Caffe` Latte` presents…
Many new sub-genres were launched during the 1990s as hybrids of various styles were fused to create innovative new sounds. Females infiltrated the once misogynistic world of rap as it evolved into hip-hop. New Jack Swing gave way to New Jill Swing. Grunge exploded around the world. The music industry grappled with dwindling sales and the threat of piracy. Here are the 200 songs that mattered most -in terms of lasting impact, influence and enduring quality- in the final decade of the previous millennium.
TORN Natalie Imbruglia
Australian recording artist Natalie Imbruglia's reinvention of the Ednaswap song "Torn" in 1997 defined how contemporary pop songs should sound. Her cover version was perfect pop, proving successful in Australia, America, Britain, Canada and Europe.
I WANNA SEX YOU UP Color Me Badd
American R&B boyband Color Me Badd broke through in 1991 with the seductive "I Wanna Sex You Up". The single helped extend the audience for new jack swing. It was included on the 'New Jack City' film soundtrack. In Britain and New Zealand, the song topped the chart and peaked at #2 in the USA. Along with Boyz II Men, C.M.B. led the resurgence of R&B vocal groups in 1991.
IF YOU HAD MY LOVE Jennifer Lopez
"If You Had My Love", with its hip hop,R&B and Latin influences, served as an effective debut single for pop artist Jennifer Lopez. In 1999, she helped spearhead the Latino pop explosion that introduced the mainstream to the likes of Christina Aguilera and Ricky Martin. Lopez reached #1 in America, Canada, Australia and parts of Europe.
IF I LET YOU GO Westlife
Boybands rose to prominence again during the 1990s. Westlife achieved an impressive string of hits, no less than 14 of which reached #1 on the British chart. "If I Let You Go", one of the Irish group's chart-topping singles, was released in 1999.
IF I TRY Macy Gray
A new voice emerged in 1999, as radio airwaves boomed out "I Try", by the unique Macy Gray. The American musician reached #1 in Australia and New Zealand and scored Top 10 success in America, Britain, Europe and Canada with Gray's breakthrough single.
BEEN CAUGHT STEALING Jane's Addiction
Jane's Addiction boasted ingredients of indie, alternative rock, metal, dance and pop on its 1990 mainstream crossover album 'Ritual de lo Habitual'. The release included the modern rock single "Been Caught Stealing". Frontman Perry Farrell helped create the Lollapalooza music festival in 1991.
FOOLISH GAMES Jewel
Jewel's modern pop/ folk sound produced the sublime ballad "Foolish Games". In 1997, the ballad joined her previous singles "Who Will Save Your Soul" and "You Were Meant For Me" as radio staples during the decade.
BACK FOR GOOD Take That
British boyband Take That enjoyed worldwide success with the 1995 smash "Back For Good". Penned and co-produced by lead singer Gary Barlow, the ballad was featured on the group's 'Nobody Else' album. Take That was one of the key boybands of the decade.
UN-BREAK MY HEART Toni Braxton
The Diane Warren ballad "Un-break My Heart" was a pop / R&B / AC hit for Toni Braxton. In 1996-7, the single topped the American and European chart. Braxton established herself as a leading R&B act, charting during the decade with other hits that included "Breathe Again" and "You're Making Me High".
ARE YOU GONNA GO MY WAY Lenny Kravitz
With echoes of Jimi Hendrix, Sly & The Family Stone and Prince, Lenny Kravitz had the world rocking to his 1993 hit "Are You Gonna Go My Way". It served as the title track of an album released 1 month later.