The year 1992 was right in the middle of the grunge movement, which was at a time when raw dirty vocals mixed with heavy instruments created an amazing sound that reverberated out of Seattle into the mainstream. While grunge music was popular in 1992, there were many other tracks from that time that were also amazing. Keep reading to find out the 31 best songs from 1992 that we’ve included on our list!
1. Sometimes Love Just Ain’t Enough – Patty Smyth Feat. Don Henley
First on our list is Sometimes Love Just Ain’t Enough by Patty Smyth and Don Henley, which is one of the most iconic songs of the decade. This track came out after he had just left his band The Eagles and she left Scandal. It peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for six weeks and earned the duo a Grammy Award nomination.
2. November Rain – Guns N’ Roses
Next up is the timeless song November Rain by rock group Guns N’ Roses, and this track landed on the Billboard Hot 100 at number three. The song is all about having one of those come-to-Jesus moments within a relationship and how quickly a relationship can burn out.
What’s interesting is that the radio version of the track had to be cut by four minutes to make it more appealing, and it seems to have paid off since this was one of the biggest songs of 1992. It charted in several countries when it was released, and it recently was in the movie Thor: Love And Thunder.
3. I Will Always Love You – Whitney Houston
If you’ve watched the movie The Bodyguard then you know the next song, which is I Will Always Love You by Whitney Houston. This is known as one of the biggest tracks of her career and made the song a global hit. While Dolly Parton wrote the track in 1974, it’s the version by Houston that has garnered the most love and attention through the years. Her powerhouse vocals and emotion helped her win awards for it, including winning Record Of The Year.
4. Harvest Moon – Neil Young
Neil Young makes our list with his hit song Harvest Moon, which comes from the album of the same name. This track is a love ballad that talks about a guy that has been in love with his significant other for years and is still in love with her after all of those years. This is a timeless and classic love song that went to number 36 on the UK Singles chart and has been covered by artists including Josh Groban. You might know this track from the movie Eat Pray Love.
5. Would? – Alice in Chains
Next up is a tribute song to Mother Love Bone frontman Andy Wood, which is the track Would? by grunge band Alice In Chains. Guitarist Jerry Cantrell wrote this song as a dedication to Wood who had died from a heroin overdose right before the debut Mother Love Bone album was released. It’s thought that Mother Love Bone was the originator of grunge music, although Wood never got to see his career take off.
Would? can be interpreted in a lot of ways, but the main theme is about life and death and the choices we all make. The track is found in the movie Singles but has appeared in video games including Burnout Paradise. Other bands have covered this song through the years including Stone Sour, Breaking Benjamin, and Opeth. It is still a huge hit today and is one of the band’s most successful tracks.
6. Plush – Stone Temple Pilots
Sticking with the grunge theme, up next is Plush by the band Stone Temple Pilots with Scott Weiland at the helm. The song comes from Core, which was their debut album and went to number one on the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart.
Weiland had said that it is inspired by an article he read in the newspaper about a woman who was kidnapped and then found dead. He had also gone on to say that the track is about a failed relationship. This song remains one of their most-played tracks and is beloved by fans everywhere.
7. Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover – Sophie B. Hawkins
Next is the song Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover by Sophie B. Hawkins, which was her debut single. In this track, she is talking about a woman that is being abused by her significant other, and she wants to be with this woman and rescue her from this bad situation. She then goes on in the song to detail the kind of life they would have if they were together. The vocals in this track are amazing, and it helped start her career in the music industry.
8. Baby Got Back – Sir Mix-A-Lot
On our list next is the classic song Baby Got Back by Sir Mix-A-Lot, which comes from his album Mack Daddy. This track is a positive song about women’s butts, and it’s not only catchy but has a really cool beat too. It charted in eight countries and was one of the biggest songs of 1992 becoming the second-biggest in sales for the year.
While Sir Mix-A-Lot never achieved the same success with follow-up tunes, this is still a popular song with it being in multiple television shows and movies such as Family Guy, Scary Movie 4, and Pitch Perfect 2.
9. Jump – Kriss Kross
Next is Jump by Kriss Kross from their album Totally Krossed Out, and this was their most popular and well-known song that was played virtually everywhere in the 90s. The hip hop duo created a hit with it, which became the third biggest-selling track of the year and helped launch them into international success.
10. End Of The Road – Boyz II Men
Boyz II Men are on our list with End Of The Road, which is a story about a relationship that is over but the guy isn’t willing to accept that fact yet. This song was a huge hit for the group, and it topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart for more than 13 weeks! It also charted in multiple countries and won two Grammy Awards. The track is one of their biggest hits and is still played regularly on the radio and is found in movies and television shows such as Boomerang.
11. Under The Bridge – Red Hot Chili Peppers
Next is the Red Hot Chili Peppers with the song Under The Bridge, which is a track about addiction and isolation and never wanting to go back to those drug days. This song was a massive hit, and it topped the charts in several countries and really made them a household name and a more serious rock band.
12. Nearly Lost You – Screaming Trees
Nearly Lost You by The Screaming Trees is on our list because this song became an instant hit with lyrics that were soulful and beautiful just like lead singer Mark Lanegan’s voice. The track is found in the movie Singles and charted in the US and in other countries such as the UK.
13. Runaway Train – Soul Asylum
Next is Runaway Train by Soul Asylum, which is on our list because of its iconic music video featuring missing men, women, and children. This song landed on the Billboard Hot 100 and peaked at number five and was an international success. It’s a track that originally started out about depression and spun into a song that captivated people all over the world.
14. Rooster – Alice In Chains
Alice In Chains appears on our list again with their hit song Rooster, which was written by guitarist Jerry Cantrell about his father’s time in the Vietnam War, and his nickname as a child was Rooster. This track peaked at number seven on the Mainstream Rock chart and spent a total of 20 weeks on it.
15. Real Love – Mary J. Blige
Next is Mary J. Blige with her hit Real Love, which is about a woman who is taking control of her life and isn’t going to settle anymore for a man that isn’t good enough for her. This song helped her become an international success, and it charted in multiple countries.
16. The One – Elton John
The One by Elton John makes our list because the song is all about trying to find true love and how hard that is in real life. This track charted in multiple countries and reached number one. While he didn’t win, he did receive a Grammy nomination for the song.
17. Give Him Something He Can Feel – En Vogue
En Vogue is on our list with Give Him Something He Can Feel, which was a cover of the 1976 Aretha Franklin song. They made the track sexy, and it’s all about giving their significant other affection. It landed at number one on the Billboard Hot R&B charts and is one of their most well-known songs.
18. To Be With You – Mr. Big
Next is Mr. Big with their song To Be With You, which comes from their album Lean Into It, and this is one of their most well-known tracks. The inspiration for this song comes from the lead singer knowing a girl years ago that was always treated badly by her boyfriends, and he wanted to be her knight in shining armor and save her from those bad guys. The song hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
19. Pretend We’re Dead – L7
L7 is on our list with their song Pretend We’re Dead from their album Bricks Are Heavy. The track peaked at number eight on the Billboard Modern Rock chart and spent a total of 20 weeks on it. This song received success internationally and has been in video games such as Rock Band 2.
20. Walking On Broken Glass – Annie Lennox
Next is Annie Lennox with her song Walking On Broken Glass, which was the first track she released as a solo artist. The song is upbeat and positive but the lyrics are melancholy and about the misery that accompanies breaking up with a lover. In the track, the heartache is compared to walking on pieces of broken glass.
21. Jump Around – House Of Pain
House Of Pain is on our list next with Jump Around, which is the biggest hit from the group that comes from their debut album. This track is beloved by millions and is regarded as one of the best club and dance songs ever. It peaked at number three on the charts and is often referred to as one of the best hip hop tracks of all time and the best songs of the decade.
22. Creep – Radiohead
Creep was the debut single released by Radiohead, and this song makes our list because it’s one of their biggest hits and ended up becoming one of the top tracks of 1992. This song reached number two on the Billboard Alternative Airplay chart and 34 on the Billboard Hot 100. It’s still a track that is played regularly today on the radio and was instantly a fan favorite.
23. No Rain – Blind Melon
Blind Melon makes our list with their signature song No Rain, which helped launch the band to international success. The track is from their debut album, and the music video with the girl in the bee costume is one of the most iconic and classic aspects of it. The song charted in multiple countries and became an instant hit, landing number one on the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart. Sadly, the lead singer, Shannon Hoon, died of a drug overdose in 1995.
24. All I Want – Toad The Wet Sprocket
Calling all fans of Dawson’s Creek, you might know All I Want by Toad The Wet Sprocket. This song was incredibly popular in 1992, which is all about yearning for a sense of fulfillment that you know won’t last. This track was one of the most popular by the band and charted in more than six countries.
25. Man On The Moon – R.E.M.
R.E.M. makes our list with the hit song Man On The Moon, which comes from the album Automatic For The People. This track helped them become a household name, and because it’s a little more positive and upbeat, it helped them build up their fan base even more. There are references to Andy Kaufman in the song while some of the lyrics still remain a little cryptic. It was an international success and charted in over 12 countries!
26. Save The Best For Last – Vanessa Williams
Next is Vanessa Williams with her hit song Save The Best For Last from the album The Comfort Zone. This track took the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100 for more than five weeks and became the biggest hit song of her music career. She was nominated for Grammy Awards for it including for Record Of The Year and Song Of The Year.
27. Dreams – The Cranberries
On The Cranberries’ album Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We was the song Dreams, and this track helped them become an international success. It was their debut, and the song is all about how excited you are when you’re in love for the first time. Lead singer Dolores O’Riordan sang about the hope she felt during her first romantic relationship. It was a huge hit and charted in more than 13 countries, which helped them become a household name.
28. Personal Jesus – Depeche Mode
Depeche Mode is one of the biggest bands of the 90s and their song Personal Jesus makes our list because it was unique compared to their other tracks, which were more pop and synth focused. In this song, guitars were featured prominently throughout, so it was a change for the band, and a good change because this track became a huge hit.
29. I’m Too Sexy – Right Said Fred
Right Said Fred had a song on the album Up called I’m Too Sexy, and this track makes our list of one of the top songs from 1992. The Fairbrass brothers, who are members of Right Said Fred, had a gym in London and often saw people posing in front of the mirrors, and it was obvious that those gym-goers were narcissists.
It just happened that one day Richard Fairbrass decided to take his shirt off and then mocked them by saying “I’m too sexy for my shirt” and then it spawned into a track. While it started as an indie rock song, it ended up becoming a dance track and was one of the biggest hits of the year.
30. Achy Breaky Heart – Billy Ray Cyrus
Up next is a song that doesn’t need an introduction, which is the song Achy Breaky Heart by country star Billy Ray Cyrus from the album Some Gave All. This track took over the radio when it was released in 1992, and the music video showing him in tight pants really helped this song take off. Even though this was a country tune, it ended up crossing over genres, and people of all musical tastes were listening to this track.
31. Everything About You – Ugly Kid Joe
Last on our list is Ugly Kid Joe with their song Everything About You, which was their debut single from their album As Ugly As They Wanna Be. This track was making fun of all of the glam, hair metal, and other bands that were popular during that time. The funny thing was that it was full of contempt, and it wasn’t supposed to make them famous but it did, especially when it was included in the movie Wayne’s World.
Top one hit wonders of the 90s
From the time she was little, Florence loved listening to music and quickly learned how music can make you happy and feel fulfilled. One of her favorite memories is being in the garage with her dad working on classic cars with the local rock station blaring in the background. Ever since Florence was 3, she loved grunge music and spent hours listening to bands such as Alice in Chains, Mad Season, Soul Asylum, and Soundgarden.
She also enjoys classic rock, modern rock, nu metal, alternative rock, and old 90’s R&B. Her love of music grew as she got older, and used music to help her get through tough times in her life. More often than not, you’ll see Florence with earbuds in while she’s writing, cooking, cleaning, and doing other tasks. She also loves to debate music with her friends such as which lead singer is the best vocalist, the most iconic guitar solos in music, and what songs are really the best of the decade.