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One Hit Wonders of the 1990’s

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Everyone knows that 80’s music is great. Everyone loves 80’s music — from Madonna to Duran Duran, from Flock of Seagulls to Devo. No one doubts how great 80’s music is. But what about 90’s music?

Even though I was born in 1982, I really didn’t grow up in the 80’s. Yeah, I physically did, but most of my memories regarding pop culture formed in the 90’s. From watching Batman the Animated Series after school, to staying up late Sunday nights to watch Matt Pinfield hosting 120 Minutes on MTV.

Music in the 90’s was very strange to me. I never really followed music much until I got into middle school (1994). From my perception, early 90’s music tended to sound just like 80’s music to me. It wasn’t really until (and I hate to admit this) Nirvana came on the scene that it seemed that 90’s music really began to separate itself from 80’s music.

So until I started to immerse myself in the world of Green Day in middle school, I tended to pretend that I like bands like Nirvana, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, and the Smashing Pumpkins. Once I got to high school, I pretty much set myself to liking rap-rock (311, Phunk Junkeez, Shootyz Groove, 2 Skinnee J’s), punk rock (ALL, Descendents, Bad Religion, Strung Out, etc.), ska (The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Reel Big Fish, The Slackers, Voodoo Glow Skulls, etc.), and some electronica (Daft Punk, Chemical Brothers, Fatboy Slim). I never would have admitted to liking anything that was popular or on the radio.

But that’s a lie. Even though I was a snob when I was younger, there were a lot of cheap pop songs that I enjoyed in the 90’s. Looking back on things, I especially enjoyed a lot of the 90’s one hit wonders. Here’s a list of some of my favorites from the 90’s:

The Freshmen — The Verve Pipe

This song came out when I was in high school. For some reason the somber tone of the song really spoke to me — despite the fact that the song is about getting an abortion. But I loved this song then and I still rock out to it when I hear it played on the radio.

Three Little Pigs — Green Jelly (formerly Green Jello)

I was still in my “metal stage” when this song came out, so of course I loved it. I particularly loved the video. And I loved the fact that they were called Green Jello (way to stick it to the man!). Looking back on it, its a very strange song.

Life is a Highway — Tom Cochrane

I never really liked this song very much. I still don’t really care for it, but it is catchy as hell. And I somehow know the lyrics to it as well. He kind of reminds me of Bob Seger — but he’s not as good.

Bittersweet Symphony — The Verve

Hey I’ve got an idea! Let’s make a song that takes a sample from a Rolling Stones song, and not get their permission! They won’t mind right? Unfortunately, they did. Too bad this turned out to be the Verve’s only hit in the US — making them forgo most (if not all, I think) of the royalties from this song to the Stones. Its a great song though — my Dad loves this band for some weird reason.

Cotton Eye Joe — Rednex

What the fuck went on here? A strange manufactured Swedish band playing country-techno. Despite how weird and disturbing the video is, the song is strangely catchy and makes me want to attend a hoe-down and eat some Swedish meatballs.

Slam — Onyx

A great hardcore rap song from gangsta-rap’s peak. The one cool thing that I liked about this song, and this band, was that they recorded an alternate version of this song with the metal band Biohazard. I was, as you can tell, in my metal stage again with this one.

Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm — Crash Test Dummies

Once again, what the fuck? Another weird, weird song. But yet again, strangely catchy. I guess that’s all I’ve got to say about that.

Lump – The Presidents of the United States of America

Holy freakin’ crap. Whoever doesn’t love this song hates America! This band was so weird, I have no idea how they got so popular. I guess it was the catchy hook. But this song brings back memories of me dancing around in my room singing this song with the video. And now, I’m sure this song will be in my head for days to come.

You Get What You Give — The New Radicals

The main thing that I remember about this song was the fuss that it brought because of a line stating that they will kick Marylin Manson’s ass. And I remember him getting on MTV and stating that he hopes that he doesn’t run into the lead singer of the New Radicals, otherwise he might sodomize him. But I also remember thinking — who gives a crap!? Its just a stupid pop song by a stupid band that wasn’t going anywhere. Let it go. Who knew that Manson was so sensitive.

Tubthumping — Chumbawamba

Holy mother of God. What strange concoction did Europe spit out this time? A group of anarchists that decided to write a song about drinking. Despite the large number of members in this band (what like 30?), it seems only a few actually play any instruments. Weird, yet fun to sing along to! I’m sure its even better if you’re trashed.

Flagpole Sitta – Harvey Danger

Cheri says she had this album as a teenager. I think that is hilarious. Anyway, this is a fun little pop rock song that still gets played on DC101 all the time. I think that is hilarious as well. Paranoia, paranoia, everybody’s coming to get me!

Here Comes the Hotstepper — Ini Kamoze

This was a funky little reggae song that was on the soundtrack to some movie about fashion. I think this song was more popular than that movie. But I definitely would sing along to this song when no one was looking.

That’s it for now. What are your favorite 90’s one hit wonders?

Written by Eric Spiegel

July 4, 2007 at 8:02 pm

Posted in grab bag

Tagged with ,

2 Responses

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  1. I think you hit the nail in the coffin with that list. You could probably put Blur’s SONG 2 in the list, but it’s still in use for movie trailers and commercials for some reason. They are pretty popular outside the U.S. and that was probably the worst single they released…
    I’m sure there’s more, I’ll do some thinking.



    July 5, 2007 at 6:26 pm

  2. i surely adore all your writing taste, very charming,
    don’t quit and also keep writing due to the fact it simply just worth to look through it,
    excited to read additional of your own article content, have a pleasant day 😉


    February 11, 2010 at 3:43 am

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