Top 10 Songs of 1995

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Alanis Morissette: "You Oughta Know"

Alanis Morissette, "You Oughta Know"

Alanis Morrissette/Maverick

Former child actor Alanis Morissette appeared kicking and screaming in the pop mainstream with this frank song about the aftermath of a nasty romantic breakup. It was the first single from her smash breakthrough album Jagged Little Pill. Red Hot Chili Peppers Flea and Dave Navarro play bass and guitar respectively on the song. "You Oughta Know" earned three Grammy Award nominations and won for Best Rock Song and Best Female Rock Vocal. The song topped the alternative chart and peaked inside the top 10 at mainstream pop and rock radio.

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Coolio: "Gangsta's Paradise"

Coolio, "Gangsta's Paradise"

Coolio/Tommy Boy

This dark depiction of the city by rapper Coolio was named the top single of the year in the Village Voice's annual Pazz and Jop poll of critics. Prior to the release of "Gangsta's Paradise," Coolio was best known for a more humorous approach to rap. The song spent 12 weeks in the top 2 of the Billboard Hot 100 and was named the best selling single of the year. "Gangsta's Paradise" samples Stevie Wonder's "Pastime Paradise" from the album Songs In the Key of Life. Coolio won a Grammy Award for Best Rap Solo Performance for "Gangsta's Paradise."

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Mariah Carey: "Fantasy"

Mariah Carey, "Fantasy"

Mariah Carey/Columbia

"Fantasy" was the lead single for Mariah Carey's fifth studio album Daydream. She bridged pop and hip hop by including raps from Ol' Dirty Bastard. The song's hook is anchored in a sample from Tom Tom Club's "Genius of Love." "Fantasy" became only the second single to debut at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 after Michael Jackson's "You Are Not Alone." It earned Mariah Carey critical acclaim for venturing into hip hop and outside of her trademark big pop ballad territory. "Fantasy" earned a Grammy Award nomination for Best Female Pop Vocal.

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Seal: "Kiss From a Rose"

Seal, "Kiss From a Rose"

Seal/Warner Bros.

Seal's beautiful ballad "Kiss From a Rose" won Grammy awards for Record of the Year and Song of the Year. It was first written in 1987, and originally released in 1994, but it became a major pop hit when included on the soundtrack to the film Batman Forever. Initially, Seal had been embarrassed by writing the song and refused to show it to producer Trevor Horn. The song was certified gold in the U.S. for sales of over 500,000. "Kiss From a Rose" hit #1 on the mainstream pop, adult pop, and adult contemporary radio charts while going to #4 in the U.K. and top 10 in many countries around the world.

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TLC: "Waterfalls"

TLC, "Waterfalls"


"Waterfalls" was TLC's biggest pop hit, spending seven weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song's frank referencing of drug problems and HIV helped it become one of the most critically acclaimed pop songs of the year. "Waterfalls" was nominated for a Grammy award for Record of the Year. It was a rare hit that found success across mainstream pop, R&B, and adult contemporary charts.

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Martin Page: "In the House of Stone and Light"

Martin Page, "In the House of Stone and Light"

Martin Page/Mercury

"In the House of Stone and Light" amounts to successful pop songwriter Martin Page's moment in the spotlight. Previously behind-the-scenes, he co-wrote the pop smash hits "We Built This City" by Starship and "These Dreams" by Heart, with Elton John songwriting collaborator Bernie Taupin.
Martin Page had previously landed on the charts as a member of Q-Feel, who climbed to the top 20 of the dance chart in the 1980s with the single "Dancing In Heaven (Orbital Be-Bop)." As a solo artist in the mid-1990s, he released "In the House of Stone and Light" and topped the adult contemporary chart. He also reached the top 15 on the pop singles chart. However, Martin Page's follow up "Keeper of the Flame" nicked the top 20 on the adult contemporary chart and he never replicated the success of "In the House of Stone and Light" with another major hit as an artist.

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Edwyn Collins: "A Girl Like You"

Edwyn Collins, "A Girl Like You"

Edwyn Collins/Setanta

Scottish singer-songwriter Edwyn Collins recorded "A Girl Like You" as a tribute to Iggy Pop. The single includes vibraphone work from the Sex Pistols' Paul Cook. The result was a top 10 pop hit in the U.K. and a top 40 pop hit in the U.S. It reached the top 10 on the alternative chart in the U.S. Edwyn Collins' career suffered a severe blow when he was struck by a cerebral hemorrhage in 2005. However, he has since returned to recording with more solo albums.

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Shaggy: "Boombastic"

Shaggy, "Boombastic"

Shaggy/Virgin Records

"Boombastic" was one of two singles in 1995 that made dancehall artist Shaggy into a mainstream pop star. The song peaked at #3 in the U.S. and #1 in the U.K. It was certified gold in the U.K. and platinum in the U.S. A Levi's TV commercial helped the song reach success in the U.S. The album Boombastic earned a Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album.

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Presidents of the United States of America: "Lump"

Presidents of the Unites States of America, "Lump"

Presidents of the United States of America/Columbia 

Punk and bubblegum pop crashed together and created "Lump," the incredibly catchy pop breakthrough by Presidents of the United States America. It first topped the modern rock chart and then crossed over into the pop mainstream, peaking just outside of the top 25. Musically, Chris Ballew, lead vocalist of the group, said he was trying to write a (legendary U.K. punk band) Buzzcocks song with "Lump." Weird Al Yankovic recorded a parody of the song titled "Gump" after the hit movie Forrest Gump.

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Lisa Loeb & Nine Tails: "Do You Sleep?"

Lisa Loeb, "Do You Sleep?"

Lisa Loeb & Nine Stories/Geffen Records

With "Stay (I Missed You)," Lisa Loeb became the first artist to have a #1 hit single in the U.S. without being signed to a record label. The follow up "Do You Sleep?" was her first hit after being signed. It reached the top 20 on both the pop and alternative charts. In the following decade, Lisa Loeb became a successful creator of music for children.