Top Ten Tunes- 1991

Every Friday, I’m publishing my top ten songs from a single year and this week it’s the turn of 1991.

For previous top ten tunes, please click on the year: 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990


The release of John McCarthy

In 1991, 27 people die in gale-force winds across the UK, a train crash at Cannon Street, London injures over 500 people and kills one, the Gulf War begins, the PIRA (provisional IRA) attacked 10 Downing Street and blew all the windows in of the cabinet room during a session at the War Cabinet, the IRA detonates bombs at both Paddington and Victoria stations, John McCarthy a British journalist who had been held captive for 5 years in Lebanon is free, rioting breaks out across the country, business tycoon Robert Maxwell is found dead, two IRA bombers die in St. Albans when a bomb detonates prematurely, Terry Waite a British hostage held for 4 and a half years is freed, Freddie Mercury announces he has AIDS and sadly dies the next day, USSR is dissolved and many countries gain independence, Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi is assassinated, apartheid is dismantled in South Africa, Slovenia and Croatia declare independence from Yugoslavia, police are captured on video beating Rodney King, the internet is now made available for commercial use and the films Boyz in the Hood, Thelma and Louise and Silence of the Lambs are released. I turn 15 years old.


From here on in, watch me delve into the British alternative music scene, but never fear there will always be plenty of pop and American tunes thrown into the mix too. So, here in no particular order, are my top ten tunes from 1991.

1. There’s No Other Way by Blur

2. Gett Off by Prince

3. I Touch Myself by The Divinyls


Clearly playing a particularly tricky game of Twister

4. The Size of a Cow by the Wonder Stuff


5. Dress by PJ Harvey


6. Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana


7. Unfinished Sympathy by Massive Attack


8. The Whole of the Moon by the Waterboys (originally released in 1985, it was only when it was re-issued in 1991 that it became a big hit)


9. Sit Down by James (I had to include this. My first ever gig was James at the Oxford Apollo in 1991)


10. Losing My Religion by REM


REM are a close second, but it’s the lads- Nirvana that are a clear winner this week.

So, gang…….which is your favourite?

See you next week for 1992!

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  1. Ritu · March 9


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nirvana!! But, I do have the Divinyls sounds running through my head now!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Teen spirit is one of them songs where you’re automatically thrown back into the 90s. I loved the 90s. Millennial, attachment problems, hates the 2000s, I’m a cliche. But even so, it was the best decade. If I could go back there I’d never come back.

    Liked by 2 people

    • thebeasley · March 9

      Yep I’m all about the 90s too. Definitely the best decade- for many reasons. You’re right to be disappointed by the 2000s it was shit. 2010s isn’t much better. I think I’m quite stuck in the past too!

      Liked by 2 people

      • I have no shame for being stuck in the past, but I do think I have an attachment problem to it. Mainly because it was without question the best decade, Everything since then has just been like meh, whatever, nice phone, that song’s alright but not great. 90s everything was great.

        Liked by 1 person

      • thebeasley · March 9

        Absolutely agree. Everything seems to be so very middle-of-the-Road now. Not much to light one’s fire. The 90s was a really fun decade for me too.


  4. angelanoelauthor · March 9

    Is it me or was this a particularly eventful year? Dying in a gale force wind? THE INTERNET!! (I mean I know it was around before then but still) Let’s just say I have a tie vote between Prince’s Get Off–because I cannot not dance to that (and sing along). But Massive Attack is a sleeper hit for me too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • thebeasley · March 9

      SO much happens. Writing it all in one paragraph highlights this. I mean, apartheid is abolished, the Gulf war starts, the internet- all just mentioned as one sentence. It’s crazy & every year I’m slightly astounded at how much goes on! Prince is such a cool song & I absolutely love that Massive Attack track. Cheers Angela x

      Liked by 1 person

  5. shelleywilson72 · March 9

    Great selection! Soooo many happy memories of college my days x

    Liked by 1 person

  6. shelleywilson72 · March 9

    Or even of ‘my college days’ 😳😳

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Phil Taylor · March 9

    I’ve got to go REM as my number 1 with Nirvana #2. I’m looking forward to you delving into the 90’s alternative rock scene. I loved so much of that music

    Liked by 1 person

    • thebeasley · March 12

      Excellent Phil! As the years go by, I’m finding it harder & harder to narrow the songs down to just 10 and I just know it’s going to be near impossible come the mid-90s.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Such a great selection! Hard to choose between Prince and James (although Sometimes is my fave James song by far). The 14 year old me loved The Divynls because it was so naughty 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • thebeasley · March 12

      Haha it was so naughty wasn’t it?! I was always slightly embarrassed listening to it at home ha. Oh yes I love Sometimes too.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Losing the Plot · March 9

    Ahhhh that’s a night out at the Student Union right there. Love it.
    Nirvana, by the skin of their teeth.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. willowdot21 · March 9

    So , so very hard but all things being equal, the water boys whole of the moon because it reminds me so much if my eldest son !

    Liked by 1 person

  11. middleagedwarrior · March 10

    Got to be Blur

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Scrum_Jet · March 11

    ‘Dress’ by PJ Harvey, but they are all amazing songs. What a year!

    Liked by 1 person

    • thebeasley · March 11

      YES! So glad we have a vote for PJ Harvey. Absolutely love that song. Cheers!


  13. Daphne DuMariner. · March 14

    Whenever I hear Losing My Religion it always reminds me of the time Brenda and Dylan broke up.
    De La Soul’s Ring Ring Ring, G&R’s You Could Be Mine and let’s not forget Seal (he was huuuuuge here in Australia). Good times.

    Liked by 1 person

    • thebeasley · March 16

      Ha I had to Google that. I’d completely forgotten about Beverley Hills! Oh I loved a bit of Seal too (and De La Soul and G’n’R too of course). Cheers Daphne.


  14. Matthew · March 14

    It has to be Gett Off for me…closely followed by Unfinished Sympathy. 1991 was also the year I discovered Omar, quite possibly my most favourite artist ever

    Liked by 1 person

    • thebeasley · March 16

      Oh There’s Nothing Like This is a beautiful song. Prince and Massive Attack are excellent choices.

      Liked by 1 person

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  24. music2commute2 · May 17

    Wonderstuff and Whole of the Moon – top tunes! Prince gets my top vote though. Hmmm…the 90’s aren’t shaping up too badly.

    Liked by 1 person

    • thebeasley · May 18

      Yeah the start is not too bad. Then it all goes downhill ha. The 00s are pretty atrocious apart from the odd gem. Prince is an excellent choice my friend.

      Liked by 1 person

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