Who doesn’t like to remember the time of the wild 90s parties?. The dancefloor was still being made unsafe by dungarees and flashy track jackets. The Rap and Hip-Hop Music spilled over from the USA to Europe and gave us party songs by rappers like “Vanilla Ice”, “Snap”, “MC Hammer” or even “Will Smith”. The early 90s brought techno and electronic music through the fall of the Berlin Wall and the subsequent love-and-peace movement with the help of the modern PC.
Computer-generated and distorted voices were often heard in one or the other party hit from the nineties.
The 90s were also the golden age of music videos. MTV became a global brand, and with VIVA, the first music channel was founded in Germany. The MP3 player opened up a new market.
Now everyone could listen to music while riding through the streets with their inline skates and the Eastpack backpack on their backs.
(At the end of the article, we have created a Spotify playlist for you with all the songs listed here.)
Below we have compiled a list of the best 90s party hits:
01. Sir Mix-a-Lot – Baby got Back
Suppose you want to witness how the audience at a party gets into a song almost unanimously. In that case, you can hardly get around Sir Mix-a-Lot: With his unabashed exclamation, “I like big butts, and I can’t lie!” the US-American rapper left no doubts about his physical preferences. The Rick Rubin-produced single was most successful in the United States, where it held the top spot on the Billboard charts for five weeks; only Boyz II Men’s “End of the Road” crossed record store counters more often in 1992.
02. Chumbawamba – Tubthumping
This British band had already released seven albums before this equally simple and effective song heralded their Rock song her commercial star hour rang in. Supposedly, a pub in Leeds, England, served as her inspiration for an upbeat and easy-to-sing-along party hit that extols the everyday constancy of the middle class. In the domestic singles charts, “Tubthumping” (1997) proved similar staying power, reaching second.
It did even better in Australia, Canada, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, or Scotland, while also the US market could be cracked by a sixth place in the Billboard charts there.
03. Scatman John – Scatman (Ski-Ba-Bop-Ba-Dop-Bop)
How to turn a supposed flaw into a trademark was demonstrated extremely impressively by John Paul Larkin in the mid-1990s: The US-American first hired himself out as a Jazz musician in Berlin before combining his stuttering with the Eurodance beats of the time on the advice of his agent. At the prime newcomer age of 53, he achieved an international breakthrough with his first single named after his new stage name. He reached number one in the singles charts in Belgium, Canada, Finland, France, Spain, and Norway. At the same time, he also enjoyed great success in many other European countries and even in Japan.
04. Underworld – Born Slippy. NUXX
The Welsh electro combo Underworld had already released “Born Slippy” as a single in the spring of 1995, but it was only moderately successful in the British charts. The instrumental track differs quite a bit from the similarly titled B-side “Born Slippy. NUXX”, which only received greater attention in the summer of 1996: Danny Boyle’s cult flick “Trainspotting” features it in the closing scene, which is how it became etched in the minds of fans of the film-and soon beyond.
The top five placements in Belgium, Ireland, Italy, Scotland, and England were the logical consequence!
05. Corona – The Rhythm of the Night
No party that celebrates the music of the 1990s can do without this Eurodance milestone! Corona was already raving about the rhythm of the night in his native Italy at the end of 1993 before the single found its way into the wider world due to its success there. In almost all European nations, the top ten of the respective charts could be conquered; this mark was only just missed in the USA with an eleventh place.
Many songs of this era were based on simple danceability, but “The Rhythm of the Night” embodies the attitude to life on the dance floors of the time like hardly any other hit!
06. Peter Andre – Mysterious Girl
In retrospect, it’s hard to say what percentage of the resounding success of his single “Mysterious Girl” was due to Peter Andre’s pronounced abdominal muscles – all that’s certain is that the reggae-influenced pop number was one of the most successful of all time most relaxed summer hits of the year 1996 was. The British rapper, who grew up in Australia, was supported by Jamaican rapper Bubbler Ranx, who also stood by him in the waist-deep water of the music video shot in Thailand.
For the listeners in New Zealand, all this was worth the first place in the charts there, while in the United Kingdom it was “only” enough for the second place.
07. Spice Girls – Wannabe
To call the Spice Girls’ debut success would be the understatement of the decade: the release of their very first single, “Wannabe,” in the summer of 1996 created an instant hype around the five-member band Girl group Triggered. Seven weeks at the top of the domestic charts in England and four in the United States impressively underline that half the world had succumbed to the pop-packaged empowerment message of Scary, Ginger, Baby, Posh and Sporty Spice.
To this day, the first few bars are enough to get not only the female guests on the dance floor in raptures!
08. Blur – Song 2
The rockiest entry on this list comes from Blur and is a rather untypical song for the Britpop great herself – nevertheless, it is probably her best-known song to date. The intro, reminiscent of “Smells like Teen Spirit,” is probably no coincidence: the song, which never got beyond its working title, is said to have been intended as a slight dig at grunge.
Especially by the maximum catchy “Who-Hoo!” the number could easily establish itself as a 9 party hit; also, the frequent use on soundtracks or in commercials keeps it in the memory since its release in 1997.
09. Haddaway – What is Love?
There might be no other question that especially European night owls of the 1990s have asked themselves so often on the dancefloor! Unforgettable is the lament of Haddaway, covered with an extra portion of echo, whose love described in this song is not returned – his request that one may hurt him no longer sounds there only understandable.
While the single produced in Germany landed there in second place on the charts, today’s Eurodance standard work was granted the top among other things in Belgium, France, Italy, Switzerland or also Norway.
10. MC Hammer – U can’t touch this
No break enriches a party as much as the one from “U can’t touch this”; first released as a single in January 1990. The song’s suitability for celebrations is given by the beat based on Rick James’ “Super Freak,” while MC Hammer provides “magic on the mic.” He set the first fashion exclamation mark of the then still young decade with his extravagant pants!
The accompanying album “Please Hammer, Don’t Hurt ‘Em” also enjoyed a groundbreaking 21 weeks at the top of the Billboard charts.
11. Rednex – Cotton Eye Joe
Country and dance are not genres that are too often mentioned in the same breath – and it is precisely this circumstance that probably enabled the Swedish music project Rednex to achieve such success in the late summer of 1994. Their idiosyncratic Performeration of “Cotton-Eyed Joe,” a traditional folk song from the United States, made barns shake all over Europe: In Germany alone, more than a million units of the single were sold, and for ten weeks, Rednex occupied the top of the charts.
It’s no wonder that especially contemporaries quickly become passionate cowboys and cowgirls again when the firewater flows and this tried and true party song is heard!
12. Lou Bega – Mambo № 5 (A little bit of…)
Ladies and gentlemen, this is one of the most successful musical export hits of all time: A full 50 years after the “King of Mambo” Pérez Prado provided the musical foundation, Lou Bega and his team of producers succeeded in creating a worldwide hit with a modernized new version. The single, produced in Germany, was first released in April 1999, before continuing its international triumph in the summer and finally reaching the coveted top position of the charts in more than 20 countries.
Even the listeners in the United States succumbed to Bega’s charming performance and rewarded her with third place in the Billboard Top 100.
13. Will Smith – Men in Black
The science-fiction comedy “Men in Black” was the third most successful movie of 1997. The audience was impressed visually because the title song performed by Will Smith was at least as famous and reached the top of the charts in Australia, Belgium, France, Germany, Hungary, and the United Kingdom. It didn’t make it to the top of the charts in the USA, of all places, but only because it was never officially released as a single there.
The song, in which Smith raps from the point of view of his film character, was nevertheless played up and down on the radio!
14. Aqua – Barbie Girl
Hardly any other song reflects the squeaky-colorful and wacky shrill side of the 1990s as much as the third single of this Danish-Norwegian dance group does. Therefore, it is not surprising that band member Søren Rasted (once husband of frontwoman Lene Nystrøm) was inspired to write the number after visiting a kitsch exhibition! Also, not very surprising: Toy manufacturer Mattel was not enthusiastic about the expressive use of Barbie and Ken and took the matter to court.
Magnificent chart successes were nevertheless recorded around the globe; including the prestigious number one position in England, Australia, France, Germany, or New Zealand.
15. Gala – Freed from Desire
Released in 1996, this incredibly catchy Eurodance number gave New York-based but Italian-born singer Gala her most significant success: In Belgium and France, it has been enough for the top position of the respective singles charts, while in Ireland, Italy or England she has only just missed it. The song experienced a second spring more than 20 years after its release, as a version re-penned for Northern Ireland striker Will Grigg first went viral. Shortly after that, it was loudly sung in the stadiums of the European Football Championship in France.
16. 2 Unlimited – No Limit
A driving, almost aggressive techno beat for the mainstream and the unmistakable announcement that there are no limits: It’s straightforward dancefloor math that the fifth single of this Belgian-Dutch music project has distinguished itself as a legendary party song of the 1990s. In its release (1993), “No Limit” was one of the most successful singles throughout Europe and made it to the charts from Australia to Zimbabwe.
The duo, represented by rapper Ray Slijngaard and singer Anita Doth, did not achieve a commercial breakthrough in the United States, but their biggest hit is still heard there through sports events.
17. Culture Beat – Mr. Vain
Culture Beat also used the combination of a rapper and a singer, which was extremely popular in the 1990s; in this case, it was Jay Supreme and Tania Evans. The duo’s biggest hit was produced by Torsten Fenslau, who had already made a name for himself in the Frankfurt music scene by this time.
Unfortunately, he could not enjoy the success of his protégés for very long – only half a year after the first release of “Mr. Eiffel 65″ he had to give up. Vain” in April 1993 he died due to a car accident. Until then, however, he was able to witness Culture Beat taking eleven other top positions in Europe in addition to the German one!
18. Eiffel 65 – Blue (Da Ba Dee)
Even at the time of its release in October 1998, this song by the dance act Eiffel 65, which was still a trio at the time, was polarizing: While some people immediately turned off annoyed at the sound of “Yo listen up, here’s the story…”, others were only too happy to indulge in the story of a little guy in a blue world – and the latter faction was at least big enough to enable the Turiners to achieve by far the best chart positions of their career. In addition to several A’s throughout Europe, there was also sixth place in the USA.
19. CeCe Peniston – Finally
After the just 21-year-old CeCe Peniston had already stirred up the dance charts in her native U.S. in the fall of 1991, the following spring it was also about the masses: With her debut single, the singer also achieved the most remarkable triumph of her career, which critics attribute in particular to the infectiously positive effect of the music she performed. The balanced mix of house, hip-hop, and pop recruited fans from a wide variety of camps and helped Peniston reach fifth place on the Billboard Top 100.
Then as now a foolproof bank in the club!
20. 2Pac featuring Dr. Dre & Roger Troutman – California Love
Even in the 1990s, it didn’t have to be the trendy Eurodance at any price to guarantee a full dance floor. The most casual proof with the mainstream appeal was laid down by Tupac Shakur alongside his producer Dr.
Dre in December 1995 in the form of “California Love”! With additional support from Roger Troutman on the hook, the comeback number after Shakur’s prison stay placed ahead of all other singles in the domestic U.S. and Italy, New Zealand, and Sweden for a time. Under circumstances that remain unexplained to this day, 2Pac, who was often among the best rappers of all time Counted, just nine months after the release of “California Love.” been shot.
Places 21-106 of the best party hits from the 1990s:
Each song is linked to the corresponding music video via the title.
|21.||Ice Ice Baby||Vanilla Ice||1990|
|22.||Losing My Religion||R.E.M.||1991|
|25.||How Do You Do||Roxette||1992|
|28.||It’s My Life||Dr. Alban||1992|
|29.||Promised Myself||Nick Kamen||1990|
|30.||I’ve Been Thinking About You||Londonbeat||1990|
|32.||Zehn kleine Jägermeister||Die Toten Hosen||1996|
|33.||Love Is All Around||Wet Wet Wet||1995|
|35.||Captain Jack||Captain Jack||1995|
|36.||Samba De Janeiro||Bellini||1997|
|37.||I Want It That Way||Backstreet Boys||1999|
|39.||Out of the Dark||Falco||1998|
|40.||Carnaval de Paris||Dario G||1998|
|42.||Be My Lover||La Bouche||1995|
|43.||Freed From Desire||Gala||1997|
|44.||Around The World||Daft Punk||1997|
|45.||Open Sesame||Leila K.||1993|
|46.||Time To Say Goodbye (Con Te Partiro)||Sarah Brightman, Andrea Bocelli||1995|
|50.||The Rhythm of the Night||Corona||1994|
|51.||Let’s Talk About Sex||Salt-n-Pepa||1991|
|52.||November Rain||Guns N`Roses||1991|
|54.||Two Times||Ann Lee||—||1999|
|55.||Herz An Herz||Blümchen||1995|
|56.||Coco Jambo||Mr. President||1996|
|57.||Nordic By Nature||Fettes Brot||1995|
|58.||Max Don’t Have Sex With Your Ex||E Rotic||—||1995|
|59.||Shy Guy||Diana King||1995|
|62.||No Good (Start The Dance)||The Prodigy||1994|
|63.||Nothing Compares 2 U||Sinéad O’Connor||1990|
|64.||Baby One More Time||Britney Spears||1999|
|65.||Crazy for You||David Hasselhoff||1990|
|66.||Smells Like Teen Spirit||Nirvana||1991|
|68.||Happy Nation||Ace of Base||1993|
|69.||Der Berg Ruft||K2||1994|
|70.||Gonna Make You Sweat (Everbody Dance Now)||C&C Music Factory||1990|
|72.||Die da!?!||Die Fantastischen Vier||1992|
|73.||I’m Too Sexy||Right Said Fred||1992|
|74.||Rhythm Is A Dancer||Snap||1992|
|76.||I’ll Be Missing You||Puff Daddy, Faith Evans feat. 112||1997|
|77.||Rescue Me||Bell Book & Candle||1998|
|78.||Sing Hallelujah||Dr. Alban||1993|
|79.||Show Me Love||Robin S.||1993|
|80.||Kleiner Satellit (Piep, Piep)||Blümchen||1996|
|81.||Here We Go||Stakka Bo||1993|
|82.||I Like To Move It||Reel 2 Real||1994|
|83.||Lick it||20 Fingers||1995|
|85.||(Everything I Do) I Do It For You||Bryan Adams||1991|
|87.||I Can’t Dance||Genesis||1991|
|89.||Push The Feeling on||Nightcrawlers||1994|
|90.||More And More||Captain Hollywood Project||1992|
|92.||Whoop! (There It Is)||Tag Team||—||1993|
|93.||Runaway Train||Soul Asylum||1992|
|94.||Boom Boom Boom||Vengaboys||1999|
|95.||Think about the Way||Ice Mc||1994|
|97.||Feel the Heat of the Night||Masterboy||1994|
|99.||Hand in Hand||Dune||1996|
|100.||Rock My Heart||Haddaway||1994|
|101.||Faster Harder Scooter||Scooter||1999|
|103.||Right Here (Human Nature Radio Mix)||SWV||1992|
|104.||Just A Girl||No Doubt||1995|
|105.||Two Princes||Spin Doctors||1991|
|106.||Da Bomb||Inner Circle||1997|
90s party hits Spotify playlist:
If you wanted to celebrate this memorable decade, you found the right music for it. Without a doubt, it was straightforward with a preference for driving Eurodance, but even beyond that, the 1990s numerous lovable earworms, to which the ravages of time can do very little harm!