The Most Popular '90s Songs On Spotify Will Shock You

Photo: ROGER SARGENT/REX USA.
If you were fortunate enough to grow up in the musical maelstrom that was the '90s, then you already know that the key to that era's music was diversity. From grunge and nu metal to the rise of neo soul, the world was bequeathed with many a radio gem — and the Billboard hits from that decade definitely reflect a range of genres.

But as for which songs and artists actually endured, that's a different story. Which makes a bizarre kind of sense, if you think about it. Just because we were obsessed with Weezer's The Blue Album doesn't mean we want to listen to Undone (a.k.a. The Sweater Song) on our post-work commute. And, we had a serious love affair with Hole's Live Through This — but we don't actually want to add Courtney Love's (brilliant) screams on "Doll Parts" to our cheery workout playlist.

According to data derived Spotify listening trends, there's very little overlap between the songs that were popular during the actual '90s heyday and the ones we still listen to over (and over, and over) today. Even if you're a '90s hit master, we bet you can't guess which tracks actually made the list ...
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#1 Hit on Spotify: "Smells Like Teen Spirit" by Nirvana

Okay — this one isn't so surprising. The cult appreciation for all things Kurt Cobain has grown so much so in recent years, that it's hard to think about the '90s without considering the band's impact on popular culture.
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#1 On the Billboard Hot 100: "How Do I Live" by LeAnn Rimes

This song comes off a little desperate and whiny almost 20 years later. But clearly people were into it at the time: It was literally the biggest hit of the entire decade.
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#2 Hit on Spotify: "All I Want For Christmas Is You" by Mariah Carey

No surprises here: This song is the jam, even in July when you're not even remotely thinking about anything that has to do with Christmas.
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#2 On the Billboard Hot 100: "Macarena" by Los del Rio

Also not a surprise: Everybody knew how to do the Macarena for a hot minute. It was the toast of middle school dances across the nation, and perhaps even globally. That said, we're not shocked people aren't listening to this one much these days. You can only do the Macarena for so long.
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#3 Hit on Spotify: "Iris" by Goo Goo Dolls

Ever wonder if the Goo Goo Dolls maybe wished they would have picked a different name? In any case, they went with something memorable — the tunes continue to pluck at the heartstrings of Spotify listeners seeking weep-inducing rock.
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#3 On the Billboard Hot 100: "Un-Break My Heart" by Toni Braxton

Despite the fact that it charted, this is one heartache track that we apparently don't do much listening to these days.
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#4 Hit on Spotify: "Wonderwall" by Oasis

Duh. We will listen to this forever.
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#4 On the Billboard Hot 100: "Foolish Games" by Jewel

Is it possible that there was something in the water during the '90s that made us love Jewel's acoustic guitar rock? Did it maybe have something to do with Lilith Fair?
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#5 Hit on Spotify: "Under The Bridge" by Red Hot Chili Peppers

Yep — these dudes (and we'd argue most of their canon) are officially timeless.
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#5 On the Billboard Hot 100: "(Everything I Do) I Do It For You" by Bryan Adams

It's pretty clear to us why Spotify listeners aren't digging this track out to play on repeat. The cheesiness factor here is super high.
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#6 Hit on Spotify: "No Diggity" by Blackstreet

Again: Unsurprising. This chorus has pretty much been stuck in our heads since 1996.
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#6 On the Billboard Hot 100: "I'll Make Love To You" by Boyz II Men

While we've definitely graduated to more explicit lyrics about getting busy, this track was definitely a pioneer of its time. Now, it's too cheesy to listen to with any sincerity.
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#7 Hit on Spotify: "Come As You Are" by Nirvana

Yay! More Nirvana!
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#7 On the Billboard Hot 100: "Too Close" by Next

It has to be an accident that this one isn't on the Spotify top 15, right? Because it's an amazing, perfectly on point '90s tune. Everyone start listening to it immediately to bump up its ranking, please and thank you.
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#8 Hit on Spotify: "Still D.R.E." by Dr. Dre, featuring Snoop Dogg

Snoop Dogg may have changed his name a couple of times (see: Snoop Lion and Snoopzilla), but The Chronic is forever.
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#8 On the Billboard Hot 100: "One Sweet Day" by Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men

We're sensing a trend here: The heartbreaking, super sad love songs are not things people listen to over and over twenty years later. Could there be a correlation here?
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#9 Hit on Spotify: "Enter Sandman" by Metallica

Head-banging to metal is always in, from the 90s until forever.
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#9 On the Billboard Hot 100: "Truly Madly Deeply" by Savage Garden

We have nothing to say about this, except this: "I want to stand with you on a mountain. I want to bathe with you in the sea."
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#10 Hit on Spotify: "Creep" by Radiohead

Another unsurprising current hit from the past. "Creep" always had staying power, but the proof is in the pudding.
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#10 On the Billboard Hot 100: "Candle In The Wind" by Elton John

Honestly, we preferred "Crocodile Rock" but Sir Elton John did sing this song at Princess Diana's funeral, which is likely what skyrocketed the track into '90s musical history. (It was originally recorded in 1973.)
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#11 Hit on Spotify: "I Will Always Love You" by Whitney Houston

Fun fact: This is actually a Dolly Parton song. It's also the theme song of The Bodyguard, which Houston starred in.
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#11 On the Billboard Hot 100: "End Of The Road" by Boyz II Men

Whatever happened to these guys, anyway? Oh yeah they are touring in NEW ZEALAND.
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#12 Hit on Spotify: "Nothing Else Matters" by Metallica

Spotify listeners apparently love their heavy metal.
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#12 On the Billboard Hot 100: "The Sign" by Ace of Base

This Swedish pop group was everywhere — and especially in roller rinks — for the better part of the mid '90s. "The Sign" was actually the number one Billboard chart single of 1994.
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#13 Hit on Spotify: "Juicy" by The Notorious B.I.G.

Biggie Smalls blew up when this single hit the airwaves — and no wonder. It was a real game changer (and the video is pretty awesome to boot).
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#13 On the Billboard Hot 100: "The Boy Is Mine" by Brandy and Monica

Ladies fighting over a dude? That's so last century.
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#14 Hit on Spotify: "Scar Tissue" by Red Hot Chili Peppers

Not a shocker: This RHCP tune was a surefire classic from day one.
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#14 On the Billboard Hot 100: "Because I Love You" (The Postman Song) by Stevie B

Show of hands: Has anyone ever heard of this song?
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#15 Hit on Spotify: "Bittersweet Symphony" by The Verve

So long as there is Cruel Intentions, there was always be an abiding fixation on this song. Are we right or are we right?
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#15 On the Billboard Hot 100: "Whoomp! (There It Is)" by Tag Team

You can only "whoomp" for so long. That said: It's nice to know that this will continue to crop up at house parties for the rest of eternity and everyone will still know the words.
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