Hip Hop

Pitchfork publishes a new Best Songs of the 1990s list

Pitchfork is going back to the ’90s… again. They put out a list of the top 100 albums of the 1990s in 2003 and a list of the top 200 tracks of the 1990s in 2010, and now they’ve launched a new best music of the 1990s series that begins today with the 250 Best Songs of the 1990s and will continue tomorrow with the 150 Best Albums of the 1990s. As for why they’re revisiting it again, they write:

Well, for the same reason any good music is worth revisiting: because our understanding of it changes the more we learn; because there is still a thrill in discovering something we didn’t know about (or quite get) before; because taste evolves and grows, enriched by the passing of time. Nevermind that our current cultural moment oozes ’90s influence and nostalgia. What are the albums and songs from the ’90s that our current writers and contributors find indispensable? That have made a lasting impact on the way music is made and how we listen to it now? And what just doesn’t hit the same way it once did?

The list covers a lot more ground than their previous lists, with everything from “Steal My Sunshine” to Wilson Phillips to Celine Dion to blink-182 to Korn to Cher to Gin Blossoms to Jawbox to Fugazi to RuPaul to Third Eye Blind to Spice Girls to Cocteau Twins to Usher to My Bloody Valentine to Britney Spears to Mazzy Star to Metallica to Eminem to Neil Young to Slowdive to Ace of Base to Green Day to Oasis and so much else in between. It’s gotta be impossible to rank a list this wide-ranging, but Pitchfork went for it, and you can read their full thing with commentary on each pick here and check out the top 25 below.

As for stuff that didn’t make it, Neutral Milk Hotel landed at #7 on their ’90s tracks list in 2010 but doesn’t appear on the new list at all. Also no Spiritualized (#23 on the 2010 list), Nas (#28 on the 2010 list), or The Flaming Lips (#30 on the 2010 list).

What do you think of their list? What would be your #1?

Pitchfork’s Top 25 Songs of the 1990s (2022 List)
25. A Tribe Called Quest: “Can I Kick It?” (1990)
24. Radiohead: “Paranoid Android” (1997)
23. Cher: “Believe” (1998)
22. The Breeders: “Cannonball” (1993)
21. Beastie Boys: “Sabotage” (1994)
20. Underworld: “Born Slippy (Nuxx)” (1996)
19. Sinéad O’Connor: “Nothing Compares 2 U” (1990)
18. Pulp: “Common People” (1995)
17. Portishead: “Sour Times” (1994)
16. George Michael: “Freedom! ’90” (1990)
15. Mobb Deep: “Shook Ones, Pt. II” (1995)
14. Fiona Apple: “Criminal” (1996)
13. Mazzy Star: “Fade Into You” (1993)
12. Lauryn Hill: “Doo Wop (That Thing)” (1998)
11. Daft Punk: “Around the World” (1997)
10. Bikini Kill: “Rebel Girl” (1992)
9. The Notorious B.I.G.: “Juicy” (1994)
8. Destiny’s Child: “Say My Name” (1999)
7. Aphex Twin: “Windowlicker” (1997)
6. Nirvana: “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (1991)
5. Missy Elliott: “The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)” (1997)
4. Liz Phair: “Fuck and Run” (1993)
3. Aaliyah: “Are You That Somebody?” (1998)
2. Björk: “Hyperballad” (1995)
1. Mariah Carey: “Fantasy (Remix)” [ft. Ol’ Dirty Bastard] (1995)

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