Throwback songs are the perfect way to forget about your troubles, remind you of a loved one, or to bring you back to a much easier time in life.
Ah, is there anything better than being somewhere and hearing a song that catapults you to another time in your life? Scent and sound are two of the strongest senses to bring about vivid memories. There is no such thing as a time machine, or at least not yet, but a good song from the past is the closest thing to it.
The top 22 best throwback songs from our crazy times
These are the top 22 best throwback songs that remind us of our grunge days, our Aquanet big hair phase or our Milly vanilly craze. Whatever generation you grew up in, it makes no difference—a song is like a hello from the past.
#1 I Will Survive – Gloria Gainer. Whether you are a child of the seventies or born in the nineties, this is a song that everyone knows. Most often played at weddings or other cheesy occasions, it gets every girl in the room on their feet singing about how they don’t need the guy who dumped them or walked away. It is a great song to play to a friend who is newly single, or just a song to get everyone out on the dance floor.
#2 Smells Like Teen Spirit – Nirvana. Is there any better smell than teen spirit? I think it’s a cross between Drakkar Noir and an Abercrombie store. Nirvana’s spectacular song is just head banging enough to bring you back to a time when you were most likely partying at someone’s house whose parents were out of town. “Smells Like Teen Spirit” is a song that defines the teenage angst felt by every generation across the board.
#3 Good Riddance – Green Day. This is the perfect song to inspire us all to grab life by the horns before there is no more life to find. This song reminds us of our youth and all the crazy times that we will remember long after we leave this earth.
#4 She Will Be Loved – Maroon Five. What girl doesn’t want a song sung about how a guy is willing to help her heal? “She will be loved” is one of the most endearing love songs of all time. A great song for when you need a lull in the room, it will have every girl thinking of that guy who invested the time to help her get back on her feet.
#5 Blame it on the alcohol – Jammie Foxx. This is one of those songs that just makes you want to give into wild abandonment. The perfect song to excuse your actions from the night before, this song just exudes sex doesn’t it? Jamie Foxx may be a better actor than a singer, and a one hit wonder, but I for one thank him for allowing my walk of shame to be less shameful.
#6 Use Somebody – Kings Of Leon. Kings of Leon was one band that had a one-of-a-kind sound that made everyone take pause. For one short summer just six years ago, they dominated the beaches, the street festivals, and the radio stations. “Use Somebody” instantly reminds you of the time you had when you were listening to the whole album nonstop.
#7 Cruise – Florida Georgia Line feat. Nelly. This song makes you want to hop up into the front seat of someone’s car in your daisy dukes and throw caution to the wind. It’s an uplifting song that makes everyone join in. Crossing over from country to just about every genre, you would be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t smile at least a little when it comes through the speakers.
#8 Pour Some Sugar On Me – Def Leppard. Is there anything cheesier than this song? It’s one of those songs that when you hear it, you can remember the big hair, the girls dancing on hotrods in bad music videos, and the spiked boots and shoulder pads.
#9 Slim Shady – Eminem. From the album that broke the whitest man into rap and catapulted him to number-one, this was a song that made fun of everything pop culture. A mix of anger and angst, it’s one of those songs that will have you laughing that a guy from Michigan was able to piss off so many people with just one song and start a following that is still alive and well today.
#10 Hit Me Baby One More Time – Brittney Spears. Brittney Spears became an overnight sensation with this hit, which may not have been good for her psychological health, but was great for her music producers. A song that brings girls back to a time when they were just about the age to want to be naughty while their parents were trying so hard to keep them innocent and cute, it is difficult to forget how it changed stereotypes forever.
#11 Gold Digger – Kanye West. Originally a song sung by Ray Charles, Gold Digger is a song that gets everyone saying bad words and talking about loose women. A great beat, it can take over a dance floor.
#12 I Kissed A Girl – Katy Perry. Where would we be without preachers’ daughters? Katy Perry had girls singing along with “I kissed a girl, and I liked it,” making us all feel silly, and maybe even consider giving it a try.
#13 Hey There Delilah – Plain White T’s. “Hey There Delilah” was one of those songs that made everyone think of their first love and how being young and optimistic can put you on top of the world.
#15 I Write Sins Not Tragedies – Fall Out Boy. Who didn’t giggle a little the first time they heard this song? Every guy’s nightmare, who wants to find out that the girl they just said “I do” to has slept with the entire town?
#16 Funky Cold Medina – Tone Loc. There is not a person who was alive in the eighties who doesn’t remember the big hair bouncing and the dance floor when this song came on. The “Funky Cold Medina” is a song about a magic love potion that makes girls, dogs, and transvestites go wild. A boom, boom, boom beat, you don’t need any rhythm *or sobriety* to love this one.
#17 Low – Flo Rida. Apple bottom jeans may have taken a while for some people to figure out, but once they understood it, it was a picture they couldn’t get out of their head. A new sound for the time, we all loved what we were doing when this song came on. It just turned up the heat a little more.
#18 It Wasn’t Me – Shaggy. This was more of a cult song that everyone listened to. It’s song is about a guy getting caught by his girlfriend sleeping with someone else and trying to figure out how to say it wasn’t him. We all felt sorry for the poor schmuck who actually thinks that he could lie in the face of proof. Kind of a funny song for most of us, this is a song that will still get the masses dancing.
#19 You Oughta Know – Alanis Morissette. If you have a girlfriend who just got dumped, this is the song to play over and again. Alanis Morissette perfectly captured the angst that women in relationships across America were feeling.
#20 Let Her Cry – Hootie and the Blowfish. A heart-filled, screwed up love song, this is one that just strikes at the heart of anyone who has been in a destructive relationship where you hope for the best but know that it isn’t going to ever be. Thinking about the one you couldn’t save, we can all shed a tear and wonder where they are now.
#21 Closing Time – Semisonic. This song was likely played for an entire summer when the bar was closing. Although a parody, there are likely many hookups that resulted from this song alone. The perfect time to use it as a cheesy pickup line, if you were a guy in your prime when this song came out, you likely took advantage of its funny, yet true lyrics.
#22 Crazy Bitch – BuckCherry. This throwback describes that girl who’s a crazy-eyed nutcase, but her sex was so good that you just couldn’t leave her. Likely, she’s got her act together by now and is maybe even a mother now… but, man, did you have an amazing sex life at the time!
Throwback songs are the perfect way to pick us up, take us down, or remind us of a happier or less stressful time in our life. If you haven’t heard some of these, they are google-worthy! Make sure to turn them up and dance them out.