In honor of 98 Degrees reuniting and Spice Girls revealing plans for a musical, I felt like a playlist honoring the 90’s and ‘00 greats was a no-brainer. Boy bands, heartbreak, and one MmmBop later, I give you…the list. And my dignity. In no particular order.
- As Long As You Love Me by Backstreet Boys | You can’t have a respectable 90s collaboration without adding BSB into the mix. N’SYNC fan or BSB, either way, you have to face the cold, hard truth: these guys came first.
- Bringin’ Da Noise by N’SYNC | Fair is fair. Although I do tend to favor BSB over the boys from N’SYNC, truth is they’ve got some good hits. And they were in Smart House, a Disney Channel Original Movie featuring a house that every kid dreamed of. Oh, and the band featured Justin Timberlake. Gotta love that man.
- You Drive Me Crazy by Britney Spears | Prior to mental breakdowns and the X Factor contract, Britney Spears had teenage boys drooling at her feet. Featuring Adrian Grenier of Entourage and Melissa Joan Hart from “Carissa Explains It All,” this music video had all the crimped hair and lame outfits that a 90s kid could want.
- Come On Over Baby (All I Want Is You) by Christina Aguilera | Christina captured hearts in the Mickey Mouse Club (with stars like Ryan Gosling, Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake) and continued charming audiences from there. Her fourth single off of her first, self-titled album, Come On Over Baby was always one of my favorites from the former Disney star.
- Creep by TLC | I remember seeing TLC perform on All That. This song is still great in my opinion. Though I do think it is slightly ironic that in TLC’s main hit, “Scrubs,” they talk about a man unable to support himself, when TBoz filed for bankruptcy in fall of 2011.
- Save Tonight by Eagle Eye Cherry | Even as a child, I realized this song was a hit. Now being old enough to understand the concept behind the tune, I can appreciate it in a different light. Mr. Cherry, we would have loved to have seen more from you.
- Stop by Spice Girls | Scary, Sporty, Baby, Posh and Ginger were my idols growing up, and I, not unlike other small children, was too young to realize what half of Spice World actually meant. The girls are looking better than ever and have made amends, proposing a Spice Girls musical. I’m slightly ashamed to say that I would probably go see that if it came here.
- True to Your Heart by 98 Degrees | Alongside the great Stevie Wonder, the 98 Degrees boys released this single for Disney’s “Mulan.” They announced earlier this week that a tour may be in the works but singer Jeff Timmons denied the rumors, stating that the band would be reuniting for one last show but not for a full-fledged tour. Now if they could get Stevie Wonder to perform as well, that would be one hell of a show.
- Got the Feelin’ by Five | I don’t care who you are or how old you may be; this song is “Call Me Maybe” catchy. It’s just a fact. They were Mom-friendly and even featured on the Disney concert series that I watched so frequently, I’m almost positive I still have the dance routine memorized.
- Bootylicious by Destiny’s Child | There are so many things right with this song; I don’t know where to begin. Before it was Beyonce and Jay-Z or Kelly’s solo career, Destiny’s Child knew how to throw down a hit. The dancing, the outfits, the beat. It’s addicting. And truth be told, I still rock a lot of those moves at bars nowadays. Beyonce is a personal hero of mine.
- Learn to Fly by Foo Fighters | Dave Grohl, another hero of mine, dresses up as a woman in this music video that I still picture whenever the Foo Fighters come up in conversation. I can still remember the excitement I felt when this song came on VH1 in the mornings. Back when music videos were still cool. And the Foo Fighters were still good. Oh wait, they’re still the coolest guys in rock music. Good job, guys. Thanks for being awesome, then and now.
- Waiting for Tonight by Jennifer Lopez | This song gave me hope for the millennium. J.Lo shows audiences everywhere that the year 2000 would bring jubilation and happiness, not power-outages and depression. Not my favorite J.Lo hit, but memorable, nonetheless.
- Honey by Mariah Carey | Before unnecessary perfume ads and Nick Cannon’s lupus scare, Mariah Carey gave fans unattainable hope that they too could beat up bad guys in heels and surf off into the sunset on a jet ski. Dare I say, she should have stopped making music after her Heartbreaker hit.
- Mmmbop by Hanson | I don’t actually like this song as much as it is fun to dance ridiculously to. Not only do the boys talk about everlasting friendship and growing old among the Mmmbops (side note: the word “Mmmbop” was actually the background for another song), but also the video is a 90s gem. The boys have continued on with their music careers and have produced even better stuff within the past few years. It’s worth looking in to.
- Thong Song by Sisqo | Though it’s not my favorite 90s hit, this song featuring scantily clad women was the soundtrack to my 4th grade spring break. This silver-haired rapper hit number three on the Billboard Top 100 chart in 2000 and will continue to thrive in the hearts of 90s spring-breakers forever. He also taught me what a thong is. Thanks, Sisqo.
- Never Let You Go by Third Eye Blind | To date, this is one of my absolute favorite bands, hands down. Phenomenal live, 3EB is a band that continued cranking out hits well after their initial, self-titled album. Stephen Jenkins has yet to run out of inappropriate topics to write songs about and for that, I will be forever grateful.
- You Make Me Wanna… by Usher | Before the Biebs and his most recent hits, Usher got his start with this single. He’s pretty much the same to date though, still sporting his adorable baby face, abs and jaw-dropping dance moves. Well done, Usher. Keep doing what you’re doing.
- Miami by Will Smith | Another song that is still added to the playlist when I hit the beach. Will Smith is a renaissance man and anyone who speaks ill of him, I lose a little respect for. I mean, c’mon, I bet if a reporter tried to kiss you, you’d hit them too. Though his kids need to stop rapping and go back to 3rd grade. I don’t want whiplash, Willow.
- Good Vibrations by Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch | A little early for a kid born in the late 80s/early 90s, this chart-topping hit was one that I still love. Not to mention, the music video features Mark Wahlberg shirtless. Ladies, you’re welcome.
Although I don’t particularly favor some of the songs listed, they were part of 90s history, and for that, they are owed some respect. Here are some runner-ups that I couldn’t bear to leave out in the cold:
Under the Bridge by the Red Hot Chili Peppers
O.P.P by Naughty by Nature
Mo Money, Mo Problems by Notorious B.I.G.
Loser by Beck
Changes by 2Pac
One Week by Barenaked Ladies
You Get What You Give by New Radicals
Listen to these lovable, 90’s gems here: