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100 Best Love Songs of the '90s

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The 1990s was filled with passionate, romantic tunes. Here are the top 100!

The 1990s was filled with passionate, romantic tunes. Here are the top 100!

'90s Love Songs: The Greatest Hit Romance Ballads of the Decade

The '90s was a decade that mesmerized audiences with its diverse musical soundscapes. While the alternative and grunge scene developed into a unique entity, the indie scene paved the way for a plethora of bands to explore new directions in musicality.

As in every decade, music evolved in the '90s, too, thereby leading to a dramatic shift in compositional structure and audience preference. Music purists would agree the '90s was a path-breaking decade in music. New sounds and production techniques emerged, changing the dynamics of music in a big way. While every music genre in the '90s witnessed a paradigm shift, love songs in different genres remained true to their roots.

Top 10 Best Love Songs of the '90s

  1. "I Will Always Love You"—Whitney Houston
  2. "(Everything I Do) I Do It for You"—Bryan Adams
  3. "More Than Words"—Extreme
  4. "As Long As You Love Me"—Backstreet Boys
  5. "One"—U2
  6. "Iris"—Goo Goo Dolls
  7. "I'll Make Love To You"—Boyz 2 Men
  8. "My Heart Will Go On"—Celine Dion
  9. "Kiss Me"—Sixpence None The Richer
  10. "Wonderwall"—Oasis

Love Songs and Ballads of the '90s

Although few bands and artists were able to achieve mainstream success with their music in the '90s, a number of bands and artists who promoted their albums independently managed to find a cult following among fans. The '90s witnessed the birth of different types of love songs across various genres.

While R&B love songs, country love songs, pop love songs, and rock love songs had chart-topping success, the alternative scene in the '90s spawned a new flavor of romance. Indie love songs and alternative love songs struck a chord with mainstream audiences, thereby changing the scene in the music industry.

Love Songs of the '90s #11–20

11. "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing"


12. "Can’t Stop Loving You"

Van Halen

13. "It Must Have Been Love"


14. "November Rain"

Guns N’ Roses

15. "All I Wanna Do"

Sheryl Crow

16. "Because You Loved Me"

Celine Dion

17. "Always"

Bon Jovi

18. "It’s Your Love"

Tim McGraw

19. "Nobody’s Supposed To Be Here"

Deborah Cox

20. "The Power of Love"

Celine Dion

Composition and Structure of Love Songs in the '90s

While hair metal and glam metal bands of the '80s faded into oblivion, with the emergence of the grunge assault in the '90s, certain bands associated with the hard rock and metal genres continued to impress with their brand of power ballads and acoustic rock ballads.

With alternative genres coming to the forefront in the '90s, the musical soundscapes of balladry changed significantly. Love songs laced with strong acoustic intros formed the crux of song structure in '90s ballads. What makes the '90s stand out in the realms of music is the diverse amalgamation of influences. Love songs in the '90s had a distinctive sound that gave unique identity lyrically and musically.

Love Songs of the '90s #21–40


21. "You’re Still The One"

Shania Twain

22. "Lovefool"


23. "Nothing Compares 2 U"

Sinead O’ Connor

24. "Don’t Speak"

No Doubt

25. "No Ordinary Love"


26. "How Do I Live"

LeAnn Rimes

27. "Far Behind"


28. "Can You Feel The Love Tonight"

Elton John

29. "This I Promise You"


30. "I Love Your Smile"


31. "All The Man That I Need"

Whitney Houston

32. "Linger"

The Cranberries

33. "The Look"


34. "Crush"

Jennifer Paige

35. "I Live My Life For You"


36. "Freak Me"


37. "I Have Nothing"

Whitney Houston

38. "Un-Break My Heart"

Toni Braxton

39. "I Swear"


40. I’d Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That)

Meat Loaf

A number of albums released by bands and artists in the '90s featured powerful ballads that expressed sentiments and emotions in a reflective manner. Thoughtful lyrics, encompassed by melodic musical structure, became the flavor in love songs of the '90s. Songs with a ballad-oriented sound had immense success on charts.

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Music television channels, MTV in particular, favored balladry and romanticism in songs. This took the popularity of love songs to a new level! The '90s was also a decade that had several memorable one-hit wonders. Regardless of what is said about the '90s, musically, the decade paved the way for bands and artists of the future.

Love Songs of the '90s #41–60


41. "Lightning Crashes"


42. "I Love You Always Forever"

Donna Lewis

43. "Vision of Love"

Mariah Carey

44. "Don’t Let Go (Love)"

En Vogue

45. "Bed of Roses"

Bon Jovi

46. "Nobody"

Keith Stewart

47. "2 Become 1"

Spice Girls

48. "Truly Madly Deeply"

Savage Garden

49. "End of the Road"

Boyz 2 Men

50. "Carrying Your Love With Me"

George Strait

51. "All For Love"

Bryan Adams

52. "She’s In Love With The Boy"

Trisha Yearwood

53. "Love of a Lifetime"


54. "Back At One"

Brain McKnight

55. "When You Love A Woman"


56. "Don’t Cry"

Guns N’ Roses

57. "All That She Wants"

Ace of Base

58. "The Book of Love"

The Magnetic Fields

59. "Love Will Keep Us Alive"


60. "Save The Best For Last"

Vanessa Williams

Love Songs of the '90s #61–80


61. "Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman"

Bryan Adams

62. "At Your Best (You Are Love)"


63. "Tonight, Tonight"

The Smashing Pumpkins

64. "I’ll Stand By You"


65. "Now and Forever"

Richard Marx

66. "I Knew I Loved You"

Savage Garden

67. "The One"

Elton John

68. "Always Be My Baby"

Mariah Carey

69. "I Love The Way You Love Me"

John Michael Montgomery

70. "You were Meant for Me"


71. "I’ll Never Let You Go"


72. "That’s The Way Love Goes"

Janet Jackson

73. "This Kiss"

Faith Hill

74. "I’m Your Angel"

Celine Dion and R. Kelly

75. "To Be With You"

Mr. Big

76. "Only Wanna Be With You"

Hootie & the Blowfish

77. "If You Had My Love"

Jennifer Lopez

78. "Something About the Way You Look Tonight"

Elton John

79. "All I Have To Give"

Backstreet Boys

80. "I’ll Be"

Edwin McCain

Love Songs of the '90s #81–100


81. "Something to Talk About"

Bonnie Raitt

82. "Another Sad Love Song"

Toni Braxton

83. "Bitter Sweet Symphony"

The Verve

84. "Sweet Thing"

Mary J. Blige

85. "All My Life"

K-Ci & JoJo

86. "I Want It That Way"

Backstreet Boys

87. "Higher"


88. "Love Is All Around"

Wet Wet Wet

89. "Have You Ever Needed Someone So Bad"

Def Leppard

90. "I Can Love You Like That"

John Michael Montgomery

91. "Always and Forever"

Luther Vandross

92. "You Make Me Wanna"


93. "All I Wanna Do Is Make Love to You"


94. "Diamonds and Pearls"


95. "Torn"

Natalie Imbruglia

96. "Shape of My Heart"

Backstreet Boys

97. "Love Will Never Do Without You"

Janet Jackson

98. "Two Steps Behind"

Def Leppard

99. "Kiss From a Rose"


100. "Say You’ll Be There"

Spice Girls

Other Notable Love Songs of the '90s

  • "It Ain’t Over Till It’s Over"- Lenny Kravitz
  • "Baby"- Brandy
  • "I’ll Be Your Shelter"- Taylor Dayne
  • "Close To You"- Maxi Priest
  • "Semi"-Charmed Life- Third Eye Blind
  • "Can We Talk"- Tevin Campbell
  • "Kissing You"- Des’ree
  • "Fade Into You"- Mazzy Star
  • "Step By Step"- New Kids On The Block
  • "I Do (Cherish You)"- 98 Degrees
  • "Baby, I Love Your Way"- Big Mountain
  • "Cupid"- 112
  • "Angel of Mine"- Monica
  • "Hyperballad"- Bjork
  • "If I Didn’t Have You"- Randy Travis
  • "Rush Rush"- Paula Abdul
  • "Last Goodbye"- Jeff Buckley
  • "Weak"- SWV
  • "I Alone"- Live
  • "She’s All I Ever Had"- Ricky Martin
  • "Baby Baby Baby"- TLC
  • "Every Time I Close My Eyes"- Babyface
  • "She’s Got It All"- Kenny Chesney
  • "Friday I’m In Love"- The Cure
  • "Always The Last To Know"- Del Amitri
  • "Sweet Lady"- Tyrese
  • "To Be Loved By You"- Wynonna Judd
  • "Love of My Life"- Sammy Kershaw
  • "Amazing"- Aerosmith
  • "Because of You"- 98 Degrees
  • "Waterfalls"- TLC
  • "My Love"- Little Texas
  • "You and I"- Scorpions
  • "One In a Million"- Aaliyah
  • "Say Something"- James
  • "I’m Still In Love With You"- New Edition
  • "Look Heart, No Hands"- Randy Travis
  • "Crash Into Me"- Dave Matthews Band
  • "Say My Name"- Destiny’s Child
  • "Have I Told You Lately"- Rod Stewart
  • "Show Me Love"- Robin S
  • "Your Love Amazes Me"- John Berry
  • "How Can I Ease The Pain?"- Linda Fischer
  • "There She Goes"- The La’s
  • "I Adore Mi Amor"- Color Me Bad
  • "Masterpiece"- Atlantic Starr
  • "Amazed"- Lonestar
  • "(Can’t Live Without Your) Love and Affection"- Nelson
  • "Hero"- Mariah Carey
  • "Can You Stop The Rain"- Peabo Bryson
  • "Fall At Your Feet"- Crowded House
  • "Miles Away"- Winger
  • "On and On"- Erykah Badu
  • "Glory Box"- Portishead
  • "Love, Me"- Collin Raye
  • "Hold You Tight"- Tara Kemp
  • "Someone to Love"- Jon B and Babyface
  • "(This Ain’t) No Thinking Thing"- Trace Adkins
  • "I Believe I Can Fly"- R. Kelly
  • "Rub You The Right Way"- Johnny Gill
  • "Send Me An Angel"- Scorpions
  • "Don’t Leave Me"- Blackstreet
  • "Livin’ On Love"- Alan Jackson
  • "Ascension (Don’t Ever Wonder)"- Maxwell
  • "Jessie"- Joshua Kadison
  • "Damn, I Wish I Was Your Lover"- Sophie B. Hawkins
  • "Again"- Janet Jackson
  • "I Can’t Sleep Baby (if I)"- R.Kelly
  • "On Bended Knee"- Boyz 2 Men
  • "Sometimes Love Just Ain’t Enough"- Patty Smyth and Don Henley
  • "I Wanna Know"- Joe
  • "Womankind"- Little Angels
  • "Believe"- Cher
  • "Fortunate"- Maxwell
  • "Where You Goin’ Now"- Damn Yankees
  • "If You love Me"- Brownstone
  • "Love Like This"- Faith Evans
  • "Anytime"- Brian McKnight
  • "Baby, Baby"- Amy Grant
  • "Let’s Chill"- Guy
  • "Spend My Life With You"- Eric Benet and Tamia
  • "Nice and Slow"- Usher
  • "Right Here (Human Nature)"- SWV
  • "Thinkin’ About You"- Trisha Yearwood
  • "Nightswimming"- R.E.M.
  • "Say Yes"- Elliot Smith
  • "Love Is On The Way"- Saigon Kick
  • "I’ll Give All My Love To You"- Keith Sweat
  • "Giving Him Something He Can Feel"- En Vogue
  • "Have You Ever?"- Brandy
  • "Into My Arms"- Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
  • "I’d Love You All Over Again"- Alan Jackson
  • "Forever My Lady"- Jodeci
  • "MMMBop"- Hanson
  • "Across the Sea"- Weezer
  • "Get Here"- Oleta Adams
  • "Candy Rain"- Soul For Real
  • "The Heart Won’t Lie"- Reba McEntire and Vince Gill
  • "Tell Me What you Want Me To Do"- Tevin Campbell
  • "I Belong To You (Every Time I See Your Face)"- Rome

© 2018 Ansel Pereira


Dustin on December 12, 2019:

I'm just happy Elliott Smith got an honourable mention :) The nineties were incredible for music wow... Good list. Hard to narrow it down.

Alexander James Guckenberger from Maryland, United States of America on December 28, 2018:

There were some amazing times, innit?

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