Essential Oldies Playlist: Rusted Root, Pixies, Elliott Smith, Biz Markie, Salt-N-Pepa

Essential Oldies Playlist: Rusted Root, Pixies, Elliott Smith, Biz Markie, Salt-N-Pepa

Remember back in the day, when everybody bought music by the album, listened to it on their primitive Walkmans, and shared their feelings through making each other mix-tapes?


Those were the good old days. Music used to be an activity; it was interactive, because people would actually listen to it, hear the message behind it and share it with others in a meaningful way rather than just occasionally having it there playing in the background from time to time and downloading it on a whim.


Sit back, relax, and and listen to our mix made especially for you to cure your 90s nostalgia:



1. Rusted Root – “On My Way”

Rusted Root's 1992 album "Cruel Sun" (

Rusted Root’s 1992 album “Cruel Sun” (

This classic 90’s song is the perfect soundtrack for your summer. The folksy yet vaguely tribal vibe of this song conveyed through the flute, rhythmic drums and xylophone gives it the laid back and care-free feeling you get when all is right with the world and you are getting ready to cruise across country.


It is one of those songs that can not help but lift your mood. The song, originally released on their 1992 album “Cruel Sun,” made the Rusted Roots one of the quintessential bands of the 90’s and established their unique sound: their unconventional tribal-infused rock packed with passion and good vibes.


Overall, “On My Way” by Rusted Root is an essential addition to your 90’s throwback playlist.



2. Pixies – “Here Comes Your Man”

The Pixies 1989 album, "Here Comes Your Man" (

The Pixies 1989 album, “Here Comes Your Man” (

This melodic dare we say — cute — song by the notoriously gritty 80’s/90’s band, The Pixies, is one that definitely deserves a spot on any mix-tape. The song (which is featured in their 1989 album “Here Comes Your Man”) is catchy, and will have you singing in the shower in no time.


Pixie is nearly an uncharacteristically nice, light, and pleasantly vague song with milder hints of the signature Pixies dissonance. If you are digging the unique retro vibe, check out their 1990 album, Bossanova, for more great 90s jams.




3. Elliott Smith – “Say Yes”

Elliott Smith's 1997 album, "Either/Or" (

Elliott Smith’s 1997 album, “Either/Or” (

On a more melancholy note, take a listen to the soft bittersweet croon of 90’s singer/songwriter Elliott Smith. This short song, “Say Yes,” is taken off of his 1997 album “Either/Or.”


If you are ever feeling sad, misunderstood, homesick, heartbroken, or you just have a case of the feels, turn to our dear friend Elliott Smith; he always comes through with the perfect way to voice your most complicated emotions. Albeit Elliott Smith does not have an enormously impressive range or vocal versatility, his near-whisper works with his heartfelt lyrics and soft, simple, almost Simon & Garfunkel-reminiscent tunes.


“Say Yes”, and a few other songs off of Elliott Smith’s album “Either/Or” are featured to perfection on the soundtrack to the equally emotional movie “Good Will Hunting.”




4. Biz Markie

Biz Markie's 1989 album "The Biz Never Sleeps" (

Biz Markie’s 1989 album “The Biz Never Sleeps” (

This song is so bad, it is good. If you have ever heard the song, you would know what we are talking about. The rap may come off as slightly basic, and Biz Markie’s singing voice is definitely sub-par by today’s standards, but it’s endearing all the same.


The classic 1989 song of Biz Markie’s self produced, written, and recorded album “The Biz Never Sleeps,” despite its undoubtedly homemade quality, has become somewhat of an anthem for unrequited love and remains a nice song to bust out at random times during the day; you better believe everyone knows the words, howled over the chorus by the endearingly terrible Biz Markie.




5. Salt-N-Pepa – “Shoop”

Salt-N-Pepa's 1993 album  "Very Necessary" (

Salt-N-Pepa’s 1993 album “Very Necessary” (

It would not be a 90’s playlist without a little Salt-N-Pepa, now would it? The all-female 90s rap group set themselves apart from their gangster rap contemporaries through their positive female message; they were a very strong female voice in hip-hop in their era. The song “Shoop” was a fairly significant hit when it was released in 1993 on their album “Very Necessary;” it remains an iconic song in the 90s rap arena and hip-hop history.


These very versatile and controversial female rappers also produced other classic and incredibly catchy songs such as “Let’s Talk About Sex” and “Push It.” Put these lovely ladies on your essential oldies playlist and cover your bases in the old school rap category.



Do you miss the 90s? What are you favorite songs from the era? Share your thoughts in the comments below or shoot me a tweet @JenksUOhMeASoda

Hannah Jenkins

Hannah Jenkins is the genius inventor of the toaster strudel and a compulsive liar. She is a Communications major at Fordham University, an intern at WindUp Records, and is a member of the same club rugby team as fellow blogger and friend Carolyn Ambrosich. Hannah’s area of focus is music/entertainment and fashion. If you enjoy mildly funny observational humor coming from an abrasive and highly opinionated/empowered woman, follow me on Twitter @JenksUOhMeASoda

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