Classical Jazz '05



SOP - 90s Music Canon

If the music or video does not play, even after a pause, try reloading your page.


Bookmark and Share

Bob Tozier Artist: Bob Tozier
School: North Allegheny

Matt Daniels, editor of the publication The Pudding, wanted to find out what songs from his youth would last into the future. So he designed a study that would test if Gen-Z had a grip on 90s culture. Hundreds of thousands of participants provided over 3 million data points. Daniels parsed through the data for insights. Sadly, the majority of his most beloved songs have not survived even one generation. Though most had been forgotten, he found that just a few songs had staying power across generations — what he defined as the emerging 90s music canon. Find out what songs make it and which have fallen to the wayside. 
Spice Girls - Wannabe 
Mariah Carey - Fantasy!
Lou Bega - Mambo #5
Los Del Rio - Macarena
Boys II Men - Motown Philly
Whitney Houston - I Will Always Love You
Savage Garden - I Want You
The Barenaked Ladies - One Week
Jewel - You Were Meant For Me
Jennifer Lopez - If You Had My Love
Celine Dion - My Heart Will Go On
Britney Spears - Baby One More Time
Smash Mouth - All Star
Nirvana - Smells Like Teen Spirit 


  1. What songs do you think have lasted a generation or more?
  2. Why do you think a song will last?
  3. Do you have a favorite song from the 90's? Why?


The Pudding’s study on Defining the 90s Canon
Take The Pudding’s quiz  yourself
How did you do? 
  • (17:00) Age plays a factor
    • under 5
    • 7~11
    • AGE 13
  • Are there other factors?
  • (21:30) Sounds that are specific to a decade can play a factor
  • (25:30) The top 5 90s Canon
    • Songs that have been promoted through mega movie hits
    • Songs that have been promoted through Sporting Events
    • 90s music may have a specific happiness or earnestness
  • (32:00) Can this data be wrong? 
  • (32:00) Your parents will influence you
  • (33:00) Geography/Country
  • (33:00) Gender and race
  • (34:00) "But What if We Are Wrong?" - Chuck Closterman
    • Cultural values of the future culture
    • A good example is BACH
  • A shift in sound styles
  • (35:30) Mega hits don't always reflect the ability to remember a song
  • What, from today, will stand the test of time?
  • When you write music, what can you do to help your song stand the test of time?


Clay Sheleheda from: North Allegheny - posted: September 16, 2020

1. Definately songs like Hey Jude that are made by bands that everyone know are big hits still. 


2. A song could last becuase it has a really good earworm or a good hook that can pull the listener into the song. 


3. My favorite 90s song is probably either Check the Rhime by A Tribe Called Quest, or I Want You by Savage Garden. These two songs stick out to me becuase Check the Rhime got me into listening to Hip Hop and I Want You is just a fantastic song.  

Sophia Elliott from: North Allegheny - posted: September 16, 2020

1.) Many Beatles songs have lasted generations. 

2.) I think a song lasts because of appeal to many people, I think music can be unifying and that can make it last. Everyone knows the Beatles, they have thoughtful lyrics and more simple songs everyone can enjoy.

3.) Mambo No. 5 because it's funny to me. 

Rohan Puri from: North Allegheny - posted: September 16, 2020

1. Most Michael Jackson songs, Careless Whisper - George Michael, Jump - Van Halen, Theme from Jurassic Park - John Williams, Star Wars Main Theme - John Williams and many more

2. Nostalgia - allows people to revisit their childhood by listening to those songs. 

3. Remember the Time - Michael Jackson

It is one of my favorite MJ songs - fits the vibe of the 90s. 

Grace Elliott from: North Allegheny - posted: September 16, 2020
I think someone like Jacob Collier will stand the test of time. He is just undeniably brilliant and a universal artist. I believe song lasts when it connects with people. It has to connect with someone emotionally and evoke some sort of feeling in people. When writing music, just try to write something that will connect with people and make someone feel better or stronger.

Bri Cobbey from: North Allegheny - posted: September 16, 2020

1. never gonna give you up, toxic'll last because it works with every generations style/relevance. 

3.I like either Fade to Black by Metallica or Roads Untraveled by Lincoln Park.


Hunter Badamo from: North Allegheny - posted: September 16, 2020

1. Wonderwall by Oasis

2. Catchy and fits the mindset of the youth at the time. Nirvana was about letting your spirit free, bands in the 60s were about being peaceful and protesting the war.

3.  Come As You Are by Nirvana. I love the riff and the song's roots are about being your true self, with that fantastic hard rock layer over top that Nirvana always gives.

Nick Brar from: North Allegheny - posted: September 16, 2020

1. Between the songs that were listed I believe that All Star, Smells Like Teen Spirit, I Will Always Love You, and Macarena have lasted a generation or more. Although these songs were all created and released in a previous decade, they have barely gone down in popularity and in how well-known they are worldwide.

2. A song that will last a generation must gain a lot of traction and be something special. This is because if it is like any other song being released, people will not pay special attention to it and it will be soon forgotten.

3. One of my favorite songs from the 1990's is Baby Got Back by Sir Mix-A-Lot. This is due to its comical lyrics and catchy beat. Listening to the song makes me want to start bobbing me head and sing along.  

Olivia Belcher from: North Allegheny - posted: September 16, 2020
My favorite song from the 90's is Smells Like Teen Spirit. I like it because it has a fun, steady bassline, and my dad used to play it a lot while I was in middle school.

Josi Pietrzyk from: - posted: September 17, 2020

1. I'm not gonna lie, I don't know very much about 90s music, but I do know Brittney. So, I would day that some good ol' Baby One More Time will live on.

2. I think that it will because Brittney is totally iconic and no one will ever forget that baby voice.

3. My favorite song from the 90s is for sure the pirates who don't do anything silly song from Veggie Tales.

Ticket info - call 800-555-1212