Songs Every ’90s Kid Still Knows By Heart

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Nineties kids were born into a decade of parachute pants, trading out the wrong Pokemon card and burning your mouth on pop tarts.

No wonder we all used music as a form of escape. So, in the interests of regressing back to our blissful childhoods, UNILAD Sound has compiled a throwback playlist for your delectation, taking you on a nostalgia trip from TLC to Nirvana… Enjoy.

TLC – No Scrubs

Your first boyfriend pushed over your Lego bricks in the playground. The only cure to the pain was putting on TLC and channelling the independent woman you would one day grow into.

N*Sync – Bye Bye Bye

Say Bye Bye Bye to the boyband: It had its heyday in the nineties with the like of N*Sync and their highly choreographed creativity.

Natalie Imbruglia – Torn

Childhood angst was well summarised by Natalie Imbruglia’s hit, Torn. We’ve all lip-synced this in front of the mirror, mimicking the pixie-haired star’s awkwardness.

Blackstreet – No Diggity

Many of us, in our naivete, misunderstood the lyrics, but we all joined in for the refrain and felt pretty badass doing it.

Backstreet Boys – I Want It That Way

You know what I want? Classics like this back in the charts. Pour some out for Backstreet Boys.

Shania Twain – Man! I Feel Like A Woman

Shania Twain’s Man! I Feel Like A Woman was an early taste of musical feminism for many nineties girls; the sort of song your mum would approve on.

No Doubt – Don’t Speak

No Doubt offered a little light reprieve from the pop beats of the charts, and paved the way for an alternative genre of music with their intelligent pop rock… Just Don’t Speak about Gwen Stefani’s subsequent solo career.

Brandi and Monica – The Boy Is Mine

Brandi and Monica nailed the powerful female double act, long before Beyonce and Shakira came along.

The Verve – Bittersweet Symphony

This urban hymn made strings – and walking down streets with swinging-armed swagger – so cool, and spawned a generation of little Richard Ashcroft imitators.

Britney Spears – …Baby One More Time

Disregarding the wildly inappropriate nod to domestic violence, from the mouth of a teenage popstar, this song shot Britney Spears into the mainstream and inspired a scores of schoolgirls’ stationary choices.

Nirvana – Smells Like Teen Spirit

For many of us, grunge happened at just the right time, guiding us through teenage angst with the dulcet tones of the late, great Kurt Cobain.

Spice Girls – Wannabee

We didn’t know it at the time, but Wannabee would go onto become a feminist anthem of our twenties. Nothing beats politicised nostalgia. Girl power!

Green Day – Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)

The nineties really was the time of our lives – no bills, no adult responsibility, no Theresa May – and modern-day prophets Green Day told us way before we had it figured out.

Red Hot Chilli Peppers – Californication

We didn’t really understand the references to Alderaan – or even what Californication meant – but damn, we knew a cool video when we saw it, courtesy of Red Hot Chilli Peppers.

Wheatus – Teenage Dirtbag

…Because we’re all just Teenage Dirtbags deep down.

Music is a universal key to the past – and we here at UNILAD Sound hope this playlist has helped you throwback to a simpler time. Happy listening!


Francesca Donovan

Francesca Donovan

A former emo kid who talks too much about 8Chan meme culture, the Kardashian Klan, and how her smartphone is probably killing her. Francesca is a Cardiff University Journalism Masters grad who has done words for BBC, ELLE, The Debrief, DAZED, an art magazine you've never heard of and a feminist zine which never went to print.