JLab - Player Playlist - 90s playlist

Player Playlist: Reliving the music of the 90s, the days of the American World Cup and the birth of MLS

We’re all missing a big chunk of our lives right now, and sports are at the top of the list. Getting wrapped up in (new) matches while stuck at home would be great, but, for the greater good, those times are still in the (hopefully not too distant) future.

Until we can pack into stadiums and pubs to see our favorite clubs again, let’s take a stroll down memory lane to a simpler time: the 90s, also known as the wonderful decade when the World Cup came to America and Major League soccer was born.

Fans reached out to us to compile a list of their favorite 90s songs, and all of them are definitely worth a replay.

Take the time to listen and sing your way through this list. After all, what else is there to do right now? Brace yourself for a tidal wave of 90s nostalgia and let yourself drift back to the time of frosted tips, acid wash denim, and puka shell necklaces.

Spice Girls - Wannabe
Nothing defines 90s pop like the Spice Girls. When the girl group from the UK exploded into international fame, they were some of the top stars the 90s had to offer. "Wannabe" is (arguably, of course) their most iconic bop.

Jay-Z - Feelin’ It
Jay-Z has been a hip hop heavyweight for years. Off his album Reasonable Doubt, his song "Feelin’ It" showcases his ability to lay bars over original beats. In this case, the laid back jazz piano and lounge singer lend the perfect background to Jay-Z’s verses.

The Notorious B.I.G. - Juicy
Biggie changed the hip hop game forever. He was tragically taken from us too soon, but his legacy remains immortal. His song "Juicy" is heard just as much now as it was then, and I challenge you to find a real hip hop fan who can’t rap along to the first verse.

Bush - Glycerine
Rock that leaned into an emo and grunge feel (see Nirvana, Weezer, and Radiohead, and Pearl Jam, who also made this list) had a huge moment in the 90s. They featured heavy guitar riffs over gruff male vocals and Bush’s moody, slow ballad "Glycerine" perfectly illustrates that classic 90s feel.

Semisonic - Closing Time
Some pubs give this song a bad name by playing it when they need us to leave, but don’t let that take away from the quality of this song or the message behind it — leaving the pub just might not be the end of your night.

Selena - Baila Esta Cumbia
Selena is another legend who was ripped away from us too soon. There’s no telling what this icon could have accomplished if she were able to continue her career. Luckily, she gave us hits that have lasted the test of time (and incredible fashion).

Third Eye Blind - Jumper
Third Eye Blind had at least three songs that exploded in the 90s, with their hit off their self-titled album "Jumper" being one of them. Take some time to listen to the lyrics and see if it’s as upbeat as it sounds; it has a deeper message than the casual listener may find.

Nirvana - Smells Like Teen Spirit
Nirvana exploded onto the scene in the 90s with their own take on rock that changed the game: grunge. Kurt Cobain and his bandmates only produced three studio albums, but their sound shaped rock forever. "Smells Like Teen Spirit" is, without a doubt, their most well known hit.

Blink-182 - All the Small Things
Blink-182 was at the forefront of rock in the 90s, and has maintained their popularity through the years. Their manic punk style has produced tons of hits, with "All the Small Things" topping the list. They’re one of the few bands on this list that’s still touring, so if this song brings back good memories for you, consider joining them on the road when they’re back up and running.

Britney Spears - ...Baby One More Time
Bubblegum pop had its own spotlight in the 90s, and Britney Spears and her rival Christina Aguilera led the charge. If "...Baby One More Time" hasn’t been your karaoke song yet, try it. It’s definitely crowd pleaser, and you’ll have more back up singers than you’ll know what to do with.

Hootie & The Blowfish - Only Wanna Be with You
Hootie & The Blowfish’s mainstream debut album, Cracked Rear View, hosted four of their top hits. "Only Wanna Be with You", one of the many karaoke favorites to choose from on this list, was the highest rated, hitting #4 of the Top 100.

Backstreet Boys - I Want It That Way
Two words: Boy. Bands. Whether you were an NSYNC loyalist or you aligned yourself firmly in the Backstreet camp, the domination of the all male group in the 90s is undeniable. The synchronized dancing in the music videos was mesmerizing, and their harmonies were perfect to hit with friends. Check out this music video for something you don’t see much of today — a crowd of people in an airport.

Weezer - Say It Ain’t So
Weezer’s laid back style is the backbone of "Say It Ain’t So". This band is one of the rock groups born in the 90s to stand the test of time; they’ve consistently put albums out for the past few decades, and are still making music today. They’re due to pick up a tour as soon as this pandemic dies down.

Dr. Dre & Snoop Dogg - Nuthin But A “G” Thang
Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre are so relevant today it’s easy to forget that their careers took off decades ago in the early 90s. Before they became larger than life celebrities, Dre and Snoop were at the forefront of gangster rap. And there’s good news: you can check out Snoop’s tour dates once all this is over!

Radiohead - Creep
"Creep" was Radiohead’s debut single, and one of their biggest hits. Even though they’ve been making music ever since, most casual fans will probably know this song as their biggest hit.

TLC - Waterfalls
This deep song is usually misinterpreted by hikers looking for an Instagram caption. In reality, though, it’s so much more to the message in the song than an actual waterfall. Take the time to listen to the lyrics and understand the stories the song is telling; you’ll see what TLC actually meant when they were giving their metaphorical advice.

2pac & Dr. Dre - California Love
This epic collaboration gave us an incredible song that captured the California party scene in the 90s. Unfortunately this was the only team up we would see from these two. They had a falling out which led to Tupac famously dissing Dre on a few different tracks.

A Tribe Called Quest - Jazz (We've Got) Buggin' Out
A Tribe Called Quest has its own genre. They created a recipe for success that mixed jazz and hip hop in a time when a lot of hip hop was leaned toward a more hardcore sound. Their hit "Jazz (We’ve Got) Buggin’ Out", is the epitome of that sound.

The Smashing Pumpkins - 1979
1979, from their album Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, features the guitar heavy sound that defined the 90s. The Smashing Pumpkins, though, were different from other sounds of that decade. They blended a ton of styles, and "1979" features their ability to make their rock style softer and more psychedelic than other bands.

Fugees - Killing Me Softly
For a short time in the 90s, Wyclef Jean, Lauryn Hill, and Pras Michel were part of a group called the Fugees. This hit is one of the most covered songs of all time, and fans might be surprised to learn that the Fugees’ version isn’t the original. The song’s origin is disputed, but it’s widely accepted that Lori Lieberman was first to lay this hit down.

Pearl Jam - Yellow Ledbetter
When you think Pearl Jam, a casual fan may automatically think of their heartbreaking ballad "Last Kiss". But to real fans, "Yellow Ledbetter", off their debut album, is their defining hit. It captures the group’s jam style and gives Mike McCready a solo that shows what he can do.

Oasis - Wonderwall
This song is as synonymous with the 90s as it is with anyone who’s ever brought a guitar to a party. It’s sorrowful love ballad and easy range makes it the epitome of a crowd pleasing group sing along, one Minnesota United fans have claimed as their own. Oasis’s career lasted decades, but Wonderwall will always be what they’re most recognized for.

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