Starting from this year, we begin the final stretch of the 20th Century. We are facing a unique and unrepeatable moment that would be somewhat overshadowed by events such as the release of The Matrix in 1999. Back then, we can affirm that the 1990s music in general fades away to make way for a new millennium that will focus on different hairstyles, other genres of music, and a much more widespread use of the internet.
But that’s something to comment on more on a global level, or at least on a Western level. Because Spanish music of the 90s had something a bit different within what we have seen over the decades. While reviewing the music of the 80s in Spanish, we saw that most groups back then were trying to emulate Anglo-Saxon pop culture. Here, we can assert that, while that influence is still present, there’s also a return to more indigenous roots of past decades, with the rumba taking center stage, for instance.
Obviously, not everything sounds like that. Spanish 90s songs can be particularly harsh in terms of production at times. The excessive use of electronic and often repetitive drum machines has left a trail of smiles, which, when hearing these songs again over the years, shows the passage of time that keeps ticking away.
Does that mean that the Spanish 90s music was worse than today’s? Not at all. It was a product of its time, and from it emerged not only great groups and artists but also some of the best lyrics in Spanish songs, like the one we’re listening to now. Now that I’m in my thirties, I have the impression that everything that fills the festivals comes from here and from the first decade of the 21st Century, but that’s an opinion I wouldn’t have if I were 15, because I’m experiencing what comes with my time, most likely. Many may believe that music from the past will always be better than today’s, but today’s will soon become the past, and that’s that.
The Context of 90s Music in Spain
Before we begin our overview of the best 90s songs in Spanish, it’s interesting to take a few minutes to reflect on what was happening in the country at that time. It was the era of the “real estate boom,” to sum it up. Spain joined the European Union in 1986, and shortly after, it started receiving aid funds for heritage renewal, subsidies to improve agriculture, and a series of measures aimed at keeping the country’s economy within the limits required to adopt the common currency (the euro).
In the words of Ska-P, this is the Spain of Felipe and Aznar, the democratic Spain of GAL. The Spain of real estate scams, high society crime… How things have changed, right? Well, let’s say that an economic boom was beginning, not so much due to the overall good work of our leaders but rather because of the context in which we were living. This was reflected in the music as well, where people seemed much happier, except for those groups that drew from the 90s American music culture. Los Piratas, for example, gradually succumbed to the bitterness more typical of people like Radiohead, while Azúcar Moreno got the whole country dancing.
Spanish 90s music. The Top 250 Spanish songs from the 90s
Especially if you are Spanish or listened to Spanish 90s music with a certain judgment, our recommendation is that you explore this list without prejudice. There’s something for everyone’s taste. Sometimes you can still notice the influence of 80s Spanish music, but generally, there’s a complete paradigm shift in 90s songs. Many of the bands that appear here, especially in this first year, started gaining success a few years earlier, but they were only laying the foundation for what would come next. This is the case with Héroes del Silencio or Extremoduro, for example, two of the greatest Spanish music bands in history (beyond the 90s).
Before you dive into this list of 90s Spanish music, it’s worth noting that you can also check out our list of 70s songs to get to know everything that preceded the current bands, many of which owe their genres to that era, especially in terms of hard rock, but also the timeless pop. There will also be room for all kinds of Latin music, a few surprises in Portuguese, and a lot of French 90s music, because you know we’re big fans of chanson.
Finally, before moving on to the 250 Spanish 90s songs, we want to remind you that besides getting to know all these names and tracks, you can also follow our Spotify playlist with all the 90s Spanish music. Or, if you prefer, you can subscribe to the one we have for 60s music. We’ve created all of these for you to choose from.
Azúcar Moreno – Ven Devórame Otra Vez
Azúcar Moreno even recorded a Coca-Cola ad directed by Isabel Coixet and targeted both at the Spanish and American markets. We’re not sure if this exemplifies their level of success, but it’s clear that for years, they were at the top of the big hits of the 90s, and this is an example of why.
Celtas Cortos – La Senda Del Tiempo
Another of the great groups remembered in 90s music is undoubtedly Celtas Cortos. Throughout their career, they left many singles in the collective memory, with one of them, “20 de abril,” being remembered every year on that date. Their sonic localisms made them universal for many, although they have sometimes been parodied precisely because of their unique style in sound and lyrics.
Cómplices – Es Por Ti
In this song, Cómplices sing that it’s because of you that they’re accomplices. If only all bands named themselves after a word from the chorus of one of their most famous songs.
Eros Ramazzotti – Si Bastasen Un Par De Canciones
Although we’re including the Spanish version here due to its success in our country, Italian music of the 90s makes an appearance with Eros Ramazzotti, who, three decades after this song, is still active and quite popular. “Si Bastasen Un Par De Canciones” is the translation of the original “Se Bastasse Una Canzone,” from the album “En Todos Los Sentidos” (In Ogni Senso).
Hombres G – Rita
If there’s one Spanish band associated with the “posh” crowd at the time, it’s Hombres G during the 90s, much like El Canto Del Loco in the 2000s. And indeed, both bands ended up collaborating and touring together across the country, proving that there’s nothing wrong with that label, regardless of whether you like them more or less, of course.
Even though it’s one of the most famous songs with a woman’s name from 90s Spanish music, we believe there are 100 better ones ahead of it if we consider all the other decades. But that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be included here as well.
Héroes Del Silencio – Entre Dos Tierras
Despite the labels that anyone might want to put on their favorite artists or those they disdain, what remains are the works they created. While today Bunbury (singer and leader of Héroes Del Silencio) is criticized for his plagiaristic tendencies and his denialism of certain pandemics, when it comes to his group, there’s little to criticize. And that includes him and his distinctive singing and composing style, as demonstrated by the power of “Entre Dos Tierras.”
Héroes Del Silencio – Hechizo
Because if there’s one thing clear this year, it’s that Héroes Del Silencio stood out the most. “Hechizo,” the one before or the one that comes next, form a triumvirate with some of the best songs of the 90s in Spanish that have been composed.
Héroes Del Silencio – Maldito Duende
The third song from the Aragonese band. “Maldito Duende” is the second track from the album “Senderos De Traición.” And even though thirty years have passed since its release, I still find myself singing that “he oído que la noche es toda magia,” imitating the distinctive voice that’s so catchy. Three hard-to-forget songs.
Juan Luis Guerra & 4.40 – Burbujas De Amor
And where a few songs ago we found the first Italian song of the 90s music, here we have the first Latin singer. Juan Luis Guerra, known as “El Maestro,” added his characteristic Dominican accent to rhythms that enjoyed huge success in several countries.
We’re not sure if it’s true, but some say that despite being a love song, he might actually be talking about sex. So when he talks about dipping his nose in your fish tank, he might actually be talking about having sex. It’s not entirely unbelievable, truthfully.
Juan Luis Guerra & 4.40 – La Bilirrubina
Here’s another example of why Juan Luis Guerra was one of the great artists of 90s music. Anyone who reads the title “La Bilirrubina” will easily hum along to this song. It’s practically in our DNA.
La Guardia – Cuando Brille El Sol
In this blog, we know that there’s a Mexican band called La Guardia, so we should clarify that this is another one, the Spanish one. Active since 1986, the group disbanded 11 years later. However, they resumed activity in 2003 and haven’t stopped since, releasing their latest album in 2017 (as of 2020, of course).
Despite their long career, their biggest hit is this “Cuando Brille El Sol” and “Mil calles llevan hacia ti,” a few years prior to this.
La Polla Records – Ellos Dicen Mierda
As one of the most famous bands within the Spanish punk movement, Evaristo’s voice, very similar in tone to Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols, and La Polla Records’ music make this song a classic. If we add to that a protest-oriented lyric that turns anger into positive energy, the Spain and life depicted here doesn’t seem very different from the current, even though undoubtedly it is.
Los Romeos – Mi Vida Rosa
What a change of tone. Truly mind-blowing. It’s because of tracks like this by Los Romeos that we asked you to approach the 90s songs list with caution and an open mind.
Miguel Bosé – Los Chicos No Lloran
Talking about pandemic deniers, here’s another example. But since we don’t want to get into the why, especially in Miguel Bosé’s case, who seems to be suffering from some mental disorder.
Let’s stick to his music. The disciple of Camilo Sesto was building his path of success in the 90s with “Los Chicos No Lloran.” A song that might seem a bit strange if you pay attention to it now, perhaps.
Modestia Aparte – Cosas De La Edad
It’s true that when we talked about the 80s, we highlighted quite a bit of the ridiculousness or secondhand embarrassment that some songs brought us, as if it were just a thing of that decade. However, the truth is that in 90s music, there are also excesses and songs that, while not bad, have some things that might be better to avoid.
But at the same time, not really, because that’s what makes them what they are and the reason why they’ve endured until now.
Radio Futura – Al Otro Lado
We talked quite a bit about Radio Futura in relation to the previous decade, where they were one of the main protagonists and pioneers of the genre in this country. In this sense, we can’t apply the same term when talking about 90s music, but it’s clear they gave us three songs that are inseparable from that era. This is the first one.
Radio Futura – Corazón De Tiza
The second one is “Corazón De Tiza.” Another one of those songs whose lyrics seem a bit strange to listen to today, but there it is. Much like the previous one, just the title alone can make you hear the melody and Santiago Auserón’s distinctive singing style, which he gradually perfected until becoming unmistakable.
Radio Futura – Veneno En La Piel
With “Veneno En La Piel,” the quintet practically bid farewell to a ten-year successful career (a year later they would definitively say goodbye with “Tierra Para Bailar”), paving the way for Santiago Auserón’s solo career under the nickname Juan Perro. For many, one of the smartest figures in Spanish music.
Siniestro Total – Camino De La Cama
We’re approaching the final stretch of the best 90s songs with another classic from one of the most entertaining bands in the Spanish music scene. Theirs are not only “Camino De La Cama” or the following song, but also other tracks like “Siempre Nos Quedará Portugal,” a phrase frequently used these days (and having nothing to do with Portuguese music beyond geographical proximity).
Siniestro Total – Somos Siniestro Total
The second Siniestro Total song is this sui generis version of “Highway To Hell,” completing the circle regarding the first band that appeared on this list of the best 90s music. They’re not AC/DC, but it’s worth having a laugh with this song.
Tam Tam Go! – Espaldas Mojadas
If the previous one didn’t quite complete the circle, connecting the beginning with the end, it’s mainly because the alphabet placed Tam Tam Go! afterwards. Eleven years before they released “Atrapados En La Red,” the Extremaduran group produced their first album in Spanish, since the two previous ones were in English, with a few exceptions like the hit “Manuel Raquel,” from 1988 (whose English version was titled “Lawrence’s Heart is Weak”).
(Madrid, 1987) Novelist by vocation, SEO specialist by profession. Music lover, cinephile and reading lover, but in “amateur” mode.