Left to Right: '90's stars - Kurt Cobain of Nirvana, Whitney Houston, Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam, Beck, R.E.M. and Britney Spears.
Nineties rock stars: Nirvana, Whitney Houston, Pearl Jam, Beck, R.E.M., Britney Spears
Rock Music in the Nineties:

Alternative Rock and it's sub-genres Grunge and Pop Punk expand in popularity and ironically, explode into the mainstream during the 1990's. Major labels begin luring independent bands away from small record labels. These artists are resistant to the demands of big record companies
1990's Top 100 Best Selling Albums of the Decade Worldwide:

  1   Alanis Morissette - Jagged Little Pill
  2   Nirvana - Nevermind
  3   Whitney Houston - The Bodyguard
  4   Metallica - Metallica
  5   Santana - Supernatural
  6   REM - Automatic For The People
  7   U2 - Achtung Baby
  8   Celine Dion - Falling Into You
  9   Eric Clapton - Unplugged
10   Oasis - (What's The Story) Morning Glory?
11   Spice Girls - Spice
12   The Fugees - The Score
13   Shania Twain - Come On Over
14   Celine Dion - Let's Talk About Love
15   Radiohead - OK Computer
16   REM - Out Of Time
17   Sinead O'Connor - I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got
18   Mariah Carey - Daydream
19   Celine Dion & James Horner - Titanic
20   Guns n' Roses - Use Your Illusion II
21   Mariah Carey - Music Box
22   Pearl Jam - Ten
23   Lauryn Hill - The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill
24   The Backstreet Boys - Millennium
25   Michael Jackson - Dangerous
26   Red Hot Chili Peppers - Californication
27   Michael Jackson - History - Past, Present & Future
28   The Smashing Pumpkins
       Mellon Collie & The Infinite Sadness
29   No Doubt - Tragic Kingdom
30   Madonna - Ray Of Light
31   Nirvana - In Utero
32   The Prodigy - The Fat Of The Land
33   Nirvana - Unplugged In New York
34   Celine Dion -  All The Way... A Decade Of Songs
35   Britney Spears - Baby One More Time
36   Pearl Jam - Vs
37   U2 - Zooropa
38   Abba - Gold, Greatest Hits
39   Green Day - Dookie
40   Red Hot Chili Peppers - Blood Sugar Sex Magik
41   Metallica - Load
42   Pink Floyd - The Division Bell
43   Madonna - The Immaculate Collection
44   Meatloaf - Bat Out Of Hell II, Back Into Hell
45   Bon Jovi - Crossroad - The Best Of Bon Jovi
46   Ricky Martin - Ricky Martin
47   MC Hammer - Please Hammer Don't Hurt 'Em
48   Bryan Adams - Waking Up The Neighbours
49   REM - Monster
50   Bryan Adams - So Far So Good
51   Janet Jackson - Janet
52   The Cranberries - No Need To Argue
53   Pink Floyd - P.U.L.S.E.
54   Mariah Carey - Mariah Carey
55   Celine Dion - The Colour Of My Love
56   The Backstreet Boys - Backstreet Boys
57   The Verve - Urban Hymns
58   Guns n' Roses - Use Your Illusion I
59   U2 - Pop
60   Moby - Play
61   REM - New Adventures In Hi-Fi
62   Hootie & The Blowfish - Cracked Rear View
63   Depeche Mode - Violator
64   Mariah Carey - Butterfly
65   The Beatles - Anthology 1
66   Bruce Springsteen - Greatest Hits
67   Aerosmith - Get A Grip
68   Roxette - Joyride
69   Soundgarden - Superunknown
70   Pearl Jam - Vitalogy
71   Beck - O-De-Lay
72   Madonna - I'm Breathless
73   The Rolling Stones - Voodoo Lounge
74   Bon Jovi - These Days
75   Live - Throwing Copper
76   Garth Brooks - Ropin' the Wind
77   Spice Girls - Spiceworld
78   The Beastie Boys - Hello Nasty
79   Massive Attack - Mezzanine
80   Sting - The Soul Cages
81   Oasis - Be Here Now
82   Def Leppard - Adrenalize
83   The Backstreet Boys - Backstreet's Back
84   Dire Straits - On Every Street
85   Billy Ray Cyrus - Some Gave All
86   Creed - Human Clay
87   Depeche Mode - Songs Of Faith & Devotion
88   New Kids On The Block - Step By Step
89   Radiohead - The Bends
90   Aqua - Aquarium
91   Pearl Jam - No Code
92   Alanis Morissette - Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie
93   Mariah Carey - Number Ones
94   Andrea Bocelli - Romanza
95   Paul Simon - The Rhythm Of The Saints
96   Genesis - We Can't Dance
97   Alannah Myles - Alannah Myles
98   Oasis - Definitely Maybe
99   Peter Gabriel - Us
100 Jose Carreras, Placido Domingo & Luciano Pavarotti          The 3 Tenors In Concert 1994

1990's Top 100 Best Selling Singles of the Decade Worldwide:

  1   Bryan Adams - (Everything I Do) I Do it For You
  2   Sinead O'Connor - Nothing Compares 2 U
  3   Celine Dion - My Heart Will Go On
  4   Whitney Houston - I Will Always Love You
  5   Madonna - Vogue
  6   Coolio - Gangsta's Paradise
  7   Hanson - Mmmbop
  8   Cher - Believe
  9   Britney Spears - Baby One More Time
10   Elton John - Candle in the Wind '97
11   No Doubt - Don't Speak
12   Bruce Springsteen - Streets of Philadelphia
13   UB40 - I Can't Help Falling in Love With You
14   Ricky Martin - Livin' La Vida Loca
15   P Diddy & Faith Evans - I'll Be Missing You
16   Spice Girls - Wannabe
17   Aerosmith - I Don't Want to Miss a Thing
18   Michael Jackson - Black Or White
19   Ace of Base - The Sign
20   Lou Bega - Mambo No 5 (A Little Bit of ...)
21   Nirvana - Smells Like Teen Spirit
22   Meatloaf
      I'd Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That)
23   Snow - Informer
24   All-4-One - I Swear
25   Boyz II Men - End of the Road
26   The Fugees - Killing Me Softly With His Song
27   Ace of Base - All That She Wants
28   TLC - No Scrubs
29   Aqua - Barbie Girl
30   Boyz II Men - I'll Make Love to You
31   Rob Thomas & Santana - Smooth
32   Bryan Adams, Rod Stewart & Sting - All For Love
33   Sheryl Crow - All I Wanna Do
34   Vanilla Ice - Ice Ice Baby
35   Mariah Carey - Fantasy
36   TLC - Waterfalls
37   MC Hammer - U Can't Touch This
38   Brandy & Monica - The Boy is Mine
39   R Kelly - I Believe I Can Fly
40   Los Del Rio - Macarena
41   Bryan Adams - Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman?
42   Eric Clapton - Tears in Heaven
43   Londonbeat - I've Been Thinking About You
44   Mariah Carey & Boyz II Men - One Sweet Day
45   Seal - Kiss From a Rose
46   Mariah Carey - Without You
47   Take That - Back For Good
48   Janet Jackson - That's the Way Love Goes
49   Will Smith - Men in Black
50   Bon Jovi - Always
51   The Backstreet Boys - I Want it That Way
52   Chumbawamba - Tubthumping
53   Bon Jovi - Blaze of Glory
54   Shaggy - Boombastic
55   Roxette - It Must Have Been Love
56   Bryan Adams - Please Forgive Me
57   Christina Aguilera - Genie in a Bottle
58   Four Non Blondes - What's Up?
59   Wet Wet Wet - Love is All Around
60   Rednex - Cotton Eye Joe
61   Michael Jackson - You Are Not Alone
62   Roxette - Joyride
63   REM - Losing My Religion
64   Enigma - Sadeness
65   Mr Big - To Be With You
66   Everything But The Girl - Missing
67   Culture Beat - Mr Vain
68   Haddaway - What is Love?
69   Madonna - Take a Bow
70   Savage Garden - Truly Madly Deeply
71   Kris Kross - Jump
72   The Goo Goo Dolls - Iris
73   Right Said Fred - I'm Too Sexy
74   Madonna - Frozen
75   Toni Braxton - Un-Break My Heart
76   Prince - The Most Beautiful Girl in the World
77   Celine Dion - Because You Loved Me
78   Snap - Rhythm is a Dancer
79   Extreme - More Than Words
80   Jennifer Lopez - If You Had My Love
81   Eiffel 65 - Blue (Da Ba Dee)
82   Red Hot Chili Peppers - Under the Bridge
83   Natalie Imbruglia - Torn
84   Ini Kamoze - Here Comes the Hotstepper
85   Oasis - Wonderwall
86   Michael Jackson & Janet Jackson - Scream
87   Elton John - Can You Feel the Love Tonight
88   Scatman John - Scatman (Ski-Ba-Bop-Ba-Dop-Bop)
89   Mariah Carey - Vision of Love
90   Crash Test Dummies - Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm
91   Snap - The Power
92   Billy Joel - The River of Dreams
93   Alanis Morissette - Ironic
94   Mariah Carey - Dreamlover
95   Offspring - Pretty Fly (For a White Guy)
96   C&C Music Factory - Gonna Make You Sweat                      (Everybody Dance Now)
97   Lauryn Hill - Doo Wop (That Thing)
98   Enigma - Return to Innocence
99   Lisa Stansfield - All Around the World
100 Janet Jackson - Together Again
Lead singer Bono of rock band U2
and unwilling to change styles to reach a mass market audience. Nevertheless, many alternative bands, including REM, The Smashing Pumpkins, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, The Smiths and grunge
bands like Nirvana, Soundgarden,  Pearl Jam and others find success with mainstream audiences.

Another alternative to radioplay and traditional mainstream success is the rise in Jam Bands influenced by the Grateful Dead. Noted for cross genre improvisation and extended jams, bands such as Phish, Blues Traveler, Dave Matthews Band, and Widespread Panic rely on album sales and live concerts.

Heavy metal morphs into new sub-genres such as rap metal or rapcore, nu metal and industrial metal. Electronic music continues to change as well, with techno and house splitting into new styles including trance, drums & bass, trip-hop and eurodance.

In the 90's Hip-Hop continues to expand in inluence and grow in diversity. With huge growth in sales, radio airplay and overall success for artists like NWA, Public Enemy, Queen Latifah, Salt n' Pepa, Ice T, Dr. Dre, Eminem, Tupac Shakur, Cypress Hill and many others.

Pop and teen-pop continue to appeal to a younger radio audience with the Backstreet Boys, *NSYNC, 98 Degrees, Hanson and The Spice Girls having major success. Late in the decade female teen pop artists ascend with major hits by Jennifer Lopez, Destiny's Child, Christina Aguilera, and Britney Spears. Contemporary R&B also scores big on the pop charts especially for Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, TLC, Toni Braxton, Celine Dion and Boys II Men.

In the UK the term BritPop is coined as new bands Oasis and Blur battle for the top of the charts. Singer / Songwriters enjoy a resurgence especially for female artists like Norah Jones, Sarah McLachlan, Alanis Morissette, Tori Amos, Jewel, Natalie Merchant and Sheryl Crow.

Advancements in computers and software allow for digital music creation and recording on home computers. The internet and sound compression allow for digital distribution of music, often bypassing the need for a major label album release.

Nineties Genres / Key Artists:

Alternative: REM, Smashing Pumpkins, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Pearl Jam, Radiohead, The Cranberries, The Verve, Depeche Mode, Beck





Grunge: Nirvana, Soundgarden, Mudhoney, Alice in Chains, The Melvins, Hole, L7, Stone Temple Pilots, Bush






Pop Punk: Green Day, The Offspring, Blink 182, MXPX, Bad Religion, NOFX, Lit, American Hi Fi, The Donnas, Good Charlotte





Brit Pop: Oasis, Blur, Suede, Pulp, Elastica, Sleeper, Cast, Supergrass, Ocean Colour Scene, The Boo Radleys





Pop / Teen Pop:  Ricky Martin, Bryan Adams, Backstreet Boys, *NSYNC, 98 Degrees, Hanson, The Spice Girls, Jennifer Lopez, Destiny's Child, Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears, Roxette, Madonna





Singer/Songwriters: Norah Jones, Sarah McLachlan, Alanis Morissette, Tori Amos, Jewel, Natalie Merchant, Sheryl Crow





Contemporary R&B: Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, TLC, Toni Braxton, Celine Dion, Boys II Men, Janet Jackson, Brandy, Seal





Metal / Nu Metal / Industrial / Rap Metal: Korn, The Deftones, Slipknot, Limp Bizkit, Kid Rock, Papa Roach, Nine Inch Nails, Rage Against the Machine, Sepultura, System of a Down, Metallica




Hip Hop: NWA, Public Enemy, Queen Latifah, Salt n' Pepa, Ice T, Dr. Dre, Geto Boys, Tupac Shakur, Cypress Hill, Wu-Tang Clan, Snoop Dogg, MC Hammer, Jay-Z, Eminem, Fugees, Coolio




Hard Rock: Guns n' Roses, Ozzy Osbourne, The Black Crowes, Van Halen, Aerosmith, Foo Fighters, Collective Soul, Bon Jovi, AC/DC, Creed, U2






Crossover Country: Garth Brooks, Faith Hill, Shania Twain, Billy Ray Cyrus






Electronic / Trance: Moby, Fat Boy Slim, The Chemical Brothers, The Crystal Method, The Prodigy, Sunscreem, Paul Oakenfold, Delirium, Armin van Buuren, Tiesto, Paul Van Dyk





Reggae / Dancehall: Shaggy, UB40, Maxi Priest, Beenie Man, Buju Banton, Burning Spear, Shabba Ranks





Jam Bands: Phish, Blues Traveler, Dave Matthews Band, Widespread Panic, Spin Doctors, Grateful Dead, The Other Ones, The Dead  
Nineties grunge music, Nirvana, Album - Nevermind
Nineties alternative rock music, Smashing Pumpkins, Album - Siamese Dream
90's Pop Punk music, Green Day, Album - Dookie
Nineties Brit Pop, Oasis, Album - What's the Story Morning Glory
90's Singer, songwriters, Alanis Morissette, album
Nineties pop music, teen pop, Spice Girls, album
  1: Mariah Carey
  2: Madonna
  3: Celine Dion
  4: REM
  5: U2
  6: Nirvana
  7: Whitney Houston
  8: Pearl Jam
  9: Metallica
10: Prince
11: Bryan Adams
12: Michael Jackson
13: Elton John
14: Bon Jovi
15: Oasis
16: Garth Brooks
17: Janet Jackson
18: The Backstreet Boys
19: Eric Clapton
20: Alanis Morissette
21: Spice Girls
22: Red Hot Chili Peppers
23: Sting
24: Roxette
25: Michael Bolton

26: Queen
27: The Smashing Pumpkins
28: Bruce Springsteen
29: Guns n' Roses
30: Depeche Mode
31: Phil Collins
32: Aerosmith
33: George Michael
34: Ace of Base
35: Blur
36: TLC
37: The Cranberries
38: The Rolling Stones
39: Radiohead
40: Boyz II Men
41: The Pet Shop Boys
42: Simply Red
43: Rod Stewart
44: Lenny Kravitz
45: The Beatles
46: Beck
47: Cher
48: Sheryl Crow
49: Shania Twain
50: Green Day
Nineties contemporary R&B music, Whiney Houston, album - the bodyguard
Nineties rock music, metal, nu metal, Industrial, rap metal, Korn, album
Nineties hip hop, Dr. Dre, album - The Chronic
90's Hard Rock, Creed, album
90's crossover country music, Shania Twain, album
Nineties reggae, dancehall, Shaggy, Album - Boombastic
90's Electronic, trance music, Chemical Brothers, album
Top 50 Music Artists of the 1990's
Based on Worldwide Sales of Singles and Albums
Nineties rock music, Jam Bands, Phish, album
The lists above are based on worldwide sales. The worldwide sales information is from Tsort and uses a formula based on splitting the world into four regions based on sales, the USA (about 35%), other English speaking countries (about 20%), the rest of Europe (about 25%) and the rest of the world (about 20%).  We feel this is the best methodology available to show the global impact of a song or album. More detailed chart info is available on the Tsort website. Actual US & UK charts are linked at the bottom of each year timeline on this site.

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