Close your eyes, slap on a bracelet, and take yourself back twenty years to a magical time for music known as 1995. '90s songs are obviously amazing, but this time was a particularly special when you consider the songs we were listening to in 1995. Bubblegum pop hadn't quite taken over yet, Madonna was still relevant, and hip-hop was dominating the charts in new, and unexpected ways. Like, I don't want to hyperbolize, but T.L.C. was so damn popular that if they had ran for president in 1996, they legitimately probably would have definitely won (fortunately for our ears, though, the "Scrubs" scribes stuck to creating more amazing music).
In trying times, a little bit of nostalgia can go a long way. While romanticizing the past can be an unhealthy emotional pattern, I must admit that it warms my cold little heart to remember Boyz II Men looking fly in their white suits, the weird clips from Batman Forever in Seal's "Kiss From a Rose" video, or the creepy bullfighter in Madonna's "Take A Bow." And why did we ever stop listening to Alanis Morissette!?! (That's a trick question: I never stopped listening to Alanis Morissette).
Without further ado, here are 11 of the most iconic, catchy, era-defining tunes that we all couldn't get enough of in 1995! (Note: I know it was a big hit in 1995, but Rednex's "Cotton Eye Joe" will NOT be on this list, because it's terrible).
"I'm The Only One" — Melissa Etheridge
If you've never drunkenly sang this song at karaoke while intensely holding eye contact with the person you're dating to the point you make everyone involved deeply uncomfortable, then you've never lived (you've also probably never been dumped by your partner at a karaoke bar).
"I'll Make Love To You" — Boyz II Men
True story: the premise for this song's video casts Scream 2 star Duane Martin as a home security technician who enters into a sexual relationship with a client. Incidentally, this is the same premise for every soft core pornographic film ever.
"Gangsta's Paradise" — Coolio, featuring L.V.
Thanks to its attachment to the film Dangerous Minds, this song will forever be linked in my mind to Michelle Pfeiffer using her beauty and marine training to teach English to inner city gang members.
"Don't Go Chasing Waterfalls" — T.L.C.
We all always suspected that T.L.C. could walk on water... and this video proves it.
"This Is How We Do It" — Montell Jordan
Just like Nelly's "Hot in Herre" made it impossible in 2002 to observe a sudden rise in temperature without someone tripping over themselves to quip, "SO TAKE OFF ALL YOUR CLOTHES," the song "This Is How We Do It" made it impossible to ask anybody how they went about doing something in 1995.
"I Can Love You Like That" — All-4-One
This song was covered literally 72 times in 1995, but Boyz II Men knock-off All-4-One took the song to new heights of mainstream popularity.
"I Can Love You Like That" — John Michael Montgomery
I'm not kidding about how many people sang this song in 1995.
"Take A Bow" — Madonna
If Madonna knew at the time that this song would be her last number one single of the '90s, she may have named it something less bittersweet.
"Big Poppa/Warning" — The Notorious B.I.G.
Interesting tidbit: throughout March and April of 1995, this song alternated with 2Pac's "Dear Mama/Old School" for the number one spot. Ultimately, "Big Poppa" held the spot for a total of nine weeks, while "Dear Mama" totalled five.
"Kiss From a Rose" — Seal
The runaway hit from the first Batman movie spent way, way too long at the top of the charts. I'm pretty sure it's still number one slow jazz track.
"You Oughta Know" — Alanis Morissette
Call me crazy, but something about Alanis Morissette's tone makes me think she's being insincere when says she wishes nothing but the best for Uncle Joey and his new girlfriend. I can't quite put my finger on it, but I don't think she means it. #subtext