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.
LAST GOODBYE Jeff Buckley
Jeff Buckley may have only completed 1 studio album, but 'Grace' has touched more listeners than some other artists' entire catalogue. Released in 1994, "Last Goodbye", the 2nd single lifted off it, remains a brilliant swansong from an obviously talented singer / songwriter whose life was cut short at the age of 30 in 1997.
CRIMINAL Fiona Apple
During the 1990s, record labels invested serious money into a new breed of female rockers. The key figures in this movement included: Alanis Morissette, Tori Amos and Fiona Apple. "Criminal" is her biggest hit. It was featured on her 1996 debut album 'Tidal'. The track collected a Grammy Award.
If anyone had not been converted to the power of grunge by "Smells Like Teen Spirit", cracks in their resistance started to appear upon hearing "Lithium". A gentler and more articulate song, "Lithium" was more accessible and radio friendly. Dealing with an individual in a religious cult, Kurt Cobain's lyrics build up to the chorus where his raging vocals explode.
BITTERSWEET SYMPHONY The Verve
"Bittersweet Symphony" is built around The Rolling Stones' hit song "The Last Time". Richard Ashcroft actually sampled an orchestrated version of the song that featured no members of The Stones. Nevertheless, The Verve had to relinquish all of the royalties from their biggest hit single to the legendary band's copyright holders ABKCO. Issued in 1997, the disc peaked at #2 in the UK and #12 in America.
FALLING Julee Cruise
The breathy vocals by Julee Cruise on "Falling" make it a defining song in the sub-genre known as "dream pop". Film director David Lynch composed the song with Angelo Badalamenti and used it as the theme for the TV series "Twin Peaks" which premiered in 1990.
MAMA SAID KNOCK YOU OUT LL Cool J
Unleashed in 1990, LL Cool J pushed hip hop further into the mainstream with the title track from his 'Mama Said Knock You Out' album. The single topped the US Rap Chart the following year.
UNFINISHED SYMPATHY Massive Attack
When the beautiful trip hop single "Unfinished Sympathy" was released in 1991, the group responsible was known as Massive. The mighty song, featuring the powerful vocals of Shara Nelson, was included on the British act's debut album 'Blue Lines'. Nelson would go on to launch a solo career which spawned the hits "One Goodbye In Ten" and "Down That Road". Massive evolved into the better known Massive Attack, responsible for musical gems such as "Teardrop".
ON A RAGGA TIP SL2
The ragga- styled backbeat dance music of English hardcore group SL2 helped usher in the sub-genre jungle. "On A Ragga Tip" was a hit in Europe and peaked at #2 in Britain during 1992.
GENIE IN A BOTTLE Christina Aguilera
In 1999, "Genie In A Bottle" was lifted off Christina Aguilera's self-titled debut album. The single became her breakthrough hit, introducing her vocal dexterity to a worldwide audience. It was embraced enthusiastically, topping charts in America, Britain, Europe, Canada and Australia.
JUMP Kris Kross
Producer Jermaine Dupri discovered 2 teen rappers in a mall in Atlanta. The rap duo Kris Kross provided a mainstream audience with one of the first irresistible rap crossover songs: "Jump". They wore their clothes backwards but managed to push hip hop forward with their debut single. In 1992, "Jump" reached #1 in the USA, Europe and Australia. It peaked at #2 in Britain.