91% of People Can't Name These '90s Music Videos From an Image! Can You?

By: Jody Mabry
Image: YouTube

About This Quiz

The 1990s were the first full decade of music videos on television. From party-style hip-hop to acoustic-playing grunge. These were some of the most popular music videos of the decade. See how many you can name from an image!

During the video for "Smells Like Teen Spirit," you might think the scene where fans are going nuts and destroying things was planned. However, it wasn't until the end of the shoot that Cobain suggested letting the kids destroy the set. The director agreed and the REAL destruction ensued.

Perhaps one of the most popular modern-day Christmas songs, Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas is You," was written in about 15 minutes with songwriter Walter Afanasieff. Afanasieff attributes the quick writing to the song's success - "simple and palatable."

When the video, "November Rain" was created, it was considered the most expensive video of the time. The cost of production was over $1.5 million. The biggest percentage of that budget went to creating the chapel desert.

"Losing My Religion" is the song that transitioned the group R.E.M. into the forefront of alternative rock. The album, "Out of Time," sold over four million copies. This was also the first song which Michael Stipe did not direct. Instead, they chose a young car salesman who was completing film school - Tarsem Singh.

"Vogue" is considered one of the greatest music videos of all time. It was set in black and white and stylized in the fashion of '20s and '30s Hollywood. At the time, vogue was a common cultural word as a dance craze, and a magazine that saw popularity growth after the video and song were released.

Sir Mix-A-Lot got the inspiration for "Baby Got Back" while watching a Super Bowl ad with skinny women. The song inspired the "Booty Revolution" in rap songs and was quickly followed up with Wreckx-N-Effect's, "Rump Shaker."

"Baby One More Time" was Britney Spears' first hit. However, it was possibly her schoolgirl outfit in the video which garnered the attention as much as the pop-song itself. During the next decade, Britney would be in the spotlight for her off-camera antics.

"I Will Always Love You," will always be considered one of Whitney Houston's greatest achievements. However, it was not the intended song for the movie, "Bodyguard," which propelled the song to glory. Originally, "What Becomes of the Broken-Hearted" was supposed to be the film's song. However, after being used in "Fried Green Tomatoes," Kevin Costner changed his mind.

"Jeremy" was based on the true story of Jeremy Delle, a 16-year-old who killed himself in front of his high school English class. The video won four MTV Video Music Awards. Upon acceptance of the Video of the Year, Eddie Vedder said "If it weren't for music, I think I would have shot myself in the front of the classroom. It really is what kept me alive, so this is kind of full circle. So, to the power of music, thanks."

While most songs and music videos are stand-alone, "It Was a Good Day" is actually the first of a two-part music video series. The second part is "Check Yo Self." The song is four minutes and 20 seconds long, a reference to the number 420, commonly associated with marijuana.

All proceeds from the single of "One" were donated to AIDS research. This is a reflection of the song's message of acceptance. "One" was widely accepted by the gay community as an interpretation of a son telling his father that he is dying from AIDS.

"Isn't it Ironic" was both one of the most praised and criticized songs of the '90s. Apparently, Alanis Morissette wasn't familiar with the definition of "ironic" at the time of writing, with nearly all references in the song not being ironic. However, she later acknowledged that after the release, she has since learned the definition.

MC Hammer based his song "U Can't Touch This" on the Rick James song, "Super Freak." However, when "Super Freak" came out in 1981, MTV refused to play the video. This led to many of Hammer's followers having no idea that Hammer's best song had a sampled beat.

"Under the Bridge" is perhaps the Chili Pepper's most recognized and popular song. It was written by lead singer, Anthony Kledis, reminiscing on his days as a heroin addict and the loneliness of those days. The story goes that Kledis was sitting behind the wheel of his car and thinking about his best friend when he began singing, "Sometimes I feel like I don't have a partner..."

During the '80s and '90s hip-hop, rap and similar styles were quickly evolving into what would later become known as "Gangsta rap." Much of the following decades of gangsta rap was sparked by this song and video, which predominately featured the lifestyle of music, money and violence.

While most people remember Destiny's Child as a trio, prior to shooting the video for "Say My Name," the group had multiple changes, including LeTavia Roberson and LeToya Luckett, quitting. They were replaced, by Farrah Franklin and Michelle Williams, although Franklin was terminated months later - leaving only three.

By far, Metallica's best radio-song, "Enter Sandman" is one of the creepiest songs written for popular culture. The song is based on all those things that go bump in the night. The video won "Best Hard Rock Video" at the 1992 MTV Video Music Awards.

The Beastie Boys' song seemed like a play on rage as it hit albums and radio. The video was a parody of popular '70s police shows such as CHiPs. The video, which won multiple MTV awards, features the Beastie Boys as police chasing a man with a briefcase around a city.

"My Heart Will Go On" propelled the movie, "Titanic," to one of the greatest romantic movies of all time. However, Kate Winslett, unfortunately, couldn't escape the song, as restaurants would often play it whenever she walked in.

Beck never intended for the song to be anything. After a friend called him a loser, Beck got the idea to write the chorus as a joke. While Beck's critics may have called him a loser, the song ended up being a huge hit with his fans.

This song may be the ideal female opinion of a man, but it was written by two men, Hurby Azor and Dave Crawford. While a fun song, it has a level of symbolism when Pepa's son is shown - representing the hope for men of the future.

"Jump Around" was a popular song used for commercials, TV and movies, such as "Mrs. Doubtfire," "Happy Gilmore," and "Black Hawk Down."

"Black Hole Sun" is reportedly named after a Seattle sculpture, "Black Sun." This is interesting because the band was named after "Soundgarden," a sculpture in Seattle.

The video for "Waterfalls" won the "MTV Video Music Award for Video of the Year" in 1995. The song is about how people chase dreams without the thought of consequence -- much like many musicians have to do in their quest for fame.

While Eminem claims to act like three different characters in life - Marshal Mathers, Eminem and Slim Shady - the video also represents a parody of several celebrities - Bill Clinton, Marilyn Manson.

"Livin' La Vida Loca" was highly popular throughout dance clubs in the U.S. and beyond. This song was the first to appear on three Top-40 Billboard charts at the same time - Pop Songs, Rhythmic, and Adult Pop Songs.

Vanilla Ice reports that he wrote this song in about 30 minutes and it is a true reflection of himself and his life. While this was Vanilla Ice's first single and hit #1 on the U.S. charts, the song took second to MC Hammer's "U Can't Touch This" at the Grammy Music Awards.

"Tearin' Up My Heart" was the number one requested video on MTV's TRL. It held that spot for 26 straight days in 1998. The video shows NSYNC dancing and messing around during a photo shoot.

"Wannabe" was the Spice Girls' first breakout song, however, producers and even Simon Fuller, weren't convinced the song should be the group's debut single. The group stood up for itself and Geri Halliwell cited, "It's not negotiable as far as we're concerned. 'Wannabe' is our first single."

"No Diggity" won the 1997 Grammy for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals. The term "No Diggity" means "No Doubt" or "Absolute."

Despite being considered one of the greatest songs of all-time and certainly one of Oasis's most popular, the band doesn't care for it. However, the reason is that they feel it doesn't stand up to several of their other songs, despite fan popularity.

"Basket Case" is based on the panic attacks lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong suffered from as a child. He explains that the only way he could cope with the attacks was to write about them.

While the video and song are regarded as sexual in nature, Aquilera points out that the song is empowering and more about making choices that are right for you as opposed to being pressured.

"Killing Me Softly" was originally sung by Roberta Flack in 1973 when it became a number one hit in the U.S. and Canada. While covered by several musicians, it was the Fugees who, in 1997, won a Grammy for it. The video featured Roberta Flack.

While "I Wanna Sex You Up" may be Color Me Badd's most popular song, two others had bigger American chart success. Both "I Adore Mi Amore" and "All 4 Love" hit #1 following the success of the first song.

Many people may not know it, but "Are You Gonna Go My Way" was written about Jesus Christ, whom Kravitz referred to as "The Ultimate Rock Star."

While most songs are noted as having only one or two songwriters, "This is How We Do It" is listed as having nine writers. Montell Jordan has since left his hip-hop days and is now a minister.

"Man in the Box" was the first MTV music video that received a significant amount of airplay on MTV, leading the way for '90s grunge. Animal cruelty is used as a metaphor for censorship.

"Who Will Save Your Soul" was written by Jewel when she was only 16 years old and traveling through Mexico. She couldn't help but notice the number of people who appeared as if they were waiting to be saved.

Before Mark Walberg was a famous actor, he released two albums as Marky Mark and a member of the band New Kids on the Block. However, rumors say that Wahlberg isn't fond of being called Marky Mark.

"You're Still the One" was Shania Twain's first music video to cross over into non-country music stations, such as VH1 and MTV. The song won awards at the BIllboard Music Video Awards, the VH1 Viewer's Choice Awards and narrowly missed an MTV Video Music Award.

While "3AM" is named for the hour after the bars close, the song is actually based on the time lead singer, Rob Thomas, spent taking care of his mother while she had cancer. "3AM" was Matchbox 20's second hit, behind "Push."

Seven months before Tupac died, in an interview with Rolling Stone, he reported that he wanted the song "California Love" to be about money, not violence. The video features George Clinton as the tribal chief and Chris Tucker as his henchman.

Fiona Apple reports writing "Criminal" in about 45 minutes. However, the controversy lasted much longer. The video seems to show the sexual power and exploits of a young woman.

"Mama Said Knock You Out" was named after LL Cool J's grandmother who told him to "Knock 'em out," referring to his struggles with songwriting. The song won a Grammy for "Best Rap Solo Performance."

"Buddy Holly" was released on September 7, 1994, Buddy Holly's birthday. The video begins with an introduction by Al from "Happy Days," who says the band is from Kenosha, WI, which they are not. Kenosha is actually Al Molinaro's home town.

"Peaches" was written by lead singer, Chris Ballew, while sitting under a peach tree waiting for a girl he had a crush on. The video shows the band playing in an orchard where they are attacked by ninjas. The band defeats them by the end of the video.

"Virtual Insanity" won four major video awards and was highly acclaimed for its use of special effects. At the MTV Video Music Awards, the video won: Video of the Year, Breakthrough Video, Best Visual Effects in a Video, and Best Cinematography in a Video.

In the early '90s, Kriss Kross was a young sensation with the breakout song, "Jump." The song lasted on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart for eight weeks and sold over two million records. While the two young rappers had the potential for a long-lived career, it would end in tragedy after Chris "Mac Daddy" Kelly died of an apparent drug overdose in 2013.

The title "Insane in the Brain" is often confused with the lyric "Insane in the Membrane." The song was a cross-over hit, reaching #1 on the U.S. Rap chart and #19 on the Billboard Hot 100.

"I'm Too Sexy" made #1 in 28 countries, but not in the group's home country of England. While only considered a one-hit wonder, the song was one of the most successful one-hit wonders in the U.S., with three weeks at the top. They were only the second British group to top the charts with its debut single. The other group - The Beatles.

No Doubt was touring with the group, Bush, when "Just a Girl" became a hit. This led to a relationship and marriage between Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale. The red, white and blue tennis top Stefani wears in the video was purchased by her at a thrift store and later bejeweled.

"MMMBop" was inspired by songs of the '50s and '60s. The song was a huge hit worldwide, with popularity on radio stations and topping #1 in 27 countries. It was one of the most popular and requested videos at the time on MTV.

About Zoo

Our goal at Zoo.com is to keep you entertained in this crazy life we all live.

We want you to look inward and explore new and interesting things about yourself. We want you to look outward and marvel at the world around you. We want you to laugh at past memories that helped shape the person you’ve become. We want to dream with you about all your future holds. Our hope is our quizzes and articles inspire you to do just that.

Life is a zoo! Embrace it on Zoo.com.

Explore More Quizzes