When it comes to music, it’s definitely hard to beat the 90s.
It’s an era filled with memorable songs, powerhouse vocals, and unforgettable dance moves!
This is especially true for millennials who grew up listening to these songs over and over on the radio.
We saw both the meteoric rise and staying power of amazing artists like Madonna, Mariah Carey, Aerosmith, and Phil Collins.
Many fantastic hip-hop, rap, contemporary R&B, powerful ballads, and pop songs also became cult classics.
And let’s face it, these songs really stand the test of time, even 30 years later!
So, if you love music with a dash of nostalgia, you’ll love this list of top songs from 1990.
These songs are mostly taken from the Billboard Magazine’s Top Singles from 1990, starting with the most popular hit of the year.
Also, if you want to listen to this list on Spotify, check out our playlist of the best songs from 1990!
Blast From The Past: The Best Songs from 1990
1. “Hold On” by Wilson Phillips
This song from Wilson Phillips is stellar not just for its gorgeous vocals, but also for its timely message of positivity, self-empowerment, and encouragement for listeners to “hold on for one more day.”
It’s still a great song especially when you feel as though things aren’t going your way!
2. “It Must Have Been Love” by Roxette
This hit from Roxette perfectly encapsulates the sadness and yearning that those with broken hearts must feel.
Who could forget the power that lead singer Marie Fredriksson used to belt out this electrifying song?
3. “Nothing Compares 2 U” by Sinead O’Connor
Nothing Compares 2 U really sells the loneliness and pain one can feel when a loved one goes away.
This soulful song is definitely a relatable one to many listeners up to this day!
4. “Poison” by Bell Biv Devoe
A fantastic hybrid of the R&B, hip-hop, and even swing genres, Poison is a groundbreaking banger of a song that deserved to be a staple both on the radio and MTV.
5. “Vogue” by Madonna
Vogue is a song that undeniably carries Madonna’s magic and helped make her an icon of the times.
It’s one of those hits from 1990 that’s hard to listen to without singing along (and maybe dancing too)!
6. “Vision of Love” by Mariah Carey
Vision of Love is actually from Mariah Carey’s debut album, and it’s definitely an insight into how much of a powerhouse singer she truly is.
Her wide range of vocal prowess is at full display here, and it’s still a wonder to listen to!
7. “Another Day in Paradise” by Phil Collins
This song from Phil Collins is perhaps one of the most meaningful and timeless pieces out there.
It actually tackles poverty and homelessness – two heavy topics that you won’t often hear being sung about!
But Phil makes it work with his mix of powerful lyrics and catchy tunes that make it easy to listen to – and think about afterward.
8. “Hold On” by En Vogue
Top-tier singing abilities – that is something the R&B girl group En Vogue has in spades.
Hold On showcases their talent seamlessly in this great song with a hypnotic, hip-hop vibe that’s a signature trait in many 90s songs.
9. “Cradle of Love” by Billy Idol
Rock songs in the 90s are truly something else, and Billy Idol’s Cradle of Love is no exception.
It has such a catchy beat that will just want to make you dance along to the song as Billy Idol sings to you!
10. “Blaze of Glory” by Jon Bon Jovi
Blaze of Glory is an amazing rock song that has a timeless feel to it thanks to Jon Bon Jovi’s powerful vocals, along with the performance of Jeff Beck on guitar.
Many fans consider this their favorite song of Bon Jovi’s and it isn’t hard to see why!
11. “Do Me!” by Bell Biv DeVoe
Some 90s songs have lyrics that are definitely on the wild and raunchy side, and Bell Biv DeVoe’s “Do Me!” is a fine example of it.
It’s accompanied by a great tune that’ll entice anyone to sing and dance along.
12. “How Am I Supposed to Live Without You” by Michael Bolton
You always know you’re listening to a Michael Bolton song, as he has such a distinct voice and he makes hitting high notes seem effortless.
How Am I Supposed to Live Without You is no exception!
It’s a heartfelt rendition of a song from someone unsure of what to do in life now that their loved one is gone, made all the more emotional thanks to Michael’s gorgeous vocals.
13. “Pump Up the Jam” by Technotronic
If there’s any hip-hop song that will make you want instantly to jump right onto a dance floor and groove your thing, it’s gotta be Technotronic’s Pump Up the Jam.
It has a highly infectious beat that will get any party going once it’s played!
14. “Opposites Attract” by Paula Abdul
Paula Abdul is a force to be reckoned with in the ’90s!
Her song “Opposites Attract” has the recipe for a hit: awesome vocals, great lyrics, and a danceable, lively beat.
15. “Escapade” by Janet Jackson
Perhaps one of Janet Jackson’s most memorable, crowd-favorite hits is Escapade.
Its promise of listeners having a good time is delivered tenfold thanks to its upbeat tempo and enjoyable feel.
You just can’t help but leave your worries behind when you hear this song!
16. “All I Wanna Do Is Make Love To You” by Heart
Songs are great avenues for telling stories, and Heart’s All I Wanna Do Is Make Love To You tells one heck of a tale between a woman and a hitchhiker!
Heart delivers this through the use of their trademark rock style infused with lead singer Ann Wilson’s phenomenal voice.
17. “Close to You” by Maxi Priest
Maxi Priest’s song Close to You perfectly captures the vibe of the early 90s’ so well.
It has a fantastic melody, amazing vocals, and rhythm that makes it easy to dance along to it!
18. “Black Velvet” by Alannah Myles
This power ballad is made unforgettable with its blend of incredible, rock-solid vocals and great music that’s very catchy as well!
19. “Release Me” by Wilson Phillips
Wilson Phillips is amazing at conveying specific messages in their song.
Lyrically, Release Me tackles love that has to be let go, so there’s no sad pining or yearning involved in it.
It’s a fresh take on a love song that’s delivered with perfect harmony that has become the trademark of this trio.
20. “Don’t Know Much” by Linda Ronstadt featuring Aaron Neville
Perhaps one of the most romantic songs out there, Lisa Ronstadt’s duet with Aaron Neville just hits all the right spots.
Listening to it will definitely make you wish you were at the receiving end of such a powerful declaration of love!
21. “All Around the World” by Lisa Stansfield
Singer Lisa Stanfield just stellarly delivers regret and melancholy in this song about a lover who has gone away.
Despite its sad message, however, it still has a great beat and a dance vibe that’s almost on the slower side, as if inviting you to sway along to it.
22. “I Wanna Be Rich” by Calloway
This song simply conveys a message we all can wholeheartedly agree with!
Calloway’s I Wanna Be Rich is an upbeat, danceable song that actually conveys the struggle most of us face, and delivers it in quite a lighthearted manner in the process.
23. “Rub You the Right Way” by Johnny Gill
A very suggestive song with a great, danceable beat? That’s one way of describing Johnny Gill’s Rub You the Right Way.
You’ll definitely hear this being played on repeat at parties and the disco – basically anywhere people just want to bust a move!
24. “She Ain’t Worth It” by Glenn Medeiros featuring Bobby Brown
1990 is a year filled with great songs that go oh-so-hard, just like She Ain’t Worth It by Glenn Medeiros.
It also features a rap by Bobby Brown that definitely elevated this bop of a song a notch or two!
25. “If Wishes Came True” by Sweet Sensation
Sweet Sensation’s If Wishes Came True is a sweet, sad song that many heartbroken girls might have called their anthem post-breakup.
It features very relatable lyrics and a tune that’s so easy to listen to, particularly when you just want to wallow in your thoughts.
26. “The Power” by Snap!
Need a song that can instantly perk you up and make you dance? The Power by Snap! Is one such song.
It has that iconic opening line “I’ve got the power!” that is just so easily recognizable!
27. “(Can’t Live Without Your) Love and Affection” by Nelson
A fantastic song about yearning for a woman’s love from the rock band Nelson!
It has a very lively rock beat and fantastic lyrics that are fun to belt out yourself!
28. “Love Will Lead You Back” by Taylor Dane
Sad love ballads have great staying power, probably because they can be so relatable to most people.
Taylor Dane’s Love Will Lead You Back is a fine example!
Her strong performance of this song really helped make it so powerful.
29. “Don’t Wanna Fall in Love” by Jane Child
This fun-sounding bop from Jane Child is definitely a welcomed break from sad love songs and heartbreaks that many artists back then sang about.
It’s about a woman afraid to fall in love and will fight tooth and nail to stay that way, and we’re all here for it!
30. “Two To Make It Right” by Seduction
Seduction’s Two To Make It Right seamlessly blends the girl group’s fantastic vocals with a song that definitely – as the kids put it – slaps hard.
31. “Sending All My Love” by Linear
Sending All My Love from Linear is one of those songs that’s so easy to listen to.
Listening to it again nowadays may just evoke a fun memory or two from your childhood long ago!
32. “Unskinny Bop” by Poison
For a song with a title that basically means nothing, Unskinny Bop by Poison nonetheless sounds amazing regardless of the year you listen to it.
It’s one of those songs that just feels great to rock out to!
33. “Step by Step” by New Kids on the Block
The ultimate boy band before N’Sync and Backstreet Boys were even a thing, the 90s won’t be complete without a song or two from New Kids on The Block.
Step by Step is a fantastic song that most kids know the lyrics to by heart back then – and probably up to the present!
34. “Dangerous” by Roxette
Roxette and their song Dangerous is a very potent combination!
You know you can’t sing this song as well as the lead singers do, but that doesn’t stop you from trying anyway!
35. “We Didn’t Start the Fire” by Billy Joel
A great song and a history lesson in one – thanks to Billy Joel’s We Didn’t Start the Fire.
It has an upbeat, cheerful tempo and very fast-paced lyrics that made memorizing and singing them along with the song such a fun challenge!
36. “I Don’t Have The Heart” by James Ingram
James Ingram is up there with the likes of Micheal Bolton when it comes to amazing love ballads.
This one hurts to listen to, especially since it’s about unrequited love that many of us have experienced ourselves!
37. “Downtown Train” by Rod Stewart
Listening to Rod Stewart’s cover of Downtown Train is an emotional experience that everyone should have.
His phenomenal, soulful voice just gives this song so much power and feeling!
38. “Rhythm Nation” by Janet Jackson
1990 was an exceptional year for Janet Jackson!
Her Rhythm Nation continues to carry her signature: great vocals, outstanding beat, and dance steps that only the uber-talented can successfully emulate.
39. “I’ll Be Your Everything” by Tommy Page
Tommy Page’s I’ll Be Your Everything is an awesome romantic song.
It’s just so easy to listen to and sing along with.
40. “Roam” by The B-52’s
The distinct flavor of the early 90s is in full display with The B-52’s Roam.
It’s a very unique song that is also so earworm-worthy!
41. “Everything” by Jody Watley
Everything by Jody Watley is another amazing ballad that carries a certain magic and quality to it.
Definitely worth listening to over and over again!
42. “Back to Life (However Do You Want Me)” by Soul II Soul
This absolute banger of a song just encourages listeners to rock along to it!
Many consider it a timeless masterpiece that will surely cheer you up and bring you back to a time when things were easier!
43. “Here and Now” by Luther Vandross
The name Luther Vandross is almost synonymous with dreamy ballads, with Here and Now being a great example.
This one sounds amazing to listen to, and his powerful voice definitely gives the song an edge over the others!
44. “Alright” by Janet Jackson
Janet Jackson’s absolute rampage during the early 90s continues well with Alright.
It’s a certified dance hit and back then, you won’t find a dance club that isn’t playing this song at least once!
45. “Ice Ice Baby” by Vanilla Ice
“Alright stop, collaborate, and listen” is one of those iconic lyrics that helped make 1990 so memorable.
Ice Ice Baby is a rare full-on rap song that dominated the charts back then, and it still sounds so solid up to this day!
46. “Blame It On The Rain” by Milli Vanilli
Blame It On The Rain is another great song by Milli Vanilli that has an awesome groove to it.
It’s just fantastic to listen to and sing along with.
47. “Have You Seen Her” by MC Hammer
MC Hammer didn’t just produce dance hits like U Can’t Touch This.
He also released a cover of the love song Have You Seen Her, which was originally by the Chi-Lites.
Most of the lines of this song were rapped in true MC Hammer fashion, making it amazing to listen to.
48. “With Every Beat of My Heart” by Taylor Dayne
Taylor Dayne’s With Every Beat of My Heart is definitely a lively song that just invites you to sing and dance to it!
Definitely a great song from 1990.
49. “Come Back To Me” by Janet Jackson
Janet Jackson’s repertoire of hits in the 90s wasn’t all dance songs!
Come Back To Me is an R&B ballad of hers that just puts her lovely, almost-soothing vocals front and center, resulting in a song that feels haunting.
50. “No More Lies” by Michel’le
No More Lies is definitely a girl power song before it was even a thing!
Definitely a welcomed break from songs that beg their man to come back, as this one is more about leaving him behind.
Good for you, girl!
51. “Praying for Time” by George Michael
The 90s songs weren’t all about love and sex!
George Michael’s Praying for Time can be described as a socially conscious song that invites the listeners to reflect on the current state of the world.
52. “How Can We Be Lovers” by Michael Bolton
Michael Bolton’s How Can We Be Lovers is one of those tunes that you just want to listen to in repeat!
Just overall an amazing song that makes a great point about lovers in general.
53. “Do You Remember?” by Phil Collins
Only Phil Collins can make a song about a failing relationship sound so good.
Do You Remember tugs at the heartstrings even as you enjoy yourself while listening to it.
54. “Ready or Not” by After 7
This R&B song from After 7 just sounds so pleasant to the ears, thanks to the group’s great vocals and a rock-solid arrangement.
55. “U Can’t Touch This” by MC Hammer
When you think of the artist MC Hammer, “U Can’t Touch This” is definitely the song that comes to mind.
Who could forget those dance steps along with those iconic pants?
“Stop! Hammer Time” is way up there as a phrase that defined 1990.
56. “I wish It Would Rain Down” by Phil Collins
Phil Collin’s I wish It Would Rain Down is the phenomenal result of a collaboration between him and Eric Clapton.
Definitely a fine example of two legends creating magic together!
57. “Just Between You and Me” by Lou Gramm
Lou Gramm’s Just Between You and Me is all-in-all a fantastic song to listen to.
“I don’t care what the world can’t see, it’s just between you and me” are lines that just hits the right spots!
58. “Something Happened On The Way to Heaven” by Phil Collins
1990 is a great year to be a Phil Collins’ fan, as he just churns out soulful hit after another.
Something Happened On The Way To Heaven has a bit more of an upbeat tempo to it than his other songs, but that made it no less meaningful!
59. “Black Cat” by Janet Jackson
A largely rock-influenced song from Janet Jackson, Black Cat roars into life with its electrifying, very danceable tune.
It’s so hard to resist rocking to it once you hear it play on the radio!
60. “Can’t Stop” by After 7
True to form, it’s one song you can’t stop listening to!
61. “Janie’s Got a Gun” by Aerosmith
Only they can make a song about a person owning a weapon sound so thrilling!
62. “The Humpty Dance” by Digital Underground
If you’re a true child of the 90’s, you know you’ve danced to The Humpty Dance at least once or twice – or more.
It’s definitely a song that has the spirit of the decade written all over it!
63. “I’ll Be Your Shelter” by Taylor Dayne
Taylor Dayne’s powerful vocals are on full display in her song, I’ll Be Your Shelter.
It also has a very catchy tune that helped make her a well-known artist in the 90’s!
64. “Free Fallin'” by Tom Petty
Free Fallin’ by Tom Petty is one of those songs that gives you nothing but great vibes when you listen to it.
Many consider this song as the artist’s best!
65. “Giving You the Benefit” by Pebbles
Giving You the Benefit is definitely an electrifying song with a danceable beat!
You can’t help but move when it plays on the radio.
66. “Enjoy the Silence” by Depeche Mode
Enjoy the Silence is one of the more haunting meliodies in this list.
You can’t help but listen to it again and again, nonetheless!
67. “Enjoy the Silence” by Tesla
Tesla’s Love Song is definitely one great rock song to listen to.
It absolutely made fans go crazy for it!
68. “Price of Love” by Bad English
Bad English’s Price of Love has all the makings of a power ballad: romantic lyrics, an amazing beat, and a quality that makes it fantastic to listen to over and over again.
69. “King of Wishful Thinking” by Go West
This song reminds us that even men can be a bit delusional when it comes to love.
It does so in a very lighthearted way that’s very earworm-worthy to boot!
70. “What Kind of Man Would I Be” by Chicago
You know it’s a great song if it’s by Chicago!
What Kind of Man Would I Be is a song that’s easy to get stuck in your head because it sounds so awesome.
71. “I Remember You” by Skid Row
There was no prom dance in America that didn’t play this song way back in 1990!
You know you’ve got a hit when young folks are obsessed with it.
72. “Get Up! (Before the Night Is Over)” by Technotronic
Technotronic has some pretty memorable dance tracks in the 90s, with Get Up! (Before the Night Is Over) being one of them.
It’s just so easy to get the urge to dance when listening to this song!
73. “Here We Are” by Gloria Estefan
Gloria Estefan is definitely an artist that helped make 1990 so amazing.
This soulful song just proves her enormous talent!
74. “Epic” by Faith No More
Epic by Faith No More is a fantastic-sounding song that feels almost ahead of its time.
It makes for fun listening, no doubt!
75. “Love Takes Time” by Mariah Carey
Mariah Carey and love songs together are just pure magic.
Love Takes Time is one of her earlier songs that’s unknowingly paving the way for her to become a global phenomenon!
76. “Just Like Jesse James” by Cher
Cher and her magnificent voice make listening to Just Like Jesse James something of a privilege.
It’s an outstanding song among her many hits!
77. “Love Shack” by The B-52’s
If it’s by B-52’s, you know this song is going to be wildly fun!
Love Shack continues to be an absolute banger that you play at a party if you want people to dance and have fun!
78. “All or Nothing” by Milli Vanilli
Milli Vanilli’s All or Nothing is a fun song that many kids back then listened to with the volume turned up really high.
Definitely a lively and super upbeat hit!
79. “Romeo” by Dino
Romeo has that electrifying beat that’s become a signature of the 90s.
This was a staple at most parties back then!
80. “Everybody Everybody” by Black Box
1990 isn’t lacking in fantastic songs that can still elicit a dance move or two out of anyone.
Everybody Everybody blends that with amazing vocals that just sound so smooth!
81. “I Go to Extremes” by Billy Joel
Billy Joel’s diversity in music just proves he’s one of the best artists of all time.
I Go to Extremes is often considered to be one of his best and still remains a crowd favorite.
82. “Whip Appeal” by Babyface
As people say, a great song has no expiration date.
Babyface’s Whip Appeal sounds oh-so-amazing up to now!
83. “Oh Girl” by Paul Young
Paul Young’s Oh Girl makes for an easy-to-listen-to song that leaves you feeling great afterward.
It remains a great tune to listen to any time of the day!
84. “C’mon and Get My Love” by D Mob
C’mon and Get My Love is a fantastic dance track that sounds better when played on full blast – the way it was meant to be.
85. “(It’s Just) The Way That You Love Me” by Paula Abdul
Paula Abdul reminds everyone what an absolute queen she was in 1990 with (It’s Just) The Way That You Love Me.
It definitely mixes her amazing voice with a danceable tune and moves that fans of hers spent hours memorizing!
86. “We Can’t Go Wrong” by The Cover Girls
We Can’t Go Wrong is a quietly amazing song that a lot of us back then considered our favorite.
This tune still hits all the right places after all this time!
87. “When I’m Back On My Feet Again” by Michael Bolton
Michael Bolton speaks to us through his gorgeous song When I’m Back On My Feet Again.
This song is especially meaningful if you’re going through tough times, and you need just a bit of encouragement.
88. “Make You Sweat” by Keith Sweat
Make You Sweat is definitely the song to play if you want things to be a little steamy on the dance floor!
89. “This One’s For the Children” by New Kids On The Block
This is a very touching and meaningful song from New Kids On The Block.
It’s encouraging people to be more mindful and caring about children’s welfare, which remains a relevant message today,
90. “What It Takes” by Aerosmith
Aerosmith makes some gorgeous power ballads, with What It Takes as one of them.
It’s delivered with Steven Tyler’s signature vocals, making listening to it a treat every time!
91. “Forever” by Kiss
Forever by Kiss is one of the greatest love songs to listen to, hands down.
It just gives you all these amazing, wondrous feelings as you hear it being played!
92. “Jerk Out” by The Time
Want a fast-paced dance song that just sounds so fun?
Jerk Out is definitely one such song!
93. “Just A Friend” by Biz Markie
This is one song that will leave a smile on your face when you hear it.
Biz Markie really shows his frustration about the object of his affection when singing the lyrics to the song!
94. “Without You” by Motley Crue
Without You is definitely a fantastic power ballad that heavily carries its band’s rock roots – and shows it in the best way!’
95. “Swing the Mood” by Jive Bunny and the Mastermixers
A 90’s song that mixed the tunes from earlier times – that’s Jive Bunny and the Mastermixers’ Swing The Mood.
Absolutely a dance hit that made everybody jive on the dance floor!
96. “Thieves in the Temple” by Prince
We’re convinced that Prince doesn’t have any bad songs, and once his hit is playing on the radio, you’re in for a treat.
Thieves in the Temple is one such song that sounds amazing!
97. “Mentirosa” by Mellow Man Ace
A great song from 1990 is Mellow Man Ace’s Mentirosa.
It has a very catchy beat that’s very easy to listen to!
98. “Tic-Tac-Toe” by Kyper
A game made into a memorable song? That’s Kyper’s Tic-Tac-Toe.
Many people really enjoyed jamming to this song!
99. “Groove Is In the Heart” by Deee-lite
This song neatly bridged 80s groove with 90s jam and we’re all here for it!
It can definitely be considered a timeless hit.
100. “Freedom! ’90” by George Michael
George Michael just doesn’t disappoint with his songs!
Freedom ’90 may have been a bit controversial during its day, but there’s no denying the power and greatness of this song.
101. “Justify My Love” by Madonna
Madonna’s songs can be considered way ahead of its time, and Justify My Love continues that trend well.
It remains a gorgeous tune that’s so easy to get lost in when you hear it!
Songs from 1990: Fantastic Music, Even Decades Later
1990 absolutely has a diverse lineup of fantastic hits that remain amazing to listen to.
And it’s more than just nostalgia talking here! These songs made magic during their time back then, and people discovering them just now will undoubtedly find them magical too.
We hope you enjoyed this list!
Do you have a favorite song from 1990 that needs to be on this list?
Let us know in the comments below!