna Get It)”
44 The Fugees – “Killing Me Softly With His Song”
45 Hootie & the Blowfish – “Only Wanna Be With You”
46 Shania Twain – “You’re Still the One”
47 Marky Mark and The Funky Bunch – “Good Vibrations”
48 Matchbox Twenty – “3 AM”
49 Jewel – “Who Will Save Your Soul”
50 Alice in Chains – “Man in the Box”
51 Tupac (Feat. Dr. Dre and Roger Troutman) – “California Love”
52 Sugar Ray – “Fly”
53 Naughty by Nature – “O.P.P.”
54 Joan Osborne – “One of Us”
55 Fiona Apple – “Criminal”
56 L.L. Cool J – “Mama Said Knock You Out”
57 Jay-Z featuring Amil and Ja Rule – “Can I Get A…”
58 Sophie B. Hawkins – “Damn, I Wish I Was Your Lover”
59 Weezer – “Buddy Holly”
60 Bell Biv DeVoe – “Poison”
61 Sheryl Crow – “All I Wanna Do”
62 Live – “I Alone”
63 The Notorious B.I.G. (Feat. Mase & Puff Daddy) – “Mo Money Mo Problems”
64 The Presidents of the United States of America – “Peaches”
65 Digital Underground – “The Humpty Dance”
66 Edwin McCain – “I’ll Be”
67 Deee-Lite – “Groove Is In The Heart”
68 Will Smith – “Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It”
69 Korn – “Freak on a Leash”
70 Jamiroquai – “Virtual Insanity”
71 Arrested Development – “Tennessee”
72 Barenaked Ladies – “One Week”
73 Marcy Playground – “Sex and Candy”
74 Cher – “Believe”
75 Kris Kross – “Jump”
76 Blues Traveler – “Run-Around”
77 Ice Cube – “It Was a Good Day”
78 Lenny Kravitz – “Are You Gonna Go My Way”
79 Meredith Brooks – “Bitch”
80 Right Said Fred – “I’m Too Sexy”
81 Paula Cole – “I Don’t Want to Wait”
82 Geto Boys – “Mind Playing Tricks on Me”
83 The Breeders – “Cannonball”
84 Snow – “Informer”
85 Cypress Hill – “Insane In The Brain”
86 The Cranberries – “Linger”
87 Billy Ray Cyrus – “Achy Breaky Heart”
88 Duncan Sheik – “Barely Breathing”
89 Liz Phair – “Never Said”
90 New Radicals – “You Get What You Give”
91 Sarah McLachlan – “Building a Mystery”
92 Public Enemy – “911 Is A Joke”
93 Lisa Loeb & Nine Stories – “Stay”
94 Fastball – “The Way”
95 Montell Jordan – “This is How We Do It”
96 Nelson – “(Can’t Live Without Your) Love and Affection”
97 Prince & The New Power Generation – “Gett Off”
98 EMF – “Unbelievable”
99 Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott – “The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)”
100 Gerardo – “Rico Suave”

Of course there’s some essential ’90s acts in there (Breeders and Beasties and Weezer and Fiona and Public Enemy and hey even pre-Bluths Arrested Development), but mostly we’re psyched that Gerardo squeaked in! Latin ’til he dies, baby. You can watch the entire countdown in televised format Monday-Friday, December 17 – 21 at 10 PM each night, although really we just spared you that experience. You’re welcome.

Comments (213)
  1. nick  |   Posted on Dec 12th, 2007 0

    fuck pavement…where are the cardigans??

    all in all this list isn’t horrible, though. if you were to put this on shuffle at a party people would LOSE it.

  2. kidgotham  |   Posted on Dec 12th, 2007 -1

    Yeah, they would lose it and put a bullet in their head. That list is terrible.

  3. “It’s the station you can listen to at work!”

    Seriously though, as long as I live I will never understand the universal appeal of “Under the Bridge” and all the other mid-tempo Peppers ballads about California that it wrought.

  4. Man, the 90′s were just f’n awful. A handfull of bright spots, but that’s it.

  5. frankie  |   Posted on Dec 12th, 2007 -1

    the most predictable thing you could’ve ever said (ever) is “not enough pavement”. jesus christ. we get it already.

  6. of all the radiohead songs to choose…

  7. beckett  |   Posted on Dec 12th, 2007 -1

    Zeppelin Rulz!

  8. sattmigue  |   Posted on Dec 12th, 2007 -1

    i’m fucking sick of pavement fans

  9. Cody  |   Posted on Dec 12th, 2007 -1


  10. somma  |   Posted on Dec 12th, 2007 -1

    WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU GUYS!?!?! Whitney Houston didn’t even write that song. Dolly Parton did for that movie “Best Little Whore House in Texas” plus her vocal range was far superior in the original. I’m so tired of covers taking the credit.

  11. 800lb  |   Posted on Dec 12th, 2007 -1

    Phuck. The New Radicals are going to be in my head for the rest of the day.

  12. Jason  |   Posted on Dec 12th, 2007 -1

    WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU GUYS!?!?! Whitney Houston didn’t even write that song. Dolly Parton did for the movie “Best Little Whore House in Texas” no less. Plus her vocal range in the original was far superior.
    I’m sick of covers taking all the credit.
    And while we’re at it go listen to “Past Time Paradise” by Stevie Wonder which was later adopted into the superficial “Gangsters Paradise.”

  13. Jason  |   Posted on Dec 12th, 2007 -1

    P.S. Enya wrote the background track used in “Killing Me Softly” by the Fugees. never thought I’d see the day that hip hop would reappropriate New Age.

  14. The fact that Hanson is on this list is a sign of the apocalypse.

  15. Austin  |   Posted on Dec 12th, 2007 -1

    For VH1 and pop music, I find the list completely accurate. Not necessarily with the adjective “greatest” but possibly “biggest.”

    I do think you should cherish this list, however, because in 10 years when they do the best of 2000-2010 and we see the 100 “biggest” songs of this decade, it’s going to make us even sadder. Like the post said, there’s a few respectable acts in the 90s list above. Other than “Hey Ya” and “Crazy,” what will this era provide in a general pop list as such? Probably pure crap, which is why people are on sites like this one looking for better things.

  16. What, no Milli Vanilli?

  17. Tony  |   Posted on Dec 12th, 2007 -1

    I remember trying to vote for this. You couldn’t pick any song released in the 90s. You could only pick from a list of about 300 songs or so, and each band only had one song.

    I didn’t vote because most of what I thought were the best songs in the 90s weren’t available for selection.

  18. sATaLyte  |   Posted on Dec 12th, 2007 -1

    Humpty Dance deserves to be higher, MUCH higher.

    And how did “Gettin jiggy wit it” crawl its way up out of hell?

  19. Unbelievably shitty, this. They even managed to find a meh PE song.

  20. adi  |   Posted on Dec 12th, 2007 -1

    horrible list

  21. Joe Bob  |   Posted on Dec 12th, 2007 -1

    Pavement has to be the most over hyped shit band to ever pass for “indie” rock. There, I’ve said it. Discuss amongst yourselves.

  22. Jonathan  |   Posted on Dec 12th, 2007 -1

    pardon my french, but BULLSHIT! No pavement, not even SEMISONIC!?! are you kidding. Closing Time!? jesus christ monkey balls.

  23. Apexa  |   Posted on Dec 12th, 2007 -1

    Doesn’t anyone read the “600,000 users voted” part? Seriously, what kind of Pavement fan would watch VH1 on a regular basis?

  24. RJ  |   Posted on Dec 12th, 2007 -1

    Destiny’s Child “Say My Name” wasn’t even released as a single until spring of 2000. Brilliant.

    Futher proof that we are surrounded by moronos. These are the same people that made Titanic the highest grossing film ever.

  25. dannygutters  |   Posted on Dec 12th, 2007 -1

    not enough Duncan sheik

  26. historyman68  |   Posted on Dec 12th, 2007 -1

    “never thought I’d see the day that hip hop would reappropriate New Age.”

    did you not see that day when it happened 10 years ago? I know I was too preoccupied with my middle school dance to notice when one nebulously-defined genre appropriated another.

  27. DS48  |   Posted on Dec 12th, 2007 -1

    Isn’t the whole point of VH1 these days just to have snarky douchebags make fun of everything? I guess this list makes sense then. I’m just glad Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch and Bell Biv Devoe made the list…

  28. John  |   Posted on Dec 12th, 2007 -1

    “Not enough pavement” is clearly a joke. No one would expect VH1 or users to put Pavement on a Top 100 list. You people are so dense sometimes.

  29. annie onymous  |   Posted on Dec 12th, 2007 -1

    geez…this is what my upbringing is going to be remembered by. excuse me while i go find a razorblade and a staind cd to end it all…

  30. Dold  |   Posted on Dec 12th, 2007 -1

    It was actually The Fugees song “Ready or Not” that you’re thinking of Jason, and she didn’t “right the music” as much as The Fugees simply “borrowed” her song (Boadicea), tossed on a drum beat and rapped over it.

  31. nick  |   Posted on Dec 12th, 2007 -1

    glaring omissions!

    soul asylum – runaway train
    deep blue something – breakfast at tiffany’s
    gin blossoms – hey jealousy (even though the original was released in 1989, iknowiknow)
    semisonic – closing time (as someone else mentioned)
    r kelly – bump n grind
    tag team – whoomp there it is
    69 boyz – come on ride the train
    squirrel nut zippers – hell (!!!)

    how about instead of bitching and moaning about how bad the list is, start posting some songs you think are missing.

  32. a-ron  |   Posted on Dec 12th, 2007 -1

    i agree w/ nick
    those 8 songs outshadow 1/2 of VH-1′s list.

    where’s my razorblade suitcase cd?

  33. DK  |   Posted on Dec 12th, 2007 -1

    I’m wondering where Spice Girls’ “Say You’ll Be There” or “2 Become 1″ are — those are true 90s classics.

  34. am  |   Posted on Dec 12th, 2007 -1

    wow. i’m amazed at how many people don’t understand self deprecation when it hits them over the head.

    [...for the record, pavement owns.]

  35. where the fuck is BLUR & SONG #2…..that’s the song where even they admitted to wanting to be PAVEMENT……..that song rules.

  36. E  |   Posted on Dec 12th, 2007 -1

    R-kelly! glaring omission, to be sure. at least “i believe i can fly” – c’mon, vh1!

  37. pavementblur  |   Posted on Dec 12th, 2007 -1

    yeah,pavement is actually pretty goddamn good.and song 2 was deffinetly missing.As far as the last part about blur wanting to be pavement with that song,the whole blur album is a knock on american lofi indie,not them wanting to be pavement as much as mocking them

  38. bookwibble  |   Posted on Dec 12th, 2007 -1

    The Backstreet Boys and Britney Spears entries remind me of a part of the ’90s I’d rather not remember.

  39. Bo  |   Posted on Dec 12th, 2007 -1

    re: Enya,
    it’s actually sort of mesmerizing when you watch it in this context

  40. Andrew  |   Posted on Dec 13th, 2007 -1

    Where is Natalie Imbruglia, dammit!?

  41. ave  |   Posted on Dec 13th, 2007 -1

    i second Natalie Imbruglia. she was awesome.

  42. Blogroll  |   Posted on Dec 13th, 2007 -1

    You HAVE to pathetically glorify Pavement & My Bloody Valentine once every 48 hours. It’s in your contract when you join the writing staff of any indie blog, oh didn’t ya know? It defines the overall idea of a scene (paraplegic & A.D.-Disorderly as it is) and also helps create the illusion that the publication’s relevant still.

  43. teamcinnamon  |   Posted on Dec 13th, 2007 -1

    Standing outside a broken phone booth with money in my hand anybody?

  44. There’s no Stone Temple Pilots or Smashing Pumpkins so obviously “Greatest Songs of the 90′s” is an incorrect title.

  45. Harvey  |   Posted on Dec 13th, 2007 -1

    i’d be happy to never hear a lot of these songs again.

    should have made it:

    Positive K “I Got A Man”
    Warren G “Regulate”
    TLC “No Scrubs”
    B-Rock & The Biz MyBabyDaddy
    Verve “Bittersweet Symphony” (!)
    Pulp “Common People”

  46. frump  |   Posted on Dec 14th, 2007 -1

    boo-hoo-hoo. the writers here like pavement. woe is me, because i’m whiny and don’t agree.

  47. there, now i've said it  |   Posted on Dec 14th, 2007 -1

    hanson >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> my bloody valentine >>>> pavement

  48. Harvey  |   Posted on Dec 14th, 2007 -1

    Why all the hostility aimed at Pavement? I can’t think of another act that released 4 outstanding albums in the 90s.

  49. Darren  |   Posted on Dec 14th, 2007 -1

    Music scene is crazy.
    bands start up
    each and every day
    I saw another one just the other day
    A special new band.

  50. amelia  |   Posted on Dec 15th, 2007 -1

    Man, and here I was all in a frenzy cuz I don’t have VH1 and would miss this revolutionary special… so mucho thanks, Stereogum, now I know what I missed by being too young in the 90s to know all the great music made back then!!! And I didn’t even have to watch VH1! Can I give you a hug?

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