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10 Best Throwback Songs of All Time, Ranked

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When you think of throwback songs, what comes to mind? Are they songs that you listened to in your youth? Or were they songs from a specific decade that you loved?

For me, throwback songs are those songs that take us to another time and place, perhaps when life was much easier, and we had no responsibilities other than homework and taking the dog for a walk. 

Travel back in time with me as I take you through the ten best throwback songs of all time! 

1. I’m A Believer by Smash Mouth

Fans of the movie Shrek will know every word to this song. But did you know that the Smash Mouth song is actually a cover of the 1967 song “I’m A Believer” by The Monkees?

Released in 2001, the song made Smash Mouth a household name as children and adults around the world bought the album for its great sound. 

No matter which version you prefer, there is no doubt that this song will take you back in time as you relive your childhood memories of movies, popcorn, and friends. Enjoy this great classic as it takes the number one spot on our best throwback songs playlist. 

2. Baby One More Time by Britney Spears

It is truly frightening to think that “Baby One More Time,” the song that started Britney Spears’ music career, was released in 1998! I am sure that many can remember the first time they heard the song and, like me, were hooked. 

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“Baby One More Time” is truly one of those timeless classics that you need to listen to every now and then, remembering the good old days when Britney’s music was innocent and her life was less scandalous. 

3. A Thousand Miles by Vanessa Carlton

Who can forget the hilarious scene in White Chicks where Terry Crews’ character does a little performance of “A Thousand Miles?” I certainly can’t. 

Released in 2002 by singer Vanessa Carlton, the song quickly rose to the top of many music charts and garnered her a massive fan base. 

Featured on the album Be Not Nobody, the song is a timeless classic and should definitely feature on your best throwback song playlist for its memorable tune and sweet lyrics. 

4. Bye Bye Bye by NSYNC

Before Justin Timberlake became a solo artist, he was a part of one of the hottest boy bands of the early 2000s. NSYNC was a boy band with a difference, and with hits like “Bye Bye Bye,” they had an almost cult-like bevy of fans that followed them around the country on tours.

A catchy song with some epic dance moves, “Bye Bye Bye” was released in 2000 and featured on the album No Strings Attached. Experience this true classic as you add it to your throwback playlist today. 

5. 1985 by Bowling For Soup

1985 was a good year and also the year that rock band Bowling for Soup used it as an inspiration for their hit song “1985”. With many references to the 80s, the song gave teens in the 200s a glimpse into life in the 80s. 

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Released in 2004, the song featured on the album Here We Go Again and is one of the best throwback songs on our list. Give it a listen and see how many 80s references you can spot and relate to.

6. Ice Ice Baby by Vanilla Ice

Vanilla Ice was the epitome of cool in the early 90s, and the release of his hit “Ice Ice Baby” proved to the world that white men could indeed rap. Released on the album To The Extreme, the song was an instant hit. 

With a number of hits under his belt, no other song comes close to the popularity that Ice Ice Baby brought for Vanilla Ice. This is one song that you HAVE TO add to your best throwback songs playlist. Play it on loud and see how many of the lyrics you can remember. 

7. Tubthumping by Chumbawamba

“Tubthumping” is one of those songs that you heard at almost every single party you went to in the late 90s. While some of the lyrics were questionable and inaudible, nothing could stop those who were listening to the song from dancing their behinds off!

Released in 1997, the song featured on the band’s album Tubthumper. What is a Tubthumper, you ask? I don’t know either, but I can guarantee you that you will be singing along to every word when you add it to your best throwback songs playlist. 

8. All Star by Smash Mouth

Another hit by the band Smash Mouth, “All Star” is also popularly featured in the movie Shrek. Ask the younger generations what they would associate this song with, and the answer will always be Shrek. 

Featured for the second time on our best throwback songs list, the band released “All Star” in 1999. Give it a listen today, and try not to think of the movie Shrek. Go on; I dare you!

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9. MMMBop by Hanson

The Hanson brothers had teen girls swooning when they released their song MMMBop in 1997. Millennials will remember this song well as it features at number nine on our throwback songs playlist. With their sweet voices and impressive instrument use, the band and their catchy song were an instant hit. 

Taken from the album Middle of Nowhere, the song has a great beat and is still a favorite of many older (read millennials) folk who played this album to death in their bedrooms in the 90s. Go back in time and rock on to MMMBop by Hanson. 

10. U Can’t Touch This by MC Hammer

Everyone thought they were a rapper when they listened to “U Can’t Touch This” by musical genius MC Hammer. Released in 1990, the song was a favorite for clubs, house parties, and even car music for those boring road trips. 

“U Can’t Touch This” is a throwback classic and takes up the last spot on our best throwback songs playlist. Break it down and bust out some moves as you play this song on loud. 

Add in a pair of baggy pants and a vest, and you, too, can pretend that you are MC Hammer, just like you used to do in your younger days.