The '80s were a hard act to follow up musically, but the '90s did it with its own sense of style. From hard-rocking grunge songs to rump-shaking dance numbers, the '90s offered as much musical innovation and success as any decade before or after. As you complete these lyrics, we know you are going to be singing along. Will you be singing the right words?
If you can complete all of these '90s lyrics, not only do you have the memory of an elephant, but you probably also still have an impressive assortment of chokers and flannel shirts. The music that came out of the '90s was more than just notes songs out of your CD player--it was a lifestyle! Whether you were screaming along with Nirvana or spitting along to Sir-Mix-a-Lot back then, we're certain '90s music left a memorable, perhaps unshakeable, impression on you.
To get a good idea how much of the '90s still lives in you, we've chosen lyrics from every type of '90s music we could remember ourselves. Although we've haven't gone into too much obscure territory, we have tried to challenge your memory. Filling in some of the blanks correctly means that you know your stuff. Filling in all of the lyrics correctly means that you are still living in 1994. And there's nothing wrong with that! How well will you do?
From the 1991 album, "Out of Time," R.E.M. rose all the way to No. 4 on the U.S. charts with "Losing My Religion." In an interview with "Rolling Stone" magazine, singer Michael Stipe claims that the song is more about obsession than it is about religion.
Radiohead's "Creep" was their first single, released in 1992. It was also on their debut album, "Pablo Honey," released in 1993. After a lawsuit claiming the song borrowed parts from 1972's "The Air That I Breathe," the band agreed to list Albert Hammond and Mike Hazelwood as co-writers.
At the end of 1994, Ace of Base was proud to have Billboard rate "The Sign" as the best pop song of the year. By the end of that year, the album had sold 8 million copies.
"Baby One More Time" was not originally intended to be recorded by Britney Spears in 1997. Record executives meant for the song to be recorded by TLC, but the trio rejected it. Their decision ultimately launched Britney into pop stardom.
Although 1991's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" lifted the band Nirvana into superstardom, the band was not all that happy about it. In fact, they often refused to play the song live during the early years because they felt it was attracting the wrong kind of audience.
"I Want it That Way" was the Backstreet Boys' first single from their 1999 album, "Millennium." "Millennium" became the best-selling album of that year, selling more than 30 million copies around the world.
When Third Eye Blind released the single, "Semi-Charmed Life," most listeners assumed the song was about a tale of love. Stephan Jenkins, the band's lead singer, claims it's about a drug user's descent into addiction.
Although they were a band since 1981, Metallica did not release a self-titled album until 1991. Many fans did not like the departure from metal to a more radio-friendly sound, but others embraced the catchy, new sound and tracks, like "Enter Sandman."
Alanis Morrisette has never given away the subject of "You Outta Know," but the 1995 single won critical acclaim taking home a Grammy for Best Rock Song. She also scored the distinction of Best Rock Album for "Jagged Little Pill" the same year.
Along with Oasis, The Verve were part of a '90s trend that included British mega-hits like "Bittersweet Symphony." The song's 1997 release met with controversy and a lawsuit because The Verve sampled part of a 1964 song by the Rolling Stones.
"Hunger Strike" featured the vocals of Soundgarden's Chris Cornell and a new singer named Eddie Vedder. It was during the 1990 "Temple of the Dog" recording session that Eddie Vedder met his future bandmates from Pearl Jam.
Blind Melon's "No Rain" is the first single from the band's self-titled debut. The 1992 video of the song featured a girl dancing in a bee costume, and it rose all the way to No. 22 on MTV's Best Music Videos of All Time list.
Although The Cranberries were surrounded by grunge acts in 1993, their second album found radio success with hits like "Zombie." Distraught by IRA violence taking place at the time, singer Dolores O'Riordan penned the song in honor of two young bombing victims.
From the Toadies' album, "Rubberneck," 1994's "Possum Kingdom" charted at No. 40 on U.S. charts. The song's name might bring imaginitive animal life to mind, but it is actually the name of a lake located near Dallas, Texas.
"No Diggity" was a hit for the band Blackstreet, but they were helped out by guest artists Queen Pen and Dr. Dre. Released in 1996, it reach No. 1 on Billboard's Hot 100 list.
Though Pearl Jam formed in 1990, they were already releasing their third album by 1994. Singer Eddie Vedder claims to have written "Better Man," and a number of other tracks from "Vitology," all the way back in high school.
Aqua might not have been a typical '90s band, but their 1997 track, "Barbie Girl," took the No. 1 slot in the United Kingdom. Mattel attempted to sue the band's label over the use of Barbie, but the case was thrown out using the first amendment as grounds.
"Under the Bridge" was simply a poem written by singer Anthony Kiedis until producer Rick Ruben urged him to share it with his fellow Red Hot Chili Peppers band members. The band recorded it for the 1991 album, "Blood Sugar Sex Magik," and became one of the band's biggest hits.
Before grunge started to overpower the '90s, Boyz II Men enjoyed chart-topping success with "End of the Road." Co-written by Babyface, the song was composed to be included in the film, "Boomerang."
"No Scrubs" was a hit for TLC, rising all the way to No. 1. The song was co-written by Kandi Burress, a now-famous cast member from "Real Housewives of Atlanta."
Although Prince wrote "Nothing Compares 2 U" in 1984, it didn't reach No. 1 until Sinead O'Connor recorded it in 1990. The video featured nothing but the singer's head and took the No. 34 spot on MTV's Best Music Videos of All Time.
Coolio's dark "Gangsta's Paradise" hit No. 1 in both the U.S. and the U.K. in 1995. Coolio decided to sample portions of Stevie Wonder's "Pastime Paradise" and employed a fellow singer, L.V., to make the track work.
From the 1994 album "Mellow Gold," Beck's "Loser" was an instant alternative rock hit. The Spanish phrase in the song, soy un perdedor, translates to "I'm a loser." Beck says he wrote the song because one of his friends always called him a loser for his lifestyle.
In 1991, The Spin Doctors released two singles from their album "Pocketful of Kryptonite." Although "Two Princes" was not as successful as "Little Miss Can't Be Wrong," the song still helped the album to sell more than 5 million copies worldwide.
Rather than being just a band, Britain's Chumbawamba described themselves as a collective with ambitions to overthrow the government. 1997's "Tubthumping" was the only song the group saw reach the charts.
A slower departure from Green Day's upbeat, punk sound, "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)" was taken from the band's fifth album. By the time the band had finished the song in 1997, singer Billy Joe Armstrong was fed up with it and titled it "Good Riddance."
"Killing Me Softly" was originally recorded in 1973 by Roberta Flack. However, the Fugees took the song all the way to the 1996 MTV Music Video Awards where it won Best R&B Video.
One of two singles released from Smash Mouth's "Astro Lounge," "All-Star" rode the waves of the band's previous release, "Walking On The Sun." The song's writer, Greg Camp, was also the guitarist in the band.
When "Ice Ice Baby" was released in 1990, it was immediately faced with controversy. Without asking, Vanilla Ice sampled the 1980 song, "Under Pressure," by Queen and David Bowie. After many years of consideration, Bowie and Brian May were finally listed as co-authors.
In 1993, "Mr. Jones" took the Counting Crows all the way to No. 5 on the U.S. charts. Sung by lead singer Adam Duritz, the Mr. Jones mentioned in the song is a former bandmate and not a reply to a Bob Dylan song.
Soundgarden , one of the '90s grunge superstars, became well known for their song, "Black Hole Sun." Singer Chris Cornell once told "Entertainment Weekly" that he wrote the song after misunderstanding the words of a news announcer.
On the 1992 album, "Mack Daddy," Sir-Mix-a-Lot made his love for buns known with "Baby Got Back." The iconic video from the song was created by the same person who made videos for The B-52s and the Beastie Boys, Adam Bernstein.
Although many listeners claim that you cannot understand the lyrics, the Gallagher brothers of Oasis had a huge hit on their hands with 1995's "Champagne Supernova." To commemorate it, Noel Gallagher named his home Supernova Heights.
Originally released in 1988, The La's felt that "There She Goes" did not get enough airplay. It was released again in 1990, and many used the song to see Margaret Thatcher out when she resigned from Parliament.
You couldn't turn on the radio in 1993 without hearing "Laid" by James. Although the song didn't reach critical success on the charts, it did have the bragging rights of being produced by the legendary Brian Eno.