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.
MYSTERIOUS WAYS U2
On the 1991 album 'Achtung Baby, U2 adopted a brand new sound. "Mysterious Ways" acted as a bridge between the radio-friendly sound of the Irish rockers and the band's new alternative rock direction. The track includes hints of funk and punk.
I'LL BE MISSING YOU Puff Daddy & Faith Evans ftg. 112
On March 9, 1997 The Notorious B.I.G. was slain in Los Angeles, barely 6 months after the murder of Tupac Shakur. Suddenly, 2 of rap's leading exponents were extinguished. Puff Daddy teamed up with Faith Evans and the group 112 to commemorate their deceased friend on record. "I'll Be Missing You", issued in May 1997, was built around The Police's "Every Breath You Take". The single topped the charts in America, Britain, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. Puff Daddy (Sean Combs) also founded the influential hip hop label Bad Boy Records.
HARD KNOCK LIFE (Ghetto Anthem) Jay-Z
In 1998, Shawn Carter drew inspiration from "It's The Hard Knock Life" from the musical "Annie" to construct what was to become his biggest hit to date. Jay-Z was on his way to becoming a fundamental figure in hip hop in the new millennium.
COMMON PEOPLE Pulp
Britpop reached new heights in lyrical theme and sound with Pulp's 1995 anthemic "Common People". The track deals with an affluent woman sleeping with those in the lower-income bracket. Featuring Jarvis Cocker on lead vocals, the song was included on the band's 'Different Class' album.
NO SCRUBS T L C
TLC unleashed "No Scrubs" in early 1999, the lead single from the all-female trio's 'Fanmail' album. Suddenly the term 'scrub' worked itself into the vernacular. The single reached #1 in America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. It also peaked at #3 in the UK and #2 in Europe.
FREAK ON A LEASH Korn
Nu metal group Korn has evolved its unique hybrid of heavy metal, hip hop and alternative rock. "Freak On A Leash" was lifted off the group's 1998 album 'Follow The Leader'.
SMACK MY BITCH UP Prodigy
A song entitled "Smack My Bitch Up" was always goinmg to attract controversy. It was the 3rd and last track lifted off the 1997 album 'The Fat Of The Land'. Despite the controversy, the single reached the Top 10 in Britain, Europe and New Zealand. The track features elements of funk, dance, big beat and electronica.
I ALONE Live
Live issued 'Throwing Copper' in 1994. The post-grunge album highlighted a group with an improved and tighter sound. "I Alone" was its 2nd single and received heavy radio airplay.
POLYESTER GIRL Regurgitator
Australian alternative / electronica band Regurgitator lifted "Polyester Girl" from its 1998 'Unit' album. The release captured the band's new sound. It drew influence from the 1980s and synth-pop. The single reached the Top 20 in Australia and New Zealand.
NOVEMBER RAIN Guns N' Roses
The 1992 epic "November Rain" evokes sweeping recordings from the likes of Elton John. Anyone who had previously dismissed Guns N' Roses had to re-assess their opinion following the release of this masterwork. Penned by Axl Rose, the big song was featured on the group's 'Use Your Illusion I' album. The single shot to the Top 10 on the charts in America, Britain, Europe, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.