1994 in Music: The Wrap-Up

Nineteen ninety-four was a curious year for No. 1 songs because of the polar dichotomy between what was popular on the radio and what was popular in people’s CD players. The No. 1 songs were generally quite soft, performed by artists such as Boyz II Men, Celine Dion, All-4-One, Lisa Loeb, Ace of Base, Bryan Adams, Rod Stewart and Sting. The No. 1 albums, conversely, were more edgy and subversive, performed by Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Snoop Doggy Dogg, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, Pantera and Beastie Boys.

The very best music of the year, we feel, existed in the space between these extremes, in the music that defied genre and hit big somewhat inexplicably, such as “Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm” by Crash Test Dummies, and “Return To Innocence” by Enigma. Songs like these are brilliant and would not be popular today, because they’re kind of weird. But 1994 was a year that embraced and celebrated that which was safely on-trend, wildly out-of-the-box, and anything in the middle.

A particular act that emerged in 1994 we’d be remiss not to focus on is the October Project. A precursor to Evanescence, this group merged tremendous songwriting with gorgeous arrangements, haunting vocal performances and intricate instrumental performances, to create one-of-a-kind music that was the best of the decade. The first of their two full-length albums hit in 1994, spawning a few mild Alternative radio hits and a cult following. Their best song was “Bury My Lovely,” but their eponymous debut album was a masterpiece from start to finish, and we highly encourage anyone to give it a listen.

Here were our favorite songs from 1994. Enjoy this playlist if you so choose!

  1. “Bury My Lovely” October Project
  2. “I Want You” Juliet Roberts
  3. “Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm” Crash Test Dummies
  4. “Circle Of Life” Elton John
  5. “Return To Innocence” Enigma
  6. “100% Pure Love” Crystal Waters
  7. “Sleeping In My Car” Roxette
  8. “Prayer For The Dying” Seal
  9. “Lucky One” Amy Grant
  10. “Choose” Color Me Badd
  11. “All I Wanna Do” Sheryl Crow
  12. “The Power Of Love” Celine Dion
  13. “Something’s Always Wrong” Toad the Wet Sprocket
  14. “Stay (I Missed You)” Lisa Loeb & Nine Stories
  15. “Cantaloop (Flip Fantasia)” US3
  16. “All About Soul” Billy Joel
  17. “Turn The Beat Around” Gloria Estefan
  18. “True Love” Elton John & Kiki Dee
  19. “Willing To Forgive” Aretha Franklin
  20. “The Sweetest Days” Vanessa Williams
  21. “If You Go” Jon Secada
  22. “Never Should’ve Let You Go” Hi-Five
  23. “You Gotta Be” Des’ree
  24. “The Sign” Ace Of Base
  25. “I Miss You” Aaron Hall
  26. “Can You Feel The Love Tonight” Elton John
  27. “Zombie” The Cranberries
  28. “Living In Danger” Ace Of Base
  29. “Mary Jane’s Last Dance” Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
  30. “Come To My Window” Melissa Etheridge
  31. “I Wouldn’t Normally Do This Kind Of Thing” Pet Shop Boys
  32. “As Long As I Can Dream” Exposé
  33. “Back & Forth” Aaliyah
  34. “Misled” Celine Dion
  35. “Creep” TLC
  36. “When We Dance” Sting
  37. “Stay” Eternal
  38. “Least Complicated” Indigo Girls
  39. “Sweet Lullaby” Deep Forest
  40. “In Walked Love” Exposé
  41. “Moving On Up” M People
  42. “None Of Your Business” Salt-N-Pepa
  43. “Anything” SWV
  44. “Another Night” Real McCoy
  45. “Will You Be There (In The Morning)” Heart
  46. “Cannonball” The Breeders
  47. “I’ll Stand By You” The Pretenders
  48. “New Age Girl” Deadeye Dick
  49. “Anytime You Need A Friend” Mariah Carey
  50. “I Got You Babe” Cher w/ Beavis & Butt-head
  51. “I Can See Clearly Now” Jimmy Cliff
  52. “Don’t Turn Around” Ace Of Base
  53. “Good Enough” Sarah McLachlan
  54. “Rock And Roll Dreams Come Through” Meat Loaf
  55. “Wild Night” John Mellencamp & Me’shell NdegéOcello
  56. “You Better Wait” Steve Perry
  57. “Without You” Mariah Carey
  58. “Right Beside You” Sophie B. Hawkins
  59. “Funkdafied” Da Brat
  60. “Sending My Love” Zhané
  61. “I’m In The Mood” CeCe Peniston
  62. “How Many Ways” Toni Braxton
  63. “The Most Beautiful Girl In The World” Prince
  64. “Beautiful In My Eyes” Joshua Kadison
  65. “All For Love” Bryan Adams, Rod Stewart & Sting
  66. “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” Elton John & RuPaul
  67. “Endless Love” Luther Vandross & Mariah Carey
  68. “Headline News” “Weird Al” Yankovic
  69. “Love Sneakin’ Up On You” Bonnie Raitt
  70. “Dream On Dreamer” Brand New Heavies
  71. “Sukiyaki” 4 P.M.
  72. “Body & Soul” Anita Baker
  73. “I’ll Remember” Madonna
  74. “Until I Fall Away” Gin Blossoms
  75. “Can We Talk” Tevin Campbell
  76. “Higher Ground” UB40
  77. “Understanding” Xscape
  78. “Never Keeping Secrets” Babyface
  79. “Possession” Sarah McLachlan
  80. “Always” Erasure
  81. “Sentimental” Kenny G
  82. “Take It Back” Pink Floyd
  83. “Secret” Madonna
  84. “I Swear” All-4-One
  85. “Cry For You” Jodeci
  86. “Groove Thang” Zhané
  87. “You Want This” Janet Jackson
  88. “You Mean The World To Me” Toni Braxton
  89. “Always” Bon Jovi
  90. “Now And Forever” Richard Marx
  91. “Something In Common” Bobby Brown w/ Whitney Houston
  92. “December, 1963 (Oh, What A Night)” Four Seasons
  93. “Mr. Jones” Counting Crows
  94. “Crazy” Aerosmith
  95. “Always In My Heart” Tevin Campbell
  96. “Hey Santa!” Carnie & Wendy Wilson
  97. “Stroke You Up” Changing Faces
  98. “You” Bonnie Raitt
  99. “Everyday” Phil Collins
  100. “Queen Of The Night” Whitney Houston

– John

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