A lot of people will remember 1993 as one of the years when grunge music took over the airwaves, but can you remember what tracks were popular that year? Whether you’re planning a playlist or just want to look back on some of the best tunes from that time, read our list of the 41 best songs from 1993 and see what was popular!
1. I Will Always Love You – Whitney Houston
First on our list is Whitney Houston with the hit song I Will Always Love You, which was originally sung by Dolly Parton. Whitney’s version was for the film The Bodyguard, which she starred in, and it’s her vocal performance that stands out in this track. More than 20 million copies of this single have been sold, and her version was put into the Library of Congress because it’s the most iconic version of this powerful tune.
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2. Mr. Jones – Counting Crows
Next is the Counting Crows with Mr. Jones, which was a huge hit in 1993 and was actually their debut. This catchy tune was one of the biggest pop songs of the year with it landing at number two on the Mainstream Rock, Mainstream Top 40, and Alternative Airplay charts. It’s a very whimsical and fun track where lead singer Adam Duritz dreams about becoming a celebrity.
3. Linger – The Cranberries
The Cranberries released Linger on their debut album Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We? This song stayed on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for over 24 weeks and peaked at number eight! It is thought to be one of their signature tracks, and it was incredibly successful commercially with a ton of airplay on MTV.
4. Runaway Train – Soul Asylum
Soul Asylum makes the list with their hit song Runaway Train, which was one of the biggest tracks of the 90s and featured a music video showcasing missing children and adults. It was in heavy rotation on MTV and that helped it reach number three on the Mainstream Rock chart and peaked at five on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
5. That’s The Way Love Goes – Janet Jackson
Janet Jackson had many hits in the 90s including That’s The Way Love Goes, and this song was released on her album Janet. This track was one of the biggest hits that year with it staying at the number-one position on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for eight weeks! Critics loved this song because they said it was vocally one of her most extravagant and soulful tracks to date.
6. All Apologies – Nirvana
During the early 90s, Nirvana ruled the airwaves, and All Apologies was one of their smash hits, which was dedicated to Courtney Love and Frances Bean Cobain. It wasn’t too long after this song was released that lead singer Kurt Cobain killed himself, and this track remains an iconic part of the legacy he left behind.
7. No Rain – Blind Melon
Blind Melon is best remembered for their song No Rain, which features an iconic music video with a little girl in a bee costume. While they had a few hits, it was their biggest one, and it peaked at 20 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It also landed at number one on the Modern Rock Tracks and Album Rock Tracks charts.
8. (I Can’t Help) Falling In Love With You – UB40
Next is a cover of the Elvis Presley song (I Can’t Help) Falling In Love With You by UB40, which was on their album Promises And Lies. It hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and was an international hit charting in 11 countries outside of America. This band added a reggae touch to the track, and it was in the trailer for the film Fools Rush In.
9. Creep – Radiohead
The debut song from Radiohead is next, which is Creep, and this track was on the album Pablo Honey. It’s one of the biggest anthems of the 90s for those who considered themselves to be outcasts. The line “But I’m, a creep, I’m a weirdo” is one of the most iconic song lyrics ever and it is still the most successful track that the band has released to date.
10. Whoomp! (There It Is) – Tag Team
If you’ve ever been to a club or bar in the 90s, then you know the next song because it was everywhere back in the 90s. We’re talking about the Tag Team hit Whoomp! (There It Is). This track is a classic and iconic song that is still getting a ton of radio play today.
11. What’s Up – 4 Non Blondes
Next is What’s Up by 4 Non Blondes which was on Bigger, Better, Faster, More! The song made it to 59 on the Billboard Hot 100, 23 on the Rhythmic Chart, and 19 on the Dance Club Songs Chart.
12. Jeremy – Pearl Jam
Jeremy by Pearl Jam is a classic song that depicts a true story lead singer Eddie Vedder read in a newspaper about a boy who had shot himself in front of his classmates. The music video was controversial because of the gun being placed in the boy’s mouth, and Pearl Jam didn’t make another video for years after this one. This track made it to five on the Alternative Airplay and Mainstream Rock charts.
13. It Was A Good Day – Ice Cube
Ice Cube had a hit with It Was A Good Day, and this is a rap track that’s positive and is all about looking at the glass half-full. The optimism in this song is why it was such a hit, and it is a track that still receives a lot of airplay even though it’s much lighter than a lot of other rap songs.
14. Cryin’ – Aerosmith
Calling all fans of Alicia Silverstone, the next song is where she made her music video debut. We’re talking about Cryin’ by Aerosmith, and this track is one of their most well-known ballads. It hit number one on the Mainstream Rock chart, 11 on the Mainstream Top 40, and hit 12 on the Billboard Hot 100.
15. Weak – SWV
SWV had a hit with their song Weak, and this track came from their debut album It’s About Time. This song is thought to be one of the best tracks by a girl group ever, and it made it to number one on the Billboard Hot 100, Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, and Rhythmic chart.
16. Insane In The Brain – Cypress Hill
A song you probably will remember is Insane In The Brain by Cypress Hill, which was released on the album Black Sunday, and it’s all about weed. This track was a huge hit and reached 19 on the Billboard Hot 100, and it made it to number one on the Rap charts. VH1 considers this one of the best hip hop songs of all time.
17. Fields Of Gold – Sting
Sting makes the list with the song Fields Of Gold, which is a great track about love and how quickly time can pass by. There is a field where a couple is walking in the summer and it creates a golden view of their relationship. If you’re a fan of how he has a folk style to his voice and music, then you’ll love this song.
18. Dreamlover – Mariah Carey
Coming from her album Music Box is the track Dreamlover by Mariah Carey. This was one of the biggest hits of the year, hitting number one on the Billboard Hot 100, Rhythmic, Dance Club Songs, and Mainstream Top 40 charts! One reason why this track was so successful was the vocal style was incredibly difficult, and it had a great R&B vibe to it.
19. Rump Shaker – Wreckx-N-Effect
Next is Rump Shaker, which is by Wreckx-N-Effect and comes from the album Hard Or Smooth. The song features James Brown samples and even a saxophone! It was one of the biggest dance and R&B tracks of the year, making it to number one on the Hot Rap Singles chart and number two on the Billboard Hot 100.
20. Soul To Squeeze – Red Hot Chili Peppers
Soul To Squeeze is on our list by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and while this was released in 1991 on the album Blood Sugar Sex Magik, it wasn’t until 1993 when it was released as a single that it became popular. One reason for its popularity in 1993 was that it was on the soundtrack for The Coneheads movie.
21. In The Still Of The Nite – Boyz II Men
Next is the cover of In The Still Of The Nite, which was released by Boyz II Men, and this song was made for the miniseries on television called The Jacksons: An American Dream. It hit number three on the Billboard Hot 100 and peaked at number two on the Mainstream Top 40.
22. Informer – Snow
Snow is a reggae artist who had a hit with Informer, and this song is known for having less-than-easy lyrics to understand, but it’s a cool track that was a massive success. The Canadian artist landed at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and Dance Single Sales chart while also making it to one on the Hot Rap Songs chart too!
23. Nuthin’ But A “G” Thang – Dr. Dre
From The Chronic, which was the debut album of Dr. Dre, is the hit track Nuthin’ But A “G” Thang. This song is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and is thought of as one of the best tracks of all time. It went to number one on the Hot Rap Songs and Hot R7B/Hip-Hop Songs charts. It landed at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 and three on the Dance Single Sales chart.
24. Show Me Love – Robin S
Robin S is on the list with her song Show Me Love, which was released on an album of the same name. This track has an instrumental element that is one of the most memorable from the 90s, and it hit number one on the Dance Club Songs chart while making it to five on the Billboard Hot 100.
25. Have I Told You Lately – Rod Stewart
Next is Rod Stewart with his cover of the Van Morrison song Have I Told You Lately, which is one of the best covers of all time. It hit number one on the Adult Contemporary chart and stayed there for five weeks! It also hit four on the Mainstream Top 40 chart and is one of his most popular songs.
26. Are You Gonna Go My Way – Lenny Kravitz
Lenny Kravitz makes our list with Are You Gonna Go My Way. This track was released on the album with the same name. In the music video, there is a female drummer who has a huge afro and that’s one of the memorable elements of the video. This song landed at number one on the Album Rock Tracks chart and two on the Modern Rock Tracks chart.
27. A Whole New World (Aladdin’s Theme) – Peabo Bryson And Regina Belle
Calling all fans of Aladdin you might remember the track A Whole New World, which was a huge hit in 1993 as this was the theme song for the movie. The two won a Grammy for Best Pop Performance By a Duo or Group with Vocals for this performance.
28. I’ll Never Get Over You Getting Over Me – Exposé
Up next is I’ll Never Get Over You (Getting Over Me) by Exposé on their self-titled album. This was an emotional and powerful song by the female group that made its way into the number one position on the Adult Contemporary chart and hit eight on the Billboard Hot 100.
29. Plush – Stone Temple Pilots
Plush by Stone Temple Pilots makes our list, which was released on the album Core in 1993. Lead singer Scott Weiland had a very grunge-like voice and it was similar to Eddie Vedder. This is one of their most popular songs, and it hit number one on the Mainstream Rock chart.
30. I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) – The Proclaimers
While I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) was released before 1993, it wasn’t until that year that this song by The Proclaimers became a hit when it was used in the comedy movie Benny & Joon. It hit number three on the Billboard Hot 100 chart after this movie was released and people began to enjoy this unique track.
31. Mr. Wendal – Arrested Development
Arrested Development wrote this song about the issues facing homeless people, and Mr. Wendal made it to number one on the Dance Club Songs chart while hitting six on the Billboard Hot 100.
32. Who Am I (What’s My Name)? – Snoop Dogg
Snoop Dogg released Who Am I (What’s My Name)? as his debut single, and this track landed at number one on the Hot Rap Songs chart. It’s one of his classic hits from Doggy Style.
33. The River Of Dreams – Billy Joel
Billy Joel released The River Of Dreams, and it hit number one on the Adult Contemporary chart, number two on the Mainstream Top 40, and three on the Billboard Hot 100. This is one of his most popular songs even today.
34. If I Ever Fall In Love – Shai
Up next is Shai with If I Ever Fall In Love, which was the debut song from the quartet. It hit two on the Billboard Hot 100 and number one on the R&B charts. In the UK, this was their only track to make the charts.
35. Ditty – Paperboy
Next is Paperboy with the song Ditty, which was his only hit track landing at number 10 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was from his debut album The Nine Yards and was released as the first single.
36. C.R.E.A.M. – Wu-Tang Clan
Wu-Tang Clan released C.R.E.A.M., and while this song was not popular commercially, it was one of their best tracks according to music critics.
37. I Would Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That) – Meat Loaf
Meat Loaf had an incredible hit in 1993 with I Would Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That). This song made it to number one on the Billboard Hot 100, and it’s one of his most well-known tracks.
38. Lately – Jodeci
Jodeci famously covered the song Lately by Stevie Wonder, and this version was incredibly popular, landing at number one on the Hot R&B Singles chart and four on the Billboard Hot 100.
39. Dazzey Duks – Duice
Dazzey Duks was the debut single from Duice, and this song made it to 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 and 19 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart.
40. Love Is – Vanessa Williams And Bryan McKnight
Calling all fans of Beverly Hills, 90210, you might remember the song Love Is by Vanessa Williams and Bryan McKnight. This track features two versions with the most popular being the one with an electric guitar. It was one of the biggest songs of 1993 and instantly went to number three on the Billboard Hot 100 after being on the television show.
41. Ordinary World – Duran Duran
Last on our list is Duran Duran with their hit song Ordinary World, which was released on their debut album. It hit number one on the Mainstream Top 40 chart and hit number three on the Billboard Hot 100. This is one of their most popular tunes, and it’s also one of their highest-streamed songs in America and the UK.
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.