When we think of the 90s, we are made to remember iconic songs, videos, and singers, etc. Sure, almost everything about the 90s was pretty famous and popular, but there was a dark side to it. On the one hand, where we witnessed the likes of Madonna and Nirvana singing their hearts out, on the other, our ears were open to annoying and terrible songs that we wished we had never heard.
Although they might be a hit of their time, it does not change the fact that they were not up to the standards. Today, if we listen to them, not only do they sound terrible but embarrassing as well. Therefore, let us discuss some of the worst songs of the 90s that really make us cringe, even to this day.
There is no denying the fact that Radiohead was quite popular back in the day. It had several hits in its cap and amassed a considerable following. However, for a while, things seemed a bit confusing and terrible when they came up with their single ‘Creep.’ It was easily Radiohead’s worst song ever. From the start, all you can hear is the band whining and singing without any directions. Before ‘Creep,’ Radiohead was known for crafting songs that were lyrically as strong as they can ever be.
Apart from the fact that the song broke Radiohead, but it was also a complete rip of The Hollie’s “The Air That I Breathe.” Radiohead trying to copy the song and come out with its own definitely helped Albert Hammond Sr., who originally penned the song. He was getting more money from the royalties than the band was making for itself.
Blind 182-‘All the Small Things”
When Blink 182 came out, the younger generation went all crazy for them. They saw a band with young boys with guitars in their hands and minimal jewelry such as ear studs and especially the lead singer’s missing front teeth. Furthermore, Blink-182 was criticized for killing punk with its album ‘Enema of the State’. The album was a huge success, and there was a continuous debate back in the day about its rampant commercial success.
Even though ‘All the Small Things’ topped the charts, but one cannot ignore the fact that it seemed like a song that was written by a gang of five-year-olds who just wanted to become famous. As soon as you hear the lyrics, you would know that it was a disaster. And above all, it was written by Tom Delonge, for his wife. Therefore, Tom thought that if his wife were okay with it, the audience would be as well, but it was as terrible as it could get.
Sublime-‘What I got’
Sublime’s music career was a mix of hits and criticism. You could complain all you want, but Sublime never paid any attention to that. The same was the case with its single ‘What I got.’ All that you can see and hear in the single are hemp necklaces and a voice that does not even know what musical notes are.
Furthermore, you can hear voices of guys yelling tasteless jokes and chorus of dreadlock girls warning you about toxins and something about chilling out. The song had no direction whatsoever. It was as if Sublime was singing everything that came to mind. The band is seen holding guitars, trying hard as ever to achieve rhythmic accompaniment but to no avail. The song is actually based on young individuals of the time and their profound thoughts. Terrible guitar aside, the lyrics were simply a joke.
Now when you hear the name ‘Metallica’, you will not believe that it came up with one of the worst songs of the 90s era. Believe it or not, it did. Metallica’s ‘Fuel’ was bound to be a hit when it was released, and rightfully so, it was always on the radio and stereo speakers. Not only that, but the song also went on to become the official NASCAR theme song as well.
Even though James Hetfield sings out a string of grammatically-correct words and lyrics, the song became a meme afterward. It was soon considered as a lame song that occupied the top position for no apparent reason whatsoever. Considering the fact that Metallica had released ‘And Justice for All’ ten years earlier, ‘Fuel’ was a big disaster. This was also a time when Metallica had pretty much fallen from graxe and even Avril Lavigne covered this song in her voice, which was even worse.
Sir Mix-a-Lot-‘Baby Got Back’
Do you think that a single from someone named ‘Sir Mix-a-Lot’ would be serious? In fact, yes, some people thought it would be. ‘Baby Got Back’ reminds us of Nicki Minaj’s ‘Anaconda,’ until now no one has understood its purpose. Although ‘Baby Got Back’ was all about women empowerment but talked about the way, the message was portrayed and communicated. The song, instead of empowering women, did more harm than good. That is because Sir Mix-a-Lot wanted the girls in his song to have big hips and little waists. One comes to think of it, how is it different from the likes of Drake and Tyga wanting the same thing in their music videos?
While the song explains the beauty standards set by the pop culture, it also goes on to specify the proportions of ideal women. The point here is that the world did not need Sir Mix-a-Lot telling it that big hips are great, it would have happened without him anyway. Therefore, it would have been better if he had focused more on the message than the source.
Smash Mouth-‘All Star’
Smash Mouth, with his ‘All-Star’ single, made the world dread over his existence. A song that should have been based on embracing your uniqueness was tortured and murdered to hell. The single soon became a reason for the audience to question why Smash Mouth even existed in the first place. You cannot talk about the direction, purpose, message, or concept because there wasn’t anything as such in the song. It was like someone made it up while making morning coffee. If that was the case, then why did the guy ever think of making the song? It remains a mystery to this day.
Lou Bega-‘Mamboo No.5’
Unlike some of the other songs mentioned in the list that was plain bad, German/mambo singer Lou Bega’s hit “Mamboo No.5” was a failure in objective terms. It was surely one of the worst songs ever conceived. Furthermore, it has also been termed as one of the most annoying singles of all time. At the time, the song was everywhere. It would show up in every commercial and cricket game, making it unbearably annoying. Even those who loved the song found it hard to understand the lyrics.
The title of the song did not match the lyrics penned down, and that was the most painful part. This goes to show that even if a song is a hit, it does not mean that it possesses the characteristics of a hit song. It would only be a matter of time when it becomes a burden on human ears.
Sarah MacLaughlin’s Angel was bound to ruin your mood when it would show up from nowhere. The song was filled with unbearable sadness. If you ever heard this song back in the day, you would want to die from sadness. Its emotional ramifications and that too commercial would completely turn off your mood as soon as it popped up while watching your favorite movie. This alone was a big enough reason to make it the worst song ever.
Blur has some good songs allegedly too, but everyone will remember it for the band that did the ‘woo hoo’ song. People might be right because that is exactly what the band deserves, for what it had inflicted upon us. The song was originally meant to be a send-up of grunge but gave birth to a music entity that was more annoying than anything else. The song was only good enough for commercials belonging to car companies, and as long as they wanted to keep up with it, Blur will be getting paid. However, if you are in search of lyrics, guitars and excellent drums, etc. then you are actually looking at a nightmare.
With this, we conclude our list of the worst songs of the 90s. We might have caught you off guard with names such as Blink-182 and Metallica, but it is what it is. There is no denying the fact that these bands were icons of their time, but they did mess up now and then. So, while we remember the 90s for all the right reasons, we should remember it for some of the bad ones as well.