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.
NO DIGGITY Blackstreet ftg. Dr Dre
R&B group Blackstreet revolved around writer / producer Teddy Riley. "No Diggity", which featured Dr Dre and Queen Pen, was an influential single issued in 1996, from the album 'Another Level'. The track topped the U.S. R&B and Pop charts. Riley was a significant architect of the musical trend known as 'new jack swing'.
THE ROCKAFELLER SKANK Fatboy Slim
Norman Cook's astute use of samples helped create the electronica track "The Rockafeller Skank".Issued in 1998, the big beat song made the British Top 10. The modern sounds fused with funky beats resulted in a dancefloor hit and increased sales for its parent album 'You've Come A Long Way, Baby'.
WANNABE Spice Girls
The Spice Girls became one of 90s pop's most significant acts. Forming in 1993, the female troupe was soon invading the globe with its brand of grrrl power. Debut single "Wannabe" stormed charts across the world in the same year, reaching #1 in America, Britain, Europe, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand and Israel. Suddenly, the quintet launched a string of hit singles. We became familiar with the members and their respective personas: Geri Halliwell (Sexy Spice), Victoria Adams (Posh Spice), Mel B (Scary Spice), Emma Bunton (Baby Spice) and Melanie C (Sporty Spice).
1979 Smashing Pumpkins
The upbeat sound of "1979" was a shift for the alternative / indie rock band Smashing Pumpkins. Penned by lead vocalist Billy Corgan, the song reached the Top 20 in the U.S.A., Britain, Canada, Europe and Australia. The single was lifted off the group's 'Melon Collie and the Infinite Sadness' album.
ON & ON Erykah Badu
While commercial success has eluded Erykah Badu, her role in R&B lingers to this day. Her arrival in 1997 ushered in the neo-soul trend. Alongside Lauryn Hill, Macy Gray and Jill Scott, she carved out her own style. Badu's music marries traditional jazz with contemporary soul. Her recordings paved the way for the likes of India.Arie and Alicia Keys.
'Baduizm', issued in 1997, contained the single "On & On". On the US R&B Chart, the track reached #1.
DA FUNK Daft Punk
The instrumental "Da Funk" was dropped in 1995 by French dance duo Daft Punk. This cut was featured on the 'Homework' album and made a global audience aware of the group. Daft Punk has since grown into one of today's most compelling dance acts.
TENNESSEE Arrested Development
Arrested Development's approach to hip hop differed from any of its contemporaries. The group's game-changing brand of southern rap included social commentary. In 1992, Arrested Development released its debut single "Tennessee". The stunning track defied the stereotypes associated with hip hop. This was music with an empowering message and positive ideals. Arrested Development collected 2 Grammy Awards, making history as the 1st rap group to win in the Best New Artist category.
SETTING SON Chemical Brothers
Big-beat techno collided with Britpop rock on the 1996 single "Setting Son". Inspired by The Beatles' "Tomorrow Never Knows", the new track was the love child of The Chemical Brothers and Oasis' Noel Gallagher. Along with topping the UK chart, the single fared well in parts of Europe. It stands as a brilliant example of 2 musical acts successfully taking sonic experimentation to the extreme.
YOU OUGHTA KNOW Alanis Morissette
In the decade of grunge, the emergence of Alanis Morissette makes sense. Her candour could be discomforting to some, but it was clearly a tool used to great effect by the singer / songwriter.
"You Oughta Know" was the lead single from the Canadian artist's 3rd studio album 'Jagged Little Pill'. She co-wrote the track with producer Glen Ballard. The single reached the Top 10 in America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
More significant was the parent album. Its international popularity led to huge record sales. As a result, many labels signed up other female musicians in the hope of discovering another Alanis Morissette.
"Creep" was the song that introduced the planet to the talent of British alternative group Radiohead. Included on the band's debut album 'Pablo Honey', the track was issued in 1992 as its lead single. The song's mood and self-loathing lyrics made it an instant radio staple and an anthem for the times. Despite its downbeat theme, the single made the Top 10 in the UK, Europe and Australia.