10 nostalgic 90s songs that define the 90s kids' generation

Ten alternatives to replace the Purple Light army song.

Jonathan Lim| November 19, 06:01 AM

Music from the radio was what accompanied us as we slogged late into the night studying and doing homework.

Some of us even used radio alarms to wake us up. Safe to say, music featured in a big way as we grew up.

Here are 10 songs from the 90s that will bring us back to the good ol’days.

Disagree with me on the song choices? List some of your favourites in the comments below!


1. Backstreet Boys - I Want It That Way (1999)

Every girl had her own favourite Backstreet boy. Maybe no one really like A.J. Who knows? This song was so big it reached number 1 in over 25 countries, making it the most successful song from a vocal group and boy band.

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2. Natalie Imbruglia - Torn (1997)

It’s a rare thing for a songstress outside of the United States to gain international attention. Natalie Imbruglia was one of them and her first album featuring Torn went on to secure three Grammy nominations, Best Pop Vocal Album, Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for the lead single "Torn", and Best New Artist.

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3. Britney Spears - Hit Me Baby One More Time (1999)

Britney’s the undisputed princess of pop of her time and the goddess of many secondary school boys in the 90s.

Her smash debut song "Hit Me Baby One More Time" opened at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200 and was certified two-times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America after a month. Her debut album topped the charts in fifteen countries and sold over 10 million copies in a year and became the biggest selling album ever by a teenage artist.

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4. Chumbawamba - Tubthumping (1997)

By the band Chumbawamba, you probably know this song by its most prominent line ‘I get knocked down’. Especially poignant for army boys in the 90s. We know nothing else much about the band or the song.

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5. All-4-One - I Swear (1994)

We all know the group that sang this song, but big surprise, the famous version we are so accustomed to is actually a cover! The original singer made it popular on the Country music chart just a year prior to All-4-One making it red hot for 1994.

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6. Shaggie - Boombastic (1995)

Ok, this was not really a mega hit on the radio. But we all know this song from the Levi’s commercial and it made many of us hanker after a pair of those branded jeans.

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7. Hanson - Mmmbop (1997)

The title doesn’t make sense, just like how it didn’t make sense how they got so popular with this song. But it was one of the songs that really got the pop genre going in the mid-late 90s. Believe it or not, they launched an Mmmbob beer this year.

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8. Take That - Back For Good (1995)

Before Robbie Williams became badass, there was Take That and, boy, were they good. This is probably their best hit which reached No. 1 in over 35 countries. Not bad for a band that originated outside the United States.

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9. Fool’s Garden - Lemon Tree (1995)

No song says ‘One-Hit Wonder’ better than Lemon Tree. Well technically it could be a two-hit wonder since another popular version was a Mandarin cover by Taiwanese singer Tarcy Su.

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10. Los Del Rio - Macarena (1995)

Before there was Party Rock Anthem or Gangnam Style, there was Macarena. This song showed the world that idiotic dance moves are okay as long as the song is insanely popular.

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Top photo from here.

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