Best Songs From 1995

The mid-1990s produced some of the best music of the century, and 1995 was no exception. From love ballads to hardcore gangster rap, 1995’s music covered the full spectrum. Moreover, songs from that year are still in rotation on the radio today. So without further ado, here is some of the best songs from 1995.

“Water Runs Dry” by Boyz II Men

Song year: 1995

Boyz II Men were arguably the best R&B group of the 1990s. The quartet of singers dominated the airwaves and took home multiple Grammy Awards for their love songs. “Water Runs Dry” was a 1995 hit that reached number two on the Billboard Hot 100.

In the song, the group pleads with a romantic partner not to walk away from a failing relationship, warning her that it would be the biggest mistake of their lives. The accompanying music video for “Water Runs Dry” is one of the most iconic of all time, featuring the group meandering through a white desert.

“This Is How We Do It” by Montell Jordan

Song year: 1995

Montell Jordan wanted to party in 1995. The six-foot-eight singer released one of the all-time upbeat party songs with “This Is How We Do It” from his debut album of the same name.

In the song, Jordan talks about the joy he feels on a Friday night with his forty-ounce bottle of beer and women all around. The shared experience of partying brought his neighborhood together, and violence and gang activity ceased for the night. The track reached number one on the Billboard 100 and earned Jordan a Grammy Award nomination.

“Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman?” by Bryan Adams

Song year: 1995

Bryan Adams was on a mission to melt hearts in 1995, a feat he accomplished with the love power ballad “Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman?” The song was part of the soundtrack for the movie “Don Juan DeMarco” with Johnny Depp and Marlon Brando.

With his signature raspy voice, Adams rhetorically asks listeners if they truly know what it means to be in love with a woman. The song reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100.

“Waterfalls” by TLC

Song year: 1995

“Waterfalls” by TLC is one of the best songs of all time, so it more than deserves a spot on this list. The socially-conscious song from their album “CrazySexyCool” dives into the world of HIV, prostitution, and the illegal drug trade. The singers plead with listeners to make smart choices and not to overstep their limitations and take unnecessary risks.

“Waterfalls” had two Grammy nominations and spent several weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot 100. The song is a cultural touchstone that remains in constant radio rotation.

“Gangsta’s Paradise” by Coolio featuring L.V.

Song year: 1995

The late rapper Coolio and featured R&B singer L.V. released “Gangsta’s Paradise” in 1995. It’s his song and the finest work of his career in rap music. The song is about the struggles of growing up in poverty and the life of crime and gangs that lurks around the corner. “Gangsta’s Paradise” was part of the soundtrack to the “Dangerous Minds” film.

The song topped the charts for several weeks and earned Coolio a Grammy Award. It is one of the greatest songs of all time from any year or decade.

“Fantasy” by Mariah Carey

Song year: 1995

Mariah Carey hits notes we didn’t know existed on her song “Fantasy” from the 1995 album “Daydream.” The classic pop anthem sees Carey sing about hypothetical love with a man in her life who is unaware of her interest. Resigned to the fact that a romantic relationship is unlikely, Carey chalks it up to a fantasy.

“Fantasy” spent eight consecutive weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100 and earned Carey a Grammy Award nomination.

“Big Poppa” by Notorious B.I.G.

Song year: 1995

“Big Poppa” was a single from Notorious B.I.G’s debut album, “Ready to Die.” The hit 1995 song (released the last week of 1994) became one of the legendary rapper’s signature tracks. It features Biggy’s mesmerizing flow, lyrical skill, and humor as he confidently tries to seduce a woman with promises of various luxuries and smoking weed in a jacuzzi.

Puff Daddy produced the track and also has a brief but memorable ad-lib after Biggy’s final verse. “Big Poppa” was one of the nominees for “Best Rap Solo Performance” at the Grammy Awards.

“Don’t Take It Personal (Just One of Dem Days)” by Monica

Song year: 1995

Monica was just 15 years old when she released her debut single, “Don’t Take It Personal (Just One of Dem Days),” an R&B classic about the struggles of adolescence. In the song, Monica pleads with an unnamed romantic partner not to take it personally that she is working through some things and needs to be alone.

“Don’t Take it Personal (Just One of Dem Days)” reached number two on the Billboard Hot 100 and helped launch Monica’s stellar career.

“Run-Around” by Blues Traveler

Song year: 1995

As soon as we hear the beginning notes of Blues Traveler lead singer John Popper’s harmonica, there’s no question what the song is. “Run-Around” is one of the most iconic songs in pop music history, largely thanks to Popper’s harmonica riffs.

In the song, Popper sings about unrequited love. His love interest is seemingly leading him on without giving him closure that she’s not interested. Anyone who’s ever gotten the run-around can relate. “Run-around” was Blue Traveler’s breakout hit and earned the band a Grammy Award.

“Scream” by Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson

Song year: 1995

Michael Jackson fans had longed for the pop legend to team up with his younger sister Janet for years, and it finally happened on the song “Scream.”

The song from Michael Jackson’s album “HIStory: Past, Present, and Future, Book I” is Michael’s clap-back at the media for its aggressive coverage of his legal controversies. The elder Jackson scolds the media for pressuring him and demands they back off.

In the iconic music video for “Scream,” Michael and Janet hop on a spaceship to escape the drama and difficulties on earth.

“One Sweet Day” by Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men

“One Sweet Day” by Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men

Song year: 1995

Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men were 1990s pop royalty and had some of the best voices on the planet. They teamed up for the mega-hit “One Sweet Day,” a single from Carey’s album “Daydream,” in 1995.

The song is about the death of a loved one and the hope of seeing that person one day in the afterlife. “One Sweet Day” was a record-breaking song that topped the Billboard Hot 100 and earned the collaborating artists six Grammy Award nominations.

“Boombastic” by Shaggy

Song year: 1995

None of us could really understand what Shaggy was saying on 1995’s “Boombastic,” but we were all singing along with Mr. Lover-Lover anyways. “Boombastic” is a proclamation of confidence and the way Shaggy feels when he’s around his lover.

The pop-reggae hit from his album “Boombastic” became a sensation, reaching number three on the Billboard Hot 100 and becoming a cultural touchstone. You’d be hard-pressed to find a wedding dance floor or late-night dive bar that doesn’t have this classic song in rotation.

“Feel Me Flow” by Naughty By Nature

Song year: 1995

Hip-hop supergroup Naughty by Nature took a break from hardcore gangster rap to produce the radio-friendly hip-hop/pop jam “Feel Me Flow” in 1995.

The laid-back song from their album “Poverty’s Paradise” features Treach’s signature rapid-fire lyrical delivery, but the mellow beat makes you feel like you’re cruising around town and relaxing during the summer.

“Take a Bow” by Madonna

Song year: 1995

Madonna, the Queen of Pop Music, had one of the best songs of 1995 (released in late 1994) with “Take a Bow” from her album “Bedtime Stories.” In “Take a Bow,” Madonna sings about unrequited love and how her romantic interest took her for granted. The song famously includes a full orchestra.

“Take a Bow” gave Madonna yet another Billboard-topping hit and ensured she would continue to dominate the radio airwaves into the next decade.

“Back for Good” by Take That

Song year: 1995

The Boy Band Era was in full swing by 1995, and the British Group Take That got in on the action with the hit song “Back for Good” from their album “Nobody Else.” The song is about a failed relationship. The singers plead with a lost love that they want her back and will apologize for whatever they did that caused her to walk away.

The music video features the group having an emotional meltdown in the rain as they sing to their ex-partner. “Back for Good” became an international hit that made Take That a household name.

“Keep Their Heads Ringin” by Dr. Dre

Song year: 1995

Fresh off the success of his album “The Chronic,” Dr. Dre didn’t miss the opportunity to capitalize on his clout in the hip-hop industry with 1995’s “Keep Their Heads Ringin.” The song was Dre’s contribution to the soundtrack for the film “Friday.”

In the song, the good doctor hits on all the topics he’s famous for – violence, dominating his adversaries, and celebrating his greatness. “Keep Their Heads Ringin” was a Billboard hit, and the accompanying music video was a mainstay of MTV.

“Just a Girl” by No Doubt

Song year: 1995

Long before pop sensation Gwen Steffani was hosting reality singing competitions, she was the lead singer of the fledgling rock band No Doubt. “Just a Girl” is the hit song that put them on the radar and introduced us to Steffani’s energetic, unique style.

“Just a Girl” was modestly successful at the time but eventually became one of the group’s signature songs.

“You Oughta Know” by Alanis Morissette

Song year: 1995

Alanis Morissette burst onto the pop music royalty scene in 1995 with “You Oughta Know,” the lead single from her album “Jagged Little Pill.” In the iconic song, Morrissette unleashes her raw emotion, anger, and lyrical fury on an ex-lover who has moved on to a new romantic partner.

“You Oughta Know” made Morissette one of the most successful pop-rock singers in the world. The song topped the charts and earned her two Grammy Awards. 

“Hey Lover” by LL Cool J featuring Boyz II Men

Song year: 1995

Ladies Love Cool James reached out to R&B supergroup Boyz II Men for a feature on his 1995 hit “Hey Lover” from his album “Mr. Smith.” In the ultra-smooth hip-hop/pop song, LL finds himself smitten with a woman that he semi-stalks from afar, daydreaming about what a beautiful romance they could have and lamenting that she is with an unsavory partner.

“Hey Lover” became one the biggest hits of LL Cool J’s career and earned him his second Grammy Award.

“Exhale (Shoop Shoop)” by Whitney Houston

Song year: 1995

Whitney Houston starred in the 1995 romance film “Waiting to Exhale,” so it was no surprise when she contributed to the soundtrack with the lead single “Exhale (Shoop Shoop).” The R&B-soul ballad encapsulates the main theme of the movie – the figurative concept of holding one’s breath while waiting for love.

“Exhale (Shoop Shoop)” was yet another chart-topping hit for Houston that earned her another Grammy Award for her extensive collection.

“Wonderwall” by Oasis

Song year: 1995

In a musical era dominated by pop, dance, rap, and R&B, “Wonderwall” by the British rock band Oasis was a breath of fresh air. “Wonderwall,” from their album “(What’s the Story) Morning Glory,” introduced America to the world of modern British pop-rock.

With the lead singer Liam Gallagher’s unique, high-pitched voice and vocal backing from his brother Noel, Oasis became an international sensation that deserved its “Modern-day Beatles” reputation.

Top Songs From 1995, Final Thoughts

1995 was a musically eclectic year. We danced, we sang love songs, and we pretended we were gangster rappers living a party lifestyle. The best songs from 1995 left an indelible mark on pop culture and many remain relevant today.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *