For a series like That ‘90s Show, set in 1995, hitting the right notes in music choices is key to evoking the era. However, the show’s sitcom artifice doesn’t lend itself to believability, or even specific accuracy, as much as it needs to be songs of the decade everyone can recognize. The songs on the That ‘90s Show Season 1 soundtrack hit the mark perfectly, creating a “Best of 90s Music” playlist anyone can enjoy.
Each decade of the 20th century saw a sea change in music, from the arrival of rock and roll in the 1950s to the birth of streaming and Napster in 1999. The early to mid-90s were the rise of grunge and alternative rock, pushing back against the heavily stylized hair metal and glammed up MTV era of the 1980s. The trend also affected what teens wore, with kids discovering their grandparent’s comfy flannels could be totally stylish, and not worrying if their fishnet stockings (a holdover from the glm era gone by) now had runs in them, or seemed incongruous with sensible boots.
That ‘90s Show hits a lot of these staples of the era head on and plays them for laughs. The soundtrack also gets in on the joke, trotting out the cliched hits everyone who lived through the mid-1990s still remembers while mixing in a few callbacks to the original That ‘70s Show, and one or two deep cuts for those who really were there to appreciate.
That ‘90s Show Season 1, Episode 1: “That ‘90s Pilot”
- “Groove Is In The Heart” by Deee-Lite
- “You Oughta Know” by Alanis Morrissette (vocals by Ashley Aufderheide)
- “Sad Tomorrow” by The Muffs
That ‘90s Show Season 1, Episode 2: “Free Leia”
- “Tell Me Something Good” by Rufus & Chaka Khan
That ‘90s Show Season 1, Episode 3: “Lip Smackers”
- “Whatta Man” by En Vogue & Salt-N-Pepa
That ‘90s Show Season 1, Episode 4: “Rave”
- “Café Del Mar” by Energy 52
That ‘90s Show Season 1, Episode 5: “Step by Step”
- “Here Comes The Hotstepper” by Ini Kamoze
That ‘90s Show Season 1, Episode 6: “The Birthday Girl”
- “Theme From Beverly Hills, 90210” by John Davis
- “I'll Make Love To You” by Boyz II Men (vocals by Don Stark)
- “Slow Ride” by Foghat
- “The World I Know” by Collective Soul
That ‘90s Show Season 1, Episode 7: “Boyfriend Day One”
- “Give My Regards To Broadway” by George M. Cohan (vocals by Debra Jo Rupp & Ashley Aufderheide)
That ‘90s Show Season 1, Episode 8: “Summer Storm”
- “No Rain” by Blind Melon
That ‘90s Show Season 1, Episode 9: “Dirty Double Booker”
- “Cowboys From Hell” by Pantera
That ‘90s Show Season 1, Episode 10: “Kids In America”
- “I Wish” by Skee-Lo
- “Kids In America” by Kim Wilde
All episodes of That ‘90s Show Season 1 are streaming on Netflix.