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Nineties Nostalgia: 10 Songs Which Never Go Out Of Style

From dancing with SRK atop of a train to headbanging with Kurt Cobain, these songs will bring out your inner teenager

Rolling Stone India Jul 01, 2021


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This Thursday, we throwback to some of the best Nineties music that helped us through the worst and best days of our lives and became our haven in adulthood. 

“Boom, Boom, Boom, Boom!!” by Vengaboys (1998)

This hit never failed to bring everyone to the dance floor. A childhood classic, we too, like many others, thought that “Boom, Boom, Boom, Boom!!” was meant to be a slumber party song. 

“1979” by The Smashing Pumpkins (1995)

If nostalgia and teenage life could be packed in one track, “1979” would be the perfect fit. The slow-paced coming-of-age song has been a summer anthem for teenagers ever since the Nineties. 

“All Star” by Smash Mouth (1999)

Recognized by many from the 2001 movie Shrek, “All Star” is a pop-rock ultra-edgy fun song. The lyrics are a pleasant mix and match of rebellion and motivation set in a groovy melody, making the song completely bizarre. Interestingly, “All Star” has gained popularity through the myriad of memes on it. 

“Chaiyya Chaiyya” from Dil Se (1998)

It was every kid’s dream to match steps on top of a train with Shah Rukh Khan and Malaika Arora. Thanks to Instagram Reels, this timeless A.R. Rahman composition stays evergreen.

“Lemon Tree” by Fools Garden (1995)

“Lemon Tree” might just be the best quarantine anthem right now. The pop hit has an extremely catchy, feel-good tune to it and is truly a bop. Not to mention, the mysterious boyish charm of the German lead singer Peter Freudenthale made him a fan favorite.

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“Pehla Nasha” from Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar (1991)

One of the most classic songs of Bollywood, one cannot simply fall in love without listening to “Pehla Nasha.” The fuzziness of the song remains alive even after three decades of the iconic coming of age story. 

“Livin’ La Vida Loca” by Ricky Martin (1999)

This pop dance song is one of the most popular tracks from the decade, also part of the global Latin music takeover, one that we’ve seen continue with songs like “Despacito” in 2017. “Livin’ La Vida Loca” was the English debut of the Puerto Rican singer Ricky Martin and topped the charts immediately. Unsurprisingly, Shrek makers have really good taste in music, as the song features in Shrek 2.

“Muqabala” from Hum Se Hai Muqabala (1994)

Titled as one of the greatest dance numbers in India, this A.R. Rahman composition gets you grooving from start to finish. Packed with funky lyrics, a catchy chorus and actor-dancer Prabhudeva’s charm, “Muqabla” remains a favorite, receiving a modern remake in 2020 for choreographer Remo D’Souza’s movie Street Dancer 3D.  

“Wannabe” by Spice Girls (1996)

Living the dream of every 2000s fashionista, Spice Girls released this classic buoyant teen girl anthem in 1996, which became a global phenomenon. We love to “zig-a-zig-ah” with them even today!

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“Creep” by Radiohead (1992)

We admit that this track may not be the best way to express your love for someone, but the alternative rock track was intensely obsessed over in the Nineties. Nevertheless, “Creep” still gives us the creeps but in all the right ways.

“Smells like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana (1991)

Any Nineties music list would be incomplete without mentioning the anthem which changed the face of rock music for the new generation. “Smells like Teen Spirit” is a cult classic and continues to have new listeners, clocking in over 1.2 billion streams on Youtube since 2009. 

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