Jan 15

Popular: The 90s

Popular16 comments • 2,272 views

This is another one of our decade polls, where we ask: which year was best for pop? Pick one only! Using the Popular vault of scores as a guide, I’ve selected a few songs to act as a reminder BUT – you should make your judgement on whatever criteria you see fit, not only the number ones.

Which year of the 1990s was best for pop?

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Poll closes: No Expiry

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And don’t forget our 1999 poll, which I put up yesterday.


  1. 1
    katstevens on 2 Jan 2015 #

    It would be wrong if I voted for anything except ’92 (though overall I think the top 10s were better in 1993)

  2. 2
    lonepilgrim on 2 Jan 2015 #

    I voted for 1996 based on the number 1s – the rise of the Spice Girls, the mainstream success of the Prodigy and the Chemical Brothers and a pleasing variety of musics from the UK and USA

  3. 3
    Tom on 2 Jan 2015 #

    Most of these years I remember as being great for the semi-pop genres I dug (indie, dance, rap) and not very great at all for mainstream pop, or for mainstream pop’s ability to take those genres fully on board at any rate – i.e. get them to No.1 rather than bobbing around in the top 20 at beast. 1996 is the exception, as all the other stuff I listened to seemed to have hit a creative wall and the charts were full of incident. But I’m still more likely to vote for 1995 or 1990. On the whole, this was the decade I was least personally engaged with “pop”, whether it’s shown in the write-ups I don’t know.

  4. 4
    Rory on 2 Jan 2015 #

    1996, for the reasons lonepilgrim gave, as well as for being the year of Everything Must Go, Odelay, 1977 and especially Coming Up.

  5. 5
    thefatgit on 2 Jan 2015 #

    I voted 1991 for personal reasons, but maybe I was hasty. These EOD polls can be tricky.

  6. 6
    Andrew Hickey on 2 Jan 2015 #

    For some reason when I click through to vote, it says I’ve already voted for 1990. I wanted to vote for 1995…

  7. 7
    Tom on 2 Jan 2015 #

    Sorry – it’s a glitch – try again later and your vote should be available again…

  8. 8
    swanstep on 3 Jan 2015 #

    1991 for me. Nevermind, Loveless, Achtung Baby, Foxbase Alpha, Spiderland, Blue Lines, Gish, Ten, Blood Sugar.., Badmotorfinger, Diamonds and Pearls, Out Of Time. Awesome year.

  9. 9
    Auntie Beryl on 3 Jan 2015 #

    1991 as well. An amazing year for music not fully reflected in the list of number one UK singles.

  10. 10
    Billy Hicks on 3 Jan 2015 #

    1999, followed by 1996, then 1991, then 1995.

    Sad to see my choice so low but it’s expected with all the Steps/Vengaboys style kiddie pop which isn’t going to endear many who were over the age of about 13 at the time. 1996 is deservedly doing brilliantly though.

  11. 11
    Ed on 4 Jan 2015 #

    @8, @9 And Bandwagonesque, too.

    1991 was indeed a tremendous year – the last ever great year? – for rock, and rock albums. (Although I admit that a couple of the records that made it such a wonderful year, Blue Lines and Foxbase Alpha, are not exactly rock.)

    There were a couple of others years in the 90s that ran it close for pop, though.

    In the end I plumped for 1994: the year of Dummy and ‘Aftermath Version 1’ and ‘Inner City Life’ and “Incredible’.

    That was a very exciting year.

  12. 12
    Izzy on 4 Jan 2015 #

    8: You can add Screamadelica, Electronic, The White Room, Metallica, the Use Your Illusions to that.

    1991 was an interesting interregnum for the indie world, it could’ve gone a number of ways from there. It was my first year too; I thought every year would be like that.

  13. 13
    swanstep on 4 Jan 2015 #

    @Izzy, 12. Yep, Ride’s Today Forever EP, LFO’s Frequencies, Talk Talk’s Laughing Stock, Bragg’s Don’t Try This At Home too.

    Obviously segmenting things by years is a little strange since it’s really that whole early-’90s pulse of energy that stands out, e.g., Aphex, Dre, and Tori Amos don’t show up until 1992 but they absolutely felt like part of the same wave as 1991’s biggies.

  14. 14
    Inanimate Carbon God on 4 Jan 2015 #

    I voted for 1995, though I’m slightly biased as it was quite an exciting year for meteorology geeks like me. Not just the heatwave but the insane big freeze at the end (though it made my family’s water mains explode; no humans were harmed – in my sister’s room, plenty of Goosebumps books and Fluppets certainly were.)

    The years’ scores almost directly correlate with the weather quality of the (British) summers.

  15. 15
    Fivelongdays on 5 Jan 2015 #

    96 the best year for number one singles (so I voted for that) .

    My two favourite albums came out in 94, so that’s the defacto best year overall, with 91, 97, and 98 following in close succession

  16. 16
    Ottersteve on 4 Oct 2016 #

    Are you going to do this for the 70’s 60’s & 50’s Tom?
    Look forward to it if you do.

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