If you thought the 1980s was a great decade for rock music, then you must have fallen head over heels in love with some of the songs that were released during the 1990s because it is arguably the best decade ever for the genre. Dozens of bands rose to prominence during the 1990s and some of the hits they released will stay with us forever and a day. Here are five of the greatest 1990s rock songs.
Smells Like Teen Spirit – Nirvana
Nirvana released Smells Like Teen Spirit from their second album, Nevermind, in September 1991 and its unexpected success helped to push Nevermind to the top of the charts in 1992. The song was Nirvana’s biggest hit, placing high in charts around the world and even reaching number six in the Billboard Hot 100. The song got its title after Kathleen Hanna, the lead singer of Bikini Kill, wrote “Kurt Smells Like Teen Spirit” on his wall. Teen Spirit is the name of the deodorant that his then-girlfriend Tobi Vali wore. Since Kurt Cobain’s death, the song has been praised as one of the greatest rock songs in the history of music.
Enter Sandman – Metallica
Enter Sandman hit the shelves in July 30 when it was taken of the self titled fifth album, Metallica. According to rhythm guitarist James Hetfield, the song’s lyrics deal with the concept of children’s nightmares, but it may be better known for its amazing, haunting guitar rift. The song was that popular that it helped the album sell a staggering 30 million copies worldwide and was a song that help Metallica enter the mainstream.
Killing in the Name – Rage Against the Machine
Although Killing in the Name by Rage Against the Machine is essentially alternative metal, it makes it onto our list for the fact it is a fantastic song that deserves some time in the limelight. The song comes from the self-titled debut album and is now known as the band’s signature song and is distinctive because of its heavy use of profanity and its guitar rift. Despite only reaching 25 in the UK Single Chart, the song became a Christmas number one in 2009 after a campaign was launched to prevent the winner of X-Factor from topping the charts, something that had happened for a few consecutive years previously.
November Rain – Guns N’ Roses
November Rain was released in 1992 from Guns N’ Roses’ third studio album Use Your Illusion I. at almost nine minutes long, the song is one of the band’s longest songs and also won of the only power ballads they produced. The song reached number three in the Billboard Hot 100 chart and became the longest song in history to enter the top 10 of the chart. When Guns N’ Roses produced the accompanying music video, they spent approximately $1.5 million and earned the title of being one of the most expensive music videos of all time.
Black Hole Sun – Soundgarden
Black Hole Sun came from the Soundgarden album Superunknown and quickly became the band’s most-recognizable hit and it still one a popular song today. The song was written by frontman Chris Cornell and he claims to have completed the writing in a mere 15-minutes. Whether that is true or not doesn’t matter because the song is superb and the music video is one of the trippiest that you will ever feast your eyes on.