79. “Barely Breathing” By Duncan Sheik
Duncan Sheik continues to make music, but nothing he’s released since the 1996 hit “Barely Breathing” has registered. That song went to No. 2 on the US Adult Top 40 charts. Sheik’s found some small successes composing music for motion pictures.
78. “Your Woman” By White Town
British one-man band White Town had a huge hit in 1997 with a remake (sorta) of Bing Crosby’s “My Woman” (1932), though the sample was actually taken from a slightly later version performed by Al Bowlly. Many have (rightly) pointed out the similarities between this and the Imperial March in Star Wars.
77. “Let Me Clear My Throat” By DJ Kool
This has got to be one of the weirdest choruses I’ve ever heard in a song. DJ Kool peaked at No. 21 in the States, but went clear to No. 8 in the UK.
76. “Lovefool” By The Cardigans
What straight young guy didn’t have a crush on Nina Persson of The Cardigans in 1997? I know I wasn’t the only one. One look at the video for “Lovefool,” and I was hooked. If only we had Twitter back then…
75. “Little Black Backpack” By Stroke 9
It’s begrudgingly that I put Stroke 9 on this list, because I still listen to them quite a bit, and their body of work is much better than the only song that most people know them for — “Little Black Backpack” from 1996. If you ever get a chance to see these guys live, don’t hesitate. Just do it.
74. “I Love You Always Forever” By Donna Lewis
Welsh singer Donna Lewis burst onto the US scene in 1996 with this song, inspired by the H.E. Bates novel Love for Lydia. The song hit No. 1 on some US charts and played well throughout much of the world. Billboard also named it the No. 71 song of the decade on their final Hot 100 count.
73. “Flood” By Jars Of Clay
Christian rock band Jars of Clay broke into the mainstream briefly with “Flood” in 1996. The song peaked at No. 12 and appeared on the soundtracks of two films — Hard Rain and A Walk To Remember.
72. “Insensitive” By Jann Arden
Canadian singer-songwriter Jann Arden isn’t immediately recognizable to most, though the chances are likely that most of you have heard her 1996 hit “Insensitive,” which climbed to No. 12 on the Billboard Hot 100. You may also remember it from the Christian Slater film Bed of Roses, but we’re not placing any bets on that one.
71. “Closer To Free” By The BoDeans
This song always takes me back to senior year of high school and the growing knowledge that I would soon be on my own for the first time in my life. When you’ve craved independence your whole life, the words really connect and hammer home feelings of hope and possibility. The BoDeans never bested “Closer To Free” in sales, but it was an understandably hard act to follow.
70. “Peaches” By The Presidents Of The United States Of America
The Presidents of the United States of America may have had a lofty name, but their career beyond this 1996 hit was anything but. It reached No. 8 in the US, and after that, you never saw POTUSA with another breakthrough, though they were nominated for a Grammy Award.
69. “Cumbersome” By Seven Mary Three
“Cumbersome,” featured on the smash album American Standard, was 7M3’s most popular and well known song, hitting No. 1 on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Tracks, No. 7 on the Modern Rock Tracks, No. 39 on the Billboard Hot 100, and on Billboard’s Top Mainstream Rock Songs of the Decade.
68. “Breakfast At Tiffany’s” By Deep Blue Something
Other than being a solid rock song, “Breakfast At Tiffany’s” may also be the only reason an entire generation of young people know there’s a movie of the same name. Debuting in 1996, the song by one-hit wonder Deep Blue Something reached No. 3 in the US and No. 1 in the UK.
67. “Cotton Eye Joe” By Rednex
This 1995 hit isn’t good, but it’s catchy, and almost impossible not to dance to if you hear it come on in the club.
66. “Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm” By Crash Test Dummies
The Crash Test Dummies’ 1994 album is actually a favorite of mine along with several songs that I greatly prefer to their sole hit. But, alas, I’m not the only music fan in the world. “Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm” is a unique number, though — one of those tunes where, even if you have no idea who the band is, you can’t get the music out of your head.
65. “Mr. Vain” By Culture Beat
Eurodance was pretty big in 1993 and 1994. That’s all we can come up with to explain the success of “Mr. Vain” by Culture Beat. The band never achieved another hit after making No. 1 in virtually every country but the US (No. 2).
64. “No Rain” By Blind Melon
Sometimes when a band leader dies, you can tell the act would have been so much bigger had tragedy never struck. In the case of Sublime, Bradley Nowell’s passing meant we lost out on a lot of great music since he was just 28 years old at the time of his OD. Shannon Hoon of Blind Melon was another OD case that rammed an entire band’s success into a brick wall, though it’s not as clear whether Blind Melon would have accomplished much beyond “No Rain.” Hoon had the kind of voice that was good for one or two songs, but we can see how it might have grated past one album.
63. “Insane In The Brain” By Cyprus Hill
Cypress Hill would have been much bigger had rap and hip hop been mainstream in 1993. As things are, they’re considered one of the best acts in the history of the genre, but the general population only knows them for this song — a No. 1 rap hit / No. 19 mainstream charter — and their lesser hit from a couple of years earlier, “Hand on the Pump.”
62. “What Is Love” By Haddaway
This song may not have had the longevity that it’s had if not for the Roxbury guys and that ridiculous head bob. “What Is Love” went higher on the charts than it ever should have, hitting Nos. 1 and 2 in more than a dozen countries and nearly cracking the top 10 stateside.
61. “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” By The Proclaimers
The Proclaimers’ sole hit was a standout track on a surprisingly dense album. In 1993, the song was also selected for the Benny & Joon soundtrack, which is why you see Mr. Johnny Depp so much in the video. A personal fave from the ’90s.
60. “What’s Up?” By 4 Non Blondes
“What’s Up?” was the only hit for San Francisco’s 4 Non Blondes, but lead singer Linda Perry has done plenty since her powerhouse vocals broke the charts in 1993. Perry mentored Pink and wrote her hit “Get This Party Started” as well as Christina Aguilera’s “Beautiful.” She’s currently in a relationship with Sara Gilbert of TV’s Roseanne.