1995 in Music: The Wrap-Up

We’ve now finished reviewing every song that reached No. 1 in 1995 as part of our ’90s No. 1s Revisited series. Of the 11 songs that went to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 during the year, our favorites were “Creep,” “Take A Bow” and “Waterfalls.” The year was significant for legendary ’80s acts Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston and Bryan Adams, each of whom hit No. 1 for what would turn out to be the last time . Meanwhile, Seal and Coolio would have their first and only chart-toppers.

The best-selling album of the year was Cracked Rear View by Hootie & The Blowfish, and we think no fact could better encapsulate what a snooze 1995 was. Pop music was, by and large, bland and mid-tempo in 1995, a gray silence between the height of Grunge (1991-94) and the the height of Hip-Hop (1996-98). Still, though, there was some great music released during the year. Here’s a playlist of our favorite songs of the year:

  1. “Back For Good,” Take That — in retrospect, this seems blander that it did at the time, but for a mid-tempo boy band song, this is particularly sweet, touching and well-executed.
  2. “Could I Be Your Girl?” Jann Arden — she’s better known for her follow-up, “Insensitive,” but this single is better and was a big hit in her native Canada, despite being largely ignored in the U.S.
  3. “To Deserve You,” Bette Midler — had this song been released in 1991, it would have been a Top 5 hit, we guarantee it. But in 1995, nobody cared.
  4. “No More ‘I Love You’s’,” Annie Lennox — probably the song with the most difficult punctuation ever.
  5. “Mental Picture,” Jon Secada — aw, we love Jon. This was a great, under-the-radar track that would’ve been at home on the radio in 1992, but not 1995.
  6. Take A Bow,” Madonna — one of her best ballads, for sure.
  7. “If You Love Me,” Brownstone — a Top 10 hit, this track made excellent use of having four vocalists on deck.
  8. “The Ballad Of Sleeping Beauty,” Sophie B. Hawkins — this single went nowhere despite coming off the heels of her surprise hit “As I Lay me Down.”
  9. “Out Of Tears,” The Rolling Stones — simple and beautiful, one of their best songs.
  10. “Walk In The Sun,” Bruce Hornsby — how can you not love a catchy song about a stripper?

John

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