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Top 10 Slow Dance Songs of the 1990s

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Script written by Aaron Cameron. Neon? Flannel? Camo? It’s all good. For this list, we’re basing our choices on those songs that were popular at high school dances and/or prom celebrations during the decade in question. They’re sure to bring back lots of memories, whether they’re good, embarrassing or something else entirely. This is a part of a series of slow dance songs ranging from the 1970s to the 2000s. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 slow dance songs of the 1990s. Special thanks to our users This Chick, Jacob Levy and undying for submitting the idea on our Suggest Page at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Transcript
Script written by Aaron Cameron.

Top 10 Slow Dance Songs of the 1990s


Neon? Flannel? Camo? It’s all good. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 slow dance songs of the 1990s.

For this list, we’re basing our choices on those songs that were popular at high school dances and/or prom celebrations during the decade in question. They’re sure to bring back lots of memories, whether they’re good, embarrassing or something else entirely. This is a part of a series of slow dance songs ranging from the 1970s to the 2000s.

#10: “Iris” (1998)
Goo Goo Dolls

Our first dance was inescapable in 1998; so inescapable they invented 1999 just to get away from it, but it didn’t work. In retrospect, that’s okay. Named after but not about country singer Iris DeMent, the alt rock track was written by lead Goo John Rzeznik for the “City of Angels” soundtrack and was inspired by the film’s main character played by Nicolas Cage. Featuring Rzeznik’s trademark altered guitar tuning, the song actually switches back and forth from standard to waltz time, so stay on your toes.

#9: “All My Life” (1998)
K-Ci & JoJo

Written by Joel Hailey, otherwise known as JoJo, and inspired by his daughter, this song was intended to be sung by a female artist before the duo decided to record it on their own. Musically, the song quotes Eric Johnson’s “Cliffs of Dover” and features piano playing from solo artist Bruce Hornsby. Although the duo’s career topped out shortly after this song’s run at the top of the Billboard chart, for four minutes of any given dance, K-Ci & JoJo are truly kings of the world with this one.

#8: “I Swear” (1994)
All-4-One

Whether you wear spurs or sneakers, there’s a good chance you’ll be hearing this at your next dance. First recorded by country artist John Michael Montgomery, “I Swear” was later covered and given a mild R&B makeover by musical newcomers All-4-One. While Montgomery’s take topped the country charts in ‘94 and also had respectable crossover success, it’s the more pop-oriented cover that grabbed international recognition - topping the Billboard’s Hot 100 for eleven weeks and hitting number one on multiple European charts.

#7: “Kiss from a Rose” (1994)
Seal

Written and first recorded for Seal’s second album, this stylistic tribute to Crosby Stills & Nash gained its greatest fame when it was included on the “Batman Forever” soundtrack. That inclusion sparked a re-release and global chart domination, which saw #1 positioning on four different American charts and netted the song three Grammy awards. Please note dancers that this is in waltz time so, tread carefully.

#6: “Truly Madly Deeply” (1997)
Savage Garden

This song dominated the late ‘90s, spending 123 weeks on the U.S. Hot Adult Contemporary charts with 11 of those weeks at #1. That success translated over 12 million copies of its parent album being sold. First written by the duo’s Darren Hayes and Daniel Jones as “Magical Kisses,” it was rewritten with a new chorus the night before recording. By the looks and sounds of it, that was a move that worked out very well for them. Truly, madly, deeply, indeed.

#5: “I Will Always Love You” (1992)
Whitney Houston

Already a #1 hit twice for songwriter Dolly Parton, this slow-tempo ballad became a #1 hit for a third time when covered by Whitney Houston for “The Bodyguard” soundtrack. Interestingly, Houston was supposed to cover another song but chose this one after leading co-star Kevin Costner suggested this as a replacement. That suggestion earned Parton millions in royalties and the world a class-A dance song.

#4: “End of the Road” (1992)
Boyz II Men

Co-written by Babyface, this Grammy-winning track was recorded by the group in just three hours during a day off from touring. First released on the “Boomerang” soundtrack and later included on Boyz II Men’s Cooleyhighharmony album, this R&B hit spent thirteen weeks on top of the Billboard charts. However, this record was soon after broken by our #5 entry, “I Will Always Love You,” which stayed at number one for 14 weeks. Regardless, “End of the Road’’s strong performance paved the way for later success and slow-dance worthy material by the quartet, such as “On Bended Knee”.

#3: “One” (1992)
U2

While the band famously experimented with sounds that U2 wasn’t really known for throughout the ‘90s, the initial decision to do this was not an easy one. The group had actually considered dissolving but became a reunited front when working on this track. Guitarist The Edge hit on the basis of what would become “One” while working on “Mysterious Ways.” After following a suggestion from their producer to split the two songs, this Achtung Baby smash was born. Despite being a breakup song, it is nonetheless popular at school dances and weddings with couples who aren’t bothered by its lyrics.

#2: “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You” (1991)
Bryan Adams

Released on both the “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves” soundtrack and the singer’s Waking Up the Neighbours album, this soft rocker went to number one in over 15 countries, including the United Kingdom, where it spent a record setting sixteen weeks at the top of the charts. “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You” was such a major smash with the public that it became one of the best-selling singles ever, netting both a Grammy win and an Oscar nomination. Meanwhile, couples on the dance floor hoped the DJ played the track’s album version, as it’s almost 2-and-a-half minutes longer than the radio edit.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.
- “Always” (1994)
Bon Jovi
- “My Heart Will Go On” (1997)
Celine Dion
- “You’re Still the One” (1998)
Shania Twain
- “More Than Words” (1991)
Extreme
- “Amazed” (1999)
Lonestar
- “Back at One” (1999)
Brian McKnight

#1: “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” (1998)
Aerosmith

While power ballads were hardly a novelty by ‘98, this Aerosmith offering from the “Armageddon” soundtrack still came as a surprise for many. It also came in on top, debuting at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. While the song became the band’s first #1, it is ironically one of the few in their catalogue penned entirely by an outside writer. Owing to the song’s popularity, a successful cover was soon recorded by country singer Mark Chesnutt, but it’s the Steven Tyler-led pop and soft-rocker that continues to monopolize dance floors to this day.

Do you agree with our list? What’s your favorite ‘90s slow dance song? For more fly Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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