Music has the ability to transform and transport us. It can change the way we view our world, effect information retention and stir long forgotten memories. In the 90s there was no shortage of music or movies. The entertainment industry was rife with creative expression and often the two mediums would merge to creative iconic film scores and soundtracks that would go on to ingrain themselves in the hearts of audiences around the world. As time has passed, more and more films, scores, and soundtracks have come and gone, but there was a certain magic in those 90s films. So, with that in mind, we take a look back at some of the influential, but under-served tunes that stir those sweet 90s feels…
1. The Flys- “Got You Where I Want You” from Disturbing Behavior (1998)
Is there anything more unnerving than the end of Disturbing Behavior? Just when you think the worst is over, Rachel (Katie Holmes) and Steve (James Marsden) have helped the wise but crazy janitor drive all the creepy “Village of the Damned” brainwashed psychos to their plummeting deaths and then you realize Gavin *Nick Stahl) wasn’t with them. He is perpetuating the same skin-crawling message and goals as Dr.Caldicott and then *gasp* it’s left open for a yet-to-be created sequel. With this tune, The Fly created the perfect tune to accentuate that creepiness.
2. Spacehog- “In The Meantime” from Election (1999)
There is something timeless and feel good about this song. Not to mention the fact that it stirs to mind feelings of overachievement and a super intense Tracy Flick (Reese Witherspoon) vying for the presidency. High school was complicated and had never been so scandalous. Between Witherspoon’s conviction and craze as Flick and Mathew Broderick’s dedicated role as teacher turned rogue Jim McAllister, Election was different kind of dark comedy- it was twisted, sick, and satirical, everything ironic teens loved in the 90s. You know you did, too. Thank you Tracy Flick and thank you Spacehog.
3. Letters To Cleo – “Dangerous Type” from The Craft (1996)
You wanted to be a witch when you heard this song. It is empowering and thrilling and conjures up confidence when you hear it. (see what I did there? Conjures, get it?…) Lending itself to eventually be the anthem of HBICs everywhere, “Dangerous Type” was the wind in their hair and the enchanted bounce in their step. These girls were bad and Letters to Cleo made an upbeat badass theme song for teen witches everywhere. Forget Sabrina Spellman (sorry MJH), for at least half the movie you know you wanted to be Nancy Downs (Fairuza Balk), ya know up until the drunk with power and driven mad part…
4. The Muffs – “Kids In America” from Clueless (1995)
You can’t hear this song without thinking of Cher Horowitz’s shopping bender and over-privileged indulgent life montage. You know you see it, you know you want it and like, doesn’t everyone. Well, except like, you would, like, never even party in the Valley! Ugh, as if! Alicia Silverstone as the vapid heiress with a heart of gold was a landmark role that like many on this list developed a cult-like following. So iconic and integral was this film that it would go on to influence several other mediums and even receive its own homage in Iggy Azalea’s video for her breakout hit “Fancy” with Azalea taking up the role of Cher. The song also bore an influence with reputable rockers Foo Fighters creating their own cover of the song on their Record Day exclusive EP Songs From The Laundry Room.
5. The Verve- “Bittersweet Symphony” from Cruel Intentions (1999)
This is possibly one of the most recognized and iconic songs on this list. Cruel Intentions hosted an all-star cast of young actors that would become household names and give Buffy t.v star Sarah Michelle Gellar a new role to play, the villain. Is there another character so loved and hated quite like Kathryn Merteuil? She was the svelte, calculating, manipulative, BFF you wanted and feared, but Annette Hargrove (Reese Witherspoon) was the final girl of that film. The Verve couldn’t have had any idea their song would go on to be the triumph song that would not only close the film, but help emblazon it on our memories.
6. The Cure- “Burn” from The Crow (1994)
As if The Cure needed any other reason to be revered, this haunting and ethereal tune adds to the list.The late Brandon Lee gave an unparalleled performance as Eric Draven and the several remakes that followed were a travesty in comparison. Quickly becoming a cult classic, The Crow was one of the first modern undead vigilantes who has won the hearts and loyalty of thousands over the years. This little ditty is stirring and affective as it is both driven and mysterious. Kudos to The Cure for creating a song worthy of this cinematic legacy that, personally,still stirs a full-on movie montage.
7. Imperial Teen- “Yoo Hoo” from Jawbreaker (1999)
The epitome of a dark teen comedy, Jawbreaker starred Rose McGowan as the tyrannous and terribly fabulous Courtney Shane leading the pack of Julie Benz as Marcie “Foxy” Fox, and Rebecca Gayheart as “Julie Freeman, who are all trying to cover Courtney’s “bloated boo boo.” What might that be you ask? That she orchestrated the prank that killed the other leader of their clique, Liz Purr (played by Charlotte Roldan). Imperial Teen’s bouncy beat plays right after the death of Liz as the terrible trio are “strutting their sh*t” trying to act like everything is “peachy f*cking keen.” The scene is intoxicating with the song playing in the foreground as the three strut and bounce down the hall, hair in the imaginary wind and personifying all the power and privilege that came from being a high school bitch. you know everything you wanted to be at some point in time. Oh the power, the idol worship, the fear, the homicide….wait, what?