Six truly annoying songs from the 1990s

After they peaked, most of these songs were promptly forgotten or should have been.
Vanilla Ice was so annoying.
Vanilla Ice was so annoying. / Johnny Louis/GettyImages

Is any of the more recent decades of pop music free of annoying songs? Not really. If you take a hard, detailed look, you’d probably find more of those than the good ones, yet the question remains - how many of those annoying ones make it really big?

There, unfortunately, the choice can also "spoil us." In most cases, we can really make that choice in retrospect, realizing that there are so many things that influence which song will make it and which ones will not. As one artist who rarely makes bad ones (and he - Bob Dylan - does too) said, “Times they are a-changin’.”

As was the case with the 1980s or any other recent or not-so-recent decade, the 1990s offered a wide variety of duds that made it big. Here are six from the 1990s that have kept their level of annoyance since they first hit the airwaves.

Six ridiculously annoying songs from the 1990s

Los Del Rio - “Macarena”

These two guys have been kicking it around since the early 1960s in their native Spain. It took them some thirty years or so to make it really big with this truly annoying ditty, first in Europe and then elsewhere. The whole saga with “Macarena” got really out of proportion with the dance that accompanied it, sending chills down the spine anytime you haphazardly run into it.

Billy Ray Cyrus - “Achy Breaky Heart”

Miley's father is not a half-bad country singer. Back in the nineties, he was one of the first artists that Nashville pushed as a crossover star into pop and other genres. To make that firm connection with pop, this single, taken from his debut album Some Gave It All, this truly aching thing, went platinum, for some reason or other, giving Cyrus a stamp of disapproval in traditional country music circles.

Vanilla Ice - “Ice Ice Baby”

This one came from the guy who seems to have invented his ‘gangsta’ past to gain credibility in rap circles. Even that didn’t prevent this awful creation that misused that brilliant David Bowie/Queen bass riff to reach the top of the charts. He kept on churning stuff, even after this single and the album it came from, but it seemed that nobody cared anymore, and the big hit became more of a curse than a blessing.

4 Non Blondes - “What’s Up?”

Okay, so the band's name had some charm in itself. Yet this song made it to the top of the charts without any discernible rhyme or reason through what was at the time (1993) known as college radio and the power of still going strong MTV. The sole album that the band released showed some promise, but the incessant radio play of this song (and its video was everywhere) made any quality it actually had quite redundant.

Baha Men - “Who Let The Dogs Out?’

While this big collective was sticking to its Bahamian roots and Junkanoo music genre (starting in 1979), it had something interesting to offer. When they decided to add more "modern" stuff with this single, they seemed to have hit the jackpot, only to disappear promptly afterward. This one was fun, well, at least after the first chores.

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Rednex - “Cotton Eye Joe”

This Swedish group thought it might be a good idea to slap some old-fashioned bluegrass on Eurodance, and the result sounded exactly like it was slapped together by chance. It nevertheless made it big, particularly in Europe, and remains proof that novelty songs can make it, no matter how bad they are.

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