With the race officially on for summer song of this year, I thought it was the perfect time to revisit some former “summer song” title holders. The good folks over at Billboard.com have dug up the archives and tabulated the best summer songs of 1990s. Taking into account airplay and sales, they’ve listed the Top Ten songs of each year during the 90s decade.

What is about summer songs that bring forth a unique sense of nostalgia? Browsing through the Billboard list brought forth a flood of memories upon reading the songs of each year. I could literally recall the smell and visual the sights and experiences of that respective summer. If I could dig up my old mixtapes of yesteryear, 90% of these songs would’ve probably been on there.

Take a trip down memory lane and check out what teenagers were pumping out of boomboxes (does anyone still use that word) on the beach during the 90s. It’s interesting to see who’s still around and which artists have faded into music obscurity. Don’t forget to VOTE on which year in the 90s had the best summer songs.


1990 Summer Hits

OMG. “I’ve Got The Power” by Snap. Sh*t that brings back some memories of my friends and I choreographing dance moves and entering airband contests. LMFAO. Johnny Gill, Roxette, En Vogue and Mariah Carey all in one summer. YOWZA. At first glance, I couldn’t remember Glen Medeiros’ track. Then I YouTube’d it and WOW is all I have to say. The music video is so quintessential 90s, I can’t even stand it.

  • 1. “Vision Of Love” – Mariah Carey
  • 2. “Step By Step” – New Kids On The Block
  • 3. “She Ain’t Worth It” – Glen Medeiros feat. Bobby Brown
  • 4. “Cradle Of Love” – Billy Idol
  • 5. “It Must Have Been Love” – Roxette
  • 6. “If Wishes Came True” – Sweet Sensation
  • 7. “Hold On” – En Vogue
  • 8. “The Power” – Snap
  • 9. “Rub You The Right Way” – Johnny Gill
  • 10. “Unskinny Bop” – Poison

1991 Summer Hits

EMF and Rhythm Syndicate. Talk about one hit wonders. Remember the days when Paula Abdul and Amy Grant were frequent fixtures on pop radio. Yeah me neither. Is it wrong for me to admit that Color Me Badd’s song is my favorite on this list. “To The Tick Tock Ya Don’t Stop, To The Tick Top Ya Don’t Stop”. They don’t make lyrics like that anymore ;)

  • 1. “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You” – Bryan Adams
  • 2. “Rush Rush” – Paula Abdul
  • 3. “Unbelievable” – EMF
  • 4. “I Wanna Sex You Up” – Color Me Badd
  • 5. “Right Here, Right Now” – Jesus Jones
  • 6. “Every Heartbeat” – Amy Grant
  • 7. “It Ain’t Over ‘Til It’s Over” – Lenny Kravitz
  • 8. “Summertime” – DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince
  • 9. “P.A.S.S.I.O.N.” – Rhythm Syndicate
  • 10. “Fading Like A Flower (Every Time You Leave)” – Roxette

1992 Summer Hits

Apparently 1992 was a very somber and mellow year. Ballads by Boyz II Men, TLC, Mariah Carey, Madonna and Guns N’ Roses all ruled the summer airwaves. Thankfully Sir-Mix-A-Lot kept it real and declared his love for big-booty hooker rap girlfriends. Oh Miley, see your Dad once had a career of his own besides riding your coattails. Jon Secada??? whatever happened to him?

  • 1. “Baby Got Back” – Sir Mix-A-Lot
  • 2. “End Of The Road” – Boyz II Men
  • 3. “Baby-Baby-Baby” – TLC
  • 4. “I’ll Be There” – Mariah Carey
  • 5. “Under The Bridge” – Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • 6. “Achy Breaky Heart” – Billy Ray Cyrus
  • 7. “Just Another Day” – Jon Secada
  • 8. “This Used To Be My Playground” – Madonna
  • 9. “Life Is A Highway” – Tom Cochrane
  • 10. “November Rain” – Guns N’ Roses

1993 Summer Hits

1993 definitely is a contender in my books for best summer songs. My favorite Janet Jackson song of all time is here, along with SWV and Jodeci. And then you have some of the best one-hit wonders of all time with UB40, Tag Team, The Proclaimers and Robin S in the mix. That Proclaimers song totally reminds me of “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?”

  • 1. “Can’t Help Falling In Love” – UB40
  • 2. “Whoomp! (There It Is)” – Tag Team
  • 3. “Weak” – SWV
  • 4. “That’s The Way Love Goes” – Janet Jackson
  • 5. “Lately” – Jodeci
  • 6. “Knockin’ Da Boots” – H-Town
  • 7. “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” – The Proclaimers
  • 8. “Show Me Love” – Robin S.
  • 9. “Slam” – Onyx
  • 10. “I’ll Never Get Over You (Getting Over Me)” – Expose

1994 Summer Hits

Oh Lisa Loeb, oh I wished you would’ve “STAYED”. This summer brought us the very talented and very missed Aaliyah. With the return of Ace of Base in 2010, maybe he Swedish pop group could find themselves in next year’s Summer Song race. WOW. Coolio… remember him. I wonder what ever happened to that crazy braided hair fool? Probably on some “Fantastic Voyage”.

  • 1. “I Swear” – All-4-One
  • 2. “Stay (I Missed You)” – Lisa Loeb & Nine Stories
  • 3. “Don’t Turn Around” – Ace Of Base
  • 4. “Can You Feel The Love Tonight” – Elton John
  • 5. “Fantastic Voyage” – Coolio
  • 6. “Regulate” – Warren G & Nate Dogg
  • 7. “Any Time, Any Place / And On And On” – Janet Jackson
  • 8. “Back & Forth” – Aaliyah
  • 9. “Wild Night” – John Mellencamp with Me’Shell Ndegeocello
  • 10. “I’ll Make Love To You” – Boyz II Men

1995 Summer Hits

Oooooh, 1995 was another great summer of music. With the exception of the last two songs, this list is fan-frigging-tastic. It even had Seal before he became Mr. Heidi Klum. The Notorious B.I.G. and TLC tracks are still one of my favorite songs today. Oh Monica, I love how a song about a teenage girl’s period and menstruation cycle can make the cut.

  • 1. “Waterfalls” – TLC
  • 2. “Don’t Take It Personal (Just One Of Dem Days)” – Monica
  • 3. “One More Chance / Stay With Me” – The Notorious B.I.G.
  • 4. “Kiss From A Rose” – Seal
  • 5. “Water Runs Dry” – Boyz II Men
  • 6. “Boombastic / In The Summertime” – Shaggy
  • 7. “Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman?” – Bryan Adams
  • 8. “I Can Love You Like That” – All-4-One
  • 9. “Total Eclipse Of The Heart” – Nicki French
  • 10. “Run-Around” – “Blues Traveler

1996 Summer Hits

Coming off one of the best years in the 90s for summer songs, we arrive at probably the worst. Thankfully, the only time we ever have to hear Macarena these days, are at weddings. And hopefully then, I pray the DJ is being ironic with his playlist. Twisted, Always Be My Baby, One More Reason are the only three, I’d listen to today. During that summer, I wore out my cassette single of that Keith Sweat track. Yeah, cassette singles… remember those? Totally dated myself right there.

  • 1. “Macarena (Bayside Boys Mix)” – Los Del Rio
  • 2. “You’re Making Me High / Let It Flow” – Toni Braxton
  • 3. “Tha Crossroads” – Bone Thugs-N-Harmony
  • 4. “Give Me One Reason” – Tracy Chapman
  • 5. “How Do U Want It / California Love” – 2Pac feat. K-Ci And JoJo
  • 6. “C’mon N’ Ride It (The Train)” – Quad City DJs
  • 7. “Twisted” – Keith Sweat
  • 8. “Always Be My Baby” – Mariah Carey
  • 9. “Because You Loved Me” – Celine Dion
  • 10. “I Love You Always Forever” – Donna Lewis

1997 Summer Hits

Backstreet Boys, Spice Girls, Hanson and Robyn. We were definitely entering the golden age of bubble gum pop this year. In actuality, this year isn’t half bad for summer songs. Sure they’re cheesy but aren’t summer songs supposed to be? Oh, Meredith Brooks. Too bad Lilith Fair’s comeback this year didn’t live up to its glory days. And while we’re on the topic of glory days, Puff Daddy rocked, P. Diddy did not.

  • 1. “I’ll Be Missing You” – Puff Daddy & Faith Evans feat. 112
  • 2. “MMMBop” – Hanson
  • 3. “Bitch” – Meredith Brooks
  • 4. “Return Of The Mack” – Mark Morrison
  • 5. “Quit Playing Games (With My Heart)” – Backstreet Boys
  • 6. “Say You’ll Be There” – Spice Girls
  • 7. “Do You Know (What It Takes)” – Robyn
  • 8. “Semi-Charmed Life” – Third Eye Blind
  • 9. “Mo Money Mo Problems” – The Notorious B.I.G. feat. Puff Daddy & Mase
  • 10. “G.H.E.T.T.O.U.T.” – Changing Faces

1998 Summer Hits

I’m proud to say I was TEAM MONICA all the way. Sure I liked Brandy’s music and Moesha but Monica was hotter and more ghetto. I like my black divas to have a little swagger and hood. Oh Sarah, another musical gem reminding us all on when your all-girl concert was relevant. Shania Twain, I LOVE YOU. You looked absolutely stunning in this video. One of the best songs EVER. Guilty pleasure admission time. I still love groovin’ to the Next track. Even while I was typing that last sentence, I started to swaying back and forth.

  • 1. “The Boy Is Mine” – Brandy & Monica
  • 2. “You’re Still The One” – Shania Twain
  • 3. “Too Close” – Next
  • 4. “My Way” – Usher
  • 5. “Aida” – Sarah McLachlan
  • 6. “My All” – Mariah Carey
  • 7. “Come With Me” – Puff Daddy feat. Jimmy Page
  • 8. “Everybody [Backstreet's Back]” – Backstreet Boys
  • 9. “Make It Hot” – Nicole feat. Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott & Mocha
  • 10. “All My Life” – K-Ci & JoJo

1999 Summer Hits

“Can you pay my bills, can you pay my telephone bills, can you pay my automo’bills” Those lyrics are classic. Any year with a Whitney song is a contender in my book. Oh oh oh, 702, “Where my girls at”. Totally underrated and those hookers should’ve lasted longer than they did. Remember when Ricky Martin was livin’ la vida loca by being in the closet. Thankfully someone rubbed his genie the right way and he popped out of that bottle.

  • 1. “Genie In A Bottle” – Christina Aguilera
  • 2. “If You Had My Love” – Jennifer Lopez
  • 3. “Bills, Bills, Bills” – Destiny’s Child
  • 4. “Last Kiss” – Pearl Jam
  • 5. “Where My Girls At?” – 702
  • 6. “I Want It That Way” – Backstreet Boys
  • 7. “All Star” – Smash Mouth
  • 8. “Wild Wild West” – Will Smith feat. Dru Hill & Kool Moe Dee
  • 9. “Livin’ La Vida Loca” – Ricky Martin
  • 10. “It’s Not Right But It’s Okay” – Whitney Houston

What Year In The 90s Had The Best Summer Songs?

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Wow. That’s a lot of songs and a lot of memories. I can’t decide which year is my favorite. I can’t decided between 1993, 1995, 1997 and 1999. Which year do you think was the best? and which was the worst?