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.
UNDONE - THE SWEATER SONG Weezer
Written by Weezer's lead singer/ guitarist Rivers Cuomo, "Undone- The Sweater Song" was lifted off the group's 1994 debut release. The single contains elements of emo, alternative rock, punk/pop and indie rock. Ric Ocasek (The Cars) produced the track.
MISSING Everything But the Girl
Everything But The Girl consists of Ben Watt and Tracey Thorn. The jazz/ pop/ folk act evolved a distinctive blend of electronica, trip hop, pop and drum 'n' bass. "Missing", in its original form, was included on the duo's 1994 'Amplified Heart' album. A Todd Terry remix was issued the following year and proved to be the preferred version. The single reached the Top 3 in America, Britain, Canada, Australia and Europe.
LIVIN' LA VIDA LOCA Ricky Martin
Latino-pop gained momentum in the 1990s. Ricky Martin had been recording Spanish-language records for years prior to the launch of his first English album 'Ricky Martin' in 1999. His phenomenal arrival on the Anglophone pop scene paved the way for acts such as Jennifer Lopez, Shakira and Enrique Iglesias in the 2000s. "Livin' La Vida Loca" shot to #1 in the USA, Britain, Canada and New Zealand. In 1998, Martin recorded the highly popular theme for the FIFA World Cup in France.
Cher's constant transformation make the description "reinvention" an understatement. Her 1998 single "Believe" is light years away from her days as one half of the duo Sonny & Cher. In the '70s, she launched a lucrative solo career with a trio of US #1 singles. Next, she gained credibility as an actress in film projects such as 'Mask', 'Silkwood', 'Moonstruck', 'Burlesque' and 'Tea With Mussolini'. "Believe" saw Cher embrace the contemporary dance/pop sound of the late 1990s. The single topped charts in America, the UK, Europe, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
SWAMP THING The Grid
British electronic duo The Grid consisted of ex-Soft Cell member Dave Ball and Richard Norris. The 1994 hit "Swamp Thing" was lifted off the 'Evolver' album. The mostly instrumental track incorporates dance/ techno and club sounds and made the Top 5 in Scandinavia, Britain, Canada and Australia.
PRAISE YOU Fat Boy Slim
Featuring ingredients such as big beat, house and alternative dance, "Praise You" was an innovative track from Norman Cook's imaginative project. In 1999, the single topped the UK Chart. The song includes a variety of samples.
KINKY AFRO Happy Mondays
Madchester was a term for the vibrant music scene in Manchester during the 1990s. Many of its best exponents incorporated psychedelia, alternative rock, acid house and electronica. Happy Mondays unleashed "Kinky Afro" in 1990. The "baggy" sub-genre also threw disco beats, funk and guitars into the concoction. Happy Mondays was signed to the legendary label Factory Records. The group's story was told in the film '24 Hour Party People'. Madchester is named after a song by Happy Mondays.
OPEN YOUR MIND U.S.U.R.A.
Eurodance act U.S.U.R.A. charted with the innovative 1993 electronic dance track "Open Your Mind" which reached the British and European Top 10.
RETURN OF THE MACK Mark Morrison
German-born British R&B singer Mark Morrison enjoyed immense success with "Return Of The Mack" in 1996. Had he managed to avoid criminal activity, his career might have gone further than the one major smash. Nevertheless, the hit single helped expand the audience for British urban music. It reached #1 in the UK and peaked at #2 in America and Australia.
The American & British #1 single "Waterfalls" fused hip hop, soul, R&B and pop. It was lifted off the album 'CrazySexyCool'. T.L.C. was one of the leading acts in the new jill swing movement. The girl group's huge success helped pave the way for Destiny's Child.